Pakistan threatens to undertake nuke arms race over India's NSG membership bid

Islamabad, Jan 28(ANI): Pakistan has threatened to activate a new nuclear arms race in South Asia after the United States supported a move that Islamabad claims will allow India to further expand its weapons programme.

Islamabad believes that Washington's decision to support Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group following an agreement to help India develop its civil nuclear power industry, will help New Delhi to further increase its nuclear weapon arsenal.

Pakistan's military leadership is determined to maintain the current ratio of Indian to Pakistani nuclear warheads, and is already concerned that India is pulling ahead following the 2009 launch of a domestically produced nuclear submarine, The Telegraph reports.

Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament told delegates this week that Washington's decision in this regard would "destabilise the security environment in South Asia."

"Membership of the NSG will enable our neighbour to further expand upon its nuclear co-operation agreements and enhance its nuclear weapons and delivery capability. As a consequence, Pakistan will be forced to take measures to ensure the credibility of its deterrence," Zamir Akram told the conference.

Pakistan's National Command Authority, headed by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and a retired army general, had voiced its concern on the implications of the new civil nuclear co-operation deal between India and the US for Pakistan's security, Akram added.

Pakistan also opposed Washington's decision to support Indian membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement. (ANI)

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