Pakistan to urge UN to declare Indian Ocean ‘nuclear free zone’: Aziz

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Islamabad, May 20 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz informed Senate that the country is considering to move a resolution in the United Nations, urging it to declare the Indian Ocean a “nuclear free zone”.

Referring India’s interceptor missile test of its advanced air defence missile Ashwin, the adviser blamed India for nuclearisation of Indian Ocean and said Pakistan would raise the issue with all major powers “bilaterally and multilaterally”, a report in said on Friday.

He announced that Pakistan is planning to highlight the “implications” of India’s plans to nuclearise the Indian Ocean and a proposal is under consideration to move a resolution in the next session of UN General Assembly to declare the Indian Ocean a “nuclear free zone”, the report noted.

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“Apart from this air defence system, India has also recently conducted tests of nuclear capable, submarine based K4 ballistic missiles. Simultaneously large nuclear powered submarines are being built to carry these nuclear armed missile as a part of its second strike nuclear capability,” Aziz was quoted as saying.

He termed the missile tests by India as moves “against the peaceful and friendly” neighbourhood model proposed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and said that Pakistan had offered discussions on an ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) system free zone in South Asia during the composite dialogue with India but so far it has not received a favourable response.

He added that Pakistan is not oblivious to its defence needs and will upgrade its defense capabilities “without entering into an arms race”.

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“Our efforts for peace and friendship must not be interpreted as a sign of weakness,” Aziz noted.



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