Pak test-fires Shaheen ballistic missile

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Islamabad, Jan 25: Pakistan today successfully testfired medium range Shaheen-I ballistic missile, which has a range of 700 kilometers.

''A Strategic Missile Group (SMG) of the Pakistan Army's Strategic Force Command (ASFC) conducted the training launch of the Shaheen-1 (Hatf-IV) Medium Range Ballistic Missile,'' Pakistani military said in a statement. The launch was conducted at the conclusion of the annual field training exercises of a Shaheen-1 Missile Group.

The Shaheen-1 Ballistic Missile System is an operationalised weapon system held by the ASFC and is routinely fired during training exercises by the troops of the ASFC, the statement said.

The launch was witnessed by the Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani, senior military officers and scientists.

Kiyani said that the nation had developed a strong nuclear deterrence capability and expected that the officers and men entrusted with the task of deterring aggression would continue to train hard and maintain professional excellence.

He said Pakistan did not have any aggressive designs against anyone and Pakistan's nuclear capability was solely for the purpose of deterring all types of aggression.

Referring to international concerns of Pakistan's nuclear and missile assets falling in wrong hands, he said such concerns are unrealistic and based on a lack of understanding of Pakistan's command and control mechanisms.

He said that the Pakistani Armed Forces were a highly professional, motivated and well trained force and were capable of safeguarding and securing nuclear assets against all categories of threat.

Pakistan formally kicked off its medium-range missile programme in April 1998, with the first successful test flight of Ghauri-I missile followed by similar tests the next years involving the nuclear capable Ghauri, Shaheen, Ghaznavi and Abdali missile systems.

HATF-3 (Ghaznavi), HATF-5 (Ghauri), HATF-4 (Shaheen-1) have already been handed over to Pakistan Army's Strategic Force Command.

Pakistan's inventory of missiles also include long range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hatf VI (Shaheen II), which has a range of 2,000 kilometers.


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