‘Nuclear Pakistan capable of fitting reply to India’

ISLAMABAD (TIP): Nuclear Pakistan was fully capable of responding “befittingly” to Indian aggression on the LoC and the international border, the country’s defence minister, Khwaja Muhammad Asif, said on October 9, responding to an earlier statement by Arun Jaitley.

“We don’t want the situation on the borders of the two nuclear neighbours to escalate into a confrontation. India must demonstrate caution and behave with responsibility,” Asif said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called a meeting of the National Security Committee on Friday to discuss the tense situation at the LoC and the IB, with firing and shelling intensifying to dangerous levels amid accusations from both sides.

The Pakistani state media reported that two Pakistanis were killed and 12 injured in firing by Indian troops along the working boundary on Wednesday, raising the death toll to 12 and injured to 43. Sources here said India has targeted 73 Pakistani border posts while Pakistan has targeted 47 Indian border posts.

Pakistan’s military said its troops were responding to
“unprovoked” Indian firing and only targeting military positions, not civilian population, as claimed by the Indian military.

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The recent escalation comes in the wake of political changes in Pakistan where the military has allegedly managed to get concessions from the beleaguered civilian government, including, reportedly, a change in policy towards India.

Sharif has been severely criticized by the opposition parties for failing to issue any hard-hitting statement against India over the tense situation. Observers believe Sharif’s speech at UNGA, in which he urged the Kashmir issue should be resolved according to UN resolutions, was an attempt to win military’s support at home.

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