Accessibility links

India, Pakistan Conduct Missile Tests - 2002-10-04

India and Pakistan have both conducted missile tests on the same day. India launched a surface-to-air missile hours after Pakistan fired a surface-to-surface medium range missile. India's reaction to Pakistan's missile test has been muted.

India's defense ministry says the missile it tested Friday has a range of 25 kilometers, and can strike several targets simultaneously.

The missile named "Akash" or "sky" was fired from a missile test range in the eastern state of Orissa. Defense officials say the missile is meant to be used for air defense.

They called the latest test a "routine" one, and said another short-range missile had been tested just last week.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan tested a medium-range ballistic missile believed to have a range of more than 700 kilometers.

India said it was not perturbed by Pakistan's missile test, and called it an "election gimmick" aimed at shoring up President Pervez Musharraf's popularity before general elections scheduled to be held next week.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Nirupama Rao, said India was "not particularly impressed" by the missile test.

"As is well-known, Pakistan's missiles are based on clandenstinely imported material, equipment, and technology," the spokesperson said. "This particular test is clearly targeted at the forthcoming general elections in Pakistan."

The missile tests come at a time when tensions have been running high between India and Pakistan.

Both countries have deployed nearly a million troops long their common borders since December last year. The nuclear-capable rivals have come close to war at least twice since then.