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Final Batch of Ghaznavi handed over to Army

27 April, 2007

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RAWALPINDI: Prime Minister Mr. Shaukat Aziz has said that Pakistan seeks peace through strength in South Asia and will never compromise on its nuclear programme or its minimum deterrence needs.

He was speaking on the occasion of handing over of the final production batch of the Hatf III Ghaznavi Missiles to the Army Strategic Force Command (ASFC) at an impressive ceremony.

Indigenously produced Hatf III Ghaznavi Ballistic Missiles, with a range of 290 kms, were taken over by the Second Missile Group of Pakistan Army`s Strategic Force Command. The solid fuel Ghaznavi Ballistic Missile System was successfully fired as part of a training exercise in December last year by troops of ASFC. It now forms an integral component of Pakistan`s strategic land delivery systems, which also include the Shaheen Series and the Ghauri Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles.

The Prime Minister congratulated the scientists, engineers and staff associated with the manufacture of the Ghaznavi missile system on successful completion of their mission in record time. He said that the nation was stronger today due to their accomplishment and expected them to continue their hard work in pursuit of even greater achievement.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan`s nuclear programme was a success story without a parallel in history. He said his Government was fully committed to providing all requisite resources to achieve the goal of consolidating our objective of Credible Minimum Deterrence and reiterated that there would never be a compromise on our strategic programme. As a fully established and internationally accepted nuclear power, we should have confidence in our capabilities commensurate with our status; that no one in the world can cast an evil eye on our nuclear capability or on our sovereignty, he said.

The Prime Minister highlighted Pakistan`s needs in the nuclear energy sector and expressed confidence that with the passage of time and with positive engagement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Pakistan will succeed in earning cooperation for its nuclear power programme, which is an essential economic need.

He said his Government had approved an ambitious nuclear power programme for generating 8800 MW of electricity by 2030, and it will spare no effort in convincing the world that it must cooperate with Pakistan in this field.

He said he was confident that this will eventually happen and it was only a matter of time before the world realized the mutual benefits of engaging Pakistan in this area. Pakistan needed to be patient in this regard.

The handing over ceremony was also attended by the Vice Chief of Army Staff, General Ahsan Saleem Hyat and senior scientists and military officers.

End.

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