India offered strategic restraint regime

FO spokesman says it can serve as basis for enduring peace in region

Irfan Ghauri November 09, 2017
Nexus between RAW and terrorists in Afghanistan planning subversive acts against the country. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, concerned over India’s attempts at making aggressive military doctrines such as Cold Start and Pro-Active Strategy, again offered New Delhi its proposal to delineate Strategic Restraint Regime for durable peace in South Asia.

Deploring Indian media reports that Indian Air Force was planning to build a new airbase at Deesa in Gujarat near Pakistan’s border, Foreign Office said: “The report about (the new) Gujarat (airbase) provides credibility to the fact that India is fast developing infrastructure and force configurations to operationalise these military doctrines. Subscribing to such offensive doctrines in a nuclearised region exposes irresponsible behaviour,” remarked FO’s new spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal during the weekly press briefing.

The new airbase will be third in addition to major fighter bases at Jamnagar and Naliya in the same state.

He said statements by the Indian military leadership confirmed the existence of the Cold Start doctrine, validating Pakistan’s stance on India’s aggressive designs.

“Military doctrines, such as Cold Start and Pro-Active Strategy, envision limited war below the nuclear threshold,” he said.

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The FO spokesman said engaging in a meaningful dialogue would better serve interests of both the countries.

“India should respond positively to Pakistan’s proposal for a Strategic Restraint Regime that can serve as the basis for enduring peace and stability in the region,” he said.

The Strategic Restraint Regime for South Asia incorporated a prohibition on deployment of nuclear arms and missiles which has been on the table since October 1998, but India always avoided discussions on it.

Answering a question about the recent display of anti-Pakistan slogans on London cabs, he said the matter had been raised by Pakistan’s High Commissioner in the UK with the FCO and by the Foreign Secretary with the British High Commissioner in Islamabad.

Subsequently, the Transport for London (Tfl) company promptly ordered immediate removal of the same from cabs, after initiating an inquiry. The company also assured disciplinary action against perpetrators.

“We know the sinister hands behind such malicious campaigns and are confident that they will not succeed. We expect our friends to ensure that such activities which are against the UN Charter and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty are not permitted on their territory,” he maintained.

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Dr Faisal said Pakistan forcefully took up the matter of the killing of Nayyar Iqbal Rana, an official of Pakistan’s Consulate-General in Jalalabad, with the Afghanistan government.

Islamabad urged Kabul to carry out a thorough probe in this regard and ensure protection and security of all Pakistanis and diplomatic staff stationed in Afghanistan.

The FO spokesman said there were multiple actors active in Afghanistan and friendly relations between two countries were not favoured by certain elements.

“You are aware about the nexus between RAW and terrorist networks in Afghanistan, including, TTP; JuA and other terrorist organisations. They have been involved in subversive activities inside Pakistan and are working against Pakistan’s interest in Afghanistan,” he said.

Commenting on the NATO Secretary-General’s recent statement, he said Pakistan had rendered unmatched sacrifices in fighting terrorism.

“We completely reject baseless allegations of bases in Pakistan. There are no organised bases of any terrorist organisations anywhere in the country,” he said, adding that such fallacious assertions were counter-productive.

On the issue of troops surge in Afghanistan, he said that Pakistan believed that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict, and a political solution was imperative for lasting peace and stability. “It is very important for Afghanistan to be at peace with itself and its neighbours.”

When asked if recent visit of Army Chief to Iran was part Pakistan’s efforts to act as a mediator between warring Middle Eastern countries, the Foreign Office spokesman said that in recent years, bilateral exchanges with Iran had increased. Both sides, he said, were committed to strengthen ties.

“In the interest of peace and stability in the region, Pakistan has continued to make efforts for unity among the Muslim countries. This visit led to useful discussions on strengthening cooperation between Pakistan and Iran,” he said.

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