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Press Release by Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman


 

Press Release by Foreign Office Spokesman

The Defence Committee of the Cabinet met today under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The participants included the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Kashmir Affairs and the three Services' Chiefs, Foreign and Defence Secretaries and some other senior officials.

The DCC focussed its discussions on Afghanistan, India's militarization programmes and Pakistan-India relations.

The DCC reviewed the results of the Prime Minister's peace initiative on Afghanistan, particularly the Pakistani delegation's two visits to Dushanbe to meet representatives of the Afghan opposition and one visit to Kandahar for discussions with the Afghan authorities. These efforts, which will continue, are part of Pakistan's consistent policy of promoting peace in Afghanistan through dialogue and negotiation. The DCC reiterated its support for the Tashkent Declaration of 'Six Plus Two' of 19th July, 1999.

In the context of Pakistan-India relations, the DCC underlined the need for an early settlement of the Kashmir dispute in the interest of durable peace in South Asia.

The DCC expressed serious concern on India's aggressive militarization programme, particularly, in the nuclear field, as acknowledged in the document on India's nuclear doctrine. The DCC noted that India's intention to go ahead with the deployment and operationalization of its nuclear weapons and delivery systems is fraught with serious risks and dangers not only for the security of the region but world at large. The Committee agreed that the development of Pakistan's nuclear programme will be determined solely by the requirement of our minimum nuclear deterrent capability which is now an indispensable part of our security doctrine. The DCC reaffirmed that Pakistan was opposed to an arms race in South Asia and it had taken concrete initiatives in this regard, notably the Strategic Restraint Regime proposed to India in October last year. The DCC urged the international community, particularly the major powers, who have expressed serious concern at India's nuclear doctrine, to use their influence on India to accept a comprehensive restraint regime, specially with a view to preventing an arms race in South Asia.
25 August 1999