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Imran Khan says Pak won't be first to use nukes, but his minister threatens with tactical nukes


Islamabad, Sep 02: Amid soaring tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said Pakistan will not use nuclear weapons first. But his cabinet colleague, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, reportedly said Pakistan has tactical nuclear weapons as small as 125-250 grams which are capable of destroying a targeted area.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad is the same minister who had a few days ago claimed that he can foresee India-Pakistan war by October.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

"We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these tensions increase, the world could be in danger," Khan was quoted as saying by a Reuters report. "There will be no first from our side ever," he said.

Several Pakistani leaders have been harping on the possibility of a military confrontation between the two nuclear-armed countries over the Kashmir issue.

Amidst fresh tensions, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad has claimed Pakistan has tactical nuclear weapons as small as 125-250 grams which are capable of destroying a targeted area.

"Pakistan has as small as 125-250-gram atom bombs also, which may hit (and destroy) a targeted area," The News newspaper quoted the minister as saying after he inspected an under-construction railway station building.

[Exasperated Imran Khan plays communal card, calls Modi govt "Hindu Supremacist"]

Rasheed, a known motormouth, told reporters in Nankana Sahib in Punjab province on Sunday that the Line of Control with India and other bilateral accords with New Delhi had been ended by Pakistan after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status.

Rasheed, as per a PTI report, claimed that India committed "two blunders": firstly, conducting atomic explosions with a wrong perception that Pakistan would not do so; secondly, it scrapped special status of Kashmir on August 5, believing Kashmiris would not react to it.

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

[Kashmir move Modi's 'historic blunder': Imran Khan in address to nation]

The railways minister, who cancelled the Samjhauta Express and Thar Express trains between the two countries after India's decision on Kashmir, said only result-oriented dialogue could be started with New Delhi.

On August 29, Imran Khan said Narendra Modi made a "historic blunder" by removing the special status of Kashmir and the move will help the state attain "freedom"

Imran Khan on Saturday said that the "illegal annexation of occupied Kashmir" is part of a wider policy of the Indian government "to target Muslims".

[The diplomatic meticulousness behind Article 370's revocation]

Exasperated over international community not finding anything wrong with Modi government's decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status, Imran Khan on August 18 resorted to playing a communal card. In a series of tweets, Khan tried to brand the BJP led government in New Delhi as "Hindu Supremacist" and said that Modi government is a threat to "the very fabric of Nehru and Gandhi's India".

Khan also seemed to hint that India's nuclear arsenal in the control of Modi government is a cause of worry.

Pakistan tried all it can garner support of other countries to put diplomatic pressure on India over Kashmir issue. But, it was by and large accepted that India's decision was an internal one and that the New Delhi was well within it rights to take such a decision.

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