Indian army chief's statement irresponsible, provocative: FO

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office, reacting to the recent statement by the Indian army chief, termed it as an irresponsible and provocative statement which was regrettable.

The spokesperson said the statement by India’s top soldier reflects the jingoistic mindset of India, which “can further exacerbate the already vitiated environment”.

The Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who, according to Indian media outlets, had said the force was ready to call Pakistan’s ‘nuclear bluff’ and cross the border to carry out any operation if asked by the government.

“We will call the [nuclear] bluff of Pakistan. If we will have to really confront, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff,” Gen Rawat said at a press conference.

“Indian falsified claims and belligerent statements are motivated by an exaggerated view of its own capacities and hegemonic designs. India’s mistaken belief and irresponsible rhetoric are fraught with unforeseen dangers in an already volatile strategic environment,” said the FO in its weekly briefing. 

The FO added that Pakistan has no desire to escalate the situation and has acted with maximum restraint.

“Indian confrontational attitude is a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation. Pakistan is fully capable of giving a befitting response to any misadventure.”

Detailing the current situation on the Line of Control (LoC), the FO stated that Indian forces have carried out more than 100 ceasefire violations during the first two weeks of 2018.

“India has deliberately escalated tensions at the LoC and the Working Boundary, in order to try to divert the attention of the international community from the grave situation in the Indian, occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where the Indian occupation forces have unleashed a reign of terror committing brutalities against the innocent and defenseless people,” added the FO.

Earlier, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan’s credible nuclear deterrence is the only thing stopping India from a war.

DG ISPR had responded to the Indian army chief’s assertion by saying that such statements are unbecoming from a person of a responsible stature.
“We believe COAS is a very responsible appointment and four-star is a rank with age-long experience and maturity,” the Pakistani military spokesman said.

He had further stated that Pakistan has a credible nuclear capability, exclusively meant for threat from the east. “But we believe it’s a weapon of deterrence not a choice.”