Deployment of nuclear warheads by India a matter of concern for int'l community: FO

Deployment of nuclear warheads by India a matter of concern for int'l community: FO

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal says Pakistan has taken note of the first "deterrence" patrol of the Indian nuclear submarine and the self-congratulatory messages in India.

Speaking at his weekly briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, he said this development marks the first actual deployment of ready to fire nuclear warheads in South Asia which is a matter of concern not only for the Indian Ocean littoral states but also for the international community at large.

 He said the bellicose language employed by the top Indian leadership highlights the threats to strategic stability in South Asia and raises questions about responsible nuclear stewardship in India.

He said the increased frequency of missile tests by India, aggressive posturing and deployment of nuclear weapons calls for an assessment of the non-proliferation benefits resulting from the Indian membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime. 

The spokesperson said Pakistan is committed to the objective of the strategic stability in South Asia and believes that the only way forward for both the countries is to agree on measures for nuclear and missile restraint.

At the same time no one should be in doubt about Pakistan's resolve and capabilities to meet the challenges posed by the latest developments both in the nuclear and conventional realms in South Asia.

To a question, Dr. Mohammad Faisal expressed grave concern over unabated atrocities by the Indian forces in occupied Kashmir. He said the world community should come forward to stop India from using lethal weapons, pellet guns and brute force against the innocent civilians in the held valley.

The spokesperson said after the United Nations Human Rights Office report, the United Kingdom's parliamentary body's report has also pin pointed the grave human rights situation in occupied Kashmir where a number of marked and unmarked graves are being found as a result of the ongoing Indian brutalities.

He said Indian forces are acting in complete immunity under draconian laws and there are no legal rights for the number of Kashmiri inmates languishing in Indian jails.

Replying to a question about the follow up of Prime Minster visit to China, the spokesperson said a high level Pakistan delegation will have talks with their counterparts in Beijing on Friday to sort out the technical matters and finalize the modalities for further enhancing the existing bilateral strategic cooperation between the two countries in diverse fields.

Responding to a question about the proposed peace talks in Moscow over Afghanistan, the foreign office spokesperson said a Pakistan delegation led by an additional secretary will attend the dialogue.

The spokesperson said Taliban leader Mullah Bradar was released to give an impetus to the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan has always been emphasizing the need for seeking a negotiated settlement of the Afghan issue with the participation of all the stake holders. 

He said it is a matter of concern that a recent American report points out that the Afghan administration and the foreign forces are losing their control over the security situation in Afghanistan.

 Responding to a volley of questions about Asia Bibi, Dr. Mohammad Faisal said she is in Pakistan at a safe location. He regretted that a section of media acted in highly irresponsible manner and made banner headlines about the so called "departure" of Asia Bibi abroad.

He said journalistic ethics must be followed by the media and verify any such report before publishing or broadcasting it.

He said it is a very sensitive issue having religious and legal repercussions and utmost restraint should be exercised to this matter.

In reply to a question about Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the spokesperson said Pakistan has raised this issue very effectively with the United States during US envoy Alice Wells' recent visit to Islamabad. He said he would share information with the media when there is a substantial development on the matter.