Pak ready to discuss arms control, restraint measures with India

Islamabad—Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria Thursday said Pakistan had taken note of the US president Barack Obama statement after Nuclear Security Summit and was ready to discuss with India arms control and restraint measures for peace and security of South Asia.
He said Pakistan’s proposal for Strategic Restraint Regime (SRR) “can provide a basis for mutually agreed restraint measures and avoidance of unnecessary arms race in the region,” Foreign Office spokesman told a briefing here.
“Maintenance of peace and stability in South Asia is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s policy. We are opposed to nuclear or conventional arms race in the region. Pakistan’s nuclear capability is solely for self-defence and we are committed to credible minimum deterrence.”
The spokesman said there was an increased understanding at the international level of Pakistan’s genuine concerns regarding rapidly growing Indian conventional and nuclear capabilities and their offensive force postures and military doctrines such as ‘Cold Start Doctrine’.
Describing as “significant event from Pakistan’s perspective in many ways” the outcome of the 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, he said, Pakistan received a broad appreciation at the summit over its steps taken for the security and safety of its nuclear weapons.
The spokesman said Nuclear Suppliers Group was discussing the membership of the non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty states and Pakistan was confident to become its member.
“Pakistan has strong credentials for full integration in the multilateral export control arrangements, including the NSG and we are confident that we will be able to qualify any principle-based, objective and non-discriminatory criteria developed for this purpose,” said the spokesman.
Questioned over Indian consular access to the arrested intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing officer Kulbhushan Yadav over his involvement in terrorism in Pakistan, he said it was still under consideration.
The investigation into RAW’s officer activities in Pakistan were in progress and Pakistani law-enforcing agencies were making every effort to nab any individual involved in subversive activities in the country.
Asked for his reaction over Indian prime minister Narendra Modhi’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, he said he would not like to comment on relations between the two sovereign states. However, Pakistan enjoys close and brotherly relations with Riyadh which are “timeless.”
He said Islamabad had already briefed the P-5 countries and the European Union about RAW’s officer terrorists activities in Pakistan. Pakistan will continue to share with the international community whatever additional information was gleaned from the RAW officer, he said.
“We have requested these countries to raise the issue of RAW’s involvement in Pakistan with India. I would like to add here that RAW’s involvement in Pakistan is not new. It’s only that we have a solid and irrefutable evidence in the form of the arrested officer, Kulbhushan Yadav.”
Answering another question, he said Pakistan had been raising the issue of Indian involvement in terrorists activities on its soil with the international community but it was for the first time “we got a solid proof.”
He also referred on the occasion to the three dossiers, handed over to the UN Secretary General on News Delhi’s involvement in terrorists activities in Pakistan.
On the meeting between foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India, he said, both sides were in touch with each other and they would meet in due course of time. There is no other option except dialogue to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries, added the spokesman.—APP

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