Islamabad, January 15, 2018 (PPI-OT):Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir has reaffirmed Pakistan’s position as a responsible nuclear state and vowed to continue with the policy of full spectrum deterrence. In a policy statement in the National Assembly today, he said the government will meet with vigour and commitment the growing challenges to Pakistan’s security and towards maintaining strategic stability in the region. The Minister said Pakistan’s defence is robust and our vigilant and highly trained armed forces continue to protect and defend our land, sea and air borders. He said Pakistan has paid huge price in the war against terrorism and cleared its territory of terrorists.

He said we have cleared safe havens of terrorists from the country. He said Afghan war could not be fought on Pakistani soil. Khurram Dastagir said Pakistan sees Afghanistan as a sovereign neighbour who shares abiding bonds of history, trade and culture. He said we respect sovereignty of Afghanistan and wish to see our neighbour to prosper as a democracy but Pakistan would like this courtesy to be reciprocated. The Defence Minister said the United States has been fighting in Afghanistan for the last sixteen years but failed to achieve the targets. He said Pakistan should not be made scapegoat for US failures in Afghanistan.

He said the way forward for Pak-US relations should not be through threats, notices and suspension of support. The Defence Minister said India has been involved in grave human rights violation in Occupied Kashmir and mass ceasefire violations along the Line of Control. During the last year, India committed 1300 ceasefire violations resulting in 52 death and 155 injuries. He said even today Indian unprovoked firing resulted in the martyrdom of our four valiant soldiers.

The Defence Minister said Pakistan has initiated new talks and military exercises with Russia. He said Pakistan has also revitalized relations with neighbouring countries. He said Pakistan’s relations with China are getting stronger day by day and being materialized on many fronts. He said China Pakistan Economic Corridor project is the symbol of strong bond between the two countries.

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