Islamabad, Dec 23: Pakistan's armed forces will retaliate equally to India, 'within minutes', if India carries out a surgical strike on Pakistan, army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has reportedly assured the nation's leadership.
Kayani informed President Asif Ali Zardari discussed about the operational preparedness of the military in the face of mounting tensions with India in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks. He was speaking to Zardari at a Presidency meet in Islamabad on Monday, Dec 22.
The armed forces were "fully prepared to meet any 'eventuality" and the "men are ready to (make a) sacrifice for their country", Kayani was quoted as saying by pro-establishment The News daily.
The report further stated that the 'crux of the meeting' between Zardari and Kayani "was that any further buckling under mounting Indian pressure would prove counter-productive in the sense that it would further encourage New Delhi to further build up pressure on Islamabad".
The two leaders met hours after the Pakistan Air Force enhanced its vigilance and warplanes conducted sorties over key cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore.
Speaking in Karachi, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani too said the nation would stand united in the event of any aggression "on the eastern border".
During a meeting on Monday night with the visiting US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, Kayani said Pakistan reserved the right to defend itself in case of any aggression from India, Dawn News channel reported.
In his hour-long meeting with Kayani, Zardari said he believed in gearing up efforts for peace, which should not be taken as a sign of weakness.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)