With India diplomatically isolating Pakistan, the latter has threatened to use nuclear weapons "if it so desires". In an interview to Pakistani TV channel SAMAA on 26 September, Pakistan defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said Islamabad can use tactical devices if it feels its safety is threatened - with tactical weapons, a clear reference to the nuclear weapons Pakistan is believed to possess.In the edited version of the interview, posted on the channel's websites, Asif said, "Tactical weapons joh hain, joh hamne yeh progammes develop kiya hua hai, yeh apne hifazat ke liye develop kiya hua hai. Hamne devices jo hain just as showpieces toh nahin rakhe hue. Lekin agar hamare salamati ko khatra hua, toh hum nestanabhut kar denge unko (Our tactical weapons - the programmes we have developed - are for our protection. We haven't kept these devices for showpieces. If our safety is threatened, we will destroy them.")
This is not the first time the Pakistani minister has made such comments. On 17 September, a day before the terrorist attack in Uri, he had made similar comments.
When asked if he thought there was a threat of war, Asif answered, "I don't think there is any such threat but as Allah has said in the Quran, 'The horses must be prepared', so we should always be completely prepared.... We have more tactical weapons than we need. It is internationally recognised that we have a superiority, and if there is a threat to our security, or if anyone steps on our soil and if someone's designs are a threat to our security, we will not hesitate to use those weapons for our defence."
When further asked if Pakistan could use atomic or nuclear weapons, Asif responded, "This depends on the situation... But if our defence and survival is (sic) in danger, then we should use everything. What is there to fear?"
Speaking to The Associated Press, Asif said once Kashmir gains 'Independence' from India, the later will disintegrate. "When the freedom movement in Kashmir succeeds, it will be the beginning of the end of India," he said.