Pakistan's Foreign Minister accuses India of nuclearizing the Indian Ocean
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi of Pakistan accused India on Monday of nuclearizing the Indian Ocean and said the government of New Delhi had inserted advanced weapons and delivery systems into its naval arsenals.
"The Indian Ocean offers promising potential for mutual cooperation and collaboration. But geostrategic competition and the pursuit of military dominance by some states have gravely jeopardized that potential. The international community needs to be cognizant of the fact that any military conflict in South Asia could endanger stability in a region that is critical for global trade flows and security," said Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Speaking at the International Maritime Conference in the southern port city of Karachi, Qureshi said his country will continue to take all steps appropriate to ensure its stability and to maintain a credible minimum of deterrence, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The conference was part of a week-long multinational naval exercise hosted by Pakistan that started in the Arabian Sea on Friday.
With the extensive participation of some 45 nations, including the US, Russia, China and Turkey, this is the first time in a decade that Moscow has joined NATO participants in a military exercise.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the construction of Gwadar Port were identified by the foreign minister as game-changing projects that further enhanced Pakistan's geo-economic significance.
The $64 billion CPEC, a road, rail, and pipeline network, aims to connect the strategically important northwestern province of Xinxiang in China to the distant port of Balochistan in Gwadar.
"Gwadar Port also provides new vistas for businesses. Extraction of life-saving medicines, coastal tourism, and the development of coastal real estate are industries that are attracting investment, both local and foreign," he added.
Maritime Business World