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Pakistan to move missiles closer to borders: Expert
December 14, 2003 14:36 IST
Concerned over India's strides in defence technology, Pakistan is planning to move its missiles closer to the borders to hit back with minimum time loss in any eventuality, according to a nuclear expert.
Moves by India to master the anti-ballistic technology coupled with the acquisition of Phalcon and green-pine radars from Israel may push the nuclear arms race in the subcontinent to a second phase, Pervez Hoodbhoy told a seminar in Islamabad on Saturday.
India's moves in the field of defence made the Pakistan defence establishment "very nervous", Hoodbhoy, a strong critic of Pakistan's nuclear policies, was quoted as saying by local daily Dawn on Sunday.
He said the prediction by Indian and Pakistani analysts that the 1998 nuclear tests would lead to a "balance of terror" in the region virtually came true when Pakistan military officials launched the Kargil conflict expecting the nuclear deterrence to prevent New Delhi from striking back.
Itty Abraham of the Social Science Research Council, Washington, in his address said the US was no longer interested in Pakistan and India rolling back their nuclear programmes.
Washington's current policies vis-à-vis nuclear programmes of North Korea and Iran could serve as an additional argument for the governments of Pakistan and India to persist in their tit-for-tat approach in the missile race, Abraham said.
He believed that the nuclear programmes of India and Pakistan did not have military aims but only political ones.
Abraham said there was sharp contrast in the public opinion in India and Pakistan towards nuclearisation.
While Indian public expressed its support for the nuclear programme, surveys in Pakistan revealed that 54 per cent of Pakistanis believed that the army had vested interests in flaunting its policy on Kashmir and nuclear issue.
Pakistani defence analyst Ayesha Siddiqa Agha expressed concern over militarisation of the civil society to the neglect of development.
There was no transparency in defence spending and the civil society was completely out of picture in these matters, she said.
More reports from Pakistan
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