ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Friday that Pakistan would maintain a balance in conventional forces suitably backed by minimum credible deterrence.

“Pakistan does not harbour any aggressive designs against any state, but it is determined to defend its territorial integrity,” he said at a function to mark the launch of activities related to the International Defence Exhibition to be held in  Karachi in November.

“That is why we need to maintain a balance in conventional forces suitably backed by minimum credible deterrence,” he told a gathering that included senior military officials. Pakistan will continue to “develop her military potential that guarantees peace with honour and dignity,” he said.

The country has significantly developed indigenous capabilities for producing sophisticated weapon systems and equipment, he said without giving details. “Our military capability is basically for deterrence purpose while peace remains the ultimate cherished goal for us. We believe that military weakness invites aggression from stronger nations,” he added.

“At the same time, Pakistan does not wish to be dragged in an arms race as the socio-economic well being of our people is on the top of the present government’s agenda,” Gilani said.