Boasting of the compact and calculative capabilities of its nuclear arsenal, Pakistani Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed has threatened India that, if provoked, Islamabad will not hesitate to wage a war and that it will be the "last war".
Now a nuclear war threat from #Pakistan’s Railway Minsiter #SheikhRashid – “It would be bloody and last war, a nuclear war, avoiding Mulsims and can target upto Assam.” (Video courtesy: https://t.co/ugYx7120sK) pic.twitter.com/mt5VZxgpUx— NB Nair (@nbnair) August 21, 2020
"If India attacks Pakistan, there is no room for a conventional war. It would be a bloody and last war, a nuclear war. Our weapons are compact, calculative, and perfect to hit the target. It would target areas avoiding Muslim clusters", Rasheed replied to a question during an interview with Pakistan television channel Saama TV on Thursday.
Rashid, who "predicted" a "likely" date for a full-blown war last year, also claimed that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal can reach the northeastern Indian state of Assam which is 1,860 kilometres from the border of the two countries.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has pointed out on several occasions that his country is not determined to be the first to resort to a nuclear war with India, amid ongoing tensions with the country's long-standing rival.
Relations between India and Pakistan have worsened since New Delhi revoked the temporary special status enjoyed by the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019. The region was later divided into two federally administered territories.
Islamabad launched a diplomatic offensive against New Delhi after its decision on Kashmir and suspended communication and trade relations. Both countries have also downgraded their missions.
Terror-related violence dropped significantly in the Kashmir Valley after 5 August 2019 when Article 370 granting temporary special status to the region was rescinded. According to the federal Home Ministry, violence has declined by around 36 percent and 136 militants have been eliminated so far this year.