WASHINGTON: India’s test of a nuclear device was described today [May 21] as “sinister” by Pakistani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Aziz Ahmed. At the opening session of a … meeting of the Central Treaty Organisation … Mr Aziz Ahmed said: “Although India had repeatedly affirmed its adherence to the principle of a durable peace in the Subcontinent, its actions do not entirely match its professions. Now comes a sinister revelation that ... India exploded a nuclear device.

“Can the countries in her neighbourhood place reliance on her professions of peacefulness? We can never submit to nuclear blackmail. Pakistan will never accept Indian hegemony over the Sub-continent. …” … Mr Aziz Ahmed indicated that the United States and China would be approached separately for nuclear protection. He recalled that the [US] had offered India a nuclear umbrella in the event of an attack from China during the Sino-Indian hostilities a decade ago. … Mr Ahmed said the process of normalisation … between Pakistan and India might receive a serious setback if security guarantees cannot be obtained.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2024

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