India’s S-400 purchase will renew arms race: Pakistan

The Foreign Office in a statement said the Indian purchase was part of its efforts to acquire a Ballistic Missile Defence System through multiple sources.

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday said that Indian purchase of S-400 missile system is a part of New Delhi’s efforts to acquire a Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System, which will lead to a renewed arms race in the region.

“The Indian purchase of S-400 missile system is a part of their efforts to acquire a Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System through multiple sources,” the Foreign Office of Pakistan said in a statement.

“This will further destabilize strategic stability in South Asia, besides leading to a renewed arms race.”

Following the May 1998 nuclear tests by both sides, the Foreign Office noted, Pakistan had proposed a strategic restraint regime in the region, advocating against the acquisition of BMD systems due to their destabilising effect.

“Indian rejection of this proposal forced Pakistan to develop capabilities which render any BMD system ineffective and unreliable,” the statement read further.

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

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.

The S-400 Triumf system is a next-generation mobile air defense system, which is capable of destroying aerial targets at an extremely long range of up to 400 kilometers. The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.

The Foreign Office also claimed that following the May 1998 nuclear tests by both sides, Pakistan had proposed a Strategic Restraint Regime in the region, advocating against the acquisition of BMD systems due to their destabilising effect.

“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.

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