Pakistan would not use nuclear weapons first, amid tensions with India: PM
"We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these tensions increase, the world could be in danger," Khan says
Pakistan would not use nuclear weapons first, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday, amid tensions with arch-rival India after New Delhi revoked the special status of its part of the disputed Kashmir region.
"We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these tensions increase, the world could be in danger," Khan said, addressing members of the Sikh religious community in the eastern city of Lahore. "There will be no first from our side ever," he said.
The foreign ministry's spokesman subsequently said on Twitter that the comments were being taken out of context and did not represent a change in Pakistan's nuclear policy.
"PM was simply reiterating Pakistan's commitment to peace and the need for both nuclear states to demonstrate responsible behaviour," spokesman Mohammad Faisal said on his official Twitter account.
By stripping Indian-controlled Kashmir of its special status, New Delhi blocked Kashmir's right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property there. Delhi said the change would help Kashmir's development, to the benefit of all, but its move angered many residents of the region and was strongly condemned by Pakistan.
Muslim-majority Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan. Both countries rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full. Two of the three wars they have fought have been over it.
Also on Monday, Islamabad gave a consular access to an Indian who was given a death sentence for spying by a Pakistani military court, which the International Court of Justice asked Pakistan to review in mid-July.
"Pursuant to the decision of the International Court of Justice, Pakistan provided consular access on 02 September, 2019 to India for Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, Indian spy, serving Indian Naval officer," a Pakistani foreign office statement said.