Pakistan has tested a missile able to carry nuclear warheads, its military says. Experts say the test was intended as a warning to India. "Pakistan is moving toward a second strike capability vis-à-vis India," an Islamabad analyst tells the New York Times. "The idea is to survive a first strike by the enemy and hit back." The Hatf-VII or Babur missile, with a 435-mile range, is "a low-flying, terrain-hugging missile with high maneuverability, pinpoint accuracy, and radar avoidance features," according to the military.
The missile "can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads and has stealth capabilities." Pakistan could use it against a range of Indian military targets, the analyst notes. "Pakistan is moving toward a highly survivable triad-based nuclear deterrent," he says, which would provide "the capability to strike vital counterforce targets all along the India-Pakistan border and coastline." The message to India: "If you are modernizing your weaponry, then we are also not lagging behind."