India build-up will compel Pakistan to take counter-measures: Sharif

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Friday that Islamabad would be forced to take countermeasures to preserve a credible deterrence given a major arms build-up by neighboring India and its refusal of dialogue, Reuters and PTI report.

US President Barack Obama meets Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at his Oval Office on Thursday

US President Barack Obama meets Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at his Oval Office Thursday

“While refusing dialogue, India is engaged in a major arms build-up, regrettably with the active assistance of several powers,” Sharif said in a speech to the US Institute of Peace in Washington.

“It has adopted dangerous military doctrines. This will compel Pakistan to take several countermeasures to preserve credible deterrence.”

Earlier in the day, during his meeting with US President Barack Obama in the Oval office in White House, Sharif managed to get a call for an India-Pakistan dialogue to resolve all issues including Kashmir included in a joint statement in return for an assurance that Islamabad would take effective action against Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its affiliates.

The two leaders, according to the Pakistani statement, expressed concern over violence along the Line of Control in Kashmir, and noted their support for confidence-building measures and effective mechanisms that are acceptable to both parties.

“The leaders emphasised the importance of a sustained and resilient dialogue process between the two neighbors aimed at resolving all outstanding territorial and other disputes, including Kashmir, through peaceful means and working together to address mutual concerns of India and Pakistan regarding terrorism,” it said.

“In this context, the Prime Minister apprised the President about Pakistan’s resolve to take effective action against United Nations-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its affiliates, as per its international commitments and obligations under UN Security Council resolutions and the Financial Action Task Force,” the statement added.

Obama and Sharif, it said, “stressed that improvement in Pakistan-India bilateral relations would greatly enhance prospects for lasting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.”

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to advancing economic connectivity between Pakistan and its neighbors to promote regional prosperity, it said.

They acknowledged that strengthening Pakistan’s trade and transit ties with its neighbors is needed to promote prosperity in Pakistan and the region.

Sharif also “reaffirmed that Pakistan’s territory will not be used against any other country and noted that this is an obligation of all countries in the region.”

India welcomed a joint pledge by the United States and Pakistan to fight militant groups it suspects of attacking Indian targets, but ruled out any third-party mediation to end a long-running dispute over Kashmir.

“India has always desired resolution of all issues with Pakistan bilaterally through dialogue and peaceful means,” Vikas Swarup, spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, told a news briefing in New Delhi.

“It is Pakistan who has chosen to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy. And this visit shows that the international community is deeply concerned about its support to, and sponsorship of, terrorism.”

‘No civilian nuke deal, F-16s’

Dismissing a New York Times report, a US official said Washington has not approved the sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan.

It is also not negotiating a civilian nuclear deal with Pakistan, the official said.

There is no such thing as a nuclear deal, the official said.

US media reports hinted at a possible civilian nuclear package for Pakistan similar to the one US concluded with India 10 years ago, he said.

Such reports are completely false, he said.

 



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