Press Release issued by the Foreign Office Spokesman on the Missile Test conducted by India, on 11 April 1999

Reacting to the Indian missile test of Agni-II, the Spokesman of the Foreign Office has said that the development of Agni-II introduces a new weapon system in our region which is naturally a matter of deep concern for Pakistan. We were informed about the test only two days ago in response to an enquiry by our High Commissioner in New Delhi. While confirming their intention to test, the Indian side did not provide information about the time or date for the test.

The Spokesman recalled that the MOU signed at Lahore in February 1999 obliged the two countries to provide advance notification to each other in the event of a planned test.

The Spokesman pointed out that India was continuously engaged in massive acquisition of weaponry from all sources in addition to its large indigenous production. The Indian armament acquisitions are aggravating the conventional imbalance which already exists between the two countries. This is a matter of serious concern to us. The development of Agni-II adds to our concerns and threat to our security.

The Spokesman recalled that at the Foreign Secretary level talks in Islamabad in October last year, Pakistan had proposed to India that the two countries should agree to a Strategic Restraint Regime. The proposal which has been subsequently reiterated and is aimed at promoting nuclear and conventional stabilization and strengthening of peace and security in South Asia, has not evoked a positive response from New Delhi.

In response to a question, the Spokesman stated that Pakistan is obliged to maintain a deterrence in the interest of its security and peace and stability of the region. Our indigenous missile programme is part of this deterrence.

11 April 1999.

For further information please contact:
Pakistan Mission, 8 East 65th Street, New York NY 10021.
Tel: (212) 879.8600 or E-Mail: [email protected]