Peace in South Asia linked to strategic stability: Mazari

ISLAMABAD, Apr 10 (APP):Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said peace in South Asia was linked to strategic stability, without which there would always be a fear of war in the region.

She said the world should push India to move towards stability, otherwise the whole region would face the consequences of war.

Mazari was addressing the concluding session of the National Conference on “Strategic Stability in South Asia; Emerging Challenges” organized by Centre for International Strategic Studies here on Wednesday.

The conference was held to deliberate on the regional strategic environment in view of the factors straining deterrence stability. The conference was widely attended by representatives of diplomatic corps, academia, and think tank community.

Addressing the session, Dr Shireen Mazari said India engaged in dangerous brinksmanship after Pulwama because of Pakistan’s defensive response to aggressive Indian actions in the past including LoC violations.

Pakistan’s response to Indian aggression alongside de-escalatory moves, she contended, conveyed to India that if compelled, Pakistan “could prevail at any level of conflict”.

She proposed seven steps for establishing strategic stability, which included, pre-crisis management mechanism possibly through raising the level of military hotlines; strategic dialogue on reduction in missile deployments; improving the advance missile test notification system; expanding the lists of nuclear installations exchanged annually; freezing deployment of ABM systems; conventional force reduction including offensive weapon system; and establishing a strategic dialogue structure.

Besides Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Director General Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs Brig Zahir Kazmi, Pakistan’s former high commissioner to India Mr Abdul Basit, Former Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar, Former Defense Secretary Lt Gen (R) Asif Yasin Malik, Former Strategic Plans Division official Mr Khalid Banuri and Amb Naqvi Executive Director CISS also spoke at the conference.

Executive Director CISS gave an overview of the current situation and proposed steps that could ease the tense situation.