A war of words has erupted between India and Pakistan again, with Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif warning New Delhi that his country was capable of inflicting heavy losses on India in case a “war hysteria” swamps the Indian leadership.
Mr Asif was responding to Indian Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh’s contention that India is prepared for “swift and short” wars in the future.
“We want peace but will inflict heavy losses on India if war hysteria overcomes its leadership,” he told Radio Pakistan when asked to react to Gen. Suhag’s remarks. “Pakistan is fully prepared to give a befitting response if India imposed short or prolonged war,” he stressed.
Mr Asif also argued that the Pakistan Army was more experienced and professional since the 1965 war with India, which New Delhi won. “Our forces crushed the Indian dreams of occupying Lahore back in 1965 and will do the same in future,” he said.
“Our forces are engaged in the war against terror for several years and they know how to respond to any challenge,” he said.
Mr Asif’s remarks point to worsening atmospherics between India and Pakistan after the last-minute cancellation of talks between National Security Advisers of the two countries last month. The talks were cancelled due to a lack of agreement on the agenda for the talks, with India sticking to the Ufa agreement to focus on terror and Islamabad insisting that the Kashmir issue be discussed upfront.
This continuing verbal spat does not bode well for the already strained relations between India and Pakistan in the near term.
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