Pakistan's nuclear tests stabilized
security situation in South Asia

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP): Information and Culture Minister Mushahid Hussain said on Monday that Pakistan's nuclear deterrance stablized the security situation in South Asia which was upset by India's, "status-driven," nuclear tests. Talking to a group of Iranian journalists, he cited the,"arrogant," attitude of   the Indian leaders towards Pakistan following Pokharan tests.

However, he said the regional situation stabilized after Pakistan detonated its nuclear devices. He said New Delhi's nuclear tests were driven by its quest for status and superiority. "But our (nuclear) tests were security-driven."

Mushahid Hussain said Pakistan never wanted to be bogged down in any arms or nuclear race with India. "It is  India which initiated nuclear and arms race in the region and not we."

He said the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took several initiative to defuse tension in the relations between Pakistan and India. "But India failed to respond positively to these gestures," he regretted. He said Kashmir is the main roadblock in the normalization of relations between Islamabad and New   Delhi.

Referring to Pakistan-Iran relations, he said the two countries enjoy common heritage, faith, history and culture. "There is no conflict of interest between us. There is more convergence of views between Pakistan and Iran,"  he maintained.

Mushahid Hussain hailed the process of rappraochment between Iran and Saudi Arabia and expressed the  confidence that,"it will augur well for the entire Muslim world."

He recalled that the basis for detente in Riyadh-Tehran ties has been laid in Islamabad in March 1997 when  Prime Minister nawaz Sharif arranged a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and then Iranian  President Hashemi Rafsanjani on the sidelines of extra-ordinary summit of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).