Tensions between India and Pakistan are on the rise after Pakistan launched a nuclear-capable Babur-3 missile from a submarine for the first time.
Pakistan has previously launched missiles from land and air-based platforms, but sources say it felt the need for a sea-based programme was essential.
A senior government official told the Financial Times it’s “the completion of our triad”.
Pakistan’s Major General Asif Ghafoor posted a video of the launch on Twitter:
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) January 9, 2017
Inter Services Public Relations, the media wing of the Pakistani military, said the missile “hit its target with precise accuracy”.
“Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step towards reinforcing the policy of credible minimum deterrence,” the military said.
“It is manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighborhood.”
Of the nine states which possess nuclear weapons, Pakistan is the only Muslim majority country to do so.
The Babur-3 has a range of 450km. In December last year, Pakistan successfully tested a land-based variant, the Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) Babur-2.
Two weeks ago, India test-fired its ballistic Agni-V missile, with a range of 5000km. That prompted Chinese state media to “communicate the message” that it would be willing to help Pakistan match India’s nuclear ambitions.
Tensions between the countries have been rising again since September, after 19 Indian soldiers were killed in an attack on an army base in Kashmir.
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