Pakistan Current Affairs - 2019

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Pakistan successfully test fires Shaheen-1 surface-to-surface ballistic missile

Pakistan conducted successful test launch of Shaheen-1 surface-to-surface ballistic missile. The test was conducted part of a training exercise aimed at testing the operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command for ensuring Pakistan’s credible minimum deterrence. The test come days after India conducted the first night trial of Agni-II surface-to-surface medium range nuclear-capable missile having strike range of 2,000 km.

About Shaheen-1 missile

It is a land based supersonic short-range ballistic missile (SRBM). It has been jointly designed and developed by joint venture of Pakistan’s National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) and National Defence Complex (NDC).  Its design is reportedly based on Chinese M-9 missile. It was first tested in April 1999.

It derives its name after a species of Falcon found in the mountains of Pakistan. It is also designated as Hatf IV. It is capable of delivering all types of warheads (conventional as well as nuclear). It has strike range of 650 KMs, bringing a number of Indian cities under its range. It is propelled by a two-stage solid-fuel rocket motor.

India, China, Pakistan to work together to study impact of climate change on Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region

India Meteorological Department (IMD) is collaborating with meteorological agencies in China and Pakistan, among others, to provide climate forecast services to countries in Hindu-Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region. These countries have agreed to establish regional climate centre that will provide forecasting services and climate analyses. This centre will be under World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). It will help to better forecast impact of climate change on Hindu Kush mountains. It will take a few years to take shape. It will also provide data services, training and capacity-building, research and development.

About Hindu-Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region

It is considered the Third Pole [after North and South Poles]. It contains vast cryospheric zones and is also the world’s largest store of snow and ice outside the polar region. It spans Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It traverses about 5 million square kilometres and has significant implications for climate. Recent report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also had highlighted threat to HKH region from global warming. It had mentioned that floods will become more frequent and severe in mountainous and downstream areas of Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra river basins, because of increase in extreme precipitation events. It also had warned about severity of floods to be more than double towards the end of the century in this region.