Amid escalating tension between two countries in light of September 18 Uri attack, Pakistan defence Minister Khawaja Asif has warned that Islamabad would not hesitate to use its nuclear aresenal if New Delhi launches a retaliatory attack.
"Pakistan has not developed these [nuclear] weapons to showcase. They are meant for our defense," Defense Minister Khawaja Asif 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 haven't kept the devices that we have just as showpieces. But if our safety is threatened, we will annihilate them (India)," Asif said in the interview, telecast on September 26.
Asif also claimed that the assault on an Indian army base was a "plan devised by India".
"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 the private news channel.
He had made a similar comment on Geo TV on September 17, a day before the terrorist attack in Uri.
In an interview with Geo TV on September 17, when TV on September 17, when asked if he thought there was a threat of war, Asif answered, "I don't think there is any such threat but as Allah has said in the Quran, `The horses must be prepared', so we should always be completely prepared. There is also a fa mous English proverb, 'The price of freedom is eternal vigilance'... We are always pressurised (sic) time and again... that we have more tactical weapons than we need. It is internationally recognised that we have a superiority , and if there is a threat to our security, or if anyone steps on our soil and if someone's designs are a threat to our security , we will not hesitate to use those weapons for our defence."
Asked if Pakistan could use atomic weapons in case of a war with India, he had replied, "This depends on the situation...but if our defence and survival is (sic) in danger, then we should use everything. What is there to fear?"
Tensions have been escalating between Pakistan and India, which blamed Pakistan-based militants for a recent attack on an army base in Uri that killed 18 soldiers. Since then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he will work to isolate Pakistan internationally.