India and Israel have hedgemonistic designs against countries of their respective regions so these two countries are acquiring arms. Smaller countries like Pakistan need arms to protect and preserve their sovereignty against external threats so we need to acquire arms too. India is getting arms from all possible sources, from the open international market as well as friends like USA and Israel, preaching virtues of peace all the while. The inflexibility of its need for security equipment also stems in part from its own forceful occupation of the turbulent Kashmir. Israel is buying the same equipment too with the rationale that it has to maintain its occupation of the Palestinian land. Tel Aviv, according to reports in the international media, is seeking 20 F-35 fighter jets from the US and a lot of other arms and equipment that it is entitled to get from its annual package of US$3 billion American aid. No body raises a finger when India and Israel are buying arms from here, there and everywhere. But if Pakistan tries to maintain even bare minimum of a security deterrent or Iran tries to develop nuclear technology for its security or prosperity, all hell breaks loose internationally. United States even goes to the extent of pressurizing United Nations to get it to impose economic and other sanctions. Pakistan may have treaty commitments to acquire modern equipment from France for its Air Force or civil nuclear technology from China but the US, having refused Islamabad pointblank on the issue, would make a common cause with India of blocking Islamabad's path to future energy security. Every country, irrespective of its size, has the right to ensure its national security and sovereignty. This is what Pakistan and Iran are trying to do but that some how upsets India and US. Both are determined to resist Pakistan's progress in nuclear technology despite our past record as a peace loving country that has foolproof command and control systems in place to ensure its nuclear assets are in safe hands. Pakistan's missions to the world capitals have work to do on the country's image. -ZARAH AHAD KHWAJA, Karachi, August 20.