‘Pak can neither afford nor plan to match Indian Navy’

Last Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 23:25

New Delhi: Terming the proposed induction of
two nuclear submarines into the Indian Navy as a "cause of
great concern", Pakistan has said it is taking "necessary
measures" to restore the strategic balance in the emerging
situation.

Pakistan Navy Chief Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila said
Islamabad can neither afford nor plans to match the Indian
Navy in terms of numerical strength.

"The strategic dimension of India`s naval buildup is a
cause of concern not only for us but for the entire Indian
Ocean Region (IOR). I feel nuclearisation of the IOR does not
augur well for peace and stability in the region.

"We are mindful of this development and taking necessary
measures to restore the strategic balance," Sandila told
American weekly `Defensenews` in an interview.

He was asked how Pakistan would respond to the Indian
nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed ballistic submarines.
India is scheduled to induct two nuclear submarines in
the near future which will include its indigenous INS Arihant
and the Russian-leased Akula class INS Chakra.

Experts feel that to match Indian nuclear submarine
programme, Pakistan would seek help of the Chinese.

"Pakistan and China are militarily very close and they
may seek help of the PLA Navy to deploy its nuclear submarines
in its waters to match Indian capabilities," Commander (retd)
Sunil Chauhan said on the possible measures to be taken by
Pakistan.

Sandila said his country can "neither afford nor do we
plan to match it (Indian Navy) in terms of numerical strength,
be it the number of Pakistan Navy personnel or platforms."

"We have our own employment strategy... It is not
exclusively Indo-centric. It is essentially based on achieving
certain capabilities that we hope will help us deliver in
the hour of need," he said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 20:46

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