Pak test-fires nuke-capable Ghauri missile

Pakistan Tuesday test fired the nuclear-capable Ghauri ballistic missile with a range of 1,300 kilometres that can hit targets in India.

Updated: Dec 21, 2010, 16:18 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan Tuesday test fired the
nuclear-capable Ghauri ballistic missile with a range of 1,300
kilometres that can hit targets in India, with Premier Yousuf
Raza Gilani saying the launch demonstrated that the country`s
defence capability is "impregnable".

The Strategic Missile Group of the Pakistani army`s
Strategic Force Command conducted the test to mark the
conclusion of a field training exercise aimed at testing the
operational readiness of the formation that controls the
nuclear-capable missiles.

A military spokesman said the test was successful.

The Ghauri or Hatf-V is a "liquid fuel missile which can
carry both conventional and nuclear warheads over a distance
of 1,300 km," the spokesman said.

The military did not say where the missile was test
fired.

Prime Minister Gilani, who witnessed the test along with
Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen Khalid Shameem
Wynne and Strategic Force Command chief Lt Gen Jamil Haider,
said the nuclear deterrence "formed the bedrock of Pakistan`s
security policy and will continue to be enhanced."

"The test amply demonstrates the credibility of our
minimum deterrence strategy, which is the cornerstone of our
security policy and ensures peace in the region. It also sends
the right signals internationally that Pakistan`s defence
capability is impregnable and should never be challenged,"
Gilani said in his speech on the occasion.

In an apparent response to renewed concerns expressed by
the West about the safety and security of Pakistan`s nuclear
arsenal and the possibility of atomic materials falling into
the hands of extremists, Gilani said: "I would also like to
reiterate with full authority that Pakistan`s nuclear weapons
are safe, fully secure and under a multi-layered command and
control system."

Pakistan is a "responsible nation with an extremely
reliable nuclear capability and we do not harbour any aggressive designs against anyone," he said.
"We wish to live in peace with honour and dignity and our
nuclear capability is in fact our deterrence against all forms
of aggression. Let there be no doubt that Pakistan`s armed
forces are highly professional, motivated and fully capable of
safeguarding Pakistan`s security against all types of
aggression," he added.

The Pakistani people and government stand fully behind
their armed forces and support their nuclear and missile
programme, Gilani said.
"Pakistan is not only here to stay but will also go from
strength to strength in the pursuit of establishing its
rightful place in the community of strong and prosperous
nations," he added.

Bureau Report