The arrival of French-origin Rafale jets has raised concerns in neighbouring Pakistan and China. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that Islamabad has repeatedly urged the global community to deter India from continuing its disproportionate arms build-up, as it could lead to an arms race in South Asia.
Farooqui said the world had already witnessed the belligerent and irresponsible rhetoric of the Indian government in its pursuit of a revisionist agenda.
Referring to reports of the Indian Air Force acquiring 4++ generation, nuclear-capable Rafale jets, Farooqui said it was clear that India was amassing military capabilities beyond its security needs.
The Pakistan foreign office spokesperson alleged this arms build-up was being aided and abetted by the Western world through a policy of exemptions, waivers and supply of advanced equipment, technology and weapons for narrow commercial interests.
Farooqui said this dishonours various export control regimes meant to limit destabilizing accumulations of arms in various regions, including in those where there were already outstanding conflicts.
Pakistan remained open to consideration of all measures linked to crisis management, risk reduction, and strategic restraint. Farooqui said that Pakistan was vehemently objected to any arms race in South Asia but cautioned that it cannot ignore these developments. However, she added, Pakistan was confident of its ability to thwart any ill-considered act of aggression.
Farooqui also lambasted New Delhi for imposing restrictions on annual prayers in Jammu and Kashmir during Eid. She said the imposition of such restrictions on one of the most important days of the Islamic calendar exhibited Delhi’s complete disrespect of the sentiments of Muslims living in Jammu and Kashmir and was also a flagrant violation of their fundamental freedom of religion.