Islamabad: There is no space for a war between two nuclear-armed states but Pakistan will respond whenever there is a challenge to the nation's security and integrity, the Pakistani Army said on Thursday, a year after IAF jets bombed a terror camp in Balakot.
The Indian Air Force jets carried out airstrikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on February 26 last year to avenge the killing of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in the Pulwama terror attack on February 14. Pakistan retaliated on February 27 by attempting to target Indian military installations.
Addressing a press briefing here on the first anniversary of 'Operation Swift Retort', Pakistan's military spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar said there was no space for a war between two nuclear powers due to its far-reaching impact.
The consequences for that (war) will be uncontrollable and things will spiral out of control. Intentions can change overnight but capabilities remain, he said.
Stating that Pakistan was fully aware of every effort being made against it, he said the Pakistan Army would respond to every challenge posed to it.
"We are aware of all covert and overt operations of our enemies and are prepared for all scenarios. The game being played by India, Pakistan's civil and military leadership is very much aware of it, Iftikhar, who took charge as the head of Army's media wing this month, said.
We will respond - do not test our capability and resolve. Pakistan will respond whenever there is a challenge to the country's security and integrity," he was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
At a separate press conference, Pakistan's Air Force chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar reiterated the PAF's commitment of responding to aggressors, the paper reported.
"We stood as an integrated force that is hard-hitting and focused on its mission," he said.
He said that the PAF is second to none and has proved its air superiority on February 27 last year.
"Pakistan Air Force along with other services is fully prepared to counter any threat to the country," hePAK-PAF-BALAKOT added.
To mark the day, the PAF recently released a special patriotic song.
The relations between India and Pakistan strained following the Balakot strike. The ties were further nose-dived after New Delhi abrogated Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir in August last. Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations with India and expelled Indian High Commissioner.
The strike by India's warplanes on the camp and the Pakistani Air Force's subsequent retaliation the next day triggered fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
An IAF pilot was captured by Pakistan after downing his MiG-21 fighter jet, triggering the most serious military crisis between the two neighbours in decades.
But diplomatic outreach by major powers and India's stern warning to Pakistan led to the IAF pilot's release after two days.