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Pak will counter India acquisition of Phalcon: Khokar
May 23, 2003 17:39 IST
Pakistan has said that it would take counter measures if India acquired sophisticated weapons, including airborne radar systems.
As the US confirmed it has endorsed the sale of Israeli airborne radars to India, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Riaz A Khokar in his address to the UN Conference on Disarmament in Vienna on Thursday said the transfer of such weapons system would upset conventional military balance in South Asia.
Pakistan would view this with 'utmost seriousness' and would be obliged to take counter measures, official media in Islamabad quoted Khokar as saying.
"Nuclear realities in our region impose certain obligations and responsibilities on our two countries. It is, therefore, important for both India and Pakistan to engage in serious discussions for nuclear and strategic stability in our region," the foreign secretary said.
Suggesting a 'new architecture of security' in South Asia, he proposed a six-point agenda for a structured dialogue on security issues in the region that included 'foreswearance' of use or the threat of use of force in setteling sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states of the region.
The other points Khokar suggested include a permanent mechanism for bilateral dialogue and consultations for dispute
settlement, initiation of result-oriented talks for devising mutually acceptable confidence building measures in the nuclear field, stabilisation of conventional forces at levels consonant with the legitimate security needs of all states of the region and renewed commitment to jointly combat poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease.
Observing that the fresh Indo-Pak peace initiatives brought an air of anticipation in the region, he hoped that a resumed dialogue between the two would not only address the Kashmir issue but also enable the two countries to discuss strategic restraint and security building measures.
On the nuclear issues, Khokar said Pakistan supported confidence building measures outlined in the memorandum of
understanding signed at Lahore in February 1999.
Stating that Pakistan was ready to discuss several measures to reach an agreement with New Delhi, he said both Pakistan and India were observing a moratorium on nuclear testing and 'this could be formalised.'
An agreement on non-deployment of nuclear weapons based on agreed definitions would also be a major factor for stability, he said adding a formal agreement to notify each other of ballistic missile tests, would constitute an important confidence building measure.
Referring to the Kashmir issue, Khokar said: "In a nuclear environment the continuation of this dispute rightly worried
Terming Pakistan's resolve to fight terrorism as 'unflinching,' the foreign secretary at the same time said Islamabad would oppose with equal determination any attempt that sought to belittle the principle of self-determination.
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