India’s belligerence increasing regional tensions: Nawaz

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Lamenting the largely cold response to his country’s peace proposals, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged the international community to play its role to stop a dangerous slide towards what he warned was a Pakistan-India crisis.

“Clearly, there is a real and present threat to peace and security in South Asia. The international community can no longer pretend that it does not exist,” Nawaz said while addressing a gathering at the US Institute of Peace on Friday as he wrapped up his four-day long tour of the US.

Nawaz noted how the positive momentum, gathered immediately after Narendra Modi’s election as Indian premier, had come to a screeching halt when India cancelled the foreign secretary level talks in August 2014 in over a “flimsy excuse”.

Relations have deteriorated since, the premier lamented, noting how the National Security Adviser-level talks were scuttled by India this year followed by an escalation of hostile exchanges accompanied by ceasefire violations along the border. Recent anti-Pakistan actions by Hindu extremists in Mumbai have further exacerbated tensions in the region.

While rejecting his proposal for dialogue – made at the UN General Assembly in late September, Nawaz warned that India was adopting dangerous military doctrines by engaging in a major arms build-up. “This will compel Pakistan to take several counter measures to preserve credible deterrence.”

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