ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan yesterday blasted India for its “jingoistic pursuit of lethal weapons” and accused New Delhi of triggering an arms race in the region. Speaking at a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmed said India’s “hostile posturing towards its neighbours further imperils peace and stability in South Asia.” Asked about India’s test firing of nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile, Ahmed said it must be alarming for the international community that at a time when the region was already facing the growing and real threat of extremist Hindutva Ideology which espouses territorial expansion, the BJP-RSS government was seeking an arms race. “The recent missile test by India will further vitiate the political and security environment in the region,” he added. In held Kashmir, the spokesperson said, India had unleashed worst form of state-terrorism. “Ten Kashmiris have been martyred in Srinagar and Pulwama districts since 15 October,” he mentioned. Ahmed said it was deeply concerning that India continues to expand its tool kit to oppress and harass the innocent Kashmiris, and India’s minorities particularly Muslims on baseless grounds. “We saw that in the reprehensible attacks against Kashmiri students following Pakistan’s win in the T20 match against India. There are also disturbing reports about Kashmiri students and youth being charged under the draconian and arbitrary Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. India’s aggressive and malicious designs against Pakistan also continue otherwise,” he elaborated. For example, he said, the reported killing recently of a Pakistani civilian prisoner Zia Mustafa, in an incident involving Indian occupation forces in Poonch sector of held Kashmir exposes India’s aggression.“We have condemned this and the Indian Charge d’affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office. A strong protest has been lodged - the Government of India was urged to urgently authenticate this particular incident, undertake a credible and transparent investigation, and ensure justice by holding the perpetrators to account. India must stop bloodshed,” he said. The spokesperson said while explanation on this case has been sought, let me remind you that we still await the findings of an investigation into the Jodhpur incident in which 11 Pakistani citizens lost their lives under mysterious circumstances. On Afghanistan, Ahmed said, Pakistan’s continues engagement and active diplomacy. “Foreign Minister (Shah Mehmood) Qureshi was in Tehran for the second Ministerial Meeting of Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan held yesterday. In the meeting and other bilateral engagements, the Foreign Minister shared Pakistan’s perspective on the latest developments in Afghanistan. He reiterated Pakistan’s belief that the neighbours have a direct stake in the peace, stability and prosperity of Afghanistan. It was, therefore, important to remain engaged with a view to evolving a coordinated regional approach,” the spokesperson explained.

During the visit the Foreign Minister also interacted with the Iranian leadership, and held meetings with his Uzbek, Turkmen, and Tajik counterparts, he added.

He said the Foreign Minister had visited Kabul on 21 October, during which he had wide-ranging talks with the leadership of the interim government.

Ahmed said Pakistan wanted stability in Afghanistan like a good neighbour and will support all efforts to ensure a stable Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan wanted good ties with all the countries. The spokesperson said Pakistan had a history of good ties with the US and Saudi Arabia.