Pakistan carried out a night training launch of surface to surface ballistic missile Ghaznavi early on Thursday, a move that coincides with its scaled up effort to internationalise the Kashmir issue. Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces, tweeted that the launch was successful.
The military spokesperson said the ballistic missile is capable of delivering “multiple types of warheads” up to 290 km. He added that Pakistan President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan had conveyed its appreciation to the team and congratulated the nation.
The Pakistan military also tweeted a 30-second video clip of the missile launch and a group of military officers who posed with the missile before the launch.
The timing of the missile launch is seen as part of a two-pronged effort to internationalise the Kashmir issue at a diplomatic level and raise the spectre of nuclear war between the two countries.
Pakistan had first taken the Kashmir issue to the United Nations Security Council with help from its all-weather ally China and now, is leading a campaign fronted by its foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council.
Back home in Pakistan, there have been a barrage of predictions and warnings from government leaders that have directly predicted war between the two neighbours or alluded to the possibility. Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad prophecy that a full-fledged war will be fought between the two countries in October or November this year, an Indian official said, was part of this campaign.
It was Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had taken the lead shortly after India effectively abrogated Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Imran Khan, who had initially claimed that India was going to carry out some action, in his words “more sinister” than the Balakot strikes, upgraded the threat to a possible nuclear confrontation when he gave an interview to the New York Times a week ago. In his televised address to the nation on Kashmir, he repeated the hint.