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Growing arms sales to India

Pakistan has yet again expressed its serious concern over the growing arms sales to India by several countries, including the US and Russia. “The policy of double standards towards South Asia, based on narrow strategic, political and commercial considerations, must be eschewed,” Jehanzeb Khan, a First Secretary, in Pakistan’s UN Mission, said on Monday during a debate on conventional weapons in the General Assembly committee dealing with disarmament. In a veiled reference to India Khan said that in South Asia “one state’s military spending grossly and vastly outnumbers that of others” and that “this has the potential of fueling instability and jeopardizing the delicate regional balance.” He said, “Pakistan, for its part, is committed to the establishment of a strategic restraint regime in South Asia, which includes an element of conventional force balance.
It is worth to mention here that India was the world’s largest importer of major arms between 2012–16, accounting for 13 per cent of the global total sales, according to a new data released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent institute that tracks arms proliferation among other issues in conflict studies. India increased its arms imports by 43 per cent, between 2007–11 and 2012–16. In the last four years India’s imports were far greater than those of its regional rivals China.
India had signed a number of agreements with RUSSIA and the US for purchase of sensitive military communication equipment. The US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had termed Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) Pompeo as a “milestone” in the US-India relationship, while Nirmala Sitharaman the Minister of Defence in the Narendra Modi government said the pact would enhance India’s defence capability and preparedness. Recently, New Delhi signed $5bn deal with Rusia to buy one of the most advanced missile defence systems.
Given the volatile situation in the region Pakistan had time and again shown its concerns over the issue as it genuinely believes that the increased arms import by India will not only disturb military balance but will also fuel an unending arms race in the region. Pakistan believes that balance of power equation in South Asia is essentially important to achieve the objective of strategic stability and durable peace in South Asian region. Nonetheless Pakistan’s approach and demand for balance of power in the region is justified and therefore it is the responsibility of all those countries providing weapons to India should make sure that their assistance does not disturb the balance of power in the region.

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