PAKISTANI Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has warned India against continuing with its indigenous missile programme as it may trigger off a missile race in South Asia. 'India must be restrained from serial production of its surface-to-surface Prithvi missile,' Ms Bhutto said in Islamabad. India, however, has continually reiterated it will continue with the programme, quashing speculation the weapons system had been shelved under pressure from the United States, keen to prevent a missile buildup on the Indian subcontinent. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, also Defence Minister, told Parliament there was no question of outside pressure compelling India to delay or compromise its defence requirement. 'Whatever we believe needs to be done to secure the defence of the nation will be done,' he said in response to the opposition's charge that the Government had capped Prithvi under pressure from Washington. And, in a major policy shift, the Defence Research and Development Organisation will shut down 600 small and medium projects to concentrate on larger endeavours such as the Integrated Guided Missiles Development Programme. Besides Prithvi, whose range varies between 150 and 250 kilometres depending on its warhead, the programme has successfully developed Agni, an intermediate-range ballistic missile with a 2,500 km range, and Trishul, a low altitude surface-to-air missile. Akash, a low to medium-altitude surface-to-air missile and the anti-tank Nag are part of the programme. Meanwhile, even India's All Party Parliamentary Standing Committee on defence has recommended early deployment of Prithvi. In its latest report, it said Prithvi's induction would not only boost military morale but also act as a deterrent against Pakistan's nuclear-capable M11 missiles and the Hatf-I and Hatf-II, two surface-to-surface variants with ranges between 70 and 150 km respectively. Pakistan has denied possessing M11 missiles and claims its programme is at a 'preliminary stage'. India said it was not advocating a missile buildup but favoured maintaining defence preparedness in response to a 'hostile neighbour' with whom it had fought three wars since independence 48 years ago.