Pakistan’s Kashmir head has warned India they are in the process of “beefing up security” amid rising tensions in the region. Both India and Pakistan have been embroiled in a furious row over the disputed region of Kashmir, where earlier this year the feud almost spiralled into all-out conflict. President of Azad Kashmir, the Pakistan administered region, Masood Khan has now warned of “nuclear armageddon” as tensions continue to escalate.
Speaking to US publication, Newsweek, Mr Khan said: “We have beefed up security, we remain vigilant.
“India with its aggressive and aggravating steps has pushed the region to the brink of war.
“We are in a state of war right now, but the situation could escalate even further.
“Any military exchange will not remain limited, it can and we fear it would escalate to the nuclear level, that is tantamount to nuclear armageddon.”
Pakistan’s Kashmir head Masood Khan delivered a warning to India
Narendra Modi speaking at the UN
Hostility between the two sides on the border increased earlier this year after India’s decision to remove the special status afforded to India’s only majority-Muslim region.
And relations took another huge blow before then after a terror attack by militants in the disputed Kashmir region left 44 Indian paramilitary police dead.
In response, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered an airstrike on a camp run by militant organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed which New Dehli claimed killed 300 people, although Islamabad denied this.
Days later Pakistan shot down two Indian jets, and displayed captured pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on television before handing him back to the Indian authorities.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan speaking at the UN
Last week Pakistan’s President, Imran Khan, demanded support during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
He said: “My main reason for coming here was to meet world leaders at the UN and speak about this.
“We are heading for a potential disaster of proportions that no one here realises.
“It is the only time since the Cuban crisis that two nuclear-armed countries are coming face to face. We did come to face to face in February.”
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Donald Trump was urged to step into the India-Pakistan conflict
Last week Mr Trump said he hoped India and Pakistan could come together to resolve their differences over Kashmir.
However, Mr Khan said he would like the United States to use its influence to help.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quereshi asked the US President to intervene with the two nuclear powers currently “eyeball to eyeball”.
Questioned about the possibility of India and Pakistan finding a way of settling their differences among themselves, Mr Quereshi told Newsweek: “I think we’ve come to the conclusion after one year of continuously trying that it is pointless.
Map of countries who have nuclear weapons
“After these actions I do not see any bilateral movement, the only way this issue can be resolved is through third-party facilitation.
“President Trump can play a role, he has a lot of influence over them and the Security Council, which is responsible for peace and security, can play a role.”
He added: “What India has done by this unilateral, illegal action of their’s is they have threatened the peace and security of the region.
Imran Khan urged Mr Trump to help reduce tensions in the region
We have beefed up security, we remain vigilant
“Two nuclear-armed states face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball that’s a very dangerous situation.”
Mr Trump and Mr Khan met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Mr Trump met with Mr Modi later in the week.
Muslim-majority Kashmir has long been an area of conflict between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. And since 1989 around 70,000 are estimated to have been killed in the conflict.