NEW DELHI: Pakistan on Friday warned that India’s decision to purchase the S-400 Triumf air defence system from Russia would “further destabilise the region and lead to a renewed arms race.”
Noting that “The Indian purchase of the S-400 missile system is a part of their efforts to acquire a Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System through multiple sources,” a Pakistan foreign ministry statement said, “Following the May 1998 nuclear tests by both sides, Pakistan had proposed a Strategic Restraint Regime in the region, advocating against acquisition of BMD systems due to their destabilising effect.” According to the release, “Indian rejection of this proposal forced Pakistan to develop capabilities which render any BMD system ineffective and unreliable. Pakistan remains fully confident of its ability to address threats from any kind of destabilising weapon system...”
New Delhi defied possible US sanctions to ink the S-400 deal during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit for the annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 5.
On October 10, China announced that it had successfully tested a supersonic cruise missile which was “better than the BrahMos,” the missile made jointly by India and Russia, and Pakistan was likely to be among the first customers.
An Indian official, however, played down the Pakistani threat, saying that the neighbour had “actually threatened to deploy tactical nuclear weapons among its area level commanders along the border with India. Instead of worrying about an arms race, Islamabad must introspect on who really started this nonsense.”
Indo-Russian Defence trade
India had defied possible sanctions by the United States to finalise the purchase of the S-400 Triumf missile system from Russia during Russian President Vladmir Putin’s visit to the country for talks with PM Modi on October 5.