The military in Pakistan has announced that it successful tested a short range nuclear capable missile today. The weapon delivery system is the second Pakistan has tested in the last month as demand for hardware rises in the region.
The move is seen as a response to a similar launch by India of a long range missile. The two countries relations have not been particularly peaceful since their partition and both have access to nuclear weapons. Delivery systems with increasingly advanced technology attached are the obvious evolution in the race.
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Pakistan’s nuclear weapons have often been cited as some of the most dangerous in the world as the country’s safety mechanisms are often touted as being below par. In the chaos surrounding the state of emergency announced by the country’s ex army chief of staff Pervez Musharraf risks of security threats poised by nuclear weapons in the country were particularly highlighted by the international community.
Pakistan and India keep their nuclear weapons as an apparent deterrent to any move made by the other to compromise security in the region. The nations have fought three wars since Pakistan was created. Nuclear weapons in that region may pose a greater threat to international security than any other confirmed cache in the world.
The launch brings memories of North Korea’s unsuccessful attempts to launch a long range nuclear capable missile in mid April. That was widely condemned by the international community but foreshadowed greater interest in rocket powered weapons delivery systems in less developed countries. Pakistan’s launch can be seen as a concurrent event in the evolution of this aspect of military hardware. North Korea’s failure made it a subject of fun and put it a the butt of many jokes when the news was announced. The country, known for its isolationism and hard line anti western rhetoric, has tested several delivery systems in the last decade.