Were UFOs Pakastani
Ghauri-III Missile Fragments?

By B. Muralidhar Reddy
ISLAMABAD - The `mysterious' unidentified flying objects (UFOs) sighted in the skies of Balochistan on August 15 were possibily Ghauri-III test missiles of Pakistan, according to Stratfor, a U.S. intelligence consulting company.
The Pakistani daily, The News, in a report from Washington quoting Stratfor has said Pakistan possibly resumed flying Ghauri-III for the first time.
Pakistani papers carried detailed reports on August 16 about the UFOs sighted in the Quetta region and the local authorites confirmed the reports. The following day an Army spokesman said the matter was under investigation. And that was the end of the matter.
According to Stratfor, an eyewitness description of the UFOs fits in with the the 75-foot tall Ghauri-III. ``It is possible that the missile broke up or was purposely destroyed in flight before impact''.
The News report quoting the company said Ghauri-III would represent an important leap in Pakistani technology, allowing the military to strike targets deep inside India. The missile, a version of the North Korean Taopo Dong, has an estimated range of 2,880 km and can carry a payload of about 91 kg.
The missle engine was successfully tested at Kahuta on September 30, 1999. Stratfor believed that since Pakistan did not respond to the Indian test last June, it had a reason to do so now following the escalation of tensions with the announcement (and subsequent revocation) of ceasefire by the Hizbul Mujahideen.
``The fact that the incident took place as far from the Indian border and Indian monitoring as possible may indicate that Islamabad is attempting to advance its missile programme in a secret manner'', the report said.
The Air Force operates a major base just west of Quetta and used the surrounding land as a missile test range. In 1988, the range was used as the impact site for a missile test.

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