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Army Chief Gen Rawat rubbishes Pakistan's nuclear threat

By Vishal S

New Delhi, Sep 30: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's repeated claims that a conventional war with India may force Islamabad to use nuclear weapons was rubbished by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat who said that nukes are meant for deterrence.

General Rawat said that Pakistan's policy is to fight a proxy war with India by 'supporting terrorism' and encouraging the infiltration. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) had last week said that the Balakot terror camp which was bombed by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in February has been re-activated and about 500 infiltrators are waiting to infiltrate into India.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat

Speaking about the surgical strikes which was carried out in Sepotember 2016, General Rawat, in an interview with the Times of India, said it would no longer be "hide and seek" and if India had to cross the border, it would do so through air, ground route or both.

Further on nuclear weapons and statements given by Pakistani leaders, Gen Rawat said that the international community would not allow use of nuclear arms in case of a conventional war. He said nuclear weapons are used for deterrence and not for war fighting.

Following the devastating terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14, the Indian Air Force conducted airstrikes on one of the crucial terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot and destroyed the establishment.

[Terror rears its head in J&K a day after Imran Khan's 'bloodbath' warning]

When asked specifically abput the infiltration bids, he said the army was successfully targeting suspicious movement to combat such attempts.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan in his UNGA address on September 27 issued a veiled threat of a nuclear war. Khan said that nuclear-armed Pakistan may not have much of a choice if a conventional war were to break out between Pakistan and India.

[Tactical Nuclear Weapons: A vital cog in Islamabad's scheme of things]

"If the conventional war starts with a country which is four times the size of Pakistan, what will we do? This is what I ask myself a lot of times. But I say this, we will fight but think what happens when two nuclear countries fight," the Pakistan Prime Minister said.

Pakistan PM's cabinet colleague, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, had on September 2 said Pakistan has tactical nuclear weapons as small as 125-250 grams which are capable of destroying a targeted area. Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad had a few days ago claimed that he can foresee India-Pakistan war by October.

[Should India adhere to 'No First Use' policy given rising threat of Pakistan's Tactical Nukes]

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi on August 5 revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two union territories.

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