Pakistan’s acquisition of nuclear power “smashed India’s dreams” for regional hegemony, a top advisor to Islamabad said.
Sartaj Aziz, foreign affairs and security advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told the Nazaria Pakistan Council in Lahore that Pakistan would never allow India’s desire for regional hegemony and its acquisition of nuclear power in 1998 “smashed India’s dreams”, reports Dawn.
India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in May 1998 — within a fortnight of each other — to successfully develop and publicly test nuclear weapons, despite international outcry.
Aziz told the Nazaria Pakistan Council — an academy-cum-research centre for promoting the Pakistan ideology — that economic prosperity and self-reliance were imperative for a strong defence. However, Pakistan was compelled to fight a war against evil ideologies, including extremism and terrorism, which are harming the country, he observed.
Aziz’s assertion came close on the heels of a statement by the Pakistani army that Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was involved in instigating terrorism in Pakistan.
RAW has often been blamed by law-enforcement agencies here for its alleged involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan — but it was unusual for a corps commanders’ conference early this month to directly point a finger at the Indian intelligence outfit.
Successive governments in Pakistan have alleged an Indian hand in terrorism, more particularly in Balochistan and tribal areas, but have failed to disclose specific information in this regard.