Pakistan will push UN to declare Indian Ocean ‘nuclear free zone’, says Aziz


ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday informed Senate that Pakistan is considering to move a resolution in United Nations, urging it to declare the Indian Ocean a “nuclear free zone”.

The adviser expressed concern over India’s interceptor missile test of its advanced air defence missile Ashwin and vowed to raise the issue with all major powers ‘bilaterally and multilaterally’.

He announced that Pakistan is planning to highlight the dangerous implications of India’s plans to nuclearise the Indian Ocean at all relevant international forums and a proposal is under consideration to move a resolution in the next session of UN General Assembly to declare the Indian Ocean a “nuclear free zone”.

“Apart from this air defence system, India has also recently conducted tests of nuclear capable, submarine based K4 ballistic missiles. Simultaneously large nuclear powered submarines are being built to carry these nuclear armed missile as a part of its second strike nuclear capability,” Aziz told Senate.

During his speech to the upper house, Aziz said that these two developments are part of the massive conventional nuclear and missile development programmes being pursued by India, which are now leading to nuclearization of Indian Ocean and will affect the maritime security of all the 32 littoral states around the ocean.

Terming Indian moves ‘against the peaceful and friendly’ neighbourhood model proposed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Aziz revealed that Pakistan had offered discussions on an ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) system free zone in South Asia during the composite dialogue with India but so far it has not received a favourable response.

He assured the Senators that Pakistan is not oblivious to its defence needs and will upgrade its defense capabilities ‘without entering into an arms race’

“Our efforts for peace and friendship must not be interpreted as a sign of weakness,” said Sartaj Aziz.

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