India's aggressive policies, military posture threaten peace and security: UN envoy

Published October 15, 2020
Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan
Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram on Wednesday said India's aggressive policies and military posture posed an "immediate and pervasive threat" to international peace and security.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on disarmament and international security, Akram said instead of bringing humanity together, the pandemic had revealed old fault lines and accentuated existing and emerging threats to international peace and security.

"Strategic competition between big powers, the pursuit of military dominance by some states and the unilateral use of force [...] have gravely jeopardised international peace and security.

"In our region, the aggressive policies and military posture of the largest state in South Asia — which is now ruled by a neo-fascist regime — pose an immediate and pervasive threat to international peace and security."

During his speech, Akram highlighted the aerial combat between the two countries in February 2019. "India committed blatant aggression against Pakistan with its infructuous aerial incursion. In subsequent exchanges, it lost two of its aircraft.

Timeline: Events leading up to the Feb 2019 Pak-India aerial combat

"As a good will gesture Prime Minister Imran Khan returned the captured Indian pilot. Unfortunately, this was misconstrued as weakness and India's posture only grow more aggressive."

The diplomat also commented on India's annexation of occupied Kashmir and the induction of additional troops in August 2019.

"India has since imposed a military siege in occupied Jammu and Kashmir with a design to annex the occupied territory, change its democracy through illegal immigration and deny its people their right to self-determination as prescribed and upheld by the resolutions of the Security Council."

He added that Indian forces continue to resort to artillery and small arms fire every day along the Line of Control (LoC) targeting innocent civilians on Pakistan's side.

"There were over 3,000 ceasefire violations in 2019 and over 2,400 this year so far.

"Such daily military provocations are accompanied by repeated threats of aggression by India's political and military leaders. Pakistan has acted with restraint to these provocations and threats, but as we demonstrated in February 2019, Pakistan will respond decisively to any Indian aggression with the full force of our capabilities."

Read: Indian defence minister's 'insinuations' that Pakistan, China create border conflicts rejected by FO

Akram said India's aggressive posture and actions are accompanied by "one of the world's largest military acquisitions and development programmes with over $70 billion spent last year on new conventional and non-conventional weapons systems on land, sea, air and space".

"India has nuclearised the Indian Ocean, deployed anti-ballistic missiles, developed and tested debris-generating anti-satellite weapons and is constantly increasing the range, sophistication, and diversification of all types of delivery systems and platforms.

"India's aggressive proclivities and its military belligerence and pretensions to great power status are being fed by those powers that are supplying it with the latest weaponry, either to turn a profit or to serve their strategic objectives in Asia."

These powers must know that 70 per cent of India's military capabilities were deployed against Pakistan, he said. "The net result is the exacerbation of tensions and military competition in the region and an intensification of the threat to Pakistan and to peace and security in South Asia, the Indian Ocean and beyond.

"Pakistan will take all the necessary measures to ensure its security and to maintain full spectrum deterrence," the ambassador said.

He said peace and stability in the region could only be achieved through three steps; the resolution of disputes between Pakistan and India particularly the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, the maintenance of a balance between conventional forces of the two sides, and reciprocal measures of nuclear and missile restraint.

"Pakistan's proposal for a strategic restraint regime in South Asia based on these interlocking elements remains on the table," he said.

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