Pakistan expresses concern over India’s nuclear submarine

Indian Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi, left, with the crew of INS Arihant on Nov. 4, 2018. (Photo courtesy: @narendramodi/Twitter)
Updated 08 November 2018
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Pakistan expresses concern over India’s nuclear submarine

  • Wants New Delhi to exercise restraint in acquiring missiles
  • Experts say both countries should invest in people instead of indulging in the arms race

ISLAMABAD: Terming it as a threat to the strategic stability in South Asia, Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Thursday expressed concern over India’s first “deterrence patrol” of a nuclear submarine by saying that it was a matter of concern not just for the region but the international community at large.
“This development marks the first actual deployment of ready-to-fire nuclear warheads in South Asia which is a matter of concern not only for the Indian Ocean littoral states but also for the international community at large,” Foreign Office Spokesperson, Dr. Mohammad Faisal said in his weekly press briefing on Thursday.
India’s first nuclear ballistic missile submarine, the INS Arihant completed its first deterrence patrol on Monday, a move which signifies that it is fully operational and, when deployed for extended patrols, can facilitate Indian forces in firing nuclear weapons from land, air, and sea.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the INS Arihant was a “fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail,” in a veiled reference to nuclear-armed neighbors Pakistan and China.
“Arihant is an open warning for the country’s enemies, for the foes of peace: don’t try any misadventure against India,” Modi told the crew of the submarine in a speech televised across the nation.
Responding to his saber-rattling, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that the bellicose language employed by India’s leadership “highlights the threats to strategic stability in South Asia and raises questions about responsible nuclear stewardship in India”.
Faisal added that the increased frequency of missile tests by India, along with aggressive posturing and deployment of nuclear weapons, “calls for an assessment of the non-proliferation benefits resulting from the Indian membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime”.
“Pakistan believes that the only way forward for both the countries is to agree on measures for nuclear and missile restraint,” he said.
The spokesperson also said that no one should doubt Pakistan’s resolve and capabilities “to meet the challenges posed by the latest developments both in the nuclear and conventional realms in South Asia”.
Tahir Malik, an academic and analyst, said that it was unfortunate to see India pursuing the arms race and trying to establish its hegemony in the region with the acquisition of the latest weapons and war technology. “Both Pakistan and India should work together for progress and prosperity of their people and the whole region, instead of investing billions of dollars on arms and ammunition,” he told Arab News.
Addressing other issues on hand, Faisal added that Pakistan would be attending the peace talks in Moscow which are scheduled to be held on Friday. “We have released Taliban leader Mullah Baradar on the request of the United States to give impetus to the reconciliation process in Afghanistan,” he added.
Commenting on the case of Aasia Bibi, who was exonerated of blasphemy charges last week, Faisal refuted reports that she had been flown out the country to seek asylum elsewhere – one of the pre-conditions set by protesting parties in order for them to call off the three-day demonstrations last week. “She is in Pakistan at a safe location,” Faisal said.
The spokesperson also said that Pakistan had raised the issue of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui “very effectively” with the United States during US Ambassador Alice Wells’ recent visit to Islamabad. “There are some developments regarding the case, but we will share it with the media at an appropriate time,” he added.


Several injured in explosion at mosque in Chaman

Updated 21 November 2018
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Several injured in explosion at mosque in Chaman

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