India and Pakistan are “on the brink of a flashpoint” and “at any moment” a nuclear war could break out, warned leader of the Pakistan Muslim league Ijaz Ul Haq. Pakistani officials have said the airstrikes were carried out a day after Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistan for the first time since a war in 1971. Tensions have been growing since a suicide car bombing by Pakistan-based militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police on February 14.
But the conflict worsened on Tuesday when India launched an air strike on what it said was a militant training base.
The Pakistan Muslim league leader said he agrees that tensions are escalating between both nuclear nations.
Mr Ul Haq said: “I think we are more concerned than the rest of the world. We are sitting right on the brink of a flashpoint.
“Particularly Kashmir is an issue which can create at any moment something can happen.
“I don’t think there is going to be a conventional war this time around.
“And I think somebody is going to be stupid enough to press the button and then everyone is going to face it.”
The Pakistani politician said he would “not suggest” that Pakistan take the first move to nuclear escalation.
But he warned: “Of course, we have the right to safeguard our sovereignty, Pakistan will go to any extent to do that.
“So I think it is India which has given power with the bigger army, with more tanks, with more aircraft, with more submarines, should restrain from provoking Pakistan and going into war again.”
Indian air force planes entered Pakistani airspace on Wednesday after Pakistan carried out six airstrikes in Indian-occupied Kashmir, said Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for the Pakistan armed forces.
He told a news conference: ”This was not retaliation in true sense, but to tell Pakistan has the capability, we can do it, but we want to be responsible, we don’t want an escalation, we don’t want a war.”
One of the aircraft fell on India’s side of Kashmir, while the second came down in Pakistani-held territory with two pilots captured, he added.
At the briefing, Ghafoor produced weapons and identity documents he alleged were carried by the Indian pilots.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry also said it had hit “non-military” targets inside Indian-controlled Kashmir, but that it had avoided human loss and collateral damage.
The statement said: ”If India is striking at so-called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan.”