Crossfire War – Pakistan Test Fires Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile

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Crossfire War – ISLAMABAD WATCH – South Asia Theatre: Islamabad – Kabul – Beijing – Teheran/Delhi; Pakistan Army Strategic Forces Command Successfully Test Fires Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Hatf 5 (Ghauri) – 1,300 km range (780 m)

Night Watch: ISLAMABAD – Units of Pakistan Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC) successfully test fired an intermediate range ballistic missile, the Hatf 5 (Ghauri). It was the final step of a training exercise to test the readiness of a Strategic Missile Group (SMG) equipped with Ghauri missiles, which are also capable of being armed with a nuclear warhead. The missile has a range of 780 miles (1,300 km) and is reportedly accurate. Nearly a third of India is within the missile’s range. I assume Islamabad will place most of its priority on targeting military bases instead of urban centers. India’s industrial complexes involved in military production and maintenance will probably come next in target importance. [IRNA]

The launching was witnessed by the Prime Minister and officers on the command and senior level. Scientists and engineers were also present. This completes a seven year development. The strategic missile program has now been fully consolidated and is operational within the structure of the National Command Authority and Strategic Plans Division. Both decision making bodies direct Pakistan’s Strategic Program and it is their function to monitor the regional security situation in South Asia. That of course means the posture and preparedness of India’s Defense Ministry and what Delhi is actually telling them behind the scenes of the “peace talks” with Pakistan. Both bodies also have to consider what if any possible military support Delhi could receive from a variety of several allies, Moscow – EU – US – Australia-Tokyo-Taipei-Singapore. Islamabad is indicating it has developed adequate responses to meet any eventuality.

I suspect that eventuality revolves around Delhi’s response to increased militant attacks against Indian troops and bases in Jammu-Kashmir. Attacks have tripled over the past year. With the security axis agreement between Teheran – Islamabad then obviously Pakistan will not be responding by itself. Warlords from Afghanistan may also decide to answer the Jihad call and invade. Beijing will also enter the war since it has just announced its historical claim over India’s northeast state of Arnachal Pradesh, the scene of heavy fighting when China invaded in October 1962. India will make a stand somewhere. I’m not sure if Delhi will still be its capital.

Pakistan seems to have made more serious and thorough preparations for the next, fourth, major war between them than India. One of the reasons is that they are led by a head of state, President General Pervez Musharraf who personally experienced two of Pakistan’s defeats in 1965 and 1971. Then in 1974 India exploded its first nuclear bomb, thirteen years before Pakistan. The impact of the Khomeini revolution in Iran 1979 began to shift the strategic-military balance in Pakistan’s favor.

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.