Ambition more than threat driving India’s defence strategy, fancy projects, says Pakistani daily

Dawn said that India’s consideration of Cold Start, a next-generation conventional capability, triggered Pakistan’s interest in tactical nuclear weapons.

Last Updated: Feb 28, 2016, 19:05 PM IST
Ambition more than threat driving India’s defence strategy, fancy projects, says Pakistani daily

New Delhi: India's rapid economic growth has helped the country to persue “fanciful defence projects” and it also suggests that “ambition more than pure threat perception is driving the country's defence strategy”, a Pakistani Daily said in an editorial piece.

“An economy that is still growing at more than seven percent per annum has created the fiscal space for India’s policymakers to pursue fanciful projects,” the influential Dawn said in an editorial.

The paper said that India had never shown any interest to the Strategic Restraint Regime (SRR) that seeks nuclear restraint, conventional balance and dispute settlement.

Emphasing the need for SRR, it further said that Pakistan and India are among the top 10 importers of arms globally.

The editorial comes after Pakistan's National Command Authority (NCA), the apex nuclear body in the country, met on Wednesday and “re-emphasised its desire for establishing SRR in South Asia.

The NCA also called for “meaningful and sustained comprehensive dialogue for resolution of all outstanding disputes”.

Saturday's editorial emphasised that SRR would eliminate the possibility of an arms race between India and Pakistan through a dispute settlement mechanism as envisaged by SRR.

It also claimed that “India has never been interested in SRR.”

Drawing opinions from the country's various security experts, the editorial sought to explore the reasons behind an said that India's “massive investments to transform its military capabilities do suggest that ambition more than pure threat perception is driving India’s defence strategy”.

“An economy that is still growing at more than seven percent per annum has created the fiscal space for India’s policymakers to pursue fanciful projects,” the paper added.

It said that it was “India’s consideration of Cold Start, a next-generation conventional capability, that triggered Pakistan’s interest in tactical nuclear weapons.

“Cold Start was Pakistan-specific and had little relevance to China, suggesting that if India had shown restraint in its public posturing, the Pak-India nuclear threshold would not have been altered.

Emphasising the importance of a compresensive dialogue between Indian and Pakistan, the paper noted “Indian and Pakistani policymakers are ultimately rational actors.

“Dialogue may not yield immediate or significant breakthroughs, but that is why it needs to be meaningful and sustained. The NCA statement suggests that the military is supportive of comprehensive dialogue. India should meet Pakistan half way.”