The United States on Friday expressed its objection to Pakistan's repeated threats of launching nuclear attacks on India. A senior State Department official said they had made their displeasure clear to Pakistan "repeatedly", but did not reveal at which level the message was conveyed, according to PTI.
The official further said that the US was closely monitoring the safety and security of Pakistan's weapons of mass destruction. "The safety of these weapons is always a concern for us. So we are always monitoring it, regardless of what they said on this particular occasion," the official said. Moreover, deputy spokesperson for the State Department Mark Toner had also said that countries with nuclear capabilities have "a very clear responsibility to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities".
Moreover, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday offered to act as a mediator between India and Pakistan to help diffuse the escalating tension between the countries, PTI reported. In a statement released by his spokesperson, he said his offices were available for use for the two sides to "peacefully, through diplomacy and dialogue", address their issues, including Kashmir.
On September 26, Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif had said Islamabad will not hesitate to use "tactical weapons" against India if its safety is at stake. In an interview to Pakistani TV channel SAMAA, Asif said, "Tactical weapons, our programmes that we have developed, they have been developed for our protection. We haven't kept the devices just as showpieces. If our safety is threatened, we will annihilate them [India]."
His comments came a day after India handed over evidence to Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit that the militants who attacked the Indian Army base camp in Uri on September 18 were from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Although India has been blaming Pakistan for orchestrating the attack from day one, Islamabad has repeatedly denied any role. Asif told Dawn that the attack was "a plan devised by India itself".
The US had earlier urged both India and Pakistan to not escalate the growing tensions in the region and instead, focus on dialogue. White House spokesperson Josh Earnest had said, "The United States continues to be concerned by the danger that cross-border terrorism poses to the region and we fully expect Pakistan to combat and delegitimise the UN-designated terrorist groups." His statement followed the Indian Army's announcement that they had carried out surgical strikes along the Line of Control after it received specific intelligence inputs about militant threats in the region.