Pakistan to work with its neighbours for strategic stability in South Asia
RAWALPINDI: The civilian and military leadership on Thursday decided to continue the country’s policy of developing and maintaining full spectrum deterrence, in line with the policy of credible minimum deterrence avoiding an arms race in the region and beyond.
The pledge was made during the 23rd meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The meeting was attended by the federal ministers of defence and interior, JSC chairman, chiefs of the three forces, DG Strategic Plans Division, DG Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Foreign Affairs secretary and other senior officials.
“The NCA asserted that Pakistan desires peaceful co-existence in the region, and will endeavour to work with its neighbours to ensure strategic stability in South Asia,” an official handout said.
“While expressing full confidence in Pakistan’s capability to address any form of aggression, the NCA reiterated Pakistan’s policy of developing and maintaining full spectrum deterrence, in line with the policy of credible minimum deterrence and avoidance of arms race,” the handout said.
The NCA was briefed comprehensively on the strategic environment.
“The meeting took stock of the regional security environment, and, in this regard, noted with concern certain destabilising actions in Pakistan’s neighbourhood, which undermine the objective of maintaining strategic stability in South Asia,” the participants agreed.
These include the massive arms build-up in the conventional domain, nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean region and plans for the development/deployment of BMD.
The NCA congratulated the scientists and engineers on their contributions to strengthen national defence capabilities. It appreciated the technological sophistication demonstrated during the tests of Babur-III SLCM and Ababeel Missile System—which have ushered a new era in technological sophistication of Pakistan’s strategic capabilities.
“The NCA took a detailed review of the Nuclear Security Regime and expressed full confidence in command and control systems and security measures in place to ensure comprehensive stewardship and security of strategic assets and materials,” the statement said.
The meeting reaffirmed that, as a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan would continue to contribute meaningfully towards the global efforts to improve nuclear security and nuclear non-proliferation measures.
“The NCA appreciated the high standards of training and operational readiness of the strategic forces to meet all kinds of threats,” the statement added.
The NCA asserted that Pakistan desires peaceful co-existence in the region and will endeavour to work with its neighbours to ensure strategic stability in South Asia.
The NCA noted with satisfaction, the implementation of national comprehensive export control measures, which are in line with international export control regimes.
It reiterated that Pakistan has the requisite credentials to become part of various non-proliferation regimes, including the NSG, for which Pakistan seeks adoption of a non-discriminatory criteria-based approach.
The NCA was also briefed on National Space Programme-2047 and ‘Nuclear Power Programme’ for peaceful uses of nuclear technology to meet growing energy needs.
The NCA fully endorsed both these programmes, as these are essential for future national socio-economic prosperity and growth.
The meeting also noted the potential of space programme in almost all current and emerging civilian sectors, ensuring resource generation and optimisation.
The role of nuclear applications in the fields of health, agriculture, medicine and industry was deeply appreciated.
The NCA reiterated Pakistan’s interest in expanding international cooperation in these areas and play a positive role towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as a provider of expertise and services in the peaceful nuclear application.