Pakistan probing Indian hand in Balochistan: Spokesman

May 21st, 2009 - 11:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, May 21 (IANS) Pakistan said Thursday it was probing reports of an Indian hand in the troubles in Balochistan, even as it hoped the sub-continental dialogue process would resume with the conclusion of the Indian general elections.
“Pakistan is in the process of looking into the sources of supply of arms to militants,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said at his weekly briefing here when asked about reports of an Indian hand in the unrest in Balochistan.

India had last month dismissed as “baseless allegations” Pakistan’s claims that New Delhi was backing the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), an insurgent outfit active in Pakistan’s south-western province.

“These are entirely baseless allegations and we see no reason to dignify them with a response,” Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash told reporters in New Delhi April 23.

Commenting on the outcome of the Indian elections, Basit hoped that the new government would return to the dialogue process and that it would be result-oriented.

“This is absolutely necessary to ensure lasting peace in the region,” he maintained.

India has repeatedly said the dialogue process, frozen in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, could resume only after Pakistan takes visible action against the perpetrators of the mayhem that New Delhi has blamed on elements operating from this country.

On Wednesday, India had presented its third dossier on Pakistani links to the Nov 26-29, 2008 attacks that claimed the lives of over 170 people, including 26 foreigners.

The spokesman said elections in Indian-held Kashmir were not to be a substitute to the Kashmiri people’s right of self-determination that they were promised decades ago.

The spokesman also said India’s acquisition of sophisticated conventional weapons was disturbing the conventional balance between the two countries and lowering the nuclear threshold.

Such developments disturbed strategic balance and Pakistan was constrained to adopt the necessary safeguards it deemed fit, Basit maintained.

Nuclear deterrence in the region was an indispensable factor of stability in south Asia, he contended.

In this context, he noted that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was under a strong multi-layered security system and there no possibility of the weapons falling into the hands of the Taliban.

“Pakistan is committed to maintaining a strong, effective and multi-layered command and control nuclear security system,” he said.

“Pakistan is opposed to nuclear arms race but it cannot remain oblivious to increasing conventional asymmetry and unrelenting arms acquisition as well as preferential treatment being given to certain countries of the region,” the spokesman added.

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