International

India-Pak conflict will be bloodier than World War: Pakistan Minister

New Delhi/Islamabad, Feb 27 (IANS): | Publish Date: 2/28/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

Pakistan Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Wednesday said that his country doesn’t want war with India but warned any conflict between the two nations will be “more horrific than the World War” as Pakistan denounced the Indian air strikes and vowed to retaliate appropriately.

Tensions between the two countries after the Indian strike in Pakistan’s Balakot on Tuesday - and Wednesday’s tit-for-tat claims over downing each other’s warplanes - were fully reflected in most of the country’s leading newspapers which blamed India for creating insecurity in the region.
After Pakistan claimed to have shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured two pilots, Sheikh Rasheed, who is known for being outspoken, said: “... the Pakistani Fizayee (Pakistan Air Force) has maintained its honour... India which was yesterday celebrating (its strikes on Balakot) learnt this also happens.  “We don’t want war... the Director General, ISPR, has already explained Pakistan’s actions and aims... India must learn (that) any brazen measure they take will be responded to,” he told media persons.
Addressing a public conference, Inter Services Public Relations Director General, Major Gen. Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan Air Force had engaged six targets at the LoC, clarifying it was “not a retaliation” but a “demonstration of our capability, capacity and will”, reported the Dawn. 
“Pakistan is not pushing the environment towards war,” he said, adding that Pakistan “deliberately and thoughtfully avoided escalation”. He stressed Pakistan wants peace and India needs to understand war is failure of policy. Ghafoor also said that two Indian fighters had crossed the LoC but were shot down, with one falling into Indian Kashmir and the other in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir. He denied that a PAF F-16 was shot down, saying none was used in Wednesday’s operation. 
Sheikh Rasheed, who is the Railway Minister, also alleged that India’s moves stemmed out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “desperation”. “He has lost five state elections and is totally desperate... getting hell-bent on war. “We have no option (but to defend ourselves)... Pakistan hai to ham hai,” he said. The Indian air strikes on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) training camp hogged the front page on all of Pakistan’s top newspapers.
The Dawn had the attack as its main story, titled “Pakistan vows response to India, ‘at place & time of our choosing’, along with reports on the government and opposition leaders denouncing the attack and villagers in Balakot denying anyone was injured by the Indian aircraft. The Nation devoted its entire front page to the news. “You failed to shock us,” it said, and below in a much bigger font, wrote “Be Ready For Our Surprise”.

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