Arms race between India and Pakistan takes to air
India’s plans to modernise its ageing air force have triggered a tit-for-tat Pakistani programme that could exacerbate strategic tensions in South Asia, officials and analysts told "The National".
Defence analysts said the planned air force expansions were part of an arms race between India and Pakistan that dates back to the 1960s and the height of the Cold War.
The South Asian neighbours, both of which possess nuclear arsenals, have fought three wars and as many regionalised conflicts since gaining independence from British colonial rule in August 1947.
Siemon Wezeman, senior fellow at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s arms transfer programme, said: "Although India and Pakistan deny it, an arms race is on. India wants to become a regional power, and is building its arsenal accordingly, while Pakistan wants to maintain a rough parity for survival" in the event of another conflict.
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