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November 17, 2017

Cruise missile test: Pakistan shows concern as India fails to notify

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November 17, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Once again India has breached a bilateral agreement and failed to notify Pakistan when its Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-launched the nuclear-capable Nirbhay cruise missile.


“The test was not notified to Pakistan. The bilateral agreement on pre-notification of missile tests covers only ballistic missiles. Cruise missiles are not covered. Developments like these endanger the strategic stability in South Asia,” responded the spokesman to a query.


He emphasised that this underscores the need for Pakistan and India to engage in meaningful discussions on further measures for confidence-building, avoidance of arms race and promotion of strategic stability in South Asia, among other issues.


“Pakistan stands ready for such talks with India. Our proposal for a Strategic Restraint Regime for South Asia is still on the table. The international community should also take note of the reports that India had been exercising 'strategic restraint' on its missile development prior to getting the MTCR membership," he added.


Pakistan says that the presence of terrorist sanctuaries operating inside Afghanistan is an “alarming” situation and it is time that Afghanistan does its part in ensuring that all terrorist sanctuaries are taken out, as at present the Kabul government is not reciprocating and the continued attacks from across the western borders recently resulted in the killing of Pakistani security personnel.


Pakistan says it never initiates fire but only fires when it is fired upon at a time when the presence of terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan is an established reality. The message of asking Kabul to do more was conveyed by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa in a meeting with Commander United States Central Command (US Centcom) General Joseph L Votel in Rawalpindi and also by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the weekly media briefing.


General Votel brought up the issue of the need of strengthening border management, including measures to coordinate military operations along both sides of the border. “The Afghan Charge d’Affaires was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a strong protest was lodged with the Afghan government, asking it to take effective action against terrorist sanctuaries. Pakistani security personnel have been martyred by terrorists operating from sanctuaries in Afghanistan. We have also asked the Afghan government to share the investigation with us about the Shahadat of the Pakistani diplomatic official in Jalalabad last week,” spokesman at the Foreign Office stated.


He also pointed to the report of US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which confirmed that more than 43 percent of Afghan territory was not under control of the Afghan government.


“This is alarming as it provides opportunity for all kinds of terrorist groups to use these as sanctuaries for terrorist activities. Afghanistan's neighbours including Pakistan are seriously affected by this situation," said the spokesman.


Breaking his silence on the continued attempts by Baloch terrorist groups whose advertisements this time on London’s red buses, are “impinging on Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, the spokesman said, “This is a matter of deepconcern for us, and also a violation of UN Charter which is completely unacceptable.”


He asked the British government not to allow such sinister campaigns on its soil as it is a friendly country. On Wednesday, British High Commissioner Thomas Drew in a statement had pleaded that his government “does not and cannot control advertising in Great Britain”. Maybe His Excellency was unaware that strangely enough on Thursday, according to media reports from London, the Transport for London (TfL) company has issued an apology to Pakistan over offensive advertising campaign across its network that targeted Pakistan’s sovereignty and said that such slogans would not be allowed in future.


“Our High Commission in London has made a fresh demarche to Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) regarding display of anti-Pakistan slogans on London buses. Separately, our Mission has taken up the matter with Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), to stop the ongoing malicious campaign using billboards,” added the spokesman.

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