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Pakistan Threatens War on India and ‘Any Superpower.’ It’s Time to Take this Nuclear Conflict Seriously

Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:34 PM
Ben Brown
Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:34 PM

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has threatened to hit India with “aggressive” action, hinting at the full weight of its nuclear arsenal.

Khan extended his threat to “any superpower” that provokes his country. Are his words pointed at Donald Trump, who has shown support for India over Pakistan in recent events?

With 145 nuclear warheads  in its bunkers, it’s time to take this conflict seriously. The danger of nuclear war is real and present, and the US, Russia, and China are all involved.

Pakistan: “We will Respond Aggressively”

In a speech in Chachro , close to the border with India, Khan said:

“If someone, if it is India or any superpower, wishes to enslave the Pakistani nation, I want to make it clear that my nation and I will fight until the last breath to save our independence.”

If any superpower threatens Pakistan, he continued, they “will receive a befitting response from here.”

Although Khan stops short of using the word “nuclear”, his commitment to “fight until the last breath” infers a willingness to use the nation’s ultimate firepower. Pakistan has more nuclear warheads than India and is on track to build the third-largest stockpile of nukes on the planet.

Map of the largest nuclear nations
The current global stockpile of nuclear warheads. Source: Arms Control Association

“Our Army Is Ready”

It’s the strongest rhetoric from the Pakistani premier after weeks of tension and military activity with neighboring India. As CCN.com reported, India is stockpiling 750,000 assault rifles and readied a nuclear submarine in an escalating arms race.

“Beware, we are ready, this nation and its army is ready, if you opt for aggression, we will respond aggressively.” – Khan.

Tensions have flared in the last month after Pakistani terrorists killed 40 Indians in a suicide attack. India responded by launching airstrikes into Pakistani territory. Although some news outlines have reported that tensions have eased, Pakistani troops have reportedly violated ceasefire  along the Line of Control this week.

A Timeline of Escalating India-Pakistan Tensions

February 14th – Pakistani terrorists kill 40 Indian CRPF personnel in suicide attack.

February 26th – India launches airstrikes across the Line of Control, hitting terrorist JeM training camp.

February 27th – Pakistan shoots down an Indian MiG-21 fighter jet, releases pilot two days later.

March 4th – India readies 750,000 new assault rifles and leases Russian nuclear submarine.

Nuclear World War Three?

Talk of global nuclear war might seem dramatic, but the threat isn’t unimaginable. Tensions between India and Pakistan are at boiling point, and both countries are backed by competing superpowers.

Russia has a long history of backing India with arms and military technology. The US under Donald Trump has also thrown its weight of support behind India while condemning Pakistan. And France has show support for India during United Nations debates .

Meanwhile, China firmly supports Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region. China refers to Pakistan as its “iron brother,” with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterating his support  for Pakistan this week. China also provides technology, investment, and diplomatic support to Pakistan.

This isn’t just about India and Pakistan. China, Russia, the US, and France are deeply involved here too.

“Fight Until the Last Breath”

Ironically, Prime Minister Khan has been shortlisted as a potential Nobel Peace Prize , in part for releasing the captured Indian pilot. But his words this weekend do not sound like the words of peace.

Doubling down on the threat, he said:

“In case of any misadventure by India, the armed forces and people of Pakistan are fully prepared to respond in a befitting manner.”

Despite reports of easing tension, the threat of war in the Indian subcontinent remains real and terrifying. It’s time to take this threat seriously.