Indian air chief statement is rejected at CISS forum in Islamabad.
Pakistani nuclear experts and former officials have strongly rejected Indian Air Force Chief’s claim that Indian Air Force can strike Pakistani nuclear sites. Brig Dr Naeem Salik described the Indian Air Chief’s claim as part of Indian inter service rivalry while former DG ACDA Mr. Khalid Banuri said any such attempt would be a grave violation of the bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan not to attack each others’ nuclear installations. Prof Zafar Iqbal Cheema stressed that Pakistan should not trust any Indian political or legal commitment and must maintain a credible nuclear deterrent to prevent any such Indian misadventure.
Executive Director CISS said it was a highly provocative statement and the Indian government should rein in its military leadership from making irresponsible statements.
Speaking at a National conference on ‘Nuclear Order: Stability, Trends and Challenges’ organized by Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS), the Foreign Secretary Ms. Tehmina Janjua underlined the need for a non-discriminatory criteria-based approach which would promote the nonproliferation objectives of the NSG besides encouraging nuclear restraint and maintaining strategic stability in South Asia.
She further said that the double standards and exceptionalism are undermining the credibility of the non-proliferation regime. Addressing the inaugural session, Ms. Janjua, underlined the issues pertaining to Non-proliferation Treaty and highlighted the dangerous talk of “greatly strengthening and expanding nuclear capabilities” emerging from some Nuclear Weapon States. She also underlined Pakistan’s adherence to the NSG guidelines besides the harmonization of its export controls with the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Australia Group.
The foreign secretary referred to the insufficiency of the recently adopted Treaty on Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons (Ban Treaty) to promote disarmament, specifically its failure to take “into account the vital security considerations of states.”
The chief guest at the event, Former Foreign Minister Inam ul Haq, underlined the Pakistan’s security rationale for acquiring nuclear weapons and noted that the country follows a doctrine of credible minimum deterrence (CMD); a concept that Pakistan does not consider static; owing to the evolving regional security environment. He pointed to the recent arms acquisitions like the Arrow missiles/Green Pine Radars for Missile defence by India from Israel, and its indigenous development of MIRVs; potentially undermining the stability of the deterrence equation in South Asia.
Eminent speakers from different research think tanks and prestigious universities spoke on a large spectrum of issues pertaining to the Nuclear Order. They included Dr. Zafar Cheema from Strategic Vision Institute; Dr. Zafar Jaspal from Qauid-I-Azam University, Mr. Khalid Banuri, Mr. Kamran Akhter, Dr. Rabia Akhter from University of Lahore and Dr. Maria Sultan from SASSI. The conference was well-attended by foreign diplomats, members of academia, policy-makers, dignitaries, journalists and students.
Executive Director of CISS, ambassador (R) Ali Sarwar Naqvi, concluded the conference by thanking the worthy speakers and learned audience for their active participation and making the event a success.