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‘Pakistan contacted India to protest Bipin Rawat’s comments’: Report

By Deepika

Pakistan contacted India through diplomatic channels to protest Army chief Bipin Rawat's comments on calling Islamabad's nuclear bluff, reported The Nation, a Pakistani newspaper, quoting unnamed government officials.

Army chief Bipin Rawat

"Pakistan has asked India not to spread war hysteria amid peace efforts by the doves from both the sides," diplomatic sources told the newspaper.

Unnamed Pakistani foreign ministry officials, as reported by the newspaper, said, "India has been told that such statements will only worsen the tension. These statements invite reaction and counter-reaction." Another official reportedly said that India was advised not to create an 'atmosphere of uncertainty' as regional issues cannot be resolved without peace and dialogue.

Last week, General Bipin Rawat, during a media briefing in Delhi, said the force was ready to call Pakistan's "nuclear bluff" and cross the border to carry out any operation if asked by the government. The Indian Army chief was responding to a question on the possibility of Pakistan using its nuclear weapons in case the situation along the border deteriorates.

Responding to Rawat's remark, Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Saturday issued a nuclear threat to India. "Very irresponsible statement by Indian Army Chief, not befitting his office. Amounts to invitation for nuclear encounter. If that is what they (India) desire, they are welcome to test our resolve. The general's doubt would swiftly be removed, inshallah," Asif tweeted.

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