ISLAMABAD - Pakistan warned Thursday that the sale of advanced military technology and equipment by the United States to India encouraged India’s aggressive military doctrine and possible military adventures.

Addressing a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in June, a major deal for sale of Guardian UAVs (submarine drones) was finalised.

“We had expressed our concerns on the sale of advanced military technologies to India. We believe that such sales accentuate military imbalances in the region and undermine strategic stability in South Asia. This further emboldens India to adopt aggressive military doctrines and even contemplate military adventurism,” he said.

Zakaria said the transfer of modern military hardware and technologies, as well as repeated exceptions made for India, had disincentivised India to engage in efforts to establish a strategic restrain regime and durable security architecture in the region.

About Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s possible meetings with the US leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, the spokespersons said: “The occasions such as the UNGA session afford an opportunity to the world leaders to meet their counterparts and share views on issues of mutual interest.” In the past also, he said, sideline meetings were scheduled. “This time also there may be meetings,” he said.

On US President Donald Trump’s anti-Pakistan statement, Zakaria said that a comprehensive discussion took place at various forums within Pakistan in the backdrop of recent developments including the federal cabinet, National Security Committee, Parliament and the envoys’ conference.

“All these meetings took stock of the developments taking place in this region and beyond. It was in this context that the foreign minister undertook the recent visit to regional countries,” he said.

He said the preparation for the prime minister and his delegation’s visit for the UNGA session was ongoing.

Regarding the foreign minister’s visit to regional countries, he said, there was a convergence of interests on many issues “including on finding a regional solution to the Afghanistan situation under Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace initiative.”

To a question, he said, on bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan, there were many initiatives. “There is Heart of Asia (Istanbul process), Quadrilateral Coordination Group, Moscow talks, Brussels conference, and Kabul process, wherein Pakistan’s position is well known and that is we want to see peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

Zakaria said that it was Pakistan’s principled position that Islamabad will support all Afghan-owned and Afghan-led initiatives aimed at bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.  He said the foreign minister spoke with his Afghan counterpart to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries.

He said Afghan soil continued to be used by India against Pakistan. “The conflict in Afghanistan is persisting for around four decades, which has created ungoverned spaces there, which have become safe havens for various terrorist outfits. India is also exploiting this situation there against Pakistan,” he said.

Zakaria said Pakistan had raised this issue not only bilaterally with many countries, but also at the UN. “We have submitted dossiers to the UN in the context of Indian state institutions’ involvement in perpetrating terrorism, terror financing, and subversive activities in Pakistan. No one would endorse Indian activities of this nature,” he said.

He said the confessions of Kulbhushan Jadhav, Ehsanullah Ehsan, and the statement of Chuck Hagel were a testimony to the Indian involvement in perpetrating terrorism, terror financing and the use of Afghan soil against Pakistan.

He said India had submitted its memorial on September 13 in the International Court of Justice and Pakistan will submit its counter memorial to ICJ by December 13.

Zakaria said Commander Jhadav was on record to have confessed many terrorist attacks within Pakistan, which caused loss of many precious and innocent lives of Pakistanis and inflicted material losses.

He condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by India which resulted in civilian deaths along the Line of Control. To a question about a senior Indian army personnel’s statement that the LoC was an imaginary line, Zakaria said Indian army often made false claims in order to gain popularity among the Indian public and the media.

He said the growing intolerance in India since the Modi government came to power has raised concerns globally. “The freedom of speech has been under continuous threat by the Hindu terrorist elements,” he said.

The spokesperson said Pakistan will continue its political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri movement.

He said Pakistan’s position on the Rohingya Muslims issue was already in the public domain. “The foreign minister issued a statement, cabinet adopted a resolution, and Pakistan participated at the highest level in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Special Session on the plight of Rohingyas on the sidelines of OIC Science and Technology summit in Kazakhstan. Our position on this issue is very clear. We have reiterated our commitment to providing humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya Muslims, and called upon the Myanmar government for implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission Report,” he added.

Zakaria said Pakistan also supported other propositions which call the Myanmar government to take urgent measures to address this issue. “Pakistan also recently summoned the Myanmar ambassador to lodge a protest,” he said.