ISLAMABAD, Jan. 14, Pakistan on Thursday denounced the acquisition of a Soviet nuclear powered submarine by its giant rival India and accused Moscow of irresponsibility and disregarding peace in the region.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Islamabad charged that India was recklessly expanding its military power in a way that could only make other states in the region feel insecure.

“India’s acquisition of nuclear submachines highlights its headlong militarization manifest already in its amassing of missiles, aircraft, artillery, tanks and warships”, the Pakistani spokesman said.

He also denied Indian reports that the two countries, which have fought three wars since indepdence from Britain in 1947 had clashed on Sunday and Monday in the disputed Himalayan State of Kashmir.

“At a minimum (it is) a gross exaggeration, if not totally false,” he said.

India became the second nation’ in Asia after China to have nuclear powered submarines on January 5 when the Soviet, Union (banded one over under a lease agreement.

Indian television has said the vessel would be used for training, but few other details have been made public, the weekly. Magazine India today said in a recent issue that New Delhi could lease four to six nuclear submarines.

The Pakistani spokesman said the acquisition of the nuclear powered submachine revealed India’s desire to project power well beyond its frontiers.

He acknowledged that nuclear powered submarines do not necessarily have nuclear weapons, but said the leased vessel could carry such arms. State run all India radio has said the submarine did not have nuclear weapons.

“A very significant and alarming step has been taken on the road to the nuclearisation of South Asia”, he said.

Pakistan, which is at logger heads with Moscow over the Afghan guerrilla war, accused the Soviet Union of supplying India over the years with arsenals of offensive weapons.

“This unbalanced police betrays an extraordinary disregard for the imperatives of peace and security in this region”, the spokesman said. “The world has a right to expect a greater sense of responsibility from a superpower”.

Pakistan and India, each preoccupied with the alleged security threat posed by the other, are at odds over the whole issue of nuclear arms.

India, which exploded a nuclear device in 1974, says it has not gone ‘on to make weapons, but accuses Pakistan of secretly trying to manufacture nuclear bombs.

Islamabad has repeatedly denied the Indian charge.


Article extracted from this publication >> January 22, 1988