Pakistan’s Defence Minister has threatened Israel with nuclear war apparently in response to threats from a former Israeli Defence Minister.
Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif put out a tweet Friday in response to an apparent ‘fake news’ article quoting ex-Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon threatening to “destroy” Pakistan in a nuclear war if it dared send troops to Syria.
The article claims that on Thursday Pakistan declared that it was ready to send ground troops to Syria as part of an international coalition to help the Syrian government fight ISIS.
Times of Israel reports:
“Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too,” the Pakistani minister tweeted on Friday.
Israel Radio said Saturday that Asif was responding to a fake news story on the website AWDnews.com, which falsely reported that Israel responded to a Pakistani promise to send troops to Syria with a threat of nuclear attack.
The unfounded story even mistakenly attributes the threat to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Ya’alon left the Defense Ministry in May and was replaced by current Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh.Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too AH
— Khawaja M. Asif (@KhawajaMAsif) December 23, 2016
Israel has never publicly confirmed or denied possessing nuclear weapons, nor issued threats to use nuclear weapons. It would be beyond unlikely for it to brazenly threaten Pakistan that “we will destroy them with a nuclear attack,” as the report claimed that Ya’alon did on Tuesday. Such ostensible comments by Ya’alon would have caused major headlines worldwide.
Asif’s tweet was roundly criticized on twitter, with many calling on him to act in a more responsible manner.
“Oh Khawaja Saab, It’s a Fake News From Fake News Outlets. Act Like a Defense Minister,” wrote one commentator.
It’s not the first time Asif has brandished his country’s nuclear arsenal.
In September he threatened to use tactical nuclear weapons against arch-enemy India