Pakistan test fires Hatf-IV missile
* Foreign Office says missile test will not affect peace process
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday successfully test fired a medium range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, capable of hitting targets deep inside India, the military said. The Hatf-IV (Shaheen-1) missile that can hit targets up to 700 kilometres away was launched from an undisclosed location, a military spokesman said.
The test was Pakistan’s second in 10 days. Pakistan and India, who carried out tit-for-tat nuclear detonations in 1998, both conduct regular missile launches. “Pakistan today carried out a successful test fire of its indigenously developed, medium range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hatf-IV (Shaheen-1),” the military said in a statement. The test was to validate “additional technical parameters” of the missile, which is already part of Pakistan’s military inventory.
Meanwhile, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) chief Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan told a private news channel on Wednesday that missiles were being tested to meet technical requirements and to test additional parameters of missiles. He said Pakistan would continue testing missiles in the future. All neighbours were informed before Hatf-IV (Shaheen-1) was tested, he added.
Meanwhile, Foreign Office Spokesman Masood Khan said in a private TV interview on Wednesday that he was confident Pakistan’s missile test would not negatively impact the peace process with India.
Pakistan carried out a successful test of its indigenously developed medium-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hatf-IV/Shaheen-I.
Mr Khan said Pakistan and India were holding talks on nuclear and conventional confidence building measures (CBMs) and hoped they would succeed. He said Pakistan was not engaging in an arms race and stressed that a race for the development of nuclear and conventional weapons in South Asia would impede the advancement of the region.
The Foreign Office spokesman said that he hoped the Indo-Pak peace process would succeed, adding that both countries should identify regional CBMs aimed at avoiding misunderstanding and the possibility of conflict.
He went on to say that Pakistan appreciated and respected the capabilities, commitment and devotion of its scientists. The country was fully committed to strengthening its nuclear capability, Mr Khan said. The missile test was conducted to validate technical parameters and had been successful, he added.
Masood Khan said that the Hatf-III (Ghaznavi), Hatf-V (Ghauri) and Hatf-IV (Shaheen-I) systems have been handed over to the Army Strategic Force Command.
He said that Pakistan would maintain minimum nuclear deterrence capability, adding that it would continue to carry out missile tests to validate its technical parameters.
On Kashmir, Mr Khan said that Pakistan wanted to resolve the dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. He added that Islamabad wanted a solution that would be acceptable to Pakistan, Indian and the people of Kashmir. Mr Khan said that if the proposed Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service went ahead, it would be a step towards improving confidence between the two countries.
He said that while Pakistan would welcome the bus service, Islamabad had reservations over the travel documents proposed by India. agencies