Pakistan’s Air Force said on Tuesday that the weapon, apparently an air-to-surface missile, had been deployed by a JF-17 Thunder — a Chinese-Pakistani multi-role fighter jet.
The air force described the missile as a “smart weapon” that had an “extended” range, but did not give further details.
“Pakistan is a peace-loving nation but if subjected to aggression by [an] adversary, we would respond with full force,” said the Chief of Air Staff Mujahid Anwar Khan, who also hailed the successful test-fire.
A short footage of the test was also released, showing an aircraft deploying the missile.
The news of the missile test comes amid the latest standoff between India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. The tensions, which manifested in the form of cross-border military tensions, risked sparking a full-on war last month.
The standoff began when India conducted “preemptive” airstrikes inside Pakistan against what it said was a militant training camp belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group. The outfit had claimed responsibility for an attack on a security convoy in Pulwama, in Indian-administered Kashmir, on February 14. That attack killed more than 40 Indian troops.
Pakistan said the Indian airstrikes had not hit the alleged target. Islamabad, however, retaliated India’s violation of its airspace by firing into Indian territory. Pakistan later shot down two Indian fighter jets that it said had violated its airspace again. It also captured one of the pilots. Two days later, however, it released the pilot in a “peace gesture.”
Tensions decreased but did not evaporate.
Pakistan and India seem to have stepped back from the brink of a war following days of diplomatic tensions and deadly exchange of fire across their borders in the disputed region of Kashmir.
In another confrontation earlier this month, Pakistan said its navy had warded off an Indian submarine, “successfully keeping it from entering Pakistani waters.”
The navy said its forces did not target the submarine due to a government policy of maintaining peace with New Delhi.
The two nuclear-armed neighbors have fought four wars since their partition in 1947, three of them over Kashmir.