Reports of India’s nuclear test plans disturbing: FO
By Sajjad Malik
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday expressed anxiety over reports that India may resume nuclear testing, jeopardising the regional moratorium on nuclear testing since 1998.
“We hope that the unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing, effective since 1998 in the region will continue to be observed. We are obviously disturbed by media reports that India might be considering additional nuclear tests,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said at a weekly briefing.
Basit said Pakistan opposed an arms race in South Asia, but would maintain minimum credible deterrence. He said Pakistan had proposed a restraint regime in the region, which among other things also included a regional nuclear test ban treaty. “Our proposal is still on the table,” he said.
Regarding a New York Times story that Pakistan upgraded the missiles provided by the US and violated the Missile Control Regime, he said Pakistan had already said no modification was made to the missiles in question. He rejected US concerns on proliferation and said such concerns were “uncalled for and baseless”.
“Our export controls are as comprehensive and effective as in any other NPT nuclear weapons state. I can assure you that the government of Pakistan is fully cognizant of its responsibilities in this regard,” he said.
He said the composite dialogue was not a favour by India to Pakistan, as both countries would benefit from it.