India is acquiring 4 Batteries of the world's most sophisticated S-400 air defence system

India’s decision to buy Russia's S-400 missile defence system could spark an arms race, Pakistan has claimed, urging its regional rival to ditch it for the sake of “stability” the same day it tested a new nuclear-capable missile

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan spoke out against India's S-400 ballistic missile defence system on Thursday, saying that it will affect "balance of power" in the region.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said during her weekly press briefing that Islamabad had always expressed concern over the induction of the S-400 Air Defence system.

Answering a question about India's missile defence system, she said it will harm stability in the region as it will lead to an unnecessary arms race in the region.

Citing “concerns regarding the induction of ballistic missile defence systems in the region,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Aisha Farooqui told reporters on Thursday that the S-400 was a “destabilising system” which could “undermine deterrence and stability in South Asia and lead to an unnecessary arms race.”

The Pakistani official also stressed that “the induction of [ballistic missile defence] should not lead to any false sense of security and any misadventure,” arguing that Pakistan “has the technological capability to ensure the continued efficacy of its deterrence.”

She said Pakistan has proposed a discussion on a strategic restraint regime for South Asia which includes the proposal to avoid the induction of weapons that will contribute towards destabilisation in the region.

Renewed Arms Race

Last year, Pakistan had shared concerns that the S-400 missile defence system would lead to an arms race in the region.

"The Indian purchase of S-400 missile system is a part of their efforts to acquire a Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System through multiple sources," the Foreign Office of Pakistan said in a statement.

"This will further destabilise strategic stability in South Asia, besides leading to a renewed arms race."

Following the May 1998 nuclear tests by both sides, the Foreign Office noted, Pakistan had proposed a strategic restraint regime in the region, advocating against the acquisition of BMD systems due to their destabilising effect.