ISLAMABAD: Pakistan today conducted a successful test launch of the Shaheen-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile, capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 2,750 km.
A statement from Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the test launch was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapons system at its maximum range.
The launch was witnessed by senior officers from the Strategic Plans Division, strategic forces, scientists and engineers of strategic organisations. The impact point of the launch was the Arabian Sea.
Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, while congratulating the scientists and engineers on achieving yet another milestone of historic significance, termed it a major step towards strengthening Pakistan's deterrence capability.
He appreciated the technical prowess, dedication and commitment of scientists who contributed towards making the launch a success.
He displayed confidence over the Strategic Command and Control System and the Strategic Forces’ capability to safeguard security of Pakistan against any aggression.
Pakistan has the world’s fastest growing nuclear programme capable of weaponising up to 200 nuclear devices by the year 2020, a US-based think tank said in a recently released report.
“Pakistan...is believed to have enough fissile material to produce between 110 and 120 nuclear warheads,” says the report Strategic Stability in the Second Nuclear Age Council released by the influential Council on Foreign Relations.
“By 2020, Pakistan could have a fissile material stockpile sufficient to produce more than 200 nuclear weapons.”
The successful test launch and achievement of the range milestone has also been warmly appreciated by the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan who also congratulated the scientists and engineers on their outstanding achievement.
A United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on working towards a nuclear-weapon-free-world on Dec 3, 2014 called on Pakistan, India and Israel to voluntarily drop their nuclear weapons.
A resolution was passed to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world and the three nations were called upon to comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) unconditionally as non-nuclear-weapon states.
The resolution also asked Pakistan, India and Israel to keep their nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, meaning they must also give up their ability to manufacture nuclear weapons.
The United States joined India in voting against this part of the resolution and Pakistan and Israel also voted against this provision. Meanwhile, France, Britain and Bhutan abstained from voting.
The resolution, however, was symbolic in nature and not binding under the UN Charter.