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Pakistan's nukes not a deterrent for India, says Antony

February 11, 2009 21:14 IST

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Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday dismissed suggestions that Pakistan's nuclear capabilities may be a factor in any hesitation by India to carry out a surgical strike against terror camps and said its restraint should not be construed as a weakness.

"It (nuclear weapons with Pakistan) has nothing to do with that (decision not to strike). India's restraint should not be taken as a weakness," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of the Aero India show in Bangalore.

Blaming 'responsible elements in Pakistan' for the November 26 Mumbai [Images] terror strikes, he said the attacks were inspired and sponsored by these sections in the western neighbour.

Stating that the security situation in the region would not change in the near future, the minister said, "I do not think there is going to be a big improvement in our vicinity."

He said modernisation of the armed forces was a top priority of the government and added that the meltdown, though it had impacted the nation's economy, would not be allowed to affect the budgetary allocations for defence of the country.

"We all know that there has been some impact of recession. Compared to other countries, we are less affected. But we still have problems. Despite this, modernisation of the defence forces will be our highest priority and it will continue," he added.

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