Pakistan Sends Major
Nuclear Warning To India
By Aamir Shah
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (UPI) - Father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb warned India Wednesday his country had enough nuclear bombs to destroy major Indian cities several times over.
"India should not underestimate Pakistan. We have enough bombs and missiles to destroy major Indian cities thrice," said Dr. Abdul Quadeer Khan, the man who is credited as the pioneer of Islamabad's nuclear program.
According to the Pakistani newspapers, Khan made the remarks while addressing an award distribution ceremony for local scientists in the Pakistani capital. Made amid mounting tensions between India and Pakistan, Khan's remarks received prominent coverage on the front pages of the Urdu language newspapers. About a dozen English language newspapers, which generally advocate better relations between the two rival nations, down-played the remarks.
Otherwise prohibited by his government to make such statements, Khan's speech is seen as diplomatic observers in Islamabad as a calculated warning to India.
Simmering tensions in the Himalayan valley of Kashmir, divided between the two and claimed by both, have stirred fears of another war between India and Pakistan. They have already fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.
More than 35,000 people have died in Kashmir in clashes between Indian troops and Kashmiri militants since 1989 when the current separatist campaign began.
Pakistanis fear that to control the separatist movement, Indian troops may cross over into the Pakistani one-fourth of Kashmir, hence the warming.
Pakistan conducted nuclear weapons tests in May 1998 in a matching response to earlier tests by India. The two countries have also developed an array of missiles.
Khan said the nuclear capability had given the nation self-confidence and ability to defend itself against any aggression.

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