Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today that there was no likelihood of Pakistan winning a war against India in his lifetime.
The Dawn, a leading Pakistani daily, had quoted the country's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as saying that Kashmir was a flashpoint and could trigger forth a fourth war between the two countries.
Responding to a reporter's question on the issue at a function in New Delhi, Manmohan Singh said, "There is no scope of Pakistan winning any such war in my lifetime."
The entire issue in fact seems to be a storm in a teacup brewed by a headline-hungry media. In the first place, the Indian Prime Minister is approaching 80 years of age, so his ''lifetime'' has few long-term implications. And in the second, Pakistan has officially denied that Sharif made any such statement.
A spokesman for the Pakistan Prime Minister's Office said the news item about Sharif's comment was fabricated.
Sharif's office said he had never "uttered these words" in his address to the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir Council, and described the report as "baseless, incorrect and based on mala fide intentions".
"Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is of the opinion that any issue of conflict between Pakistan and India has to be resolved through peaceful means," said the statement issued by his office.