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President Alvi hopes Pakistan, India can agree upon framework for strategic stability

October 15, 2018

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President Arif Alvi  speaking during a conference on  'The Global Non-Proliferation Regime: Challenges and Responses' at the Strategic Studies Institute in Islamabad. — DawnNews TV
President Arif Alvi speaking during a conference on 'The Global Non-Proliferation Regime: Challenges and Responses' at the Strategic Studies Institute in Islamabad. — DawnNews TV

President Arif Alvi on Monday said that he hoped India and Pakistan could agree upon a framework for strategic stability.

He was speaking at a conference, titled 'The Global Non-Proliferation Regime: Challenges and Responses', at the Strategic Studies Institute in Islamabad.

"While Pakistan will continue to demonstrate restraint and responsibility, no one should doubt our resolve to deny any space for war to those seeking such an opportunity, despite the existence of nuclear weapons in South Asia," he said, adding "nobody should doubt Pakistan's capability to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty".

Alvi called on the international community to take "serious note" of talks of 'surgical strikes and limited war', which he said "just tends to up the postures of both countries", reported Radio Pakistan. He, however, regretted that "our postures for peace have been reciprocated with belligerence".

"The proponents of such reckless fantasies will bear the responsibility for any consequences."

He urged the United Nations to play a role in facilitating resolutions in long-standing disputes, such as Kashmir, which he described as "underlying factors for instability".

"Pakistan is committed to objective strategic stability in South Asia."

In his speech, Alvi said that prior to 1998, Pakistan had "relentlessly" pursued a policy to keep South Asia free of nuclear weapons but that 1974 detonation in the region, as well nuclear tests conducted by the country's neighbour in 1998, ended any prospects for a nuclear-free zone in the region.

"We were forced to respond through our own tests to restore the strategic balance in the region," he said.

"Pakistan has, however, not given up the pursuit of meaningful engagement with India for confidence building, avoidance of arms race and risk reduction."