News

DATE=4/14/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-248054 TITLE=PAK / MISSILE TEST (L) BYLINE=SCOTT ANGER DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: PAKISTAN HAS CARRIED OUT THE SECOND TEST OF ITS NUCLEAR-CAPABLE BALLISTIC MISSILE IN RESPONSE TO INDIA'S TEST-FIRING OF A MISSILE EARLIER THIS WEEK. AS CORRESPONDENT SCOTT ANGER REPORTS, THE PAKISTANI MISSILE HAS THE ABILITY TO STRIKE DEEP INSIDE THE TERRITORY OF ARCH-RIVAL INDIA. TEXT: PAKISTAN HAS CALLED THE SUCCESSFUL TEST-FIRING OF THE GHAURI-TWO MISSILE AN OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AND AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF ITS SECURITY. PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF SAYS THE MISSILE IS AN UPGRADED VERSION OF A PREVIOUSLY TESTED GHAURI MISSILE, AND HAS THE ABILITY TO CARRY A NUCLEAR WARHEAD OVER TWO-THOUSAND KILOMETERS. THE GHAURI WAS FIRST TESTED NEARLY A YEAR AGO AND WAS DISPLAYED LAST MONTH DURING A NATIONAL DAY PARADE. PAKISTANI DEFENSE ANALYST SHIREEN MAZARI SAYS WEDNESDAY'S TEST HAS LEVELED THE MISSILE CAPABILITIES BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. ///MAZARI ACT/// IT HAS PUT PAK -- INDIA RELATIONS BACK ON AN EVEN KEEL AGAIN, WHICH HAD BEEN DERAILED BY THE INDIANS SUDDENLY TESTING THE AGNI (MISSILE). ///END ACT/// THE MISSILE WAS FIRED FROM A SECRET BASE OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL, ISLAMABAD, AND REPORTEDLY SOARED FOR ABOUT TWELVE MINUTES BEFORE LANDING IN THE SOUTHWESTERN BALOCHISTAN DESERT. MS. MAZARI SAYS PAKISTAN HAS MADE THE RIGHT DECISION TO TEST. SHE SAYS PAKISTAN SHOULD ALSO CARRY OUT TESTS ON ITS OTHER BALLISTIC MISSILES. ///MAZARI ACT TWO/// IT IS LIKE THE NUCLEAR TEST -- THE MOMENT THE CHANCE IS PROVIDED BY INDIA, WE SHOULD DO ALL THE TESTING WE CAN. ///END ACT/// RADIO PAKISTAN SAYS THE RANGE OF TODAY'S TEST WAS RESTRICTED BECAUSE THE COUNTRY IS NOT LONG ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE THE FULL DISTANCE THE MISSILE IS CAPABLE OF TRAVELING. THE STATE-RUN RADIO STATION SAYS ANOTHER LONGER-RANGE VERSION OF THE GHAURI WILL BE TESTED AT SEA SOMETIME SOON. INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE BEEN LOCKED IN AN ARMS RACE SINCE BOTH CARRIED OUT BACK-TO-BACK NUCLEAR TESTS LAST YEAR, WHICH RAISED FEARS OF A CONFRONTATION IN THE REGION. PAKISTAN NOTIFIED INDIA OF THE MISSILE TEST IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PEACE AGREEMENT SIGNED IN FEBRUARY. THE ADVANCE NOTIFICATION IS AIMED AT PREVENTING AN ACCIDENTAL NUCLEAR CONFLICT BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTIES, WHICH HAVE ALREADY FOUGHT THREE WARS IN THE LAST 50 YEARS. THE FORCES OF BOTH COUNTRIES ARE FACING EACH OTHER IN THE DISPUTED REGION OF KASHMIR, WHERE CLASHES OCCUR OFTEN. ///OPT/// INDIA RULES TWO-THIRDS OF KASHMIR AND PAKISTAN THE REST. TWO OF THE THREE WARS BETWEEN THE COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN FOUGHT OVER THE RUGGED HIMALAYAN REGION. ///END OPT/// THE GHAURI MISSILE IS NAMED AFTER A 12TH-CENTURY AFGHAN RULER WHO INVADED INDIA AND EVENTUALLY ESTABLISHED MUSLIM RULE THERE. (SIGNED) NEB/SA/KL 14-Apr-99 8:15 AM EDT (1215 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .