Lahore/Islamabad: Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has claimed that the militant strike on the Indian army camp in north Kashmir’s Uri was a plot devised by India, even threatening to use the country’s nuclear warheads against the neighbour.
Claiming India had no proof of Pakistan’s involvement, Asif told DawnNews that India had engineered the strike to turn “the world’s attention away from Kashmir”.
Asif said Pakistan would not hesitate to its nuclear stockpile — estimated to be the world’s fastest growing one — against India in a war, replying to a question about how it would respond to a surgical strike.
“We will destroy India if it dares to impose war on us. Pakistan army is fully prepared to answer any misadventure of India,” the defence minister told private TV channel SAMAA.
“Tactical weapons joh hain, joh hamne yeh progammes develop kiya hua hai, yeh apne hifazat ke liye develop kiya hua hai. Hamne devices jo hain just as showpieces toh nahin rakhe hue. Lekin agar hamare salamati ko khatra hua, toh hum nestanabhut kar denge unko (Tactical weapons, our programmes that we have developed, they have been developed for our protection.
“We have not made atomic device to display in a showcase. If a such a situation arises we will use it and eliminate India).”
India claims it has evidence that proved the attackers came from across the border.
He said Pakistan would give a “befitting” response should India violate its airspace and claimed the “world knew” that India was “no serious about resolving the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan”. About a move by the US Congress to categorise Pakistan a “terrorist state”, he said: “Five or 10 voices raised against us are not enough evidence to declare Pakistan a terrorist state”.
Meanwhile, military spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa claimed Pakistan’s security forces were closely monitoring the country’s eastern borders and were prepared to respond to any act of aggression.
Eighteen soldiers were killed when gunmen struck an army camp in Uri on September 18. India blames the attack on the Jaish-e-Mohammad, an outlawed militant organisation that operates in Pakistan and has been blamed for several attacks in India, including a predawn strike at a military installation in Pathankot in January. India has accused Pakistan of not doing enough to crackdown on terrorist organisations.
The attack has led to an already-cold relationship between the two rivals frigid, as they two countries traded barbs in the ongoing session of the United Nations General Assembly. India has also pulled out of this year’s SAARC summit in Islamabad.