Islamabad: Pakistan today said it will attend the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan to be held in Amritsar in December but has not decided on the “manner and level” of participation, a day after India welcomed Islamabad’s decision to take part in the meet.
“The Heart of Asia Conference is aimed at bringing development in Afghanistan with the collaboration of other regional countries, which is in line with Pakistan’s commitment of supporting all efforts towards peace and stability in Afghanistan. We will be attending the conference,” Foreign Office spokesman Nafess Zakaria said during his weekly briefing here.
The spokesman, however, did not specify the manner and level of Pakistan’s participation in the meet that comes amidst rising tensions and loss of life due to heavy firing across the Line of Control (LoC).
“However, the decision on the level and manner of participation in the Heart of Asia Conference is yet to be taken,” he said.
Yesterday in New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup has welcomed Pakistan’s participation at the meet to be held on December 4.
To another question, he said that the expelled Indian staffer at the Indian High Commission was involved in activities that were directly against the national security interests of Pakistan.
“Unlike India, which has no proof but it keeps levelling baseless accusations against Pakistan, we have irrefutable proof of Indian state involvement in activities against Pakistan’s territorial integrity and national security,” he said.
Commenting on reported comments of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that India might be pushed to a war with Pakistan if the latter continues its support to terrorism, Zakaria said that in the past too, Indian politicians have cast aspersions on Pakistan and have used this as a tool in domestic politics.
“We see the current political debate about Pakistan in India, in the same backdrop as also its desperation to deflect the world attention from its atrocities in Kashmir. The timing and pattern of heating up LoC by India are suggestive. Pakistan condemns such crass attempts to malign it,” he said.
He also said that the 2008 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver has helped India to embark on a nuclear buildup and increase its military nuclear programme and lamented that the waiver was granted without requiring India to make “any worthwhile non-proliferation commitments”.
When asked to comment on a report by a Pakistani think-
tank that India can produce a maximum of 356-492 nuclear weapons, Zakaria said, “Pakistan has long maintained that India’s rapidly expanding military nuclear programme poses a grave threat to peace and stability in the region and beyond.”
“These concerns have been fully validated by publicly available reports on significant upcoming fissile material facilities and build up of unsafeguarded weapon usable fissile material in India,” he said.
“This buildup has been facilitated by the 2008 NSG waiver granted to India, which not only dented the credibility of the non-proliferation regime and undermined its efficacy, but also negatively affected the strategic balance in South Asia.
“It was unfortunate that the NSG did not require India to make any worthwhile non-proliferation commitments at the time.”
He said that another country-specific exemption by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on the membership question would only further exacerbate the ill effects of the 2008 exemption.
“It remains our hope that the NSG member states would make a well-considered decision this time keeping in view its long- term implications for the global non-proliferation regime as well as strategic stability in our region,” he said.
He blamed India for engaging in terror activities in Pakistan and said that Islamabad was working on dossiers based on confession of an alleged Indian agent.
“We have irrefutable evidence of that. We have also shared with you many times that the investigations after the arrest of Kulbushan Jadhav is ongoing and the dossier is being compiled. As soon as the time is propitious, we will submit the dossier to the concerned, particularly the UN Secretary General,” he said.