Pakistan not aloof of threats to S.Asia’s strategic balance: Sartaj

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 22 (APP): Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday said Pakistan believes in peaceful coexistence based on mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, however would not remain aloof to the risks of strategic imbalance in the region.

Addressing as chief guest at the International Conference on ‘Strengthening Peace and Cooperation in South Asia: Incentives and
Constraints’ organized by Islamabad Policy Research Institute
(IPRI), the Adviser said mutual conflicts among countries were a
hurdle to progress and stability and had disturbed global peace for
last one decade.

Sartaj Aziz called upon the international community to desist from policies and actions that undermine strategic stability in South Asia.

He pointed out that supply of weapons system widens the existing
conventional capabilities in the region, which the world had not
fully realized.

He said India was also promoting arms race in the region, however mentioned that Pakistan was maintaining minimum nuclear deterrence for peace and stability in the region.

He said inclusion of India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) would disturb balance of power in the region, adding that Pakistan was advocating a non-discriminatory and criteria-based approach by the NSG member countries.

Sartaj Aziz said Indian activism was a severe threat to region’s one billion population and said India was involved in carrying out terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan.

He mentioned that besides committing violations at the Line of Control, India was also using heavy weaponry at border with Pakistan.

The adviser said Kashmir was the major hurdle in normalization of relations between Pakistan and India.

He said India was avoiding dialogue with Pakistan on Kashmir issue and was continuing with its state-terrorism and oppression on innocent Kashmiris in the Occupied valley.

He said India after July 8 had increased its atrocities in IOK and was wrongly equating Kashmiris struggle for self-determination with terrorism.

He stressed that whenever Pakistan would hold a dialogue with India, it would include Kashmir as the main agenda.

Referring to India, the Adviser also pointed that irresponsible attitude of “a country” resulted in postponement of SAARC conference in Pakistan, earlier scheduled for this November.

Sartaj Aziz regretted India’s opposition to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which he said was aimed at obstructing Pakistan’s path towards progress and development.

He said Pakistan had sacrificed around 70,000 lives in fight against terrorism.

He said Pakistan was making efforts for peace in Afghanistan in its own interest.