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Missile test prompted by India's moves: Pak

August 13, 2005 18:30 IST

Pakistan on Saturday said it test fired a cruise missile due to apprehensions that India 'planned' to acquire certain weapon systems from Israel and other countries that could tilt the balance of power in its favour.

"Successful test of Hatf-7 Babur is a major boost to the country's deterrence. It is a quantum jump in Pakistan's defence capability," Pakistan's Defence spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan said.

He claimed India plans to acquire Israeli-made Aero system and US made Pat-2, Pat-3 Patriot Defence missiles.

"These perceptions were to some extent true, prompting Pakistan to work hard to make the new missile," he added.

Pakistan would, however, continue to pursue the policy of ensuring minimum deterrence without entering into an arms race with India, in the region, he told state-run PTV.

"Minimum deterrence is the cornerstone and important ingredient of the strategy of our national security, and as long as deterrence is there the balance of power will exist and no one would be able even to think of aggression against the country," he said.

"It is imperative to establish a balance of power in the region to maintain peace. Otherwise the weaker party would always remain under threat by the powerful one," he added.

Sultan said Pakistan did not inform India about the tests as both countries are not obliged to inform each other before a cruise missile test.

He said Pakistan has no bad intentions against any country. "We are in favour of maximum Confidence Building Measures with India because it is better for peace in the region."

On the characteristics of the missile, he said, " The exclusive characteristic of this missile is that the Babur missile can fly at a very low height and is designed to elude any kind of radar system".

He claimed the missile has the ability to penetrate anti-ballistic systems such as Aero, Patriot and others.

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