Pakistan cannot ignore India’s destabilizing actions

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Sharafat Kazmi 
Islamabad

Pakistan does not want to enter arms race, but would not remain oblivious to the destabilizing developments in the region, said Director General Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs at the Foreign Office Kamran Akhtar.

He was speaking at a webinar at Islamabad Policy Institute on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the 1998 nuclear tests, according to a statement issued by the think tank on Friday.

“Pakistan remains committed to the avoidance of any arms race and is ready to discuss bilateral measures for confidence-building and rest restraint, there should be no doubt about our resolve to take measures necessary to safeguard our security and deny any space for war or fanciful misadventures,” Akhtar said.

India is exploring preemptive counterforce options, besides militarizing the space and artificial intelligence.

While these moves are dangerous and destabilizing, it is feared that they could unleash a risky regional arms race and crisis instability.

“There is a renewed arms race generating de-stabilizing effects at the global and regional levels and purist of militarization of frontier technologies like A.I, cyber warfare, space technologies and quantum computing.

These developments are casting their dark shadows on the region as well,” the senior Pakistani diplomat on nuclear issues said.

He criticized the global nuclear order for being discriminatory. “This has undermined the credibility and efficacy of the international nuclear regime,” he added. Adviser to the Strategic Plans Division Amb.

Zamir Akram, speaking on this occasion, said strategic stability in the region was “tenuous and being continuously tested” by the aggressive Indian actions and doctrines.

“For maintaining deterrence Pakistan will need to continuously upgrade its capabilities in line with what India is doing.

Only then we would be able to ensure our security and credible deterrence could prevail,” Akram said.

He too spoke about Indian test of Anti-Satellite Weapon and integration of new warfare technologies such as cyber warfare, artificial intelligence, robotics, and lethal autonomous weapons in the arsenal.

“Pakistan will have to respond to these developments and cannot remain complacent,” he stressed.

Executive Director Islamabad Policy Institute Prof Sajjad Bokhari said: “While Pakistan seeks a peaceful region with high-degree of strategic stability that avoids a costly arms race, it undoubtedly, cannot remain oblivious to the evolving security dynamics in South Asia.”

While pursuing peace to focus on socio-economic development, he suggested, Pakistan needs to continuously prepare for averting any threat to its territorial integrity and national sovereignty.