Following the delivery of the first batch of fighter Rafale jets on Wednesday, a rattled Pakistan has now accused India of ‘nuclear proliferation’ and leading an arms race in the region.
Speaking to the media, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that the country has taken note on India’s recent military acquisition. She stated, “According to some former Indian officials and several international publications, these Rafale jets are dual-capable systems that can also be modified as nuclear delivery systems. It is well-known that India continues to expand and modernise its nuclear arsenal, both in terms of type and number of the delivery system.”
Cries foul against BJP government
Pakistan has been more critical of the current government of India than even Indian opposition parties. While Imran Khan continues to complain about the BJP and Modi government, the Pakistani foreign ministry spokesperson also made their disdain for the BJP government clear.
The spokesperson stated, “The world is already a witness to the BJP government’s bellicose and irresponsible rhetorics in pursuit of a revisionist agenda in the neighbourhood. Pakistan is open to consideration of measures for crisis management, risk reductions and strategic restraint.” She also added a veiled threat that Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to threats and remains confident of its ability to thwart any ill-considered act.
The spokesperson further accused India of nuclearising the Indian ocean and for being the second-largest arms importer. “It is disturbing to note that India continues to amass military capabilities beyond its genuine security requirement. Transfer of advanced systems, where there is an open intention of conversion into nuclear delivery platforms, calls into question the commitment of international suppliers to non-proliferation commitments,” she continued.
Scared of Indian Air Force?
It is notable here that Pakistan has been in a whiny mode since the change of power in India in 2014. While the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks went unavenged and did not get a strong response from India, the Modi government had retaliated decisively against Pakistan after the Uri attack in 2016 and Pulwama blast in 2019.
In February 2019, Indian Mirage and Sukhoi jets had entered deep into Pakistan’s airspace and had bombed the LeT terrorist camp in Balakot. With the new arsenal of Rafale added to the Indian Air Force, the concern from Pakistan is expected.
India receives first batch of 5 Rafale jets
On Wednesday, India received the first batch of five Rafale jets as a part of the inter-governmental agreement with France for the procurement of 36 ready-to-fly fighter jets. The jets flew from Merignac airbase in Bordeaux, France to India, flown over the Arabian Sea with a stopover in UAE, by Indian Air Force pilots.
The delivery of the first batch of Rafale jets was delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic. These five jets joined Indian Air Force fleet in Ambala in Haryana on Wednesday. According to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the acquisition of Rafale jets will make the Indian Air force stronger and deter security threats by those eyeing India’s territory.