Pakistan’s navy successfully test-fired a series of missiles and torpedoes today in what it called a message to “nefarious” forces – an apparent reference to long-time rival India.
While the two nuclear-armed neighbours have taken slow steps towards restarting peace talks, they also have a history of using weapon tests as a form of diplomatic sabre-rattling.
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.
However, today’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.
Other Pakistani officials refused to expand on the navy statement.
Indian officials could not immediately be reached for comment.