ISLAMABAD: Responding to Indian army chief’s provocative statement, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor said on Saturday Pakistan is a nuclear power and its desire for peace should not be misconstrued as weakness.
“If someone tests our patience, we will give a befitting reply to it and not disappoint the nation,” he said, while talking to a private TV channel.
The chief military spokesperson said that Pakistan is a peace loving country and has played unparalleled role as forces of peace in the region. “We are on positive trajectory of peace and stability after having gone through efforts over the last two decades. We understand value of peace and shall not allow it to be reversed,” he said.
Rejecting allegations of mutilating body of an Indian BSF soldier, Maj-Gen Ghafoor said the Pakistan Army is professional force and can never undertake such nonprofessional action against any soldier.
“We believe in coexistence and peace, however any misadventure shall be effectively responded,” the DG ISPR said.
“War is never a solution to any problem. Pakistan has always positively responded to all peace initiatives. It’s India that backs out from dialogue. For peace, dialogue is the best course. This we always offer from position of strength not weakness,” the military spokesperson said.
“As stated by the government, Indian government is under criticism internally from opposition on various corruption scams and failure of economic agenda. Such statements are attempts to divert domestic narrative towards Pakistan,” Maj-Gen Ghafoor added.
Maj Gen Ghafoor’s statement come moments after Indian army chief Bipin Rawat threatened Pakistan with “painful retaliation” over its alleged involvement in the killing of a Border Security Force soldier and policemen in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) last week.
“We need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists and Pakistan Army have been carrying out,” India TV quoted Gen Rawat as saying.
“Yes, it’s time to give it back to them in the same coin, not resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also feel the same pain,” he said.
‘Indian army chief shouldn’t behave as BJP chief’
Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudry said the Indian army chief should not behave as BJP chief and must not become a ‘tool’ to propagate negative messages.
Speaking to PTV on Saturday, he said dialogue was the only way forward as resolution of all outstanding issues would benefit millions of people on both sides of the border.
“The whole world is watching who wants peace and who wants war,” he said, adding that despite Indian belligerence, Pakistan would continue to make efforts for peace. “Pakistan and India are nuclear-armed countries; therefore there is no possibility of war.”
The information minister also took to Twitter to respond to unprovoked Indian aggression.
Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif also strongly condemned the ‘bellicose’ statement by the Indian army chief, saying “the nation stands united with their intrepid military and against the cowardly threats.”
On Friday, New Delhi called off a meeting scheduled for next week between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan.
The meeting between Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Sushma Swaraj was to take place in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
India’s foreign ministry said the talks had been called off after the “latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of 20 postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism”.