The Pakistani defense minister over the weekend hinted that Israel was not safe from its nuclear capabilities, after he reacted to what appeared to be a piece of “fake news,” in which former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon supposedly threatened to attack Pakistan with nuclear weapons.
In a social media post, Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja M. Asif wrote that “Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too.” The end of the message included the characters “AH,” used by Pakistanis to indicate that a post was a joke — but had a serious side, as well.
The post was made apparently in response to a story in which Yaalon was quoted as saying that Israel could retaliate against Pakistan with nuclear weapons if that country intervened in the civil war in Syria. Yaalon was quoted in a news story on several Pakistani sites as saying that “as far as we are concerned, that is a threat, if, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do, we will destroy them with a nuclear attack.” The report referred to Yaalon as defense minister, a job he has not held for nearly a year.
Israeli media sources who asked Yaalon about the quote said that he was not aware he had been quoted anywhere, and that he had never said any such thing. Pakistan has not commented further about the incident.