News Desk |
On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stressed that dialogue is the only way forward for relations between India and Pakistan, and urged global powers to undertake a responsible role in ensuring strategic stability in South Asia. As reported by Radio Pakistan, FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi addressed a National Conference on Strategic Stability in South Asia, held in Islamabad, where he reinstated that Pakistan urges international players to be responsible in supplying nuclear arms and ammunition across the region.
FM Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s security concerns in the wake of India’s efforts to speed up its nuclear proliferation measures and expressed Islamabad’s hope that global powers will exercise an even-handed approach in terms of arms supplies, which are not tainted by the dynamics of “geopolitical dominance and defining new regional security paradigms.
Qureshi remarked, “India’s massive deposition of conventional arms, coupled with offensive doctrines, such as the Cold Start, expansion of strategic assets, including nuclear submarines, introduction of anti-ballistic missile systems, etc. are developments with serious security implications for Pakistan”.
FM Qureshi highlighted that the recent belligerence displayed against Pakistan and the “assumption that Pakistan could be subjected to punitive strikes at will” is a clear example of attempts to destabilize the region.
FM Qureshi also noted that India consistently disregards concerns and guidelines related to the responsibilities of nuclear proliferation which undermines regional stability. He added that the country specific exemption by the Nuclear Supplier Group has had negative implications for strategic stability in the South Asian region.
“The introduction of new destabilizing weapon systems, such as S400 anti-ballistic missile system, could further accentuate challenges to strategic stability. They can encourage misadventure by an adversary under a false sense of security against a counter-attack.” FM Qureshi highlighted that the recent belligerence displayed against Pakistan and the “assumption that Pakistan could be subjected to punitive strikes at will” is a clear example of attempts to destabilize the region.
He reinstated Pakistan is a peace-loving country that seeks to maintain friendly relations with its neighbors, however, Islamabad seeks to make it absolutely clear that Pakistan is fully capable and willing to deter all misadventures that undermine its sovereignty. He stressed, “Our conduct as a nuclear-weapon state will continue to be defined by restraint and responsibility. We seek to ensure our national security, credible and minimal deterrence remains our guiding principle.
FM Qureshi asserted that Pakistan is opposed to a conventional or nuclear arms race in the region, and Pakistan has demonstrated its commitment to peace and stability with its proposal for a Strategic Restraint Regime (SRR), which is based on three interlocking elements: conflict resolution, nuclear and missile restraint and conventional balance. He noted that conflict resolution is the key to resolving threats to peace and stability in the region, and Pakistan is willing to play a responsible role in its implementation.
Kashmir Dispute: Gravest Threat to Peace in South Asia
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi noted that the unresolved dispute of Kashmir remains the gravest threat to lasting peace and stability in the region. He stressed, “Kashmir lies at the heart of every crisis between India and Pakistan, including the events of February.”
FM Qureshi stressed that the current PTI-government is fully committed to ensuring that its side of the Kartarpur Corridor is speedily constructed and available to the Sikh pilgrims as a step towards friendly relations with India.
He added that the freedom struggle has gained tremendous momentum and the international community is no longer unaware of the plight of the Kashmiris. FM Qureshi observed that the events that we are witnessing in Kashmir today is a “backlash being faced by India due to its atrocities inflicted on the Kashmiris”.
Kartarpur Corridor: Pakistan’s Big Hearted Proposal
He reiterated that India and Pakistan need to move forward through dialogue, and Pakistan seeks a “willing and constructive partner” to tackle the daunting challenges of disease, poverty, illiteracy and climate change in the region. FM Qureshi stressed that the current PTI-government is fully committed to ensuring that its side of the Kartarpur Corridor is speedily constructed and available to the Sikh pilgrims as a step towards friendly relations with India.
FM Qureshi observed, “Pakistan has shown a big heart, and even the attack on the Chinese consulate didn’t stop this initiative” He noted that on the contrary, New Delhi postponed the upcoming Kartarpur Corridor meeting for 2nd April at the last minute, without seeking the views of Pakistan and despite the productive technical meeting held on 14th March at Attari”.
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Reinstating Islamabad’s message of peace and stability in the region, FM Qureshi concluded, “Our neighbors need to understand that the only way forward is dialogue and not its suspension.” He reiterated that Pakistan remains steadfast in improving its bilateral relations with all neighbors and to build a peaceful and prosperous region.
Mina Jahangir with additional input by News Desk.