Washington, Oct 1: The United States has said it is sending out a clear, direct message to Pakistan to cut out “rhetoric” and be a “responsible” nuclear state, taking strong exception to the comments of some top officials in Islamabad that they will not hesitate to use such devices against India and “destroy” the country. The comments by the US State Department, in response to a question during a briefing on Friday, came after Pakistan Defence Minister Khwaja Asif said in Islamabad that his country’s “tactical devices” were not showpieces and would be used against India if its security was threatened. “To answer your question about some of the rhetoric from the Pakistani government and the possibility of using nukes or nuclear weapons, I would just say nuclear-capable states have a very clear responsibility to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities,” US State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said.
“That’s my message publicly and that’s certainly our message directly to the Pakistani authorities.” The blunt statement by Pakistan Defence Minister Asif has evoked concern within the US administration. “We have not developed devices (nuclear weapons) for as item of showpiece, if there will be a requirement, we will destroy them,” Asif told Pakistani TV channel Samaa.
Pakistan Prime Minister waz Sharif also reportedly said at a cabinet meeting that his country was capable of carrying out surgical strikes in India. Toner was also posed a question regarding US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also voicing concern about Pakistan resorting to the nuclear mode. The State Department pertained to Clinton’s remark in February. “Pakistan is running full speed to develop tactical nukes in their continuing hostility with India,” she was quoted as saying at a party fund-raiser event in Virginia. “But we live in fear that they’re going to have a coup, that jihadis are going to take over the government, they’re going to access to nuclear weapons, and you’ll have suicide nuclear bombers. So, this could not be a more threatening scerio.” India has blamed the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack. (IANS)