Pakistan blasted India on Thursday for building a “secret nuclear city”, saying that New Delhi was accumulating a stockpile of nuclear weapons, thus, disturbing the strategic balance of power in South Asia.

Speaking at a media conference in Islamabad, senior spokesperson of Pakistani Foreign Office Nafees Zakaria urged the international community not to allow India to disturb the strategic balance in the region. He also expressed serious concern over the “Indian defence build up”, saying that the global community should monitor India’s nuclear activities. Zakaria further said that India, which has a huge number of deadly weapons, should be forced to check “rapid expansion” of conventional and non-conventional weapons.

The senior Foreign Office official slammed India for trying to isolate Pakistan, insisting that “India had been ‘exposed’ by the failure of its efforts”. He advised the Narendra Modi government in New Delhi to reciprocate steps taken by Islamabad to ensure regional peace and stability. “Pakistan remains committed to the principles of peaceful existence with all of its neighbours, including India,” he told the press, adding that Islamabad was ready to hold talks even with New Delhi in order to normalise bilateral ties.

Zakaria once again accused India of violating the ceasefire agreement at the Line of Control (LoC), stressing: “Instead of resolving the issues amicably through dialogue, India has adopted a hostile attitude. Indian belligerence continues to pose threat to the peace in the region, which the international community should take note of.”

Meanwhile, India rubbished Pakistan’s claims, with the External Affairs Ministry saying in a statement that New Delhi has no plan to build secret nuclear city. India also asked Pakistan not to make such remarks to divert global attention from real issue of terrorism. Commenting on the issue, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said: “Pakistan’s claim of India’s secret nuclear city is baseless. This aims to deflect attention from real issue of terrorism.”

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog – Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]