Pakistan tests missiles and torpedoes in Arabian Sea

Islamabad calls launches a message to "nefarious" forces — an apparent reference to India.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 12, 2010 09:49
1 minute read.
Pakistan tests missiles and torpedoes in Arabian Sea

Pakistan Ghauri missile . (photo credit: )

 
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Pakistan's navy successfully test-fired a series of missiles and torpedoes Friday in what it called a message to "nefarious" forces — an apparent reference to longtime rival India.

While the two nuclear-armed neighbors have taken slow steps toward restarting peace talks, they also have a history of using weapons tests as a form of diplomatic saber-rattling.

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The tests occurred in the Arabian Sea and employed various aircraft, submarines and ships. It was not immediately clear if the missiles were capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Both countries regularly test their missile systems, and usually notify each other ahead of such launches in keeping with a diplomatic agreement.

But Friday's launches were followed by a navy statement saying: "These successful tests are a clear message to forces having nefarious designs."

Such statements have been rare in recent years, as the two nations have struggled to keep their peace process limping along. Late last month, India and Pakistan held their first official talks since the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which India blamed on the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

It was not clear whether the statement was an intentional attempt to stir the diplomatic waters, but similar wording has been used in the past to send warnings to New Delhi.

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Other Pakistani officials refused to expand on the navy statement.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since they gained independence from Britain in 1947.

The two sides began talks aimed at resolving their differences over the Himalayan region of Kashmir and other disputes in 2004. India put the peace process on hold soon after the Mumbai attacks.

Indian officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

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