Too Late To Stop The Third Horn

Pakistan’s call to arms
 

Pakistani Taliban

Pakistani Taliban
 

Harvard University Press
399 pages; Rs 995

There is a difference of just one day in the birth of India and Pakistan as sovereign polities, but in their political evolution they could not be further apart. One today is extolled as an exemplar of democratic values, an accommodative multi-cultural order and significant economic success; the other is perceived as a weak and divided entity at the edge of failure, a sponsor and sanctuary of extremist religious violence, and a dangerous nuclear power that is a threat both to itself and its neighbourhood.

The key to this historic divide lies in the hegemony exercised by the armed forces in Pakistan’s political order, the stranglehold they have on their country’s resources and institutions, and the near-total impunity with which they enforce their interests. The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan explains, on the basis of solid research and lucid writing, how the army achieved this all-powerful status and how it exercises power in the national polity, and then speculates about the possibility of change in the country’s power structure.

Aqil Shah maintains that the roots of the hegemony of the armed forces in Pakistan’s political order lie in certain considered decisions taken by the country’s leaders at the dawn of independence. Unlike the unswerving commitment of India’s leaders to a democratic polity, in Pakistan, Jinnah opted for the “viceregal political system” inherited from the Raj, which gave priority to centralised control at the expense of local cultures and aspirations. Thus, the insistence on imposing Urdu as the sole national language gave short shrift to regional identities and alienated communities in several provinces, particularly in East Pakistan. Again, the encouragement given by the political leadership to the armed forces’ participation in attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by the acceptance of a ceasefire under international pressure, laid the basis for future “military insubordination and rebellion”.

The armed forces also used this opportunity to demonise India as a venal Hindu power and build their own identity as the guardians of the nascent Islamic state. In this regard, Mr Shah attaches considerable importance to the modernisation of the Pakistani armed forces as partners of the West in the Cold War. He says: “As they became better organized, better trained, and better equipped, military officers started to contrast their professional achievements with what they saw as the laggard pace of political developments and internal political divisions.” From this, it was but a short step to the army seeing itself as their country’s “permanent guardian and interim governor”, imbued with a deep contempt for democratic politics based on the will of “gullible and uneducated masses”.

Zia’s legacy

With Ayub Khan having set the precedent of the armed forces’ intervention in the political system, Zia-ul-Haq provided a new dimension to military rule. He sought to legitimise his coup by anchoring it in Islam, benefiting greatly as a major partner, with the United States and Saudi Arabia, in developing and sustaining the jihad in Afghanistan, and simultaneously preparing the ground for unleashing jihad upon India. The jihadi mindset has now come to define the armed forces and gives a sharper edge to their zeal to confront India.

Mr Shah points out that the curriculum of Pakistan’s National Defence University ingrains in the officers the xenophobic anxiety that India is committed to the destruction of Pakistan and actively foments internal discord by encouraging fissiparous elements in Pakistan’s Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or the FATA, provinces.

The Pakistani Army’s understanding of its political role now embraces all aspects of national security, the maintenance of domestic political stability, and ensuring the military’s institutional autonomy – principles that are sufficiently broad as to justify repeated interventions in the political domain, and direct assumption of power in periods of crisis. The armed forces’ principal instrument in the exercise of its supreme power is the Inter-Services Intelligence, which asserts military supremacy through intimidation of politicians, the judiciary and the media.

Prospects for reform

The elections of May 2013 were a landmark in the country’s history in that for the first time, power passed peacefully from one party to another. Mr Shah wonders whether this could portend real change in Pakistan. He sets out a series of benchmarks to achieve this, such as strengthening of the democratic order and regulatory mechanisms; deeper separation of civilian and military administrations and stronger parliamentary oversight; and, above all, inculcating respect for democratic values and institutions in the training of the armed forces. As of now, achieving any of this seems a remote prospect. Recent developments in Egypt affirm that armed forces that are used to the exercise of power will replace democratic regimes rather than accept civilian authority.

This book is a focused and timely analysis of what has gone badly wrong in Pakistan, and what could be done to correct the situation. It will hopefully inspire Pakistanis who care for their country – both inside and outside the armed forces – to reform their political order; otherwise extremist Islam will destroy their polity and convulse the region in violence.

Just A Matter Of Time

Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa trying harder to acquire nuclear weapons

Bhaskar News   |  Jun 30, 2014, 12:04PM
 
Terrorist Jamaat Closer To Obtaining Nukes

Terrorist Jamaat Closer To Obtaining Nukes
 
Washington: The terrorist organizations Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa are trying to get hold on some nuclear weapons apart from the air strength. They have strengthened a lot in terms of power after the Mumbai terror attack. It is alleged that they receive major help from the Pakistani army.
 
Recently released book written by an author of Pakistan support the statement that these terrorists groups are holding activities to get better day by days.
 
Author Arif Jamaal has claimed in his book, Calls for transnational Jihad, that Jamaat-ud-Dawa is aware of the fact that it can’t acquire nuclear weapon by going against Pakistan. Therefore, the group has adopted a different strategy. It is feared that it will soon get access to the most dangerous weapons present on earth.
 
He further adds that the Pakistani government doesn’t want to take any actions against the militants. The government along with the Intelligence agency ISI is in favour of terror activities against India, therefore they don’t wish to interfere in their functioning.
 
According to Jamaal, the Pakistani army is supporting the Jihadi organisations so that they can achieve their purpose in India and Afghanistan in peacetime.  Last week only, America added Jamaat-ud-Dawa in a list of ‘Foreign terrorist organisation’ which means that it can ban any activity of the group within the country. It can also seize any resources related to the group. The book has alleged that even western countries do not want Pakistan to take action against Jamaat-ud-Dawa.
 
Jamaal has written that no strict action has been taken so far against the masterminds of Mumbai attacks which shows that the country is in favour of support such activities against India.

Third Horn Surpasses India’s Nuclear Supply

Pakistan Surges Ahead Of India In Nuclear Stockpile: Report

Pakistan's Ghauri's Missile

Pakistan’s Ghauri’s Missile

NEW DELHI – Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal continues to surge ahead with 100-120 warheads as compared to India’s 90-110. China has more than double that number with 250 warheads. The US and Russia, of course, are in a different league altogether with 7,000-8,000 warheads each, together possessing 93% of all nuclear weapons.

This is the latest assessment of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute which holds that all the nine nuclear-armed countries continue to “modernize” their nuclear arsenals and delivery systems like long-range missiles.

With the US and Russia slowly reducing their huge inventories under the new strategic arms reduction treaty of 2011, the overall number of nuclear weapons continues to decline. But there are still 16,300 nuclear weapons around the globe, of which around 4,000 are “operational”, said SIPRI.
“China, India and Pakistan are the only nuclear weapon states that are expanding their nuclear arsenals, while Israel appears to be waiting to see how the situation in Iran develops,” it added.

But rather than its actual stockpile of warheads as compared to Pakistan and China, the Indian defence establishment remains more worried about its delivery systems. The Indian armed forces still do not have SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles) and ICBMs (inter-continental ballistic missiles) in their arsenal, both of which are needed for credible deterrence against its two neighbours.

The Worst Effect of the Afghan War is the THIRD HORN

Worst Effect of U.S. Afghan War

 

Pakistani Taliban with Stinger Missile

Pakistani Taliban with Stinger Missile
Posted: 06/09/2014 5:17 pm EDT Updated: 5 hours ago

As prisoners are exchanged and the combat portion of the long and exhausting U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan winds down, the brazen lethal attack on the Karachi International airport by the Pakistani Taliban graphically highlights the principal unfortunate legacy of the needless nation-building Afghan conflict: the destabilization of neighboring Pakistan.

Although few in the United States dare say it, the U.S. military lost the war in Afghanistan a long time ago. As in Vietnam, if the weaker insurgents don’t lose, they win by just keeping an army in the field and hoping the stronger foreign occupier will tire of the conflict and go home. The American colonists used the same strategy to win their independence from Britain. After the U.S. forces leave Afghanistan at the end of 2016, the Taliban will likely be resurgent, and eventually most U.S. political and economic development efforts in Afghanistan likely will be reversed. Thus, unfortunately, much of what U.S. service personnel died or were wounded for will have been lost.
Although extremely tragic, however, this bad outcome may not be the worst effect of the war. That would be the destabilization of nearby Pakistan, which has 100-200 nuclear weapons and an insurgency trying to overthrow the Pakistani government. The Pakistani insurgency originated from the United States turning the justified attempt to smash the main al Qaeda group into a ground quagmire in Afghanistan disguised as an attempt to remodel Afghan society.

The origins of the Pakistani Taliban, the perpetrators of the attack on the Karachi airport, lie in U.S. pressure on the Pakistani government to send troops into northwest Pakistan for the first time ever in 2002 to try to root out Islamist militants using that part of Pakistan as a sanctuary to launch attacks against American forces in Afghanistan. A number of tribes living in that part of Pakistan believed the Pakistani government was trying to subdue them and began a civil war to overthrow the Pakistani government.

Many of the Pakistani Taliban’s leaders fought the Americans in Afghanistan and still support that battle with fighters, supplies, and training. (Where the Pakistani Taliban and Afghan Taliban disagree is that the Pakistani Taliban fight against the Pakistani government and the Afghan Taliban get help from it in their fight against the Americans.) According to Pakistani analysts, the spike in Islamist militancy in northwest Pakistan can be traced to the commencement of U.S. missile attacks in that region, especially the striking in October 2006 of an Islamist school in Banjur run by one of the Pakistani Taliban groups. In December 2007, the Pakistani Taliban was officially organized under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud.

And after Barack Obama took office, the U.S. war against the Pakistani Taliban escalated. In U.S. August 2009, a missile from a U.S. drone killed Baitullah Mehsud. In retaliation for U.S. attacks on Pakistani Taliban leaders, the group declared in April 2010 that it would make U.S. cities a “main target.” On May 1, 2010, the Pakistani Taliban unsuccessfully attempted to detonate a vehicle bomb in New York’s Times Square.

Thus, instead of taking out al Qaeda stealthily using a small U.S. armed footprint — that is, the CIA, Special Operations forces, and very selective air strikes — the United States decided to invade Afghanistan, stay around to nation-build, and then escalate than nation-building. This foreign occupation and ensuing guerrilla war then necessitated pressuring the Pakistani government to send troops to northwest Pakistan to round up Islamists using it as a sanctuary to attack American forces in Afghanistan. This Pakistani government action triggered a dangerous civil war in Pakistan. The Pakistani government demanded that the U.S. strike the Pakistani militants with drones, which triggered a rise in Islamist militancy and the formal creation of the Pakistani Taliban. When the United States attacked the group’s leadership they then started attacking U.S. targets, including the Times Square bombing attempt. So U.S. government actions helped create the group and turn it into a threat to the continental United States.

But the worst may be that a nuclear-armed Pakistan now has a potent insurgency to suppress. At least some chance exists that the Pakistani Taliban, through penetration of the Pakistani government, could get its hands on a nuclear warhead or that the weak Pakistani government might need to seek more domestic support by threatening arch rival and nuclear-armed India with war.

As Lt. Gen. William Odom, former NSA director under Ronald Reagan, argued, U.S. involvement in Vietnam was counterproductive by advantaging U.S. communist rivals China and the Soviet Union and the U.S. invasion of Iraq had the same effect by helping the principal U.S. rival in the Middle East–Iran. Similarly, the U.S. nation-building tar pit in Afghanistan has led to the dangerous destabilization of the much more important nuclear-armed Pakistan. Instead of racing to conduct macho high profile military invasions and occupations of foreign countries — even after national tragedies such as 9/11 — the U.S. government needs to soberly weigh the costs and benefits of doing so. The long-term costs are usually steep and the benefits meager.

A Line That Will Be Broken (Revelation 16)

India and Pakistan: A Thin Line between War and Peace

An Inevitable War

An Inevitable War
While Nawaz Sharif’s visit to New Delhi for the inauguration of Narendra Modi was encouraging, a single act of terrorism could spell disaster.
June 3, 2014

However, the hoped-for peace process could turn to war—with huge implications for the United States—if militant actors in Pakistan attack India in hopes of provoking Modi to overreact. Something like this happened in 1999. Then, Pervez Musharraf and several colleagues in the Pakistan Army launched a clandestine incursion into the Kargil region of Kashmir, which triggered a limited, hard-fought war that India won, with diplomatic assistance from Bill Clinton. Today, the likely instigators would be the Pakistani Taliban or other militant groups who wish to divert the Pakistani state from cracking down on them.

Many Pakistanis loathe Modi as a belligerent anti-Muslim Hindu fundamentalist. What distinguishes the militants from other Pakistanis is an interest in provoking Modi into military action that would unite Pakistanis in a war against India instead of against the militants themselves. Given Modi’s reputation and self-image as a strongman, it is difficult to imagine he would not respond forcefully to violence emanating from Pakistan. As one of his top advisors put it recently, “Modi will have to respond to an attack or he will lose all his credibility.”

During the last major crisis following the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, India’s leaders responded only with minimal political sanctions. This restraint was perhaps wise policy, as world and domestic opinion in Pakistan turned against the terrorists and their sponsors. But the lack of a cathartic military response left many Indians, including some senior figures in the armed forces, frustrated that the Pakistan Army did not suffer enough for harboring (if not authorizing) the terrorists.

These circumstances make it extremely difficult to see how another major terrorist attack on India would not escalate to war. And, if Modi did respond militarily, Pakistan Army leaders would feel that allowing him to “win” would reinforce the dangerous notion that Hindu belligerence pays, and that the already beleaguered Pakistan Army does not deserve the power and privileges it has long enjoyed. Humiliation would leave the Pakistani Army unable to claim the capability and authority to protect the country against its challengers abroad or at home. Facing such a prospect, the Army would feel hard-pressed to use every quiver in its arsenal, including its nuclear weapons.

Fortunately, Modi and Sharif, along with their electorates, understand that both countries would be much better off if they could expand mutual trade and other forms of peaceful interaction. Both societies and governments recognize that the perpetrators of violence and perpetual conflict are a small minority that threatens the internal well-being of each country as well as security and prosperity between them.

Thus, the challenge for Indians and Pakistanis—and for the U.S. government, which inevitably would be impelled to mediate a new conflict—is to take steps now to prevent major terrorist attacks on India and to prepare modalities to manage consequences if prevention fails.

The United States needs to be more forthcoming than it has been in the past in sharing intelligence with India on possible threats and holding Pakistan to account for its ambivalent counterterrorism performance concerning India. Indian leaders need to correct longstanding inadequacies in their intelligence and counterterrorism organizations, and prepare contingencies for responding to attacks that take full account of the risks of escalation. Pakistani leaders, especially in the Army and Inter-Services Intelligence, need to open genuine lines of communication with their Indian counterparts and demonstrate that they are doing everything they can to prevent future Mumbai-like attacks.

Cooperation like this must occur before an attack if there will be any chance of mitigating risks of escalation after one occurs. The stakes could not be higher. The United States cannot publicly orchestrate such cooperation, but it can (and should) work behind the scenes at high levels to facilitate it.

George Perkovich is director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and has worked extensively on Indo-Pakistani security issues.
Toby Dalton is deputy director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and has worked extensively on Indo-Pakistani security issues.

US Missing the Third Horn (Daniel 8)

Misplaced priorities

A unique kind of atomic power
Pakistan is a major nuclear country. In a short period since 1998 when it conducted experimental explosions Pakistan has acquired the sixth largest arsenal of nuclear warheads in the world. It has also gained the ability to develop more sophisticated tactical weapons with limited fall out for use against invading enemy troops. It has not lagged behind in delivery systems either. It possesses bombers as well as missiles of various categories capable of taking the payload to any part of the enemy territory. As if this was not enough, experiments continue to be made to make the weapons more destructive and the delivery system more efficient.
Pakistan is a unique kind of atomic power. The nuclear state lacks some the most basic requirements needed for economic progress. Sixty seven years after its creation the country suffers from serious deficiencies in physical infrastructure. Load-shedding has continued sometime extending to eight hours in big cities and much longer in the rural areas. The country also suffers from gas shortages which hit the economy as well as millions of households. More than six million Pakistani children are out of primary schools, the highest number compared to any country in the world. The percentage of school going children is below some of the backward African countries. Forty per cent of all Pakistani children are underweight. Six out of 10 children are affected by what is called ‘stunting’ caused by malnutrition. One out of 10 children are affected by ‘wasting’ which is a disease causing muscle and fat wastage as a consequence of acute malnutrition. Four out of 10 Pakistanis are managing to survive below the poverty line. Meanwhile, the population time bomb continues to tick with nobody paying any heed.
The countries which fought two world wars in the 20th century are engaged today in economic and scientific cooperation and have enhanced multilateral trade. This in return has brought peace and prosperity to these countries. It is high time Pakistan reviewed its security paradigm. Cultivation of friendly relations with neighbouring countries will bring down expenditures on arms and ammunition. Regional peace would bring prosperity as a dividend. This would create a win-win-situation benefitting every country in the region. There are no doubt disputes left by history. The way to resolve them is to put the more complicated issues on the back burner for the time being, settle the easier ones first, improve economic relations and let the free flow of trade give birth to a conducive atmosphere where finally complicated issues can be taken up and resolved to every stakeholder’s satisfaction.

Great Babylon Trying To Break Apart Horns of Daniel

Khamenei Hits Out at US for Sowing Discord between Iran-Pakistan

Two Horns of Daniel

Two Horns of Daniel

May 13th, 2014 by Ahmad Mehdi

The current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, met up with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The two discussed serious matters amongst each other. During these talks, Khamenei managed to directly hit out at the US for sowing seeds of discord between the relationship of Pakistan and Iran. He directly held Washington responsible to create a rift between Islamabad and Tehran.

While speaking to Nawaz Shairf, Khamenei said, “There are hands at work that intend to cause differences between the two friendly and intimate nations through different methods, including stirring insecurity at the lengthy common borders. But we should not allow the big opportunity existing for the expansion of the relations between the two countries to be lost.”

He further added, “America, whose wickedness is known to all, is among the governments trying to make distance between Iran and Pakistan. Besides America, there are other governments at work too.”

Both the parties spoke about how they can end up working together for a better future. Khamenei specially stated that that there should be a further development in the ties between the two countries. He stated that there should be an implementation of joint ventures, for instance the Pak-Iran gas line project. Furthermore he expressed that there is hope that there will be good measures adopted while Pakistan is under the rule of Nawaz Sharif and his party.

– See more at: http://www.newspakistan.pk/2014/05/13/khamenei-hits-sowing-discord-iran-pakistan/#sthash.T5mYcQuQ.dpuf

Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable short-range missile ‘Hatf III’

Pakistan's New Short Range Nukes

Pakistan’s New Short Range Nukes
 
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday successfully test-fired a short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hatf III, capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads up to a range of 290 kilometres, that could cover parts of India.The “successful training launch” concluded the Field Training Exercise of Strategic Missile Group of Army Strategic Forces Command, the military said in a statement here, 16 days after it conducted the previous test launch of Hatf III, also called the Ghaznavi.
“The successful launch was the culminating point of the Field Training Exercise of Army Strategic Forces Command which was aimed at testing the operational readiness of a Strategic Missile Group besides upgradation of various capabilities of weapon systems,” the statement said.
The launch was witnessed by the Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and other senior military officials and scientists.

Addressing the participating troops in the exercise area, the Gen Sharif appreciated the troops on displaying a very high standard of proficiency in handling and operating these strategic weapon systems.

He said that Pakistan has configured one of the best command and control systems and Armed Forces of Pakistan are fully capable of safeguarding Pakistan’s security against any aggression.
The test launchhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jgjLzkWCH0 was also appreciated by the President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who congratulated the participating troops, the scientists and engineers on their success, the release said.

Pakistan’s Mobile Tactical Nukes

Terrorism isn’t Pakistan’s gravest nuclear danger
 
Mobile Tactical Nuclear Weapons

Mobile Tactical Nuclear Weapons
 
 
Published: May 7, 2014

In addressing the recent nuclear security summit in The Hague, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif refuted the caricature often painted of his country as the poster child of nuclear terrorism. He insisted that “Pakistan has maintained a safe and secure nuclear programme for several decades”.

It is true that Pakistan has experienced no nuclear thefts or seizures and no major nuclear accidents. It should also be noted that Pakistan understands the problems of nuclear terrorism and has taken steps to keep its nuclear assets protected. No country devotes more attention to nuclear security.

In a wider sense, however, Pakistan presents several nuclear dangers. The greatest is the potential for a nuclear war sparked by Pakistan-based extremists conducting another spectacular terrorist attack in India like the one in Mumbai in 2008 and the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.

The mood in New Delhi, and not just within the BJP camp, is that next time there is an attack which is seen to have Pakistani state fingerprints, India cannot again turn the other cheek. Over the past decade, for example, the Indian Army has promoted a ‘Cold Start’ doctrine of reprisal via incursion by several battle groups across the border.

In response, Pakistan has developed short-range, battlefield use nuclear weapons and asserted that they will be used against attacking conventional forces. The fact that India’s civilian leadership has never endorsed Cold Start makes it no less threatening in Pakistani eyes.

The development of what might be called tactical nukes, launched by 60 kilometres range Nasr missiles, lowers the threshold for nuclear use. This has caused serious alarm among outside observers. So, too, India’s vow that it will employ massive retaliation in response to a nuclear attack, even if against Indian forces operating outside national borders.

With nuclear arsenals numbering not too much more than 100 and systems on a low level of alert status, the strategic arms race in South Asia pales in comparison to the nuclear excesses of the Cold War superpowers. But the introduction of battlefield-use nuclear weapons adds a destabilising element.

Due to the ‘use them or lose them’ choice that could face local commanders, deployment of these systems can lead to rapid escalation if deterrence fails. Pakistan’s need to portray credibility about firing first could sacrifice central government control over strategic weapons in a crisis situation. Pre-delegation can lead to unauthorised use.

These are some of the reasons that Nato moved away from tactical nuclear weapons, which were found to be a costly encumbrance with little practical value. Pakistan insists that its short-range systems will not be pre-deployed, nor will use be delegated to field commanders. In the fog of a crisis, however, even the most robust of command-and-control systems cannot preclude human error.

It is not hard to imagine how accidents, misperceptions and miscalculations could all trigger a South Asian nuclear war. The development of cruise missiles, sea-based platforms and other ambiguous dual-use systems heightens the potential for misperception.

The underdeveloped mechanisms for crisis resolution in South Asia and the absence of dialogue on the factors behind nuclear risks are further reasons for concern. India and Pakistan need to engage each other on the issues that could spark a nuclear clash. Deterrence stability and the factors that contribute to growing nuclear risks should be central topics of dialogue, covering both conventional and nuclear forces.

It is also time to offer Pakistan a path to nuclear normalisation, so that it has an incentive to stop blocking negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, stop producing plutonium and highly enriched uranium and sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Addressing Pakistan’s sense of unfair treatment will enhance prospects for rethinking its tactical nuclear weapons path. Offering nuclear legitimacy is also the most effective way to communicate that the United States and its allies do not seek to forcefully or stealthily disarm Pakistan, and that the Western goal, rather, is deterrence stability.

Holding out the prospect of a nuclear cooperation deal akin to the one accorded India, albeit with stronger non-proliferation conditions, is the most powerful tool Western nations can use to positively shape Pakistan’s nuclear posture.

Pakistan Fires Nuclear Capable Missile

Pakistan test-fires nuke-capable missile
 
This handout photograph released by Pakistan
This handout photograph released by Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) office, shows a Hatf III, (Ghaznavi) short range ballistic missile launched from an undisclosed location in Pakistan on May 10, 2012.
 
Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:12PM

The military said in a statement that the missile codenamed ‘Ghaznavi’ was launched from an undisclosed location on Tuesday and has a range of 290 kilometers.

Army spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa also said the test was conducted during a field training exercise supervised by top military commanders.

“The test-firing was another milestone which has further strengthened the defense potential of Pakistan,” media outlets quoted the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Rashad Mahmood as saying.

Pakistani military routinely test various missiles to match those of India.

Pakistani authorities have frequently reiterated that nuclear deterrence is the basis of the country’s security policy and that they have no intention of using the missiles aggressively.

India and Pakistan have routinely carried out missile tests since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998. The two neighbors have engaged in an arms race since the partition of Pakistan from India in 1947.

Both neighbors have refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other international regulatory pacts that restrict developing or testing nuclear weapons.

India considers the NPT as discriminatory, while Pakistan has indicated that it will not join the international treaty until its neighbor does so.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars with its nuclear-armed neighbor India since their independence from Britain in 1947.

JR/PR/SL