India concerned over Pakistan’s growing nuclear arsenal: Minister

June 1st, 2009 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju Monday said India is concerned over Pakistan’s growing nuclear arsenal and asked the world to exert pressure on Islamabad not to cross “minimum deterrent threshold”.
Raju, soon after taking charge of his ministry here, said: “We (India) are concerned because they (Pakistan) are crossing the minimum deterrent threshold. We hope that the international pressure will be exerted on Pakistan to make sure that they retain only minimum deterrence levels.”

“We also have the second strike and deterrence capability. But our stated policy is no-first-use as far as nuclear weapon is concerned… only of retaliatory strike. I am glad that Pakistan is also thinking along the lines of second strike and are behaving like a responsible state,” he added.

Raju’s reactions come after recent US intelligence reports that said Pakistan is increasing its nuclear weapons stockpile.

“China has helped Pakistan in building nuclear capability… China and Pakistan have been having economic ties for long. China has built their Gwadar port. They have cooperation in the fields of trade and defence,” he added.

Raju also said China has been trying to use its influence to encircle India under its famous “string of pearls” policy.

“There is no shortfall in preparedness from our side in this regard. Chinese influence is not just in Pakistan. They are trying to develop a port in Sri Lanka and in Myanmar. And we are well aware of all these developments. We are taking steps that Chinese influence does not pose a threat,” he added.

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