File image of Pakistan Army's spokesman Asif Ghafoor
File image of Major General Asif Ghafoor | Screengrab
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New Delhi: Pakistan has hinted at a significant change in its policy on the use of nuclear weapons.

Islamabad, which has never hesitated to brandish its nuclear arsenal whenever tensions with New Delhi rose significantly, has now said that nuclear weapons are meant for deterrence and should not be mentioned lightly.

The comments were made at a press conference Monday by Pakistan’s military spokesperson, Inter-Services Public Relations director-general Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor.

The comments come two months after India’s air strikes on the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror training camp in Balakot in response to the Pulwama terror attack. The Balakot strike, strategic affairs analysts had said, had called Pakistan’s nuclear bluff.

“Nuclear powers are not a threat, they are a weapon of deterrence that should not be mentioned lightly… Do not test our resolve,” Ghafoor said at the press conference, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign remark earlier this month that India’s nuclear weapons are “not meant for Diwali”.

Any country that had nuclear capability would be smart not to talk about it, Ghafoor said. But in the same breath, he also added that Islamabad would use whatever weapons it has to strike back if attacked.

India should “try it” if that’s what its heart desires, he said.


Also read: Pakistan says India’s RAW creating unrest in FATA, funding human rights groups there


Pakistan has traditionally maintained that while India may see nuclear weapons as “deterrence”, Islamabad’s definition of deterrence is different. Pakistan has often spoken about the threat of use of nuclear weapons early in war, even as recently as 10 April.

India has a ‘no first use’ policy, meaning it has pledged to not strike with nuclear weapons first. But it aims to make retaliatory strikes so powerful that an opponent would be unable to strike back.

Ghafoor also spoke about the failed 27 February strike by the Pakistan Air Force, claiming that Pakistan had fired just six weapons to try and hit four targets.

In reality, PAF fired a total of 11 H-4 bombs and 4 or 5 AMRAAM missiles during the dogfight with the Indian Air Force, but not one hit a target.

Ghafoor also said Pakistan was just showing its capability by dropping bombs near military installations.

However, an Indian Army source told ThePrint: “Contrary to what Pakistan claims, the bombs had specifically targeted military installations. For example, one bomb hit the trees within a brigade compound and exploded. Had those trees not been there, the brigade headquarters would have been hit.”

Moreover, H-4s are costly bombs, which are unlikely to be used by a country until and unless it wanted to hit a specific target.


Also readAn adversary India has paid little attention to: Pakistan army’s public relations wing


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8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. Haha. Pak used to brandish nuclear weapons at the drop of hat thinking that India will be brow beaten. Seeing their panelists in any discussion they, would threaten with nuclear war. India never retaliated in the same language, except PMs latest Jibe in an election rally. Good to see that at last they are mending their behaviour.

  2. In reality, PAF fired a total of 11 H-4 bombs and 4 or 5 AMRAAM missiles during the dogfight with the Indian Air Force, but not one hit a target.
    What a joke …. so your 2 jets fell down from skies just by miracle?????

    • Iron and rock… both are impervious and so is your grey matter. Stop celebrating two aircrafts. Pakistan is a pathogenic liar of eminence! You will have to wait for at least about a year to know the actual truth. Pakistan is a Muslim country and follow quran. Allah also once said one momeen is equivalent to certain number of kafirs. When the momeens relied on that ‘truth’ and embarked on a misadventure they got badly thrashed. Allah then recalculated the equation and found that one momeen was equivalent to only two kafirs. The religious porkies are waiting for gins and injeels in their army and would invade India once they arrive and train with ‘brave’ paki soldiers

  3. Major gen gafoor dont crack jokes in media highlight you pigs would be no more as a country the day India feel you are not required in world map. Your nuclear weapon and all will be of no use idiot.

  4. ISPR’s Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan was just showing its capability by dropping bombs near military installations.
    However, an Indian Army source countered: “Contrary to what Pakistan claims, the bombs had specifically targeted military installations. For example, one bomb hit the trees within a brigade compound and exploded. Had those trees not been there, the brigade headquarters would have been hit.”
    Moreover, H-4s are costly bombs, which are unlikely to be used by a country until and unless it wanted to hit a specific target.
    The PAF fired a total of 11 H-4 bombs but luckily for India, not one hit a target.

  5. ISPR’s Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said, “Any country that had nuclear capability would be smart not to talk about it”. Since they’ve been talking about it all this while, what was he trying to convey—that they’re NOT SMART??

  6. Definitely don’t think that the Balakot air strike caused Pak’s change of heart.
    Until the ‘qatal ki raat’ (night of murder) threat, if Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman wasn’t returned unharmed, India had never threatened to use missiles to deliberately harm.
    It went further, when on April 21, while addressing an election rally at Patan in Gujarat, the Indian PM hoping to score political brownie points before the general elections, reiterated that Pak shouldn’t assume that Indian nuclear missiles were only Diwali toys.
    Pakistan on April 22 took exception to PM Narendra Modi’s remarks about India’s nuclear capability, and termed it “highly unfortunate” and added that such nuclear brinkmanship should be discouraged. Of course, but it was Pak that all this while was threatening nuclear strikes. Narendra Modi’s statement should be seen as a gentle reminder that THOSE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES SHOULDN’T THROW STONES.

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