ISLAMABAD, Nov 15 (PTI): Picking on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement on "failed states" in India's neighbourhood, Pakistan Monday said it certainly was not one, but a "strong country," a nuclear power and a "vibrant nation" for those with "discerning eye."
"We do not know who the Indian Prime Minister was referring to. Surely the reference could not have been to Pakistan. Pakistan is a strong country, which is also a nuclear power. It would be highly irresponsible for anyone to suggest that a nuclear state is a failing state," Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters here.
Asked about who Singh had in mind as a failed state, she said Pakistan's "strength and determination and courage" was demonstrated with the "powerful response" of the Pakistani people during the recent earthquake.
"If any evidence was required of the unity and strength of Pakistani nation, it was there for all to see. For any who has discerning eye these are the signs of a very vibrant and strong nation Pakistan is and remains," she said. On the eve of his departure for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Dhaka on November 11, Singh had said in New Delhi that the "danger of a number of failed states emerging in our neighbourhood has far-reaching consequences for our region and our people."
Answering another question, Aslam said Indian and Pakistani water officials along with the neutral expert appointed by the World Bank had held talks in Geneva without the media glare to reach an understanding of the Baglihar power project being built on the Chenab river in northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Another PTI report from Washington adds: The Pentagon has notified US Congress about a possible lease to India of two P-3C aircraft along with equipment and services as part of a proposed military sale worth US$ 133 million to strengthen the US-India strategic partnership.
"The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the security of an important ally and to strengthen US -India strategic partnership which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in South Asia," the Defence Department has said Monday.
The two leased PC-3 aircraft will replace two existing Indian Navy aircraft-the Soviet built IL38 May-that are fast reaching the end of their "faituge", the Pentagon told Congress, adding India has to replace these fixed wing aircrafts with an airborne operational capability.
"India is capable of absorbing and maintaining these additional aircrafts in its inventory," the Pentagon has told Congress.
India had requested a possible sale of logistics support for two P-3C that would include training devices support and test equipment, engineering and technical services, spare and repair parts, personnel training and publications.
The notification by the Pentagon to Congress is required by law and does not mean that the sale has been finalised.
Congress has been assured that this proposed sale of equipment and support "will not affect" the basic military balance in South Asia.