Pakistan on Monday warned India against testing its military’s resolve and said that it was capable of protecting its citizens. Pakistan’s military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor accused India of relying on false claims about the Pulwama attack in India and the Indian Air Force’s air strike in Balakot.
The military spokesperson urged India to be a more responsible nuclear power. “In your [Indian] rhetoric, you keep using nuclear power as a threat,” Ghafoor said. “Nuclear powers are not a threat, they are a weapon of deterrence that should not be mentioned lightly...Do not test our resolve.”
Ghafoor was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark earlier this month that India’s nuclear weapons are “not meant for Diwali”. Modi had received criticism from several quarters for that statement.
Ghafoor denied that it was responsible for the attack in Pulwama that killed 40 Indian security personnel. “We told them we were not involved,” Ghafoor told reporters at a press conference. “India then violated our airspace, we then gave the ultimatum that we will respond when we see fit. Two months have passed since and India has told countless lies on the matter. We have not responded to the lies, not because we can’t, but because we don’t want to retaliate.”
Ghafoor reiterated that Pakistan had incurred no damage from India’s air strike in Balakot. He said hiding the downing of a plane is impossible in today’s day and age.
“International media came to Pakistan, we told them that they should go to the place and see for themselves what had happened. India had said that 300 people had died in their attack [in Balakot]. Then they said that they had used a small-scale missile that bore a tiny hole in the ceiling of the building and then exploded inside. We again offered to show your own [Indian] media the site,” he said.