ISLAMABAD, Apr 22, 2014 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) — Pakistan successfully test- fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Tuesday, the military said.
Pakistan’s Short Range Surface to Surface Ballistic Missile Hatf III (Ghaznavi) can carry nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 290 km, an army statement said.
“The successful launch concluded the Field Training Exercise of Strategic Missile Group of Army Strategic Forces Command,” the statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations said.
The army said the successful test has been warmly appreciated by the president and prime minister of Pakistan who congratulated the participating troops, scientists and engineers on their outstanding achievement.
The missile can hit some areas in neighboring India, which also routinely conducts nuclear-capable missile tests and some such missiles can reach any part in Pakistan.
Pakistan conducted tit-for-tat nuclear tests in 1998 after India carried out nuclear tests. Both also have different series of missiles. The two countries have fought three wars, two over the Kashmir dispute, since their independence in 1947.
The army said Tuesday’s missile test was witnessed by top military officials including the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Rashad Mahmood.
Addressing the troops in the exercise area, the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee commended the troops on achieving technical and operational excellence in operating the state of the art weapon system.
He expressed his satisfaction over the training goals achieved during the exercise and expected that the officers and soldiers entrusted with the task of deterring aggression would continue to maintain professional excellence.
Rashad Mahmood also congratulated all the scientists and engineers for the successful launch of Ghaznavi Missile, hailing it as another mile stone which has further strengthened the defense potential of Pakistan besides assuring peace in the region.