In the midst of growing India-Pakistan tensions over Kashmir, Islamabad has criticized the sale of US missile systems to arch-rival, India, which the Pak Foreign Office claims could destabilize an already “volatile” situation in South Asia.
During a weekly briefing at the Foreign Office, the spokesperson Aisha Farooqui stated that the sale of such missile systems, along with technical assistance and logistic support at the time when there is a global effort to fight the pandemic is particularly disturbing.
“Pakistan has alerted the international community many times about India’s aggressive designs not only towards Pakistan but also towards other neighboring countries in South Asia.”
She said that the sale of the weapons would destabilize the already volatile situation in South Asia. There is a high possibility of India conducting a false flag operation while global efforts are directed towards combating the pandemic, the foreign office said.
Earlier, as the EurAsian Times reported, the US approved the sale of 16 MK 54 lightweight torpedoes and ten AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles to India. The total size of the sale is expected to be around $155 million.
As per the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s (DSCA) press release, the proposed sale will enhance India’s interoperability with the United States and other allied forces.
The DSCA further stated that “India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense” and the that the deal will “improve the security of a major defensive partner, which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.”
As EurAsian Times reported earlier, Indian Army chief General MM Naravane on Friday denounced the ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that when the entire world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan was busy in spreading terrorism.
“It is very unfortunate that at a time when the whole world and India is fighting the menace of this pandemic, our neighbour continues to foment trouble for us,” Gen Naravane said while speaking to ANI. “While we are busy not only helping our own citizens but the rest of the world by sending medical teams and exporting medicines, on the other hand, Pakistan is only exporting terror. This doesn’t augur well,” he added.
Pakistan Foreign Office later vehemently rejected the “irresponsible, spurious and totally false allegations” against Pakistan by the Indian army chief. “These baseless Indian allegations are patently designed to divert global and domestic attention from India’s state-terrorism and egregious human rights violations, and clamping of fundamental freedoms in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, particularly post August 5, 2019,” said the Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement.
The Pakistan FO reminded that the Indian security forces this year alone have committed over 765 ceasefire violations resulting in the killing of 3 civilians as well as serious injuries to 54 people. The FO spokesperson urged New Delhi to respect the 2003 ceasefire pact and maintain peace along the line of control.