Islamabad: Pakistan does not wish to
enter an arms race but it will maintain conventional forces
supplemented by a credible nuclear deterrence to defend its
territorial integrity and safeguard its sovereignty, Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Monday.
"Pakistan harbours no aggressive designs against any
state but we are determined to defend our territorial
integrity and safeguard our sovereignty. We therefore, need to
maintain conventional forces adequately supplemented by
credible deterrence," Gilani said.
Gilani said Pakistan will "continue to develop her
military potential that guarantees peace with dignity and
He said: "We believe that military weakness invites
aggression from stronger nation but we do not wish to be
dragged in an arms race as we seek to invest in the
socio-economic well being of our people."
"Our military capability is basically for deterrence
while we yearn for peace," he said in his address at a
function marking the launch of the International Defence
Exhibition and Seminar or IDEAS.
The "peace dividends" that were expected with the end
of the Cold War have remained unrealised and the world has
been challenged by terrorism, he said.
"Pakistan, with its vital geo-strategic location and
paradigm shift in the regional and global security
environment, finds itself in the forefront of the collective
struggle against new form of threat to world peace," he said.
Pakistan wants the world community to support its
efforts to usher in peace, he said.
"We shall neither be lacking in resolve nor in
commitment and expect our partners in this struggle to show
trust and understanding. While we fight the scourge of
extremism and terrorism, we cannot afford to be oblivious of
the need to address the root causes with judicious use of
force where necessary," he added.
Gilani said Pakistan has made significant progress in
developing indigenous capabilities for production of
sophisticated weapon systems and equipment.
IDEAS, launched nine years ago, has become a meeting
place for defence exhibitors and delegations, analysts and
trade visitors seeking affordable solutions to meet challenges
faced by the defence industry, he observed.
The IDEAS event will be held in the southern port city
of Karachi during December 6-10.