Saturday, October 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Pakistan test-fires ballistic missile
K.J.M. Varma

Islamabad, October 3
Pakistan today ‘successfully’ test-fired a short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hataf-III, capable of carrying conventional nuclear warheads and having a range of 290 km which could hit targets in India.

“Pakistan carried out a successful test-fire of its indigenously developed short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hataf-III Ghaznavi,” a Defence Ministry spokesperson said in a statement here.

The Hataf-III has a range of 290 km and can carry conventional and non-conventional weapons, it said.

Capable of carrying ‘all types of warheads accurately’ Ghaznavi’s “test was part of series of planned tests to be conducted in the next few days to validate the design parameters of various missile systems,” the statement said.

The missile test, the second this year and the first after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee extended the hand of friendship to Pakistan in April and announced several peace initiatives, was carried out at 8.12 am (IST).

The statement said the timing of the tests reflected Pakistan’s determination not to engage in a tit-for-tat syndrome to other tests in the region.

It said, “Pakistan will maintain the pace of its own missile development programme and conduct tests as per its technical needs.”

The data collected after the test indicated that all parameters had been successfully validated, the announcement said. — PTI



Fernandes unfazed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
India today seemed not to be bothered by the successful launch of the 290 km-range surface-to-surface missile by Pakistan and dismissed it as “nothing special”.

Reacting to the missile test-fire, Defence Minister George Fernandes said there was “nothing special”. The issue to be probed was whether it was developed indigenously or clandestinely.


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