Pakistan successfully tested its indigenously developed armed drone called Burraq and Barq laser-guided missile, taking it a step closer to acquiring the technology it has long demanded from the United States
According to DG ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif attended the ceremony held in this regard and witnessed the test-fire on static and moving targets. The drone has impressive pinpoint accuracy; it is all-weather and multiplied capability against terrorists.
Video released showed the "Burraq" drone taking off from a runway and firing a missile to destroy a hut designated as the target.
The army chief was shown watching the test-firing with other military officers and engineers who clapped and shouted "God is great" when the target was destroyed.
The army chief commended scientists for their untiring efforts to acquire state-of-the-art technology putting Pakistan in different league.
He termed it great national achievement and a momentous occasion. He said it is a force multiplier in our anti-terror campaign.
General Raheel congratulated the nation, scientists and technicians involved in development of own drone. He said let us join hands to take Pakistan forward in this field.
In reaction, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said attaining the milestone of drone capability would add a new dimension to Pakistan's defence.
He said this while congratulating the nation on the successful test-fire of armed drone Burraq and Barq laser-guided missile.
In a message, he appreciated the armed forces of Pakistan as well as the scientists and engineers who contributed towards the development of the state-of-the-art drone and missile.
The United States has run a controversial drone programme against militant hideouts in northwestern tribal areas bordering Afghanistan since 2004.
Pakistan publicly opposes the missile strikes by US drones, terming them a violation of its territorial sovereignty and has long asked the US to give them the technology required to run their own programme.
The tests of the drone, called "Burraq", which translates as "flying horse", and the missile "Barq", or "lightning", were watched by senior army commanders.
Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out the militant hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal area, which has long been a safe haven for Al-Qaeda and the homegrown Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as well as foreign fighters such as Uzbeks..
The US has carried out a series of drone strikes in the tribal regions over the last ten months, raising speculation that the two nations' militaries are working together on Pakistani soil.
According to the independent Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the CIA has carried out 413 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, frequently prompting public protest from the government and civil groups.