Islamabad: Days after Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said , “our arms are not meant for decoration”, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday discussed the country’s nuclear, missile and space programmes with newly-appointed Strategic Plans Chief here.
Sharif appreciated security and safety mechanisms and said that the Strategic Plans Department (SPD) has played an important role in strengthening Pakistan’s defence capabilities, reports Dawn.
On June 16, Khawaja Asif said, “if forced into war by India, Islamabad would respond in a befitting manner”. He further added, “If need, we will use those (nuclear arms) against India”.
New SPD chief Lt. Gen. Mazhar Jamil, thanked the government for reposing confidence in him for the assignment and assured to Sharif that he would discharge his responsibilities.
Sharif expressed confidence that the SPD would continue to work towards this end under his command.
The SPD is an important component of Pakistan’s National Command Authority which is headed by the Prime Minister and exercises complete control over the country’s nuclear and strategic capability structure.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Bangkok on Monday that the international community should come together to eliminate terrorist safe havens and disrupt their networks and financing in order to thwart cross-border movements for achieving sustainable regional security is achieved.
Singh was addressing the sixth ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Thailand, which holds the rotating chairmanship of the regional framework this year. Describing terrorism as the most heinous cross-border crime, Singh said some states have been using terror to pursue their political goals.
“It is so much worse when terrorists are aided, abetted, armed, financed and sheltered by States. The interplay between states and non-state actors, used as proxies to foment violence, has worsened this menace. The persistence of State-sponsored terrorism is not just a painful cancer, it is also the leading reason for unsustainable security,” said Singh.
The theme of the meeting this year is ‘Sustainable Security.’ Singh said there is a need for a more cooperative, equitable and consultative paradigm to deal with the broad and complex security challenges to find sustainable solutions.
Singh further said that India’s Indo-Pacific vision is based on the idea of sustainable security as it focuses on a free, open, inclusive and rules-based region in which there is respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all natikons.
“Our region must remain open and welcoming to the interests of all, those who live in it and others whose interests are in it. In short, our approach to security in the Indo-Pacific is sustainable by definition because it emphasises Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR),” added Singh.
On negotiations for a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, Singh said the outcome of these talks will be in keeping with all relevant international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He said the forum promotes freedom of navigation, overflight and lawful commerce and also emphasised the need to protect the rights of States that are not party to these negotiations.
Singh emphasied that India looks forward to the progress made through dialogue in addressing all related issues, including the proliferation trail that links South and East Asia on the issue of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. “As dialogue remains on the table, we hope missile launches and such destabilising activities will cease”, he said.
During the course of his address, Singh said India is eager to co-chair the India-Indonesia Expert Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the next cycle. (IANS)