Pakistan on Monday successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile which can strike targets up to 650 kilometres, bringing many Indian cities under its range.
The test-firing of the Shaheen-I missile by the Pakistani military took place amidst Indo-Pak tensions over New Delhi revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
According to a press release issued by the media wing of the Pakistani military, the launch of Shaheen-I missile was held as part of a training exercise “aimed at testing the operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command”.
The Shaheen-1 missile is capable of delivering all types of warheads up to a range of 650 KMs, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) tweeted.
“The launch was aimed at testing the operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC) ensuring Pakistan’s credible minimum deterrence,” it said.
The Director-General Strategic Plans Division, Commander Army Strategic Forces Command, senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, Army Strategic Forces Command, scientists and engineers witnessed the training launch, according to Pakistani media reports.
“Troops displayed a high standard of proficiency in handling and operating the potent weapon system, ensuring Pakistan’s credible minimum deterrence,” the ISPR said.
Pakistan successfully test-fired nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Ghaznavi’ with a range of up to 290 km on August 29, days after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5.
The Indian Air Force carried out the successful firing of BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles from a mobile platform in October to check the IAF’s capability to hit targets with “pin-point” accuracy at targets close to 300 KM.
The Pakistani missile test also came days after India conducted the first night trial of ‘Agni-II’, its versatile surface-to-surface medium-range nuclear-capable missile.
The ‘Agni-II’ missile has a strike range of 2,000 km and is an intermediate-range ballistic missile. It has already been inducted into the armed forces.
India and Pakistan have been at odds after New Delhi abrogated the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two union territories.
Pakistan reacted strongly to India’s decision and downgraded bilateral ties and expelled the Indian envoy.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter. It has also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda.