‘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.


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

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