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Indian missile tests will trigger arms race: Pakistan

world Updated: Dec 26, 2007 20:54 IST

PTI
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Pakistan on Wednesday said it was opposed to the introduction to South Asia of new weapon systems like India's proposed missile defence shield as they could spark an "unnecessary" arms race.

Asked about India's recent missile tests in preparation for putting in place a missile defence system, Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told a briefing: "Pakistan is not in favour of the introduction of new weapon systems by any party as this could lead to an unnecessary armaments race."

South Asia is a region where financial resources would be bettered utilised to tackle issues like poverty, he said.

Sadiq also said Pakistan would not "spare any effort to defend its territory and interests".
India has conducted several missile tests in the past few weeks to prepare for putting in place a national missile defence shield.

Pakistan tested a nuclear-capable cruise missile during the same period.

Sadiq also said a judicial committee comprising four judges each from India and Pakistan would meet shortly to discuss steps to expedite the release of prisoners held in the jails of both countries.

There are currently about 500 Indians, including 450 fishermen, in Pakistani prisons while 450 Pakistanis, including eight to nine fishermen, are being held in Indian jails, the spokesman said.

Pakistan, which considers the early release of prisoners a humanitarian issue, has released "four times as many prisoners as India", Sadiq said.

When the judicial committee meets, it will exchange lists of prisoners in both countries and take steps to resolve the matter, he added.