New Delhi: Pakistan is planning a big missile test near Karachi port at the same time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tamil Nadu's Mahabalipuram on Friday evening, Indian intelligence sources said. As per sources, Pakistan will conduct the test in Sonmiani range, 40 km northwest of Karachi.
A notice to airmen (NOTAM) was issued by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authorities between 9.30 am to 11.30 am on October 10 and 9.30 am to 12.30 pm on October 11, 12. However, it is not clear which missile will be test-fired.
All international flights from Karachi Airport have been diverted to different air routes on these particular slots. NOTAM, however, clearly mentions that it is issued because of operational reasons.
Earlier in August 2019, Pakistani authorities had issued similar NOTAM during which they had test-fired the Gaznavi Missile with the range of 290 km.
As per the agencies report, this is a kind of power show-off by Pakistani Army to handle the domestic audience and is seen as a face-saving measure.
PM Modi and President Xi are to meet during the second informal summit later on Friday. Xi is on a two-day visit to India. He had earlier this week met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, during which, he had said, "China is closely following the situation in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K)."
The upcoming informal summit will provide an opportunity to the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership, the Ministry of External Affairs had said in a statement.
President Xi is scheduled to arrive in Chennai at around 2 pm and will depart for Mahabalipuram at around 4 pm. An hour later, PM Modi will give the Chinese President a guided tour of the three important UNESCO world heritage sites - Arjuna's Penance, Panch Rathas and Shore Temple.
In the evening, both the world leaders will see cultural performances at the Shore Temple followed by a dinner hosted by PM Modi.
On Saturday (October 12), President Jinping and PM Modi will meet again the Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort for lunch, following which, President Xi will leave for Nepal, the first visit by a Chinese President to the country in decades.