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24 Jan, 2020 05:08

‘False sense of security!’ Pakistan claims India’s S-400 deal fuels arms race… as it tests ballistic missile

‘False sense of security!’ Pakistan claims India’s S-400 deal fuels arms race… as it tests ballistic missile

India’s decision to buy Russia's S-400 missile defense system could spark an arms race, Pakistan has claimed, urging its regional rival to ditch it for the sake of “stability” the same day it tested a new nuclear-capable missile.

Citing “concerns regarding the induction of ballistic missile defense systems in the region,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Aisha Farooqui told reporters on Thursday that the S-400 was a “destabilizing system” which could “undermine deterrence and stability in South Asia and lead to an unnecessary arms race.”

The Pakistani official also stressed that “the induction of [ballistic missile defense] should not lead to any false sense of security and any misadventure,” arguing that Pakistan “has the technological capability to ensure the continued efficacy of its deterrence.”

Ironically, the statement follows Islamabad’s latest surface-to-surface ballistic missile launch – testing its nuclear-capable Ghaznavi munition – which was successfully carried out this week as part of field training exercises.

Also on rt.com ‘A landmark achievement’: Pakistan test-launches new surface-to-surface ballistic missile (VIDEO)

New Delhi made its first advance payment for a batch of S-400s late last year, with deliveries expected to be fulfilled by 2025, according to Deputy Chief of the Russian Embassy in India Roman Babushkin.

Washington also repeatedly expressed trepidation about the sale of Russia’s most advanced long-range air defense system available for export to India and other states, arguing that the S-400 is “incompatible” with NATO defense infrastructure and poses a threat to the F-35 stealth fighter jet. A State Department official warned earlier this month that India – a US ally – could face sanctions should it go ahead with the deal, having already threatened its NATO partner Turkey with similar penalties for its own purchase of the system.

India has been firm that it be allowed to conduct its own arms purchases without pressure from abroad, with the country’s external affairs minister stressing last November that New Delhi would “not be influenced by other countries on what we do in terms of our national security and defense.”

Also on rt.com ‘Turkey's a perfect example’: State Dept warns India NOBODY has ‘special protection’ from US sanctions for S-400 deals with Russia

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