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Pakistan warns India against targeting its N-installations

WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif warned on Thursday that if India launched a surgical strike on the country’s nuclear installations, nobody should expect restraint from Pakistan either. Indian Air Force chief B.S. Dhanoa said on Wednesday that if India needed to carry out a surgical strike, his aircraft could target Pakistan’s nuclear installations and destroy them. The foreign minister addressed the Indian air chief’s remarks at a talk at the US Institute of Peace in Washington on Thursday, urging Indian leaders not to contemplate such actions as those could have dire consequences.

“Yesterday, the Indian air chief said we will hit, through another surgical strike, Pakistan’s nuclear installations. If that happens, nobody should expect restraint from us. That’s the most diplomatic language I can use,” said Mr Asif.

The foreign minister, who is in Washington on a three-day official visit, met US National Security Adviser Gen H.R. McMaster on Thursday, a day after he held wide-ranging talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. While both US and Pakistani sides have described the Asif-Tillerson talks as “positive” and “useful”, Mr Asif indicated that his meeting with Gen McMaster was not as friendly as the earlier meeting. “I will not be extravagant, yesterday’s meeting went very well, today’s meeting with Gen McMaster in the morning, I would be a bit cautious about it. But it was good. It was good. It wasn’t bad,” said the foreign minister when asked if his trip to Washington was going well.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2017

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