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Terrorism & Security

Pakistan says India's nuclear sub threatens regional peace

Pakistani Navy officials warn the submarine, launched on Sunday, could spark an arms race. Two weeks ago the countries agreed to peace talks.

By Huma Yusuf / July 28, 2009

Pakistani officials are saying that India's launch of a nuclear-powered submarine over the weekend threatens regional peace. Pakistan's complaint comes barely two weeks after it had agreed to resume peace talks with India.

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According to the BBC, Pakistan's foreign ministry alleged the submarine threatens regional security.

"Pakistan will take appropriate steps to safeguard its security without entering an arms race," foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit said. "The continued induction of new lethal weapon systems by India is detrimental to regional peace and stability,"

Despite the foreign office's cautious tone, Pakistani Navy officials have said the submarine launch could spark an arms race, reports Dawn, an English-language Pakistani daily.

[A] spokesperson for the Pakistan Navy Commander Salman Ali told Dawn on Monday the Indian move would have far-reaching destabilising effects on the security environment not only of Pakistan but also of all the littoral states of [the] Indian Ocean and beyond. He said the induction of [the] 6,000-tonne INS Arihant in the Indian Navy had the potential to trigger a nuclear arms race in the region and all littoral states, including Pakistan, would have to take appropriate safeguards.

The nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan began in 1974 when India detonated a nuclear device. In response to Indian nuclear tests in 1998, Pakistan tested its nuclear weapons as well. According to The Times of India the launch of the submarine significantly strengthens India's ability to deter nuclear attacks.

India with [nuclear-powered submarine] INS Arihant has taken a big leap forward towards developing the all-important third leg of its nuclear triad — the ability to fire nukes from the land, air and sea…
What makes a nuclear submarine the most preferred option is that it's extremely difficult to detect and target by an adversary… this is especially important for a country like India, which has a declared no-first-use nuclear doctrine and, hence, must have a survivable and lethal second-strike capability to retaliate against a conceivable first pre-emptive strike by an enemy.

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