Pakistan successfully tested a nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Wednesday. The launch comes less than a week after Islamabad’s main adversary India tested a long-range ballistic missile of its own.
Pakistan’s missile Shaheen-1A was reportedly shot southward to the Indian Ocean and managed to cover some 4,000-4,500 kilometers. This is enough to target any object on Indian territory.
Pakistan notified its neighbors of plans to perform a launch a day before the event, saying the test would take place between April 24 and 29. Authorities of Oman, Yemen and India were warned to change routes of civil air flights in the direction of Africa during these dates but the actual test was performed just a day after the warning.
Indian aviation authorities expressed regret that the warning on the test launch came at the “last minute” but nevertheless all transport companies have been notified immediately.
On April 19 this year India test-launched its first long-range Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile. With a 5,000km range it can target anywhere in China and even parts of Europe, not to mention neighboring Pakistan.
Irreconcilable neighbors India and Pakistan have conducted three full-scale wars since their split from British India in 1947 (conflicts in 1947-1948, 1965, 1971). An arms test of one country usually is followed by a similar test by the other. For example after India successfully tested its first thermonuclear warhead on 11 May 1998, Pakistan replied with a series of nuclear bomb explosions on May 28, 1998.