Pakistan’s defense minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, wrote a frightening Twitter post in response to a fake news article stating that Israel would attack Pakistan with nuclear weapons.
“Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh,” Asif wrote on Twitter Friday, referring to the Islamic State. “Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too.”
According to The New York Times, Asif appeared to be responding to a fake news article published earlier in the week on awdnews.com titled, “Israeli Defense Minister: If Pakistan send ground troops into Syria on any pretext, we will destroy this country with a nuclear attack.”
Pakistan and Israel both have nuclear arsenals.
Asif appeared to accept the article at face value, according to the Times. The story doesn’t mention Israel’s current defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and instead quotes a former minister, Moshe Yaalon, who resigned in May.
Israel’s Defense Ministry responded to Asif’s tweet, denying the former Israeli defense minister made the statement cited in the fake news article.
“The statement attributed to fmr Def Min Yaalon re Pakistan was never said,” the Defense Ministry wrote in its official Twitter account. “Reports referred to by the Pakistani Def Min are entirely false.”
Asif did not immediately respond on Twitter.
This isn’t the first time Pakistan’s defense minister has made a nuclear threat. In a September interview, Asif said he would be open to using nuclear weapons against India.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place