The Hatf V was tested successfully by the Army Strategic Force Command on Tuesday, with the missile, also called the Ghauri, demonstrating that Pakistans nuclear capability was secure. The Ghauri, an intermediate range ballistic missile using liquid fuel, can reach a range of 1300 km, and can carry both nuclear and conventional payloads. This contrasted with Indias failure when it tested the Agni-II last week. While that was supposed to be a scientific test on a missile that has not yet reached the production stage, the Ghauri test was under field conditions, and was as much a test of the officers and men of the Strategic Force Command as of the missile itself, a test which it seems they passed with flying colours. Though the expense of missiles has been added to that of nuclear weapons, it is an essential component of the minimum deterrence Pakistan must practice to survive in a region which includes India, and that too on an arms-acquisition spree. Apart from the nuclear deterrent, conventional arms, such as F-16 planes and Agosta submarines, are essential to national defence, because Pakistans main potential opponent, India, with which it has fought three wars, and with which it still has a number of live disputes, the main one being Kashmir, has to be convinced not only that any conflict could attain nuclear dimensions, but also that any show of aggression would be met with an appropriate conventional response. There should be no objection to any spending that goes towards making our defence impregnable. This should not just cover conventional defensive capability, but also nuclear. This is an area where it is possible to measure the return the nation is getting on its spending. Therefore, the current tests should cause no sadness that the taxpayers money is being spent on anything that might be an extravagance. Coupled with the Indian test failure, the successful Pakistani test represents good value for money. Admittedly, the Indian failure introduces an element of nuclear uncertainty in an unstable region, but Pakistan should go ahead with its programme, even though it is defensive against Indian aggression. The successful test should tell the government that funds which have so far gone to the missile and nuclear programmes have been worth it, and this line of development must be pursued. It is also to be noted that these are indigenous programmes not dependent on the goodwill of some other power; on the contrary, the West looks askance at a country like Pakistan developing this capability previously limited only to developed countries. The government must pursue attempts to resolve all outstanding issues peacefully, but it should also realize that it can only do so from a position of strength, and to achieve that, such tests as Tuesdays are essential.