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Pakistan to push UN to declare Indian Ocean nuclear-free zone

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Lahore: Adviser to the Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that India’s nuclear-armed missiles deployed on nuclear-powered submarines pose a threat to the maritime security of the Indian Ocean Region’s (IOR) 32 littoral states and that Islamabad would call on the United Nations regarding this matter.

According to Dawn, Aziz, while making a policy statement on the deployment of nuclear-armed missiles on submarines in the Indian Ocean, said that Pakistan was considering a proposal for tabling a resolution at the UN General Assembly session later this year, which would call for making the Indian Ocean a nuclear-free zone.

He asserted that Pakistan might ask the 32 littoral states to co-sponsor the move which include, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.

He added that the the matter would be raised with all major world powers, both at bilateral and multilateral fora.

“We are planning to highlight the dangerous implications of India’s plans to nuclearise the Indian Ocean at all relevant international fora. Pakistan is fully prepared to defend its people and its borders” Aziz said.

“Despite limitation of resources, Pakistan has developed a robust nuclear deterrence, which is constantly updated. At the same time, Pakistan’s successful efforts to ensure the safety and security of its nuclear and missile assets have been widely acknowledged,” he said.

He assured the Senate that Pakistani armed forces and defence scientists were fully vigilant and taking remedial measures by “evaluating the strategic threats” and developing “strategic responses”.

India had last month tested nuclear-capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) from its nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant as part of its efforts to develop second-strike capability.

Also on Sunday, India tested its Advanced Air Defence Missile Ashwin for its upcoming multi-layered Ballistic Missile Defence system. (ANI)

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