NEW YORK - Pakistan has taken exception to a New York Times editorial published in the wake of the recent Iran nuclear deal that urges major powers to turn their attention to constraining Pakistan’s nuclear and strategic capabilities, saying India was first to explode an atomic weapon in South Asia .

"Unfortunately, the editorial painted Pakistan as a country that is recklessly building its nuclear arsenal," Nadeem Hotiana, press attache at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, wrote in a letter published in the newspaper on Thursday.

"Pakistan was not the first to introduce nuclear weapons in South Asia; India did," he pointed out.

Pakistan, he said, had to develop nuclear capability purely for self-defence. "Regrettably, the editorial conveniently avoided referring to India’s aggressive military posturing and its expanding nuclear and missile capabilities," Hotiana wrote.  "Giving a special waiver for nuclear trade to India was detrimental to strategic stability in South Asia ."

Pakistan, the letter said, had no desire to engage in a conventional or nuclear arms race. "Pakistan has consistently called for a dialogue with India to address all issues of mutual concern, including terrorism," it said.

"Pakistan’s proposal to India of a strategic restraint regime has remained on the table since 1999 without a positive response. In this context, finger-pointing exclusively at Pakistan while ignoring India’s actions was quite baffling.

"I ask that you support Pakistan’s overtures for peace and its consistent calls for dialogue with India. Such an approach would be nondiscriminatory and has a better chance of yielding dividends of peace and stability in South Asia ."