Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that Pakistan requires F-16 fighter jets from the United States to combat terrorists; however if issue of funding (for the aircraft sale to Pakistan) is not resolved, they will consider ‘other’ options. Talking to journalists, he said that though the US has stopped funding for the fighter jets but it was providing annually 265 million dollars to Pakistan. To a question, he said that the quadrilateral coordination group was in contact with the Qatar office of Taliban for the revival of peace process in Afghanistan.
– Nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament –
Earlier, addressing a seminar on Pakistan’s non-proliferation efforts and strategic export control system, the adviser said that Pakistan’s nuclear programme was highly secure and capable to respond to all the possible threats. He maintained that Pakistan remains committed to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
He said that Pakistan was a peace loving country but it was compelled to get nuclear deterrence in the face of growing threat to its security and integrity after Indian nuclear tests. He said that Pakistan was committed to nuclear security and has been proactively engaged with the international community to promote nuclear safety and security.
He said that South Asia’s strategic stability has been negatively impacted by the policies that override the long established principles and norms and were guided by individual state’s strategic and commercial considerations.
– Nuclear submarine, Cold Start doctrine a threat –
Sartaj said that Indian fleet of nuclear submarine and Cold Start doctrine pose serious threat to the region. All these ‘developments’ have compelled Pakistan to maintain minimum nuclear deterrence, he said.
He said that the introduction of nuclear submarines, development of ABM system and massive acquisition of conventional weapons, prompt offensive inclinations manifested in doctrines such as the Cold Start and Proactive Operations pose a serious threat to regional stability. He said that Pakistan was facing acute power shortage as it was a fossil fuel deficient country. He said that reliance on civil nuclear energy was an imperative in order to meet its enormously increasing energy needs and to support sustained economic growth and industrial development