Pakistan on Monday took exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks about India’s nuclear capability, terming them “highly unfortunate” and said such nuclear brinksmanship should be discouraged.
Pointing out that Modi referred to the night of February 27 and missile-related threat from India as ‘Qatal ki Raat’ (the night of murder), a Foreign Office (FO) statement said, “It clearly contradicts the position of Indian officials, who had tried to give an impression that there were no such plans of India and instead had blamed Pakistan for ‘whipping up war hysteria’.” “Such nuclear brinksmanship needs to be discouraged,” it said.
Following the air strike at Balakot terror camp in Pakistan on February 26, there was a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani fighter planes on February 27 in which IAF wing commander Abhinandan was captured by the neighbouring country and released on the night of March 1.
Addressing a poll rally at Patan in Gujarat on Sunday, Modi said after Abhinandan was caught, opposition started seeking a reply from him. “We held a press conference and warned Pakistan that if anything happened to our pilot, you will keep telling the world what Modi did to you. A senior American official said on the second day that Modi has kept 12 missiles ready and might attack and the situation will deteriorate. Pakistan announced return of the pilot, or else it was going to be a ‘qatal ki raat’,” he said.
The FO statement said, “Pakistan considers these remarks as highly unfortunate and irresponsible.” “Such rhetoric for short-term political and electoral gains, with complete disregard to its effects on strategic stability in South Asia is regrettable and against norms of responsible nuclear behaviour,” it added.