Islamabad: Flexing its nuclear muscle, Pakistan’s military on Monday said that there is no space for war with India as both the countries possess nuclear arsenal, but warned that its desire for peace should not be mistaken for weakness.
Director general Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor accused India of violating the 2003 ceasefire and targeting civilians and alleged that 1,077 ceasefire violations had been carried out by the Indian Army this year.
“Our defence, our desire for peace, should not be mistaken for weakness. Pakistan wants to abide by the ceasefire agreement,” Major General Ghafoor said at a press conference.
“War happens when diplomacy fails,” he said, adding that the two sides were in touch with each other over bilateral issues but India backed out of having a dialogue.
“The Indians have to realise and understand where they want to go (in the future)… We are two nuclear powers, and there is no space for war,” he added.
Major General Ghafoor said a special hotline contact had been established between the director-generals of military operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India last week, but “India violated the ceasefire agreement after May 29”.
“If India fires the first bullet and no harm is incurred, we will not respond. If India fires the second bullet, then we will give a befitting response,” he warned.
On the revelations of former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Asad Durrani, Major General Ghafoor said that the former had retired from the service due to political reasons and had penned his observations.
“To document your observations based on the events that occurred after the conclusion of service is wrong,” he added.
Major General Ghafoor said that Lt. General (retired) Durrani did not obtain a “no objection certificate” from the Army before publishing a controversial book along with former RAW chief A.S. Dulat.
Lt. General Durrani’s name has been put on the no-fly list and Pakistan Army has ordered a court of inquiry to investigate his claims in the book — The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace.
The book sparked controversy in Pakistan and there were accusations of treachery against the former spy chief because of his candid views on various matters of regional and global concern.
Various political parties voiced their reservations over it, with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif demanding an emergency meeting of the National Security Committee over the issue.
The book throws light on the perspectives, assumptions and observations of the two spymasters on Kashmir; Hafiz Saeed and 26/11; Kulbhushan Jadhav; surgical strikes; the deal for Osama bin Laden; how the US and Russia feature in the India-Pakistan relationship; and how terror undermines the two countries’ attempts at talks.
In the book, Lt. General Durrani makes an assessment that “the ISI probably learnt about” Osama bin Laden and “he was handed over to the US according to a mutually agreed process”. Mr Dulat maintains that the assessment from the Indian side “is the same. That he was handed over by Pakistan”.