Pakistan tests N-capable missile

Posted in Broader Middle East | 17-Nov-06 | Source: dawn.com (Pakistan)

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz (C) along with soldiers poses for a group photo with nuclear-capable ballistic missile Hatf 5 (Gauri) at an undisclosed location November 16, 2006.

ISLAMABAD, Nov 16: Pakistan on Thursday conducted a successful launch of the intermediate range ballistic missile Hatf V (Ghauri) and was witnessed by the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

The launch was carried out by the troops of the Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC) at the culmination phase of a training exercise held to test the operational readiness of a Strategic Missile Group (SMG) equipped with Ghauri missiles.

President Pervez Musharraf had handed over the highly accurate Ghauri missiles to the ASFC some years back. The Ghauri missile has a range of 1300km.

Today's launch exercise was also witnessed by Vice Chief of Army Staff General Ahsan Saleem Hayat and a large number of senior military officers, scientists and engineers of the strategic organisations.

The prime minister congratulated the officers and other ranks of the ASFC on the high standards achieved during training which was reflected in the successful launch and the accuracy of the missile in reaching the target.

He said that Pakistan could be justifiably proud of its defence capability and the reliability of its nuclear deterrence. He said Pakistan believed in peace that comes from a position of strength and operational readiness.

The defence of the country was not negotiable. He made it clear that Pakistan's nuclear capability had matured and was consolidated as a fully operationalised capability in the last seven years.

The three services had raised effective Strategic Forces to handle the nation's nuclear capability in all dimensions and were equipped to handle the strategic assets in the field.—PPI

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