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Pak test fires Ghauri, Mush downplays threats to nukes

Pakistan successfully test fires the nuclear-capable Ghauri missile with a range of 1,300 km, capable of striking major Indian cities.

world Updated: Feb 01, 2008 13:45 IST
Rezaul H Laskar
Rezaul H Laskar

Pakistan on Friday successfully test fired the nuclear-capable Ghauri missile with a range of 1,300 km, capable of striking major Indian cities, as President Pervez Musharraf declared the country was capable of "thwarting all threats" to its nuclear capability.

The successful training launch of the Ghauri or Hatf-V intermediate range ballistic missile was witnessed by Musharraf and Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at an undisclosed location.

The launch was conducted at the conclusion of an annual field training exercise of a Strategic Missile Group of the Army Strategic Force Command (ASFC), a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations said.

The ASFC is currently engaged in its winter collective training wherein every operationalised strategic missile is tested in "tactical and live firing exercises".

The test of the Ghauri came a week after a similar training launch of the Shaheen-I ballistic missile, which has a range of 700 km.

The political turmoil in Pakistan and an upsurge in terrorist attacks have sparked reports in the western media about the safety of the country's nuclear arsenal and the effectiveness of its command and control system.

Media reports have also suggested that the US is considering contingency plans to secure Pakistan's nuclear arsenal in the event of any extremist takeover.

Musharraf said, "We have taken note of various imaginary scenarios being propounded by those who do not wish Pakistan well. Such elements have never reconciled to a nuclear Pakistan."