On Friday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan led the nation to observe, what he called 'Kashmir Hour', asking common people to stop work for half an hour and express solidarity on Kashmir issue. Television visuals from Pakistani media clearly showed that very few people participated. At some places, police had put barricades on roads to stop plying of vehicles, forcing the common Pakistanis to stand up and express 'solidarity'.
In a freak incident, the Pakistani Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed got a mild electric shock while holding a mike. He was roundly criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he got an electric shock. The minister soon finished his speech and left.
In an op-ed piece in New York Times, Imran Khan threatened the world with the spectre of a nuclear war. He wrote: "If the world does nothing ...(on Kashmir) .....there will be consequences for the whole world as two nuclear-armed states get even closer to a direct military confrontation."
In the article, he also laid down conditions for resumption of talks, saying "dialogue can start only when Indian reverses its ... annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lock down, and withdraws its troops to the barracks."
Clearly, a desperate Pakistan seems to be on the defensive. It has not received any widespread support from Islamic countries and the western powers. It cried wolf over the possibility of massive violence and bloodshed in the Valley, but in reality, not a single bullet was fired, and there is peace throughout Kashmir valley in the last three weeks.
In order to pep up his domestic voters in Pakistan, Imran Khan first talked about the possibility of a war and then spoke about the threat of a nuclear conflagration, but the common Pakistani on the street is not buying his lame arguments. The common Pakistani is more worried about spiralling price rise of essential commodities and pathetic non-performance of the Imran Khan government.
The Pakistani PM hoped that 'jihadi' terrorists would carry out a spectacular strike in the valley, but that did not happen due to the vigil of our security forces. Clearly, Imran Khan now finds himself in a blind alley. He wants a way out of the mess, and this is the reason why he is raising the spectre of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, so that the world can sit up and take notice.
Meanwhile, in Kashmir, the Centre has embarked on a massive programme to provide employment to youths in security forces and government departments, and has plans to improve road infrastructure and build schools and colleges, so that the handful of misguided youths return to the mainstream and the people of Jammu & Kashmir can work to usher in an era of peace and prosperity.
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