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Indo-US alliance affecting Pakistan`s security: official

By Our Staff Reporter 2016-06-01
ISLAMABAD: A senior defence official on Tuesday said the Indo-US alliance was affecting Pakistan`s security by widening its conventional and nuclear gap with India.

`Indo-US strategic partnership is creatingseriousnationalsecuritychallengefor Pakistan. Their strategic cooperation is systematically enhancing conventional and nuclear asymmetry in the region in favour of India,` said secretary defence production, retired Lt-Gen Syed Mohammad Owais.

He was speaking at the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI)`s workshop on `National security, deterrence and regional stability in South Asia` which is being attended by mid-career officials and students from universities. SVI is a local think-tank specialising in security and nuclear issues.

The defense production secretarybelieved that the US patronage had emboldened India to coerce Pakistan into `compliance mode.

Talking about India, he said, notwithstanding its claims of engaging Pakistan in a political dialogue for the resolution of outstanding issues, New Delhi was `playing intrigue diplomacy.

He believed that with the space for conventional war reduced, India would impose a war on Pakistan `through other means.` By other means, the former general meant `economic coercion, political coercion and cultural dominance.

He said India would also try to draw Pakistan into an arms race, exploit its internal weaknesses and weaken its security. He saw the capture of Indian spy Kulbushan Yadev and other RAW activities in Pakistan as a part of the Indian strategy to undermine Pakistan`s security.

In an apparent reference to Indian moves to encircle Pakistan, he said Delhiwas developing relationship with Islamabad`s traditional friends Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Tehran in an attempt to limit its influence in these countries.

Additionally, he said, India was going all out to keep Afghans `negatively inclined` towards Pakistan.

He asked Pakistan`s foreign ministry to neutralise the Indian moves through an effective diplomacy.

Pakistan`s former permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Zamir Akram, stressed pursuing an aggressive foreign policy for furthering national interest.

He said the government would have to `back up words with actions or else others would stop taking Pakistan seriously.

Ambassador Akram added that even if Pakistan accepted the US demands, the list would keep growing. `The goalpost would keep changing,` he said.

`Pakistan is a victim of strategic change,` the former envoy noted, refer-ring to US growing reliance on India for countering China`s rise.

The Indo-US strategic partnership, Mr Akram added, was much more than just about a civilian nuclear cooperation.

He said Indians were for the first time about to allow their bases and military facilities to be used by the Americans.

`This is an indicator of things to come.

He recommended strengthening strategic partnership with China, developing partnership with Russia and maintaining credible deterrence against India.

President SVI Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema in his presentation on Indian nuclear and strategic doctrine said its objectives were to develop strategic capability for a great power role, have security and power equilibrium vis-à-vis China, attain regional supremacy in South Asia, coerce and contain Pakistan for eventualbalkanization,and achieve the prestige and status associated with a nuclear power.