At UN, Pakistan highlights India’s ‘aggressive’ actions, military buildup

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 15 (APP):A top Pakistani diplomat has warned the international community that India’s “aggressive policies and military posture” posed an immediate threat to world peace and security, especially to Pakistan, against which New Delhi’s offensive capability is deployed.

“India’s aggressive posture and actions are accompanied by one of the world’s largest military acquisition and development programmes, with over $70 billion spent last year on new conventional and non-conventional weapons systems on land, sea, air and space,” Ambassador Munir Akram said in a tough speech to the General Assembly’s First Committee, which deals with disarmament and international security issues.

Speaking in the general debate on Wednesday, he said that India had nuclearized the Indian Ocean, deployed anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs), developed and tested debris-generating Anti-Satellite (ASAT) weapons, and is constantly increasing the range, sophistication and diversification of all types of delivery systems and platforms, adding that its no-first-use policy lacks credence.

“India has operationalized its ‘cold start’ doctrine of a surprise attack against Pakistan, deploying several ‘strike force’ brigades along the border, outlined plans for a naval blockade, and proclaimed the intention of fighting a ‘limited war’ with Pakistan under the ‘nuclear overhang’, ” the Pakistani envoy said.

“Disturbingly,” he said, “India’s aggressive proclivities, and its military belligerence and pretentions to great power status, are being fed by those powers which are supplying it with the latest weaponry, either to turn a profit or to serve their strategic objectives in Asia.”

“The net result is exacerbation of tensions and military competition in the region, and an intensification of the threat to peace and security in South Asia, the Indian Ocean, and beyond.”

Since the advent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP-RSS Hindu extremist government in 2014, Ambassador Akram said India has refused to engage in any dialogue with Pakistan on either the resolution of disputes, or the control of armaments and avoidance of war.

Pakistan, he said, desires peace and strategic stability to achieve socio-economic development and its conduct continues to be defined by restraint and responsibility, and avoidance of an arms race.

However, in view of the disturbing security dynamics in the region, Ambassador Akram said Pakistan will take all necessary measures to ensure its security and to maintain full spectrum deterrence.

The Pakistani envoy said that peace and stability in South Asia was not possible without resolving the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir; without agreeing on reciprocal measures for nuclear and missile restraint; and without instituting a balance between conventional forces.

Pakistan’s proposal for a strategic restraint regime in South Asia, based on these inter-locking elements, remains on the table, he added.

But, he said, the aggressive policies and military posture of India, which is now ruled by a neo-fascist regime, posed a threat to peace and security. On 5 August 2019, India took measures to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir, adding 200,000 troops, imprisoning political leaders, abducting 13,000 youth and imposing collective punishments.

Indian forces resort to targeting innocent civilians along the Line of Control in Kashmir, accompanying these provocations with threats of aggression.

Pakistan has acted with restraint, but will respond decisively to any Indian aggression “with the full force of our capabilities,” Ambassador Akram declared.

Pakistan, he said, remains committed to the goal of a nuclear weapons free world, achieved in a universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory manner which assures undiminished security for all States, at the lowest possible level of armaments.

Comprehensive disarmament and the establishment of an equitable and non-discriminatory international order could be promoted by: addressing the security concerns of all states; limiting conventional weapons stockpiles; strengthening the non-proliferation regime by pursuing non-discriminatory arrangements; and extending negative security assurances to non-nuclear weapon states.

On the deadlocked the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) negotiations, Pakistan reiterated its call for forging of a new consensus on this issue that addresses existing asymmetries.

Pakistan also supports the immediate commencement of negotiations in the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament to conclude treaties on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) and Negative Security Assurances, as well as on other contemporary issues affecting international security, including chemical and biological terrorism, lethal autonomous weapons, cyber warfare and other types of destabilizing weapon systems.

Pakistan, he said, will contribute to the strengthening of the international non-proliferation regime as an equal partner. “Having demonstrated the credentials to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, we expect expansion of the NSG’s membership to be based on non-discriminatory and objective criteria and benchmarks. ”

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