India Friday hit back at Pakistan for expressing concern over the recent deployment of nuclear submarine INS Arihant, saying the comments come from a country for whom the “tenet of responsibility” does not exist.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, at a media briefing Thursday, said: “This development marks the first actual deployment of ready-to-fire nuclear warheads in South Asia which is a matter of concern not only for the Indian Ocean littoral states but also for the international community at large.”
Responding to a question on Faisal’s remarks, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, during a media briefing here, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made India’s stand clear on the issue.
Modi has made it clear that India’s nuclear arsenal was not a part of an aggressive policy, but it was an important means for peace and stability.
Kumar said,”We are a responsible nation and I think these comments are coming from a country for whom the tenet of responsibility does not exist.”
Marking the country’s nuclear triad, Indian nuclear submarine INS Arihant, or the “destroyer of enemies” has successfully completed its first deterrence patrol.
On the issue of opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, Kumar said Pakistan had not officially communicated anything to India on the issue.
Asked about Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh writing to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the issue, he said he would have to look at the contents of the letter and then could comment on it.
He, however, said India has taken up the matter with Pakistan in the past on the opening of the border for Sikh pilgrims to go and visit the Gurdwara on the other side.
“We have heard from Pakistan that this is something that they want to do, but I am not aware of any official communication which we have received from Pakistan that they are keen to work with us on this matter,” Kumar said.
On whether there was any development on the issue of waiver for India in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act after its S-400 missile systems deal with Russia, Kumar said India was engaged with different stakeholders on this matter.
“We have explained our objectives and position to the US side at different levels. We feel that it has contributed to a better understanding by the US about our concerns, about our objectivities and expectations.
“We do intend to continue to remain engage with the US side, but it is important to note that our defence purchases and acquisitions are dictated by our national interest,” he said.
Asked about the political turmoil in Sri Lanka, Kumar said India continues to closely monitor the situation.
“At this situation, I think the situation remains unclear. We do hope the democratic values and the constitutional process in Sri Lanka will be respected,” he said.