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Pak going ahead with Ghauri missile test - Hindu Times

The Editorial ()
March 23, 1998

Title: Pak going ahead with Ghauri missile test
Author: The Editorial
Publication: Hindu Times
Date: March 23, 1998

Pakistan is planning to go ahead with a secret test firing of a
new 1,500 km range surface-to-surface missile "Ghauri" from a
base on the Baluchistan coast.

"Secret preparations are underway at Gawadar base, on the coast
of the Arabian Sea, for the test firing likely to take place
within the next few weeks," the Sunday Times reported.

Pakistan Government sources said that earlier plans to conduct
the test last week and announce the results at tomorrow's annual
Pakistan day military parade were cancelled, apparently after
diplomatic pressure from the United states and other countries.

"'There is no question of Pakistan backing down on the missile
question," the paper quoted a senior Pakistan official saying.
"The Test will go ahead whatever the cost for relations with the
West."

The Times quoted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sheriff as
describinig Islamabad's nuclear range
capability as well established and defending his country's
right to take any action on its missile and nuclear programme.

However, the paper put the range of the Pakistani missile named
after an Afghan king Shahbuddin Ghauri, who attacked and
plundered ancient India, at only 700 kms and not 1,500 kms as
clamed by the Pakistan media.

Pakistan nuclear scientists had earlier claimed that Ghauri was
including of hitting any India city including Chennai in the
South, Assam in the east and the Kerala coast.

Pak media reports here had also claimed that Ghauri was an
improvement on Islamabad's earlier short range Hatf missile. It
had been developed by Pakistani missile engineers on the pattern
of the medium range Chinese missile CS 2000 supplied
clandestinely to Pakistan.

While, the Chinese missile has a range of nearly 2,000 kms, the
Pakistani Ghauri version claims to be homed at 1,500 kms range,
the reports said.

The Times disclosed that Pakistan had developed a full missile
firing test centre at Gawadar on the Marakan coast with
facilities to test fire shorter missiles towards the Baluchistan
desert and longer one over the seas.


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