RNA - During parliamentary debates on Monday, an MP from the opposition Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) party urged Pakistan to go to war with India.
“When will we do jihad? Announce jihad [Holy war]. Tell India that Pakistani forces will attack it in a week and 220 million people will be behind the country’s armed forces,” lawmaker Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali said as cited by Dawn news outlet.
Chitrali claimed that “other Islamic countries will also join, if we announce Jihad for the solution of Kashmir”.
His colleagues suggested that war between two nuclear-powered states may be the only way to “liberate” the people of Kashmir, a mountainous region claimed by both India and Pakistan.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned in the past that tensions with India risk spiraling into a bigger conflict but clarified that the states are “not close” to a full-blown war.
The tensions between the bitter rivals flared up significantly last August after New Delhi revoked the decades-old autonomy of the part of Kashmir it controls, and reorganized the region.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that the move was necessary to fight terrorism, and for the integration of Kashmir into the rest of India in order to revitalize the region and bolster economic growth.
According to Fars News Agency, Modi made assurances that Kashmir’s Muslim majority will not suffer any repercussions as a result of the changes. He promised that the residents will continue to elect local officials “in a transparent way”.
India and Pakistan have fought three major wars and several smaller armed conflicts with each other since both countries gained independence from Britain in the late 1940s.
They were close to an open war last February, when the sides engaged in cross-border shelling and aerial combat, during which an Indian Air Force pilot was shot down; Pakistan later returned him to India.