31/08/2015 10:32 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

India Will Suffer 'Heavy Losses' If It Tries To Impose War On Pakistan, Warns Defence Minister

Pakistan's Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif leaves the Parliament after attending a joint session to discuss the crisis in Yemen, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, April 10, 2015. Pakistan's parliament on Friday decided not to join the Saudi-led coalition targeting Shiite rebels in Yemen. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's defence minister on Sunday warned India that it will suffer "heavy losses" which it would "remember for decades" if it tries to "impose" a war on his country.

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said "Pakistan's armed forces will defend every inch of their motherland at every cost".

He was talking to media during his visit to village Kundunpur along the international border in Sialkot.

"If India tries to impose war on Pakistan, heavy losses will be inflicted on India which it will remember for decades," the minister said.

Asif said "cowardly acts" by Indian forces have strengthened the determination of the nation to defend the motherland, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

"India's real face is exposed as it is supporting terrorism in Pakistan and creating tension on borders through unprovoked firing along the working boundary and line of control," he said.

His comments came in the backdrop of heightened tensions along the border and LoC after Pakistan called off NSA-level talks set for August 23 when India made it clear that discussions on Kashmir and a meeting with separatists will not be acceptable.

Asif alleged India is diverting attention from its "internal failures" by creating tension on the borders.

He claimed that Pakistan has proof of India's interference in the country which he said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would present at the UN General Assembly meeting in September and to the US leadership during his visit there in October.

Meanwhile Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday told US National Security Advisor Susan Rice that Pakistan wants a "meaningful" dialogue with India on all outstanding issues, as she "encouraged" Islamabad to advance regional peace and stability.

In his meeting with Rice, Sharif, while talking about ties with India, informed the US delegation the reasons behind the cancellation of talks between NSAs of India and Pakistan, Dawn News reported.

Sharif said Pakistan wants to hold a "meaningful" and "objective" dialogue on all outstanding issues with New Delhi.

Rice arrived in Pakistan on a day-long visit to exchange views on various matters and prepare agenda for Sharif's visit to the US in October.

A statement by Sharif's office, that made no direct reference to his comments on ties with India, said the meeting "focused on matters of bilateral interest and the future of Pakistan-US relations."

"The situation in the region also came under discussion," it said without giving details.

Rice, before leaving for Washington, tweeted, "In Islamabad today, discussed how to deepen cooperation to tackle shared priorities. Encouraged Pakistan to advance regional peace and stability."

During her visit here, Rice held talks with the top Pakistani leadership including Prime Minister Sharif, her counterpart Sartaj Aziz and army chief General Raheel Sharif.

Media reports had said the US National Security Advisor was making an "emergency visit" to Pakistan as part of the American effort to reduce the ongoing Indo-Pak tensions.

The White House has, however, asserted that Rice's visit was planned in advance and this was not emergency visit due the increasing tension.

Pakistan had earlier this month called off the scheduled NSA-level talks at the last minute over India's refusal to allow Islamabad to have consultations with Kashmiri separatists.

During his meeting with Rice, Sharif said the US is an important partner of Pakistan in all areas especially economy, defence and counter-terrorism.

He said Pakistan sees its ties with the US as a partnership which is in the interest of the two countries, the region and the world. Sharif said he was looking forward to his US visit in October as an opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties.

Rice later also met Prime Minister's Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. During the meeting, wide-ranging discussions were held on the regional situation especially in the wake of emerging security environment in Afghanistan and the stalemate in Indo-Pak dialogue process.

In her meeting with General Raheel Sharif, matters of mutual interest including security situation in the region were discussed.

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