Pakistan has said increasing defence cooperation between India and the United States (U.S.) will disturb the regional balance.
“We are sharing our concerns regarding this with the whole world. We have to protect our self. As I have already said US has its own priorities linked to this region in the larger context of strategic interests, which is why US is cooperating with India, but we will fulfill all the requirements for strategic deterrence in this regard,” said Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, while interacting with the media on the completion first three years of the Pakistan Muslim League(N) Government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to make an objective assessment of its achievement in foreign policy and also the challenges that lie ahead.
As regards to Prime Minister Modi’s visit, said Aziz: “You would have seen that the New York Times wrote very clearly that India should not be given membership of the NSG. Moreover, there were discussions in the US Congress regarding human rights violations in India.”
“If you take a look at the joint statement after the visit of our Prime Minister to the US, it had wide-ranging aspects. All countries try to enhance their relations according to their priorities. We are trying to enhance our relationship and connectivity with Central Asian countries and other Islamic countries. If you look at the bigger geo-political scenario, you will come to know that Pakistan is moving in the right direction,” he said.
“We have an important relationship with the US, which has historically been marked by highs and lows. When we started the strategic dialogue in 2013, the US itself announced that it wanted to convert our ‘transactional’ relationship into a ‘strategic’ one. Our relationship with the US has many areas of mutual interest, including Afghanistan and Pakistan’s role in the region and the world as a moderate democratic Islamic State. Our role in the region cannot be replaced by any other country. You have to see the strengthening of US relations with India in the larger geo-political context. As far as our relations with the US are concerned they are still relevant and important,” said Aziz, while answering a question on Pakistan losing support internationally, especially US’ support on vital issues.
He, however, said, “If their relationship with India upsets the conventional and nuclear balance in the region, it would affect our ties and would also be detrimental for peace in the region. It is true that we ourselves are responsible for the security of Pakistan, but we do not want other countries, especially our friends, to upset the strategic balance in the region and make our task more difficult.”