New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said that “Pakistan will not hesitate to use its nuclear arsenal if it felt it is losing out against India in a conventional war.”

Speaking to reporters in Amritsar, Amarinder Singh said that both India and Pakistan were nuclear powers and that it was not in either country’s interest to use the weapons of destruction. However, he added Islamabad could “indulge in such a misadventure if faced with defeat in other battles”.

Further, the Chief Minister refused to comment on the casualty figure in the Indian Air Force strikes on a terror camp in Balakot in Pakistan. He said, “Whether it was one killed or 100, the message had gone out loud and clear. India will not let the killing of its innocent soldiers and citizens go unpunished.”

The IAF strikes had proven India’s resolve to deal with the problem in the wake of the Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy, the CM said.

Noting that Pakistan was in a huge economic mess and had been “going around with a begging bowl and surviving on doles from other Islamic nations”, Singh said they could “ill-afford a full-fledged war with India”. And though both were nuclear-powered countries, Pakistan could act out of desperation to use its nuclear weapons if they found themselves cornered, he warned.

On February 26, India retaliated to Pulwama Terror Attack by carrying out a ‘pre-emptive and non-military’ strike on Pakistan’s soil. The strike is said to have killed nearly 300 terrorists. The following day, Islamabad made a failed attempt to target military installations in India in which one MiG 21 was lost and an IAF pilot went “missing in action”. However, the pilot was brought back from Pakistan on Friday.