Nuclear War Can't Be Ruled
Out Says Former Pak Official

ISLAMABAD: Former foreign secretary Agha Shahi on Thursday said that the danger of a nuclear war in South Asia could not be ruled out once conflict broke out between India and Pakistan. "Even a small and limited conflict may lead to a full-scale war between the two nuclear neighbours," Shahi said while speaking at a seminar on "Recent Tension Between India and Pakistan -- Consequences and Impacts" organised by Al-Khair University here.
He said President Musharraf had rightly made it clear that action would be taken against the alleged terrorists under law of the land only if evidence was given against them. "The handing over of alleged terrorists to India is not a reasonable demand," he added.
"If Pakistan does not use nuclear weapon in case of war, the situation will suit India which has an edge over Pakistan in conventional weapons," he said. Agha Shahi advised the government to adopt a realistic approach on the Kashmir issue during next few months. Speaking on the occasion, former information minister Mushahid Hussain said India tried to take advantage of the international environment against terrorism after the incident of September 11.
"Using the threat of force, India is exploiting this opportunity to achieve its objectives, including its military operations to suppress Kashmiris' indigenous independence movement in held Kashmir," he said, but added that it would not be easy to use a military force against Pakistan in view of a highly motivated nation, well-equipped armed forces and nuclear deterrence.
Mushahid said some steps should be taken to make our diplomatic team affective in foreign capitals. "The entire nation is united on the issue of Kashmir and has expressed full support to the Kashmiris fighting against Indian suppression," he said. In his address, eminent defence analyst Lt-Gen (retd) Kamal Mateenuddin said the current tension between India and Pakistan "is due to belligerent behaviour of Indian leadership."
The September 11 incident gave them the opportunity to act upon their nefarious designs and harm Pakistan as well as the Kashmir cause, he said. He said the Indian citizens should realise that war with Pakistan would cause more damage to India. He also urged the Jihadi organisations not to use Pakistani soil and contain their activities to occupied Kashmir.
Kamal hoped that the current situation would be discussed at Saarc summit in Kathmandu. However, he said: "Pakistan is fully prepared to meet any Indian aggression. If war does happen, we will be able to defend our territorial integrity and national pride." Dr Rasul Buksh Raees, Dr Pervez Iqbal Cheema, Bishop Anthony Lobo and others also addressed the seminar.
The News International, Pakistan

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