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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Pakistan tests surface-to-surface ballistic missile: Military

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 29, 2019 05:37PM

Pakistan has successfully tested a surface-to-surface ballistic missile amid fresh tensions with India over New Delhi's decision to strip the Muslim-majority region of Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy.

Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Pakistan Armed Forces spokesman, announced the news on twitter on Thursday, identifying the missile as Ghaznavi, which is "capable of delivering multiple types of warheads up to 290 KMs."

He also attached a short footage of the "night training launch" to the twitter post, showing the ballistic missile dashing upwards through the night sky.

Ghafoor said President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan had "conveyed appreciation to team & congrats to the nation."

The test comes at a critical time in Pakistan-India relations as the two nuclear-armed neighbors are in the midst of a political standoff since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status, stripping it of some of the autonomy the region previously had.

New Delhi's controversial move not only infuriated Islamabad, which controls parts of Kashmir, but also sparked strong anger among the local population.

The launch also came three days after Prime Minister Khan said that his country would "go to any lengths" to support the Kashmiri people.

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has already closed three aviation routes in Karachi airspace from August 28-31, without giving reasons for the move.

On Tuesday, Pakistan's Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Khan was considering a "complete closure" of Pakistan's airspace to India. However, the country's foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said no final decision has yet been made on the issue.

Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition from Britain in 1947. Both countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought three wars over the territory.

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