ISLAMABAD: A think-tank specialising in defence and strategic stability affairs on Wednesday said that India was widening the spectrum of conflict and that Pakistan’s response was being constrained by poor governance.

While referring to Indian attempts to disturb Pakistan’s sub-conventional stability by sponsoring terrorism in the country, President of Strategic Vision Institute (SVI) Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said that India was expanding the spectrum of conflict in Pakistan.

Mr Cheema was talking at the conclusion of a three-day seminar on ‘National Security, Deterrence and Regional Stability in South Asia’ on Wednesday,

“Pakistan is militarily well equipped to maintain an adequate conventional and nuclear deterrence equilibrium vis-à-vis India. There are no major worries in military or nuclear realm as far as Pakistan’s preparedness is concerned for dealing with threats from India,” Dr Cheema said.

However, he expressed his fears that with fresh political and diplomatic challenges, weak governance would hinder adequate response.

“There is a consensus that the country is suffering from poor governance which does not enable us to deal with non-military challenges to national security,” he said.

He said that based on the proceedings of the seminar, SVI calls for urgent remedial measures. “India is trying to contain and squeeze Pakistan in terms of its foreign relations, economy and security,” Dr Cheema said.

A number of other defence experts, academicians, policy analysts and retired senior officials also spoke at the seminar.

Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal of Quaid-e-Azam University also expressed the concern that India was focused on encircling Pakistan. He said Modi’s recent visits to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and upcoming trips to Qatar and US indicate the Indian government’s policy direction and priorities.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2016

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