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'India's missile test can trigger arms race'

world Updated: Feb 28, 2008 03:58 IST
arms race

Pakistan on Wednesday said India's test launch of a nuclear-capable undersea ballistic missile could trigger a fresh arms race in the region.

A day after India tested the new missile from waters off its Vishakahpatnam coast, Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir described the development as a "very serious issue" as it was aimed at deploying nuclear weapons at sea.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at the shipyard here, Tahir said: "Well my reaction is that this is going to start a new arms race in the region. We are aware of these developments (which) are taking place with a view to putting nuclear weapons at sea and this is a very serious issue."

He said the testing of the new missile would have an impact on the entire region.

The Pakistan Navy is tracking India's missile development programme and will take steps to counter the impact of the testing of the undersea missile, he said.

The Indian undersea missile, codenamed K-15, has a range of 700 km and was fired from a pontoon immersed in the sea as India did not have a submarine for such an exercise.

India is the fifth country after the US, Russia, France and China to possess such a capability. The launch of the K-15 will enhance India's nuclear deterrence, as sea-launched missiles will be a crucial part of the country's second-strike capability.

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