Pak missile aims at India`s `Cold Start` doctrine

Hatf-9 is a missile designed to carry nuke warheads with high accuracy.

Updated: Apr 21, 2011, 00:37 AM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan`s new short-range
nuclear-capable Hatf-9 missile is primarily aimed at deterring
India`s Cold Start military doctrine that envisages quick
thrusts by small integrated battle groups in the event of
hostilities, experts and analysts here have claimed.

The Hatf-9 or Nasr, described as a missile with a range
of 60 km and designed to carry "nuclear warheads of
appropriate yield with high accuracy", was tested for the
first time at an undisclosed location yesterday.

The missile will be deployed with a mobile multi-barrel
launch system that has "shoot and scoot attributes", or the
ability to fire at a target and immediately relocate to
another position to avoid enemy counter-fire.

The new system is primarily aimed at deterring India`s
Cold Start doctrine, for which the Indian army has created
integrated battle groups comprising infantry and mechanised
elements that could be quickly mobilised and used for
launching rapid thrusts into Pakistani territory in the event
of hostilities, claimed an analyst who did not want to be
named.

The Hatf-9 missile system is a tactical nuclear weapons
and "low-yield battlefield deterrent" capable of inflicting
damage on mechanised forces such as armed brigades and
divisions, military sources told The Express Tribune
newspaper.

With the development of the Hatf-9`s shoot and scoot
capability, "Indian planners will now be deterred from
considering options of limited war", the military sources
said.

The Pakistani military had formulated its "new war
fighting concept" in response to India`s Cold Start doctrine,
the Dawn newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying.

The development of the Hatf-9 is also being seen as a
major achievement in terms of miniaturisation of nuclear
warheads, the daily reported.

Another analyst, who did not want to be named, said that weapons like the Hatf-9 missile will limit the space
for "limited war under a nuclear umbrella".

However, the analyst noted that the military may have
to use such a system within Pakistani territory in the event
of an Indian thrust and this could have adverse consequences,
such as nuclear fallout or the radiation hazard from an atomic
blast.

Pakistan has often criticised India`s Cold Start
doctrine, which Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani once
described as a "very offensive" strategy.

The Foreign Office too has described the doctrine as
"irrational" while the Army had pledged that it would take
steps to counter the strategy.

In a statement issued after yesterday`s test, the
Pakistani military said the Hatf-9 had been developed to "add
deterrence value to Pakistan`s strategic weapons development
programme at shorter ranges".

The statement added: "This quick response system
addresses the need to deter evolving threats."

PTI