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PAKISTAN TEST FIRE GHAURI MISSILE
A LANDMARK IN COUNTRY'S DEFENCE HISTORY

Pakistan on April 6 successfully carried out test of the surface-to-surface Hatf-V (Ghauri) Missile with a range of 1500-km and a payload of 700 kg. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has congratulated the Pakistani scientists and engineers on their singular achievement. This test represents a step forward in Pakistan's indigenous missile and satellite launch programme. Pakistan has achieved its ," indigenous missile capability through the dedication and commitment of our scientists and engineers." Specifications of surface-to-surface Hatf-V (Ghauri) Missile successfully test fired by Pakistan April 6, 1998:

--The Missile has a range of 1500 km with a payload of 700 kg. --The Missile which was fired at 7.23 AM from Pakistani territory successfully covered 350 km before turning its direction towards its designated target. --The travel time of the missile was 9 Minutes and 58 Seconds. --The fuel consumption of the Missile was 14000 kg (14 ton). --The total weight of the Missile is 16000 kg (16 ton).

Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has complimented Pakistani scientists and engineers on carrying out a successful test firing of surface-to-surface missile. Addressing the civil and military officers at the National Defence College, he said, the missile known as 'Ghauri' is part of the HATAF series and has a range of 1500 KMs with a payload of 700 KGs.

Nawaz Sharif said, the flight test is part of our integrated missile Research and Development (R&D) Programme and confers on Pakistan a credible indigenous missile capability.

The Prime Minister added "Our scientists and engineers by their perseverance, high sense of commitment and exemplary skill have shown that Pakistan has mastered complex technologies."

They know that the entire Pakistani nation is proud of their achievement, he said.

The successful test fire of Ghauri missile (Hataf-V) is a landmark in Pakistan endeavour to acquire indigenous and credible missile capability.

The Ghauri Missile primarily relates to our security needs which is of fundamental importance to us. Our sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interest is sacrosanct", said a Foreign Office Spokesman.

He said a categorical "No" to a question if this missile in any way related to M-11 Missile and added it was "indigenously developed missile and the entire work has been done by our scientists." China has been accused of providing Pakistan M-11 missile technology which has been categorically refutted.

When asked if it was India-specific, the Spokesman said, "I do not think it is something specific." But if at all it was specific, "it is Pakistan defence specific."

Asked if the test-firing of Ghauri missile will spark off an arms race in the region, Tariq Altaf said,"we have developed this in terms of our security needs. We would like to avoid arms race in the region."

"But, Pakistan has to meet its security needs", he added.

Asked if the missile was nuclear capable, he answered, his understanding was that anything that flies ,"can carry any payload."

To a question as to when were Pakistan armed forces being equipped with this missile, he said, it was being tested and developed further.

Asked whether the testing of Ghauri missile would not endanger regional peace,the Spokesman said, Pakistan was willing to ,"go extra mile", for regional peace and security.

Pakistan has its threat perceptions hence it is its right to safeguard national sovereignty and national interests, he added.

Pakistan had constantly drawn world's attention towards Indian test of various kinds of missiles like Prithvi, Agni and Nag etc. "It was a pity that India has deployed Prithvi missile next door to our neighbour. Pakistan was disappointed and had expressed its concern at the Indian step."

The development of Hataf-V, he said, has fundamental relevance to Pakistan's security.

"It is our right to conduct scientific research and we have scientists to do so," he said.

" There are no international laws to the best of my knoweldge, that prevent indigenous development of missiles and scientific research."

The Spokesman said, he did not see any reason, "why should our test have any impact on our dialogue with India". There had been so many other developments in the region which had not deterred Pakistan from having talks with India, he added.

He termed the development of Ghauri missile as "an excellent work of Pakistan's scientists and engineers."

When asked if the development of Ghauri missile would not affect Pak-US relations, FO Spokesman said, he was sure America would, "understand our security concerns and compulsions in the region."

The Spokesman hoped the US would understand the threat that, "we face to our security and is aware and acutely conscious what has taken place across the border."

US must be aware of the national agenda of the BJP Government in India which has said it would review its nuclear option. BJP has said, it will acquire nuclear weapons. "That is a dangerous development, the added the Spokesman.

Pakistan's security is threatened and BJP's announcement is a serious development for the nuclear non-proliferation effort in the region, he added.

When asked if there was quid pro quo between US and Pakistan as Muhammad Ayaz Baloch, a Pakistani employee of US Drug Enforcement Agency, accused of smuggling narcotics, has been released also on Monday, he said, missile testing had nothing to do with it.

Reactions

Parliamentarians of Pakistan lauded the achievement of Pakistani scientists and engineers to develop Ghauri missile terming it necessary for national defence of the country.

Mushahid Hussain Syed, Federal Minister for Information lauds Nawaz Sharif's bold decision on testing Ghauri. Information Minister congratulated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his bold decision of testing the Ghauri Missile, which is a tribute to Pakistan Muslim League's policy of promoting indigenous technology through self-reliance. Information Minister said the successful test of Ghauri Missile had not only raised the nation's morale and pride, but it also convincingly shattered those prophets of doom and gloom, by giving the lie to their raising rumours and suspicions about Pakistan's security interests. "The Ghauri firing has proved it beyond any doubt that Muhammad Nawaz Sharif fears none but Allah and his priority is none but Pakistan, its wellbeing and its security, which cannot be compromised", he stressed. The Minister said, Prime Minister is a man of action who believes in words and great deeds; therefore the nation should know that under his leadership Pakistan is destined to overcome present economic and social difficulties and claim its rightful place among the developed nations of the world. Mushahid Hussain said that now it is as clear as daylight that Pakistani hands are shaping Pakistan's destiny and decisions were being made in the best interest of Pakistan and its people. He added that the successful test of Ghauri proves the tremendous capability and resilience of the Pakistani nation who can always rise to the occasion provided there is leadership with courage, vision and political will.

Former chief of Army Staff and President Awami Qaydat Party General (Rted) Aslam Beg said, the successful test fire of Ghauri missile (Hataf-V) is a befitting response to the Indian Missile Agni. Talking to APP Monday, he said news of testing Ghauri missile is a good news which has corrected the imbalance in the region created by Indian testing of Agni Missile which has a 2500 Km range. He said it is a happy occasion for the nation that Pakistan made long range missile and acquired the capability indigenously. He said Ghauri like missile have dire need for Pakistan territorial integrity and national interest because India always tried to keep the military balance in its favour which has been countered by Pakistan through this successful attempt. He said when India carried out atomic explosion, the balance of military power was severely disturbed in the region. Pakistan was compelled to initiate its atomic programme and after twelve years of hard work Pakistan also got the nuclear capability. He said India again tried to imbalance the military equilibrium in the region through launching of a missile programme and made Prithvi Missile and even handed it over to army which was even deployed in 1996 on the Pakistan border which threatened our security. He said deployment of Prithvi missile had created concern and instigated Pakistan to launch its missile programme. He said Pakistan also successfully made Hatif missiles (I, II,III, and IV) which can target most of the Indian installations but cannot reach in-depth. Aslam Beg said a missile having the target of 1500 Km was the crucial need of Pakistan and by grace of God our scientists and engineers have done it. He said launching of Ghauri missile will not agitate the weapons race in the region rather it will stop it. JUI(N) Chief Senator Maulana Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi, Chairman NA Finance Committee MNA Mansoor Hayat Tamman, and Chairman NA Communication Committee MNA Maqbool Ahmed Khan Niazi billed the successful missile experiment as an achievement in indigenous missile development.

A noted educationist and former chairman of Karachi University's Department of International Relations, Prof. Shamim Akhtar, has hailed the successful testing of Ghauri missile. Giving his reaction here on Monday, he said that it is a demonstration of Pakistan's capability to counter India's serial missile programme and it will strengthen Pakistan's air defence system. Prof. Akhtar said that this missile would be an important asset for Pakistan. He stated that India's serial missile programmes- Agni, Prithvi, Akash and Trishul are posing serious threat to Pakistan's security. "So Ghauri is Pakistan's response to the India's missile threat," he added. Prof. Akhtar said that Ghauri is a significant breakthrough in indigenous defence production aimed at self- sufficiency. It demonstrates Pakistan's ability to strengthen its defence on the basis of self reliance. He said that at the same time it would enable Pakistan to negotiate with India about the mutual reduction of forces from a position of strength. Prof. Akhtar said that it is an evidence of Pakistan's peaceful intentions aimed at creating a zone in South Asia free from weapons of mass destructions.

SOURCE: Government of Pakistan