US cautions Pakistan over brandishing of nuclear status

WASHINGTON: With Pakistan brandishing its nuclear status in the wake of cancellation of Indo-Pak talks, the US has cautioned that such statements would not help reduce tensions between the two countries. 

“(US) secretary (of state, John) Kerry has said repeatedly that he wants the two nations to continue to work together, with constructive dialogue, to resolve their issues, and we understand that there are issues that are longstanding,” state department spokesman John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference on Thursday. 

“But that’s what really needs to happen, is sitting down, dialogue, cooperation, talking through these things, and trying to work through some meaningful solutions,” Kirby said in response to a question. 

Asked about statements coming from Pakistan that it was a nuclear-armed country, Kirby said, “What we want to see are the tensions decrease, and speculation about the potential use of nuclear weapons certainly isn’t doing anything to help decrease tensions, if in fact those comments were made.” 

After the cancellation of NSA-level talks earlier this month, Pakistan’s national security adviser Sartaj Aziz had said that since taking over the government last year Prime Minister Narendra Modi considers India as a regional power, forgetting that Pakistan is a “nuclear power”.

“Modi’s India acts as if they are a regional superpower, but we are also a nuclear-armed country and we know how to defend ourselves,” Aziz had said.

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