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India’s decision to buy S-400 missile system will lead to renewed arms race: Pakistan

Pakistan remains fully confident of its ability to address threats from any kind of destabilising weapon system, the Foreign Office said.

india Updated: Oct 19, 2018 23:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Islamabad, Hindustan Times
India,India Pakistan,S-400 missile system
India and Russia concluded the $5 billion S-400 air defence system deal early this month during the visit of President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi for the annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(Reuters File Photo)

Pakistan on Friday said India’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defence system will destabilise strategic stability in South Asia and lead to a renewed arms race.

India’s rejection of a “strategic restraint regime” proposed by Pakistan after the May 1998 nuclear tests by both countries had forced Islamabad to develop capabilities that can “render any BMD (ballistic missile defence) system ineffective and unreliable”, Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said.

“The Indian purchase of S-400 missile system is a part of their efforts to acquire a BMD system through multiple sources. This will further destabilise strategic stability in South Asia, besides leading to a renewed arms race,” Faisal said in a statement.

India and Russia signed a $5.4-billion deal during the annual summit of leaders of the two countries on October 5 for five S-400 systems.

The first system is expected to be delivered by 2020 and all deliveries will be completed within a five-year period, Russian officials have said.

Faisal said Pakistan had proposed the strategic restraint regime in 1998 and advocating against the acquisition of BMD systems due to their destabilising effect. He added that after India rejected the proposal, Pakistan had develop capabilities to counter BMD systems and is “confident of its ability to address threats from any kind of destabilising weapon system”.

“We reiterate our commitment towards ensuring national defence in line with the policy of maintaining credible minimum deterrence and maintaining strategic balance in the region…,” he said.

There was no immediate reaction to the Pakistani statement from India’s external affairs ministry.

First Published: Oct 19, 2018 18:43 IST