Military

Pakistan conveyed US concern over Indian army purchases: Spokesman

IRNA

Islamabad, Nov 17, IRNA -- Pakistan said on Monday it has raised its 
concern with the United States about "deteriorating strategic and 
conventional weapons balance" in South Asian region as a result of 
"Indian arms buying spree". 
Foreign Office Spokesman Masood Khan told reporters at a news 
briefing in Islamabad that the concern was raised by the Foreign 
Secretary Riaz Khokhar during his meetings in Washington with Deputy 
Secretary of State Richard Amitage and Deputy National Security 
Advisor. 
"The foreign secretary emphasized that this balance needs to be 
restored in the wake of the Indian acquisition of arms and it is no 
more an imbalance conventionally," the spokesman said. 
The Indian government has reportedly planned to spend US $ 10 
billion on arms purchases from abroad in the next few years and made 
public list of desired items for defence suppliers. 
Asked to comment on Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee`s 
interview that UN resolutions on Kashmir are outdated, the spokesman 
said, "These resolutions are valid, have legal basis and reflect the 
will of international community as to the dispensation of Kashmir 
dispute". 
He said the resolutions remain valid until a new set of 
resolutions is adopted or agreed to between Pakistan, India and 
Kashmiris. "Mr Vajpayee stated that Simla Agreement was valid." 
Khan said Pakistan is ready to talk to India under the Simla 
Agreement, but added that New Delhi is using "delaying tactics" and is
not ready for talks with Pakistan on Kashmir. 
"India is not sincere in starting the dialogue process with 
Islamabad." 
In reply to a question, Masood Khan said talks for restoration of 
air links between the two countries would be held on the first and 
second of next month in New Delhi. 
Saying that Pakistan will be going for talks with an open mind, 
he however added Islamabad`s position on over-flights remains 
unchanged. 
About reports that India is acquiring air bases in Tajikistan, 
the spokesman said that Tajikistan government has made it clear that 
they are not offering military bases to India. 
In this connection, he referred to Pakistan ambassador`s meeting 
with Advisor on Foreign Affairs to President Imamali Rakhmanov who 
had clearly stated that there was no truth in these reports. 
"Pakistan is keeping a close watch on the situation," he added. 
About CIA six monthly report published recently, he said there 
was no direct accusations against Pakistan in the report. He however 
said there are indirect references to cooperation between Pakistan and
China in the past. 
"Pakistan and China continue to live up to their international 
obligations and there has been no violation whatsoever," the 
spokesman said. 
He said China has not supplied anything to Pakistan which can be 
categorized as unsafe guarded. 
To a question about sending of Pakistan`s troops to Iraq, the 
spokesman said Islamabad`s position regarding sending of troops has 
not changed. 
"Pakistan will only send troops to that country if the people of 
Iraq ask for it and the people of Pakistan endorse it. The neighboring
countries of Iraq will also have to be comfortable with a decision, he
added. 
TK/TSH/212 
End 



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