Pakistan expresses concern over India’s interceptor missile test

ISLAMABAD(PTI):Pakistan has expressed serious concern over India’s recent development of an anti-ballistic missile system, saying that it may give India a false sense of security, leading to unexpected complications which are contrary to its policy of a friendly neighbourhood.

“The [interceptor missile] test has increased military threats from India,” says Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed of opposition Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PMLQ), adding that

India had successfully test-fired indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha coast on May 15.

The criticism came in the meeting of Senate on Tuesday, the Express Tribune newspaper reported on Wednesday. Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the government’s response to the Senate.

‘Nuclearisation of Indian Ocean’

“Massive conventional nuclear and missile development programmes pursued by India are now leading to nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean,” he said.

“The development of an anti-ballistic missile system (ABM) may give India a false sense of security, leading to unexpected complications. Such actions are also contrary to the policy of a peaceful and friendly neighbourhood, which our Prime Minister [Nawaz Sharif] has repeatedly espoused,” Mr. Aziz said.

Serious concerns

“Pakistan has serious concerns over these developments and will take all necessary measures to augment its defence capabilities,” he said.

“The balance of power has been disturbed in South Asia the way it was disturbed following India’s nuclear tests in 1998,” said Senator Javed Abbasi of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

‘Needed: a counter-strategy’

“I’m not aware of our military’s response, but I suggest that the security establishment take note of the Indian interceptor missile test and devise a strategy accordingly,” he said.

“The [interceptor missile] test has increased military threats from India,” said Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed of opposition Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PMLQ).

Referring to an upcoming meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Seoul, Mr. Mushahid said ground was being paved for India’s elevation to the NSG.

‘Indians are encircling us’

“This is our diplomatic failure. The Indians are encircling us from all sides. Even our immediate neighbours, like Afghanistan and Iran, have gone to India. It’s a result of our failed diplomacy and traditionally passive foreign policy,” he added.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar blamed flawed security policies for the foreign policy debacle.

‘We invited it’

“Isn’t it a reality that we protected non-state actors to further our security agenda? Our age-old policy of harbouring non-state actors is taking toll on us,” he said.

Chairman of the Senate Raza Rabbani said a clear strategy must be devised to respond to the situation created by India’s missile test.