Pakistan Stations Nuclear Missiles Near Amritsar

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Islamabad: Details of a recently established Pakistani military complex, purported to house tactical nuclear missiles, close to the international border in Punjab have emerged on the social media, reported Defence News.

Overhead imagery of the site, at Rahwali Cantonment near Gujranwala, reveals two transport-erector-launcher vehicles, assessed to be those of the Nasr short-range missile, along with support vehicles laid out for inspection.

The site is 70 km from the international border and 100 km from both Amritsar and Jammu, lying in the trough of the strategically vital Shakargarh bulge that had witnessed key battles in 1965 and 1971. Along this bulge lies the vital link to Jammu and Kashmir, with the National Highway passing close to the border.

Images, dated January 27, along with an assessment, have been posted by an officer specialising in imagery interpretation on his personal page. The well-fortified complex, which includes hardened shelters with blast doors, garages, ammunition bunkers, administrative and support areas, is believed to have been constructed in August 2014.

Experts feel a missile base close to the border indicates deployment of tactical or “low yield” nuclear weapons that could be employed to counter an Indian onslaught even if the weapons’ impact area lies inside Pakistani territory. The very brief flight time of short range missiles gives very little reaction time, making it difficult to counter them.

In November last year, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary for the first time acknowledged Pakistan’s plans to use low-yield nukes in a bid to forestall Indian advances across the border. Pakistan claims to have several short range missiles that can be used to deliver tactical warheads, besides longer range ballistic missiles to target strategic assets.

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