Pakistan conducted a training launch of Short Range Ballistic Missile Hatf III (Ghaznavi), which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 290 kilometers on Thursday, a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
It is the second such test by Pakistan in the past two weeks. On April 25, Pakistan launched what it said was an intermediate-ranged missile after its archenemy India conducted its own missile test.
The launch was conducted at the conclusion of the annual field training exercise of Army Strategic Force Command (ASFC). The exercise was aimed at testing the operational readiness of a Strategic Missile Group.
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Director General Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General Khalid Ahmed Kidwai (R), Commander Army Strategic Force Command Lieutenant General Tariq Nadeem Gilani, Commander Karachi Corps Lieutenant General Muhammad Ijaz Chaudhry, Chairman Nescom Muhammad Irfan Burney and other senior military officials and scientists were present during the field exercise of the Army Strategic Force Command (ASFC).
General Khalid Shameem Wynne while speaking during the exercise praised the troops on displaying a high standard of proficiency in handling and operating the state-of-the-art weapon system.
He said, “The nation has developed a strong nuclear deterrence capability and expects that the officers and men entrusted with the task of deterring aggression would continue to train hard and maintain professional excellence.”
Pakistan routinely test-fires what it claims are indigenously developed missiles which is closely being watched by the world community. Pakistan has fought three wars with its nuclear-armed neighbor, India, since 1947.
This comes as India successfully tested its longest-range missile for the first time last month, firing a nuclear capable weapon with a range that would allow it to strike major Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai.
The firing of Agni V, which has a range of 5,000km, comes as India’s policy makers weigh the future threat of China, seen by New Delhi as a rising military rival in the region.