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Pak Foreign Affairs Minister- “Pakistan will take all measures to increase its defence capability”

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ISLAMABAD: Pak Foreign Affairs Minister Sartaj Aziz informed the Senate on Tuesday that Pakistan would take all possible measures to augment its defence capability.

He was winding up discussion in the upper house on an adjournment motion moved by Senator Javed Abbassi over the recent test-fire by India of its supersonic interceptor missile.

Sartaj Aziz said “Pakistan was not oblivious to its defence requirements and is upgrading its capabilities through suitable technologies without entering into arms race.”

He said, “Our efforts for peace and friendship must not be interpreted as our weakness. We are fully capable to defend our people and territory.”

The adviser said “Pakistani scientists and experts constantly monitored and evaluated the strategic threats that Indian nuclear doctrine posed to Pakistan’s security.”

“Despite limited resources, Pakistan had developed a robust nuclear deterrent system whose safety and security was acknowledged (by the world),” he said.

“One specific proposal under consideration was to move resolution in the next session of the UN General Assembly to declare the Indian Ocean nuclear free zone.”

He added “Pakistan would approach other countries as well to co-sponsor this resolution. This, he said, would be an important initiative.”

About the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership, the adviser said Pakistan had undertaken a proactive diplomatic offensive in all the member countries of the group. “Our efforts towards non discriminatory approach will pay off,” he said with confidence.

He said Pakistan’s lobbying in the United States was quite active. “We have short listed lobbying firms. Our missions are also very active to protect the country’s interests.”

Earlier, speaking on his adjournment motion, Javeed Abbasi said India had conducted a test of intercept missile on May 15, 2016, which would start arm race in the South Asia. “Pakistan, he recalled, had to conduct nuclear tests in 1998 after India conducted the tests.”

He said Pakistan did not want to enter in arms race but it would disturb balance of power in the region. Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said that it was an important issue as India was trying to become a member of the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG).

“There was a dire need to redefine the national security paradigm,” he stressed.

Senator Farhatullah Babar said that it was a need of hour to revisit the security policy.

Gen (retd) Sallahudin Trimizi, while refuting an impression that Pakistan had entered in arms race, said Pakistan was the first which offered India to declare the region nuclear free, besides signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, India always sabotaged such efforts, he added.

He said, “We should define our aim and sets our national goals.” India’s entire diplomacy revolved around Pakistan, he added.

Rehman Malik said the United Staes was not recognising the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the war against terror as it always demanded to “do more”.

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