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Pak will maintain credible nuclear deterrence: Gilani

Pakistan does not wish to enter an arms race but it will maintain conventional forces supplemented by a credible nuclear deterrence to defend its territorial integrity and safeguard its sovereignty, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Monday.

world Updated: Jul 26, 2010 21:59 IST

Pakistan does not wish to enter an arms race but it will maintain conventional forces supplemented by a credible nuclear deterrence to defend its territorial integrity and safeguard its sovereignty, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Monday.

"Pakistan harbours no aggressive designs against any state but we are determined to defend our territorial integrity and safeguard our sovereignty. We therefore, need to maintain conventional forces adequately supplemented by credible deterrence," Gilani said.

Gilani said Pakistan will "continue to develop her military potential that guarantees peace with dignity and honour".

He said: "We believe that military weakness invites aggression from stronger nation but we do not wish to be dragged in an arms race as we seek to invest in the socio-economic well being of our people."

"Our military capability is basically for deterrence while we yearn for peace," he said in his address at a function marking the launch of the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar or IDEAS.

The "peace dividends" that were expected with the end of the Cold War have remained unrealised and the world has been challenged by terrorism, he said.

"Pakistan, with its vital geo-strategic location and paradigm shift in the regional and global security environment, finds itself in the forefront of the collective struggle against new form of threat to world peace," he said.

Pakistan wants the world community to support its efforts to usher in peace, he said.

"We shall neither be lacking in resolve nor in commitment and expect our partners in this struggle to show trust and understanding. While we fight the scourge of extremism and terrorism, we cannot afford to be oblivious of the need to address the root causes with judicious use of force where necessary," he added.

Gilani said Pakistan has made significant progress in developing indigenous capabilities for production of sophisticated weapon systems and equipment.

IDEAS, launched nine years ago, has become a meeting place for defence exhibitors and delegations, analysts and trade visitors seeking affordable solutions to meet challenges faced by the defence industry, he observed.

The IDEAS event will be held in the southern port city of Karachi during December 6-10.