Friday, 20 July 2018

India welcome to test our resolve: Pakistan warns after Army chief Bipin Rawat’s ‘nuclear bluff’ remark

INDIA PAKISTAN

ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI: The Pakistan Army warned India against any misadventure, asserting that the country’s nuclear weapons were exclusively meant to foil any threat emanating from the east.

The Army’s response came days after Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s recent remark that the force was ready to call Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” and cross the border to carry out any operation if asked by the government.

“We will call the (nuclear) bluff of Pakistan. 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,” Rawat said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Pakistani foreign minister Khawaja M Asif also called it an irresponsible statement, “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,” he said in a tweet on Saturday.

Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor also warned of response if India undertook any misadventure.

“Well, it’s their choice. Should they wish to test our resolve they may try and see it for themselves,” Ghafoor told state-run PTV.

He said General Rawat’s comments were unbefitting of an army chief.

Asserting that India was not in a position to launch a conventional war after over nulcearisation, Ghafoor said Pakistan had credible nuclear capability exclusively meant to foil any threat emanating from the east.

“But we believe it’s a weapon of deterrence not a choice. The only thing stopping them is our credible nuclear deterrence as there is no space of war between the two nuclear states,” he said.

He alleged that India was using sub-conventional threat and state-sponsored terrorism to destabilise Pakistan but has failed to achieve its objectives so far.

General Rawat’s remark had come in response to a question on possibility of Pakistan using its nuclear weapons in case the situation along the border deteriorated.

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