Expressing concerns over Indian test of a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM), Pakistan Thursday said that any missile test, without prior notification, can be mistaken by the other country as an offensive missile and impact the delicate strategic balance of South Asia.
“The reported Indian test of a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) and development of a nuclear submarine fleet are serious developments, which impact the delicate strategic balance of the region”, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told in a weekly press briefing.
The spokesperson said that the test has resulted in the nuclearization of the Indian Ocean, which should be a very worrisome development for the region and the international community.
“The reported SLBM test was not notified to Pakistan. Any missile test, whether launched from the surface or submerged platform, can be mistaken by the other country as an offensive missile. We, therefore, believe that in line with the spirit of the agreement on the pre-notification of test launch of ballistic missiles, the test should have been notified to Pakistan”, the spokesperson added.
About the reported inadequate measures by India to ensure security of its nuclear arsenals, he said that all countries should take their national responsibility for nuclear safety and security seriously. In Pakistan, he said we have taken legal, regulatory and administrative measures for strengthening nuclear safety and security and bringing them at par with international standards.
About the status of Pak-India talks, he said that Pakistan will be ready to talk when India is ready, adding Pakistan and India are two neighbours which must live in peace and harmony.
He further said the hype created by the Indian media over Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit’s remarks was neither warranted nor required.
About further progress in the investigation into the arrested Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav, he said that there are other government departments who are conducting the investigations. He said that Pakistan continues to highlight the issue of foreign agencies’ involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan.
He further said that the arrest of Indian agent vindicated our longstanding position that India has a hand in terrorist incidents taking place in Pakistan as well as financing of terrorism in Pakistan. He said that a number of envoys have been briefed on the matter and this process will continue, where warranted.
“As we have more information, and when we consider it appropriate, we will raise this issue with the international community so that they are sensitized and updated on the “foreign hand” destabilising Pakistan”, he added.
When asked about expected Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) team’s visit to Pakistan related to Pathankot incident, he said that the visit has been the subject of much media speculation in India. But he added that he was not aware of any official request in this regard.
Commenting on the Indian NIA’s giving clearance to Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit in charges against him for planning Samjhauta Express terrorist attack; he said “we will not go by media reports. Our requirement and request of sharing details of the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack investigations is pending with the Indian government”.
Despite promises, he said that the investigations have not been shared with Pakistan.
About the Indian campaign to place Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and its leader Masood Azhar on the UN sanctions list, Zakaria said that the listing on the UN sanctions list is done according to set procedures and that procedure is on course. “Attempts to politicise this process are regrettable”, he added.
Commenting on the Amnesty International’s report on human rights violation in Indian occupied Kashmir, he said that the Indian repression and human rights violations in the IOK are a matter of serious concern to Pakistan. “We have always condemned it. We are aware that the international community is equally mindful of the Kashmiris’ plight”, he said, adding Pakistan highlights the human rights violations of helpless Kashmiris in IOK at all the forums.
On Afghanistan, the spokesperson strongly condemned the recent terrorist attack in Kabul, saying Pakistan has been engaged in sincere and consistent efforts to facilitate an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process to bring lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“We believe that violence and bloodshed is not the way to achieve peace. We have, therefore, strongly condemned the terrorist incident in Kabul”, he said, adding Pakistan itself is engaged in the fight against terrorism through Zarb-e-Azb and National Action Plan.
Regarding the Quadrilateral Co-ordination Group (QCG) process, he said that the next meeting would take place when the four countries are ready. “I think there is a common desire on the part of all QCG members to see peace in Afghanistan and there is a desire that all those who are supposed to be on the negotiation table are there”, he added.
About postponement of the Afghan Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah’s visit to Pakistan, he said that on the Prime Minister’s invitation, Dr Abdullah was scheduled to visit Pakistan on 2-3 May 2016. “The visit has been postponed. The new dates would be worked out through diplomatic channels”, he added.
When asked whether Pakistan agrees with declaration issued by 13th OIC Summit in which it strongly condemned Iran and Hezbollah, he said: “The statement is in public domain and it is already with you”. However, he said that Pakistan wants to see peace and unity amongst the Islamic world.
Source: Business Recorder