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Updated: May 8, 2010 23:28 IST

Pakistan tests nuclear-capable ballistic missiles

Anita Joshua
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The Shaheen-1 missile being launched at an undisclosed location in Pakistan on Saturday.
— Photo: AP The Shaheen-1 missile being launched at an undisclosed location in Pakistan on Saturday.

Pakistan on Saturday said it had successfully tested two surface-to-surface missiles — capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads — and ensured the operational readiness of the Strategic Missile Groups equipped with Ghaznavi and Shaheen missile systems.

The “successful training launch” of the Short Range Ballistic Missile Hatf III (Ghaznavi) and Medium Range Ballistic Missile Hatf IV (Shaheen 1) was announced by Inter-Services Public Relations in the morning. The launch — which coincided with the conclusion of the annual field training exercises of the Army Strategic Force Command — was witnessed by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Addressing the troops in the exercise area, the Prime Minister said the world should recognise Pakistan as a de jure nuclear power with equal rights and responsibilities. He demanded Nuclear Supplier Group waiver for civil nuclear energy cooperation so that Pakistan could meet its energy needs through this clean energy option. Pakistan, he added, was capable of providing nuclear fuel cycle services under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

Referring to last month's Nuclear Security Summit, the Prime Minister said Pakistan had made out a case for NSG waiver in Washington where the world had been assured about the country's nuclear security arrangements. Now, the world must move beyond safety and security concerns, he asserted.

About the two missiles tested today, ISPR said while Ghaznavi can carry warheads up to 290 km, Shaheen's range was in the vicinity of 650 km. Besides the Prime Minister, the field launch of these two missiles was witnessed by the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Committee, Tariq Majid; Chief of Naval Staff, Noman Bashir; Director General Strategic Plans Division, Khalid Ahmed Kidwai; besides senior military officials.

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