On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed concern to the global community over the possibility of a massive refugee crisis in South Asia triggered by Indian government policies.

The Prime Minister attended the first ever Global Refugee Forum in Geneva yesterday where he warned the international community about the possibility of a refugee crisis in South Asia by saying, “I want to tell the whole world that they should be aware of the biggest impending refugee crisis [in South Asia].”

He further explained that he believed that the ongoing human rights atrocities in Kashmir would be the catalyst to this crisis. He explained how, since August 5th when the Indian government revoked the partial autonomy of Kashmir, more than 8 million Kashmiris have been under siege because of the lockdown. He expressed fears that a major humanitarian crisis would occur once the siege is over.

The Prime Minister additionally said that the purpose of revoking the autonomy of Kashmir by India was to attempt to alter the demography of Kashmir from a Muslim majority to Muslim minority. The premier explained, “If this is what the professed aim is, we are likely to have another refugee crisis, one that would lead to other crises”.

“We know from our past experience that prevention is better than cure. If the world acts right now and puts pressure on the Indian government, we can prevent this crisis.

“It is time for the world to take notice of the situation in Kashmir,” the prime minister urged, adding that he had previously also asked the world to pay attention to what is happening in occupied Kashmir.

He further pointed out that the registration process in Assam and the discriminating legislation regarding citizenship which the Indian government passed this month despite massive protests, are discriminatory measures against Muslims.

Talking about Pakistan’s role in handling refugee crisis, he said that Islamabad hosted 1.4 million Afghan refugees and continued this hospitality for 40 years. He added that currently Pakistan was hosting 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees while the total number of Afghans in Pakistan are 3 million.

He said that Pakistan has also been facilitating Afghan peace process so refugees could go back with dignity.

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