Pakistan’s relationship with India will drive its defense policy: US official

Pakistan's relationship with India will drive its defense policy: US official

Washington:

Given the Pentagon’s top intelligence officials, India’s nuclear arsenal and conventional energy superiority, Pakistan may continue to modernize and expand its nuclear capabilities in 2022 by training and developing new delivery systems with its deployed weapons as they see it as the key to its survival. Said the legislators.

Lieutenant General Scott Barrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a recent congressional hearing that Pakistan’s strained relations with India would drive its defense policy.

He said Pakistan “considers nuclear weapons as the key to its national survival in terms of India’s nuclear arsenal and superiority over conventional energy.” “Pakistan will probably continue to modernize and expand its nuclear capabilities in 2022 through training with its deployed weapons and the development of new delivery systems,” Mr Barrier said.

“Pakistan’s relations with India have been strained since a high-profile anti-India militant attack in the Union Territory of Kashmir in February 2019,” he said, referring to the Pulwama attack, which killed 40 Indian paramilitaries.

“New Delhi’s withdrawal of Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status in August 2019 added to the tension. However, cross-border violence has declined since February 2021, when both countries reaffirmed their commitment to a ceasefire,” Barrier said. Towards a lasting diplomatic solution. ” India announced in August 2019 the withdrawal of special powers from Jammu and Kashmir and the division of the state into two Union Territories.

India’s move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 has angered Pakistan, which has undermined diplomatic relations and expelled the Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad.

India has said it wants normal neighborly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terrorism, hostility and violence. India says Pakistan has a responsibility to create an environment free of terrorism and hostility.

Last year, India and Pakistan announced that they had agreed to strictly abide by all ceasefire agreements along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors.

In his testimony, Mr Barrier said that Shahbaz Sharif was elected as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan on April 11, following the removal of Imran Khan in a no-confidence vote. In his first speech as prime minister, Sharif called for a resumption of US-Pakistan relations and condemned Khan’s conspiracy theories that the United States had removed him.

“Sharif will probably prioritize tackling Pakistan’s economy while pushing the military back on security issues for at least the first six months of his term,” he said.

“The removal of Khan almost certainly marks a time of political instability when the Sharif government changes and Pakistan prepares for elections after August 2023,” he added.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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