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Pakistan rules out nuclear war

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    Pakistan rules out nuclear war

    Pakistan rules out nuclear war

    Qureshi says all defence safeguards taken;

    Aziz says Islamabad using diplomatic means to defuse situation

    By Mariana Baabar

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday vowed never to resort to the use of nuclear weapons in case of war, as these were meant to be used as deterrents. Military spokesman Major General Rashid Qureshi told a briefing at the Foreign Office that Pakistan was ready to retaliate against use of force by the Indian army in all conceivable ways, but ruled out the use of nuclear weapons.

    "One gets surprised when some people jump to a nuclear situation. Pakistan and India are responsible nations and we cannot think of using nuclear weapons. These are deterrents and not meant to be more than that. The use of nuclear weapons is something one should not even consider," he added.

    Qureshi said that it needed to be conveyed very firmly to the Indians that Pakistan has taken all defence safeguards that it possibly could. "But we hope that better sense prevails because we have the capability to retaliate in all conceivable ways. When you start deploying forces, it shows a certain frame of mind. When you move troop formation when there is no need, one can only guess what the Indian plans are," Qureshi said when asked how near the present military situation was to war.

    He said that some time back, the Director General Military Operations (DGMOs) of both India and Pakistan had talked to each other, but he refrained from giving any details. "They spoke to each other after the Indian deployment which is not a normal movement. We do not discuss these calls publicly. But I don't think he (Indian DGMO) had anything to say," he said. Qureshi said that Pakistan troop movement on its western borders would not affect its potential to safeguard its eastern borders.

    Spokesman at the Foreign Office, Aziz Ahmad Khan said that Pakistan was exercising maximum restraint in the face of the Indian military build-up and was using diplomatic channels to voice its views. "We want a solution to all problems with India through talks and do not want to raise the existing tensions. Pakistan has taken some appropriate steps for its defensive purposes against some aggressive moves," he said.

    Aziz said that presently Pakistan was using all diplomatic means available to it to diffuse the situation. "We want the Indian troops to go to their peacetime positions and despite the fact that New Delhi has recalled its high commissioner, we did not as we want to keep the channels of communications open," he added.

    The spokesman said that Pakistan still did not have any hesitation to a meeting between President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the SAARC summit being held in Kathmandu from January 4-6. "We have no hesitation and the ball is in the court of India. We have always stood for dialogue," he said.

    When asked if he felt that the world was acting like a silent spectator while the military hype was building up, he replied, "Pakistan has approached the international community and the United Nations. The UN secretary general has responded to President Pervez Musharraf. We are engaged in other world capitals as well and the response that we are getting is that restraint should be exercised." Aziz Khan told The News on telephone that the decision by the US government to put the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad on the US terrorist blacklist applied to the movements of these organisations inside the US, and not in Pakistan.

    "We will carry on our own investigations and will move against these two groups if they are found involved in any incidents. We will take action if they are found involved in any law and order incident in Pakistan. Also if there is any evidence provided to us about their involvement, we will act. For the time being we have sent an advisory to the State Bank to freeze their monetary assets and also put the head of Jaish-e-Mohammad under detention."

    At the briefing Aziz was asked why the foreign minister had referred to the constitution while supporting the government's action of clamping down on militant organisations, when both existed side by side for many years. Abdul Sattar had said on Wednesday night that the constitution forbade the existence of militant forces inside the country. "The government will move against anyone who is harming the interests of the state and action will be taken against them. We carried out a drive against illegal weapons and more vigorous steps taken in past to improve law and order. Maintaining law and order is part of the constitution," said Aziz.

    General Qureshi added: "The government's decision was to move against those involved in sectarian violence. As time progresses we do take action and these past few days such actions were taken. One action was the result of the ordinance on terrorism." However, Aziz clearly ruled out any links between terrorism and the indigenous movement for self-determination inside occupied Kashmir. "The Kashmir movement is clearly an indigenous movement and a lot of sacrifices have been made for this cause these past fifty years. This movement will continue till its objectives are achieved. The action against Jasih-e-Mohmammad was taken under the UN Security Council resolution and the one against the Lashkar-e-Taiba under an advisory," said Aziz.

    To a query which asked why India had taken on such a hawkish posture against Pakistan, General Qureshi replied, "Pakistan's point of view always has been that every problem can be resolved by peaceful means. There is a sense of frustration prevailing in India since after September 11, after it was neglected by the coalition. It tried to find an opportunity to suppress the Kashmiri movement. It resorted to artillery and mortar gunfire on civilian targets, it hijacked its own plane and the latest is this escalation by placing their troops. Later Pakistan offered a joint inquiry (into the parliament attack). Maximum defence safeguards have been taken by Pakistan and we are aware what India is deploying."

    Pakistan has termed action against Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba as an internal matter. Aziz Khan categorically said that the action has nothing to do with the attack on the Indian parliament. He told CNN "there are other factors as well. There is question of maintenance of public order etc".


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    The News International, Pakistan

    This truly shows how responsible nations react to matters concernin the W word anyway nice to read this topic i think we should all try to diffuse this situation for the benifit of both countries this is a chance for pakistan to finally Grow...

    God help us in this time of need.


      [sarcasm]That wasn't expected[/sarcasm]

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