Amid ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday visited the Line of Control (LoC) along with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other ministers

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that Kashmir was Pakistan’s “jugular vein” and his country could not remain oblivious to the challenges posed to its security in the wake of India scrapping Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. He vowed in his message on Pakistan’s “Defence Day” that Islamabad would make the fullest possible response to New Delhi’s actions.

At the Pakistan army GHQ in Rawalpindi, the army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, said Kashmir was the “unresolved agenda” of the realisation of Pakistan and would remain so until a solution was found on the basis of the UN resolutions and the will of the Kashmiri people. “Pakistan will never abandon Kashmir,” Gen Bajwa said at a defence function. “We are ready to give sacrifice for our Kashmiri brothers, we’ll fulfil our duty till the last bullet, last soldier and last breath,” he said in a televised speech. “And we are prepared to go till any extent.”

In a statement posted on the website of the state-run Radio Pakistan, PM Khan said, “I have informed the world that Pakistan does not want war but, at the same time, Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the challenges posed to its security and integrity. For Pakistan, Kashmir stands as its jugular vein. Altering its status poses challenges to Pakistan’s security and integrity.”

“We are prepared to give the enemy the fullest possible response,” Khan said, adding that the world community would be responsible for the catastrophic aftermath” if it failed to pay attention to India’s nuclear arsenal.

Calling upon the international community to take note of “Indian atrocities on Muslims”, he said: “I have also urged the international community to seriously consider the safety and security of India’s nuclear arsenal which is in the control of a racist and Hindu supremacist government; this is an issue that impacts not just the South Asian region but the whole world.”

Khan has led a vigorous and international diplomatic campaign seeking the support of the US, Britain and other world powers to pressure India. New Delhi, however, has ruled out outside involvement in its issues with Pakistan.

The observing of “Defence Day” began with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21-gun salutes in the provincial capitals.

Later, Khan and Gen Bajwa visited the Line of Control. According to a brief statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army’s media arm, the PM was also accompanied by defence minister Pervez Khattak, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and chairman of the special committee on Kashmir Syed Fakhar Imam.