Washington: Pakistan’s top diplomat has warned India against launching surgical strikes or targeting the country’s nuclear installations, saying nobody should expect restraint from Islamabad if that happens.
Responding to a statement of India’s Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa that his forces are ready for a full spectrum operation, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Pakistan wants to live in peace and harmony with its neighbours.
But if India carries out any surgical strike in Pakistan or strikes at its nuclear installations “nobody should expect restraint from us”, he warned yesterday.
Speaking at the US Institute of Peace, a Washington-based think-tank, Asif said the “relationship with India is at a lowest ebb at the moment”.
Responding to a question on India, he said, “sadly India did not respond” to Pakistani efforts to improve relationship.
“What is going on in Kashmir is the biggest roadblock to normalisation to talks,” Asif said.
Asif, who is here as part of efforts to rebuild bilateral ties frayed after President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of sheltering terror groups, said his meetings with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor H R McMaster were good.
“The meeting went well with Tillerson and McMaster (meeting) was good. (It) was not bad,” Asif said, noting that the two countries need to pursue contacts with each other.
He favoured adopting an approach of talks and exchange of views more vigorously.
Asif in a way acknowledged that the madrasas were training ground for terrorists.
“These madrasas were nurseries for American jihad in Afghanistan. People who took those decisions will burn to hell. We are actually living in hell because of that decision,” he said, adding that Pakistan is paying the price of such a decision.
The US, he said, is focusing solely on safe haven allegations or blaming Pakistan for what they have not achieved in Afghanistan.
“There are many more dimension of what is going on in Afghanistan,” he added. (PTI)
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