Pakistan Conducts Training Launch of Ghauri Missile, a Nuclear-Capable Weapon

Pakistan has conducted a successful training launch of Ghauri Weapon System, a medium-range ballistic missile that can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads, on Tuesday. The launch was aimed at testing the operational and technical readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC), the military’s media wing ISPR said in an official statement.

The Ghauri Weapon System is a road-mobile, liquid-fueled, ballistic missile system that was indigenously developed by Pakistan. It has a reported range of approximately 1,300 to 1,500 kilometers, which covers most of India, Pakistan’s arch-rival and nuclear neighbor. The Ghauri missile was developed by the Kahuta-based Khan Research Laboratories, led by Dr. A.Q. Khan, who is considered the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program.

The launch was witnessed by Commander ASFC, senior officers from the strategic forces, scientists and engineers of strategic organizations. Commander ASFC appreciated the standard of training and operational preparedness of Army Strategic Forces, which was reflected by proficient handling of the weapon system in the field and achievement of operational and technical objectives. He also appreciated the scientists and engineers for their contributions towards the enhancement of Pakistan’s strategic capability.

The president, prime minister, chairman joint chiefs of staff committee and services chiefs congratulated the participating troops, scientists and engineers on the successful conduct of the training launch, according to the ISPR statement.

Pakistan has also conducted missile tests in the past to sharpen the accuracy and reliability of its weapon systems. In February this year, Pakistan tested Shaheen-III, a surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 2,750 kilometers. In January last year, Pakistan tested Ghaznavi, a short-range ballistic missile with a range of 290 kilometers. In November 2019, Pakistan tested Shaheen-I, a short-range ballistic missile with a range of 650 kilometers.

Pakistan maintains that its missile tests are part of its credible minimum deterrence policy and are not directed against any country. Pakistan also follows a policy of restraint and responsibility and avoids any arms race in the region. However, Pakistan has expressed concerns over India’s growing conventional and nuclear capabilities and its aggressive posture.

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