Pakistan on Saturday appeared to threaten India with its nuclear power, when its Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif (pictured above) said the Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s statement about Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” was “an invitation for nuclear encounter”.

On Friday, Rawat said the force was ready to call Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” and cross the border if the government asked them to, PTI reported. “We will call the [nuclear] bluff of Pakistan,” Rawat said. “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,” he said.

Responding to that statement, Asif said on Twitter: “Very irresponsible statement by Indian Army Chief, not befitting his office.”

Asif further said India was “welcome to test our resolve”. “The general’s doubt would swiftly be removed, inshallah.”

The director general of Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing of Pakistan’s armed forces, also said that its country’s nuclear deterrence was the only thing stopping India from a war, GeoNews reported.

Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan has a credible nuclear capability, meant for threat from the east. “But we believe it’s a weapon of deterrence not a choice.”

“The only thing stopping them [India] is our credible nuclear deterrence as there is no space of war between the two nuclear states,” Ghafoor said. “That’s why they are targeting us through sub-conventional threat and state-sponsored terrorism,” he said.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said, “The threatening and irresponsible statement by the Indian Army Chief today is representative of a sinister mindset that has taken hold of India.”