NEW YORK: Reaffirming that international peace and security depended on stability at regional levels, Pakistan has called for the preservation of balance in the defence capabilities of states at the lowest level of armaments and military forces.
Speaking in a thematic debate in the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee, which deals with disarmament and international security issues, Ambassador Khalil Hashmi underscored the special responsibility of states with larger military capabilities in promoting agreements for regional security and undiminished security for all.
“Pakistan has continued to advance these principles and proposed bilateral or regional initiatives that build confidence, reduce risks, and conform to the cardinal principle of equal and undiminished security for all,” the ambassador said.
Hashmi, who is Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN offices in Geneva, drew attention to new technologies inducting new levels of sophistication to existing weapons and their means of delivery.
“Emerging technologies are outpacing existing norms on Earth, in outer space and in the cyber domain”, the Pakistani envoy stated.
They afford new means of waging war, he added, cautioning that some troubling developments increase the prospect of symmetric and asymmetric responses.
Noting that Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) and cyberweapons represent a substantial risk, Hashmi warned that, faced with the possibility of being overwhelmed by LAWS, states possessing weapons of mass destruction will be reluctant to give them up, while other states will seek to acquire them.
“Given such dangers for regional and global safety, the international community must develop commensurate norms, rules, and laws to control and regulate them in all their dimensions,” he maintained.
“The risks and dangers are too grave to be ignored,” Hashmi warned.
Last week Hashmi, while speaking at the General Assembly’s First Committee stressed the need for a new order to counter increasing challenges stemming from deep divisions in approaches, perspectives, and priorities.
“Political and military tensions, strategic asymmetries, and nuclear dangers are growing and many of these troubling trends are manifest in South Asia,” he added.
Referring to India’s arms build-up, the permanent envoy said that the largest state, driven by its pursuit of regional hegemony and aided by generous supplies of conventional and non-conventional weaponry, continued to operationalise dangerous doctrines. Days earlier, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, apprised UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the worsening human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and the concomitant threat to regional peace and security.
Ambassador Akram’s resolve came on Monday (October 18), who called on the UN chief on instructions from Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. UNSG Guterres was also urged to take steps to promote peace in South Asia.
The Pakistani envoy expressed alarm at the continuing extrajudicial killings in staged encounters and fake cordon-and-search operations, as well as arbitrary detentions and crimes against humanity by Indian occupation forces in Kashmir.
“The recent arrests of over 1,400 Kashmiris on false charges in one of the biggest ever crackdowns in the disputed territory was the latest example of India’s state-terrorism,” he highlighted. He further underlined that such mass-scale repression was reflective of New Delhi’s frustration at its failure to realise its ominous “final solution” for the besieged valley.
Ambassador Akram also drew the attention of the secretary-general towards the Indian home minister’s “callous” statement threatening to conduct so-called “surgical strikes” against Pakistan.
He rejected Indian allegations of “cross border” infiltration and expressed concerns that India may once again conduct a “false flag” operation to justify aggression against Pakistan.
“Pakistan desired peace with India but it would spare no effort to resolutely thwart any aggressive designs,” the ambassador remarked.
The ambassador further urged the UNSG to make efforts to avoid the prospects of a deadly conflict between India and Pakistan, lower tensions, and promote peace in South Asia. Secretary-General Guterres expressed concerns over the worsening situation in IIOJK and promised to make efforts towards de-escalation.