India instigating arms race, Pakistan tells US

Pakistan has told the United States that India was instigating arms race in the region threatening peace, The Nation has learnt.

Senior officials in the foreign ministry said that India’s $ 2 billion defence deal with Israel was designed against Pakistan.

“We have asked the US to take notice of the anti-Pakistan alliance between India and Israel. Washington has been requested to use its influence to stop India from the arms buying spree for the sake of peace,” an official at the ministry told The Nation.

Earlier, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) struck a $ 2 billion deal with India to supply the missile defence systems to the Indian navy. This was described by IAI as the largest-ever defence deal.

Under the deal, the IAI would supply an advanced air defence system, including medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications and control technology, to the Indian army for around $ 1.6 billion. An additional naval defence system, including long-range surface-to-air missiles, would be deployed on India’s first aircraft carrier, which is still being built, said an IAI statement. The value of the second deal was not made public but the IAI said the total package amounted to nearly $ 2 billion.

For years, Israel has been one of the top three arms suppliers to India. The US congress said that, between 2008-2015, India was the second largest arms purchaser among the developing countries after Saudi Arabia.

Another foreign ministry official said that the India-Israel nexus was discussed with the US and Washington was asked to stop the two from disturbing peace (in the region).

“They want Pakistan to spend less on defence but we have to remain prepared for defence. The US and other powers should not allow India to disturb the balance of power in the region. The Indo-Israel nexus is dangerous for the world peace,” he said.

Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that the India-Israel nexus was behind terrorism in Pakistan. He said that India and Israel were behind the separatists in Balochistan. “We have been telling the world that India is involved in massive arms buying spree, which was not good for regional peace,” he said.

International affairs expert Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said that India was violating international laws by increasing its defence equipment manifold. “India is crazy to become a superpower but it will remain a dream. To be a superpower, you have to be economically strong. In India’s case, they are only aiming to pile up defence equipment ignoring the vast poor population,” he said.

Cheema said that the US was also silent over India’s hegemonic designs. “They (the US) have their own interests so they do not pressurise India to give up the negative attitude,” he added.

Meanwhile, a group of former senior US officials and experts on South Asia including Ambassador Robin Raphel Ambassador Richard Boucher Tricia Bacon, David Smith and Michael Kugelman called on Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi here on Friday.

The group was in Islamabad to participate in the second round of US-Pakistan bilateral dialogue, organised by the Regional Peace Institute.

During the meeting, Fatemi highlighted the need for continuous dialogue and communication between the two countries in view of the importance of the relationship for both, as well as for promoting peace and security in the region, said a foreign ministry statement.

All such dialogue opportunities, Fatemi stressed, provided a good opportunity to bridge the gap in perceptions in Washington on Pakistan and its policies and the changing realities on the ground.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with the US, Fatemi noted that the exchanges so far with the new US administration have been warm and cordial and that both sides were keen to build a strong and mutually beneficial relationship to promote common interests and shared goals.

He also briefed the US delegation on the important gains made by Pakistan in fighting terrorism duly manifested in the improved security situation in Pakistan.

“The upbeat assessments on Pakistan’s economic performance and prospects by international agencies and institutions and growing investor interest and confidence in Pakistan were a reflection of sound economic policies pursued by the government over the past four years,” Fatemi said.

He thanked the group for their contribution to promoting understanding and cooperation between Pakistan and the US.

The dialogue participants from Pakistan including Raoof Hassan from the Regional Peace Institute, Ashfaq Hasan Khan, a former adviser on finance, and Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq also joined the delegation at the reception hosted by the adviser after the meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:- Nation.com.pk

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