Islamabad (Agencies): Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor has said Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is a deterrence tool to prevent wars in the region.
In an interview with Russia’s state news agency Sputnik, the DG ISPR said that Pakistan holds the position that this capability eliminates the possibility of conventional war.
“No sane country having this capability would talk about using it”, he added.
The military spokesperson asserted that Pakistan will take steps towards non-proliferation of nuclear arms but only if India does the same.
Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan will undertake anything which is based on equality. He said the hands of Pakistan cannot be tied while keeping those of India open.
Rejecting New Delhi’s claim that Pakistan used US made F-16 to down Indian aircraft, DG ISPR said that JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft developed jointly with China were used in the recent conflict.
He, however, stressed that the country would use whatever it deemed necessary if it came to legitimate self-defense.
Referring to tension with India, Major General Asif Ghafoor said the Indian jets violated the Pakistani airspace on February 26, dropping payloads without inflicting any casualties or damage to infrastructure.
“Whilst staying within our airspace, we first chose and locked the targets. Pakistan only wanted to tell the Indians that the country has the capability to hit”, the DG ISPR added. He said Pakistan has the footage of the operation.
Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan would welcome Russia's role in mediating the recently inflamed tensions between Pakistan and India. "We would welcome any third-party mediation, which can bring peace in the region. And Russia is more than welcome.”
On military cooperation with Russia, the DG ISPR said Pakistan is negotiating defence industry cooperation with Moscow in the areas of aviation, air defense systems and anti-tank missiles.
The DG ISPR said Pakistan valued Russia's role in the Afghan settlement process and recognised Mscow’s importance in regional processes.