07/06/2017, 10.24
PAKISTAN
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Islamabad tests Nasr missile: 'credible deterrence' against belligerent India

It is a short-range surface weapon with a range around 60-70 kilometers. It is meant to por “cold water” on Delhi’s “Cold Start” strategy. Arms race is likely to increase military tensions between long-time enemies.

Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Pakistan successfully tested the Nasr ballistic missile yesterday. It is a short-range surface missile, which uses a highly accurate system with a range around 60-70 kilometers.

The military's media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said explained that armaments "will increase credible deterrence against the predominant spectrum of threats." Although ever named openly, India is the direct goal of the test. Experts believe it is the response to the many trips abroad with which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is building a circle of friends to counter the danger of terrorism coming from Pakistan.

The launch was used to test the new weapon that "could be deployed in the shortest time". Major General Qamar Javed Bajwa, head of the Pakistani army, said that "Nasr throws cold water on the Cold Start strategy." This is a limited war strategy outlined by the Indian army to seize portions of Pakistani territory, without however arriving at an open nuclear conflict. It assumes that India can cross the border and launch reprisals against sensitive military targets. For its part, Pakistan has always considered this strategy as a real threat to its national security, and even former US President Barack Obama has raised concerns over a continued arms race.

The new technology is likely to increase the tension between ancient rivals Islamabad and Delhi. Gen. Bajwa said that "war must be avoided at all cost," but also stressed that "our strategic capacity is to guarantee peace against a highly militarized and increasingly belligerent neighbor." Finally, the test confirms that the elimination of nuclear weapons is still very far from the complete, as evidenced by the recent report on the number of atomic weapons in global circulation: they are decreasing (a little) in Russia and the United States, but rising in the "Hot" countries such as China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel.

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