ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal decried the irresponsible attitude of India citing Indian army chief’s statements on ‘calling Pakistan’s nuclear bluff’.
“Nuclear weapons are not pistols or slingshots, they are weapons of mass destruction. Therefore people expect nuclear powers to behave responsibly,” he said as he addressed newsmen in capital on Sunday.
Iqbal also raised questions over the possibility of India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
“What do the Indian army chief and [US President Donald] Trump’s statements indicate?” he wondered and claimed that external attempts are being made to pressure Pakistan.
He stressed that in the face of such attempts, it was necessary that there is internal unity.
Iqbal’s remarks comes a day after the Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat threatened to call Pakistan’s ‘nuclear bluff’.
“If we will have to really confront the Pakistanis, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff,” Gen Rawat had insinuated.
The blunt remarks prompted the civil-military quarters to give a scathign rejoinder with Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif saying that India may test Pakistan’s resolve if that is what it wishes to do.
“Very irresponsible statement by Indian Army Chief, not befitting his office. Amounts to invitation for nuclear encounter. If that is what they (India) desire, they are welcome to test our resolve. The general’s doubt would swiftly be removed, inshallah,” Asif tweeted.
“Very irresponsible statement by Indian Army Chief,not befitting his office. Amounts to invitation for nuclear encounter.If that is what they desire,they are welcome to test our resolve.The general’s doubt would swiftly be removed, inshallah.”
— Khawaja M. Asif (@KhawajaMAsif) January 13, 2018
On the other hand, the military’s media wing warned the eastern neighbour against any armed aggression.
“We believe COAS is a very responsible appointment and four star is a rank with age-long experience and maturity,” said Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Saturday.
Speaking to state TV’s world service, the military spokesman said that Pakistan has a credible nuclear capability, exclusively meant for threat from the east. “But we believe it’s a weapon of deterrence not a choice.”
When asked what if India undertakes any misadventure against Pakistan, Ghafoor said, “Well, it’s their choice. Should they wish to test our resolve they may try and see it for themselves.”