ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday successfully test-fired a short-range surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

According to a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the training launch of Ghaznavi was aimed at ensuring operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC) and re-validating technical parameters of the weapon system.

As per the military’s media wing, the missile is capable of delivering multiple warheads up to a range of 290 kilometres.

The launch of the ballistic missile was witnessed by Commander of Army Strategic Forces Command Lt Gen Muhammad Ali, senior officers of Strategic Plans Division, Army Strategic Forces Command and scientists and engineers of strategic organisations.

Gen Ali appreciated the standard of training, handling of the weapon system and execution of the launch mission in the field by troops.

The president, prime minister, chairman joint chiefs of staff committee and the services chiefs also congratulated all ranks of ASFC, scientists and engineers on the successful test-firing of the missile.

In February this year, the ASFC had conducted a ‘training launch’ of Ghaznavi as part of its annual field training exercise.

“The missile is equipped with a proper terminal guidance system. In recent years troops from the ASFC have conducted several training launches to check the handling and operating of the complex weapon system,” the ISPR statement had said at the time.

“Ghaznavi missile has been tested both in day and night, which indicates the high reliance of Army Strategic Force on this missile since it brings several Indian cantonments and military bases in areas along the border within its range even if launched from central Punjab,” the statement further said.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2021

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