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|June 17, 1998||
Jingoism is my prerogative, says Gohar Ayub
In Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan said his claim, in a recent interview, that Pakistan can win a war against India in less than two hours was not a threat, but rather his response to a threatening statement from India.
Asked by the BBC to explain his jingoistic anti-India statements when other ministers of the Nawaz Sharief government were considerably more restrained, Khan said that as foreign minister, it was his "prerogative" to make such statements.
Khan sounded annoyed when reminded of how, in the first week of May, he had resigned his portfolio to 'concentrate on his constituency'.
At the time, analysts indicated that the resignation was at the instance of Sharief, who found in Khan's sabre-rattling pronouncements against both India and the United States a distinct source of embarassment.
Reminded of his resignation, an annoyed Khan shot back: "Do you want me to go?''
Editor of The Nation Majid Nizami, also interviewed by BBC, said that in his view, Gohar Ayub Khan was trying to build his own constituency in Pakistan through his jingoistic pronouncements.
In one of the many television interviews the Pakistan foreign minister has given of late, Nizami pointed out, he had sat next to a picture of his father, the late Field Marshal Ayub Khan. This, the editor said, had raised the hackles of many in government.
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