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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan conducts tests of two ballistic missiles: army

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, May 8 ,IRNA -- Pakistan Saturday conducted successful tests of two ballistic missiles, which can carry ‘conventional and nuclear warheads’, the army said.

“Pakistan today conducted successful training launches of a Short Range Ballistic Missile Hatf III (GHAZNAVI), and a Medium Range Ballistic Missile Hatf IV (SHAHEEN 1),” an army statement said.

Both missiles can carry conventional and nuclear warheads to a range of 290 kilometers and 650 kilometers respectively, it said.

The two launches were conducted at the conclusion of the annual field training exercises of Army Strategic Force Command, which were aimed at testing the operational readiness of Strategic Missile Groups equipped with Ghaznavi and Shaheen Missile Systems, the statement said.

The field launches of the ASFC were witnessed by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Tariq Majid, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Kahlid Ahmed Kidwai (Retired) and other senior military officials.

Addressing the troops in the exercise area, the Prime Minister congratulated them on displaying a high standard of proficiency in handling and operating the state of the art weapon systems.

“The nation had developed a strong nuclear deterrence capability and expected that the officers and men entrusted with the task of deterring aggression would continue to train hard and maintain professional excellence”.

He said that Pakistan’s Armed Forces were fully capable of safeguarding Pakistan’s security against all kinds of aggression. He assured that his Government will continue to support the strategic programme and meet all its needs.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minster said that there is now a need for the world to move on beyond safety and security concerns. These were laid to rest at the Nuclear Security Summit where Pakistan forcefully projected here forthright stance on the issue and the world expressed satisfaction at Pakistan’s nuclear security arrangements.

The Prime Minister emphasized that it is time for the world to recognize Pakistan as a dejure nuclear power with equal rights and responsibilities. He also demanded that Pakistan be given a Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) waiver for civil nuclear energy cooperation as energy is a vital economic security need of Pakistan and nuclear energy is a clean way forward. Pakistan is capable of providing nuclear fuel cycle services, under IAEA safeguards, and this offer was also made at the Nuclear Security Summit, the Prime Minister said.

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End News / IRNA / News Code 1102668



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