India is an ‘irresponsible’ nuclear state: Ahsan Iqbal

LAHORE: Responding to the Indian army chief’s ‘nuclear bluff’ assertion, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that the statement proves that “India is an irresponsible nuclear state”.

Earlier, India’s Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had said the force was ready to call Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” and cross the border to carry out any operation if asked by the New Delhi government.

“We will call the [nuclear] bluff of Pakistan. If we will have to really confront the Pakistanis, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff,” he had added.

Ahsan Iqbal, while speaking to media in Lahore on Sunday, said that nuclear powers across the world show responsible behaviour but the statement proves that India is an “irresponsible nuclear power”.

“Nuclear weapons are not pistols or slingshots, they are weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, people expect nuclear powers to behave responsibly,” he said.

Iqbal raised questions over the possibility of Indian inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, given the “irresponsible” statements made.

“What do the Indian army chief and [US President Donald] Trump’s statements indicate?” he asked. “That external attempts are being made to pressure Pakistan.”

In the face of such attempts, it is necessary that there is internal unity, Iqbal stressed.

Moreover, the minister said the government was making every possible effort to not let anyone play havoc with democratic polity, stressing that holding the elections of the Senate on the dot was the requirement of democracy and part of democratic process.

He said in-time Senate elections were the constitutional requirement and these elections should never be delayed.

Political instability and mistrust in democracy will eventually hamper the process of progress and prosperity in the country, he said, adding that recent ‘political game’, orchestrated in Balochistan, will not certainly bring out positive developments for the province and the country.

“Is there any precedent in the world that a member having a support of only five MPAs, ever became a chief minister?” he questioned.

He said Balochistan had been facing a host of administrative and political issues and ‘upheaval’ in the provincial assembly would somehow embolden some elements who were working against Balochistan’s interests.

To a question, he replied that if every institution worked within the given limits by the Constitution, then there will definitely be no issue.

To another question about the PTI chief, he said that Imran Khan had apparently become part of history due to his negative politics, so he may not be discussed anymore.

The minister said that if a politician was unable to run a local bodies system in his province, then how could he run a country.

Commenting on the Kasur incident, Iqbal said efforts were being made to bring the culprit involved in the rape and murder of the minor girl to book.

He lamented that some politicians were using the incident for political gains and urged them not to do politics over the issue.


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