Addressing the book launch ceremony of The Clenched Fists: The Grand Trunk Road to Confidence Building Measures between Pakistan and India, hosted by Center for International Strategic Studies in Islamabad, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat said that Pakistan shall defeat this ‘hybrid war’ being waged against us and will Inshallah meet these challenges ‘comprehensively’ through a national approach. He also said that India has virtually tried to dramatically alter the strategic landscape by two actions by carrying out a deterrence patrol in the Indian Ocean Region by INS Arihant. First, this implies that the threat of Indian nuclear weapons no longer remains confined to the territory of South Asia but New Delhi has challenged the security and stability of the entire Indian Ocean region. He also said that by sending its nuclear armed submarine in East Asia for a ‘deterrence patrol’. Secondly, by dropping the ‘minimum’ from its credible deterrence posture. This is neither surprising for us nor it rattles us. For we will continue to provide necessary response to ensure that strategic balance is maintained and deterrence remains credible.
Pakistan has taken note of the Indian claim about the first deterrence patrol of its nuclear-armed submarine. This indicates that New Delhi is determined to maintain its long-standing tradition of introducing new instruments of instability with which it can attempt eroding deterrence stability in the region. Pakistan is determined to maintain credible minimum deterrence against the full spectrum of evolving strategic threats, while exercising restraint and responsibility in order to preserve regional peace and stability.
Attempts to employ the ‘full spectrum’ of kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities, particularly the use of quasi-state actors and proxy insurgent groups “against Pakistan” reflect the aggressive strands of a ‘hybrid warfare’ that ‘directly impinges’ our ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional security interests’.
Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi welcoming Chief Guest, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and other worthy guests said that South Asia is a crisis prone region due to unresolved issues between India and Pakistan ranging from territorial to water issues and these issues have resulted in trust deficit and lack of communication between the two countries. He said that most of the CBMs between Pakistan and India were developed after some or other conflicts between the two countries and Tashkent Declaration 1966 and Simla Agreement 1972 are two major CBMs between the two countries. Amb. Naqvi said that failure of some CBMs between Pakistan and India is due to the difference between their respective approaches towards the CBMs. He also stated that the clenched fists are now found on the Indian side. The book is written by Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja, Assistant Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, National Defence University, Islamabad.
Ambassador Inamul Haq, the first reviewer of the book said that India is not responsive to dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir and other outstanding issues. He further added that relation between India and Pakistan is in deep freeze.
Ambassador Ashraf Jahangir Qazi said that CBMs need to be carefully designed to alleviated and modify the lasting impact of mutually negative perceptions and instead build possibilities for eventually transcending them. He added that if there is to be a peaceful and principled resolution of the Kashmir dispute, it will only be possible within the context of improving, broadening and deepening interaction between the governments and civil societies of India and Pakistan.