**Washington** In a direct message to Pakistan, the US has urged Islamabad to exercise restraint when it comes to using nuclear weapons.
“I mean, in terms – so just to answer your question about some of the rhetoric from the Pakistani government and the possibility of using nukes or nuclear weapons, I would just say nuclear-capable states have a very clear responsibility to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities,” US State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said in a daily press briefing on Friday in response to a question.
“And that’s my message publicly and that’s certainly our message directly to the Pakistani authorities,” he said.
Toner’s statement comes after Pakistan Defence Minister Khwaja Asif said that Islamabad was open to using tactical devices against India if its safety was threatened.
“We have not developed devices (nuclear weapons) for as item of showpiece, if there will be a requirement, we will destroy them,” Khwaja told Pakistani TV channel Samaa.
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has also voiced concern about Pakistan resorting to the nuclear mode.
“Pakistan is running full speed to develop tactical nukes in their continuing hostility with India,” Clinton was quoted as saying at a party fund-raiser event in Virginia in February.
“But we live in fear that they’re going to have a coup, that jihadists are going to take over the government, they’re going to access to nuclear weapons, and you’ll have suicide nuclear bombers. So, this could not be a more threatening scenario.”
India on Wednesday carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and kashmir inflicting “significant casualties”.
This came after the September 18 cross-border terror attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 19 soldiers.
India has blamed the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack.
On Tuesday, New Delhi also pulled out of the Saarc Summit which was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November. The summit has been postponed.