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‘Concerns about India’s nuclear capabilities being recognized globally’

National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf said on Thursday that the world was “beginning to recognise Pakistan’s long-standing concern” about India’s nuclear capabilities, expressing the hope that the Islamabad Declaration adopted at the recent Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit would lead to growing calls for India’s accountability.

In a series of tweets, he said participants at the summit “highlighted threats to the regional security” following a missile launch by India inside Pakistan, which the neighbouring country claimed had been “accidental”.

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Yusuf said he hoped that the Islamabad Declaration would lead to an increase in global calls for New Delhi’s accountability and the launch of a transparent and joint investigation into the incident.

A day earlier, foreign dignitaries attending the 48th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad had expressed concern over an Indian missile landing in Pakistani territory on March 9 and put their weight behind Islamabad’s demand for a joint probe to accurately establish facts.

The incident first came to light after Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major Gen Babar Iftikhar shared details on March 10 of what he described as a “high-speed flying object”, which was fired from Indian territory.

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The DG ISPR had told media persons that the object, which was unarmed and probably a missile, had fallen in the Mian Channu area of Punjab’s Khanewal district.

Gen Iftikhar had called the airspace intrusion a “flagrant violation” and demanded an explanation from India.

A day later, New Delhi had confirmed that a missile had been launched across the border into Pakistan, expressing regret over the incident and attributing the “accidental” fire to a “technical malfunction”.

Islamabad, however, has maintained that this explanation is “simplistic” and fails to answer multiple questions in relevance to the incident.

While India says an inquiry has been launched into the matter, Pakistan has repeatedly insisted on a joint probe to establish facts surrounding the incident.

In his tweets, the national security adviser said that foreign ministers at the OIC moot, too, had underscored the “threat to the region’s security due to India’s recent missile launch into Pakistan”.

“Make no mistake, India has become an irresponsible state with nuclear weapons and the world is beginning to recognise Pakistan’s longstanding concern on this count,” he said, adding that naturally, countries “reportedly looking to buy Indian missiles and other equipment are having second thoughts”.

Yusuf emphasised that the “missile ‘misfire’ from India must remain an issue of international concern”.

“Indian attempts to brush it off cannot mask the gravity of the episode,” he said, dubbing the “lack of Indian response to Pakistan’s call for joint investigation and lack of Indian information about India’s so-called internal inquiry” a “wakeup call” for the international community. “This reflects the mindset of the [Narendra] Modi regime and the character of the Indian state today,” he added.

Yusuf further said that Pakistan would “continue to sensitise international opinion on the dangers of India’s nuclear programme and will continue efforts to ensure strategic stability while defeating aggression at all costs”.

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