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Pakistan Reiterates Concerns Over India-U.S. Data Sharing

by Newsweek Pakistan

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In statement, Foreign Office stresses that such developments severely impact strategic stability in South Asia

Pakistan on Tuesday reiterated its concerns about strategic stability in South Asia being impacted by the U.S. providing advanced military hardware and technologies to India after Washington inked a new pact with Delhi to share satellite data.

“Pakistan has taken note of the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA),” read a statement issued by Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. Signed at the third India-U.S. 2+2 talks in Delhi, the accord allows India access to precision topographical, nautical and aeronautical data and topographical images from U.S. military satellites on a real time basis. Security analysts say the data could be used for missiles and armed drones. Presented as a means to contain China, the deal has been seen as posing a threat to Pakistan’s ability to effectively combat Indian aggression.

“India’s massive acquisition of armaments and expansion of its nuclear forces, including introduction of new destabilizing weapon systems, are developments with serious repercussions for peace and stability in South Asia,” read the Foreign Office statement.

It said the recent increase in the rate of missile tests conducted by India is yet another manifestation of “dangerous Indian conventional and nuclear military build-ups.” It added: “It again corroborates concerns expressed by several international experts on the military spin-offs of conducting high technology trade with India, which has not only eroded the international norms but has also resulted in negatively affecting the strategic stability in South Asia.”

According to the statement, the development is a clear indictment of the view that this would encourage non-proliferation. “These developments clearly negate the argument that India’s mainstreaming in the international export control regimes will further the non-proliferation objectives of these regimes,” it added.

In a statement on the deal, the U.S. State Department hailed Washington’s growing cooperation with Delhi, adding that it was “critical to the security and prosperity of both countries, the Indo-Pacific region, and the world.”

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