Pakistan’s security apparatus has covered yet another milestone in armament development. Historically, we have looked to shore up our defence capabilities, and foreign powers and arms deals with other states have had a large part to play in buying new armaments. This has changed in the past six years or so, for the better.

Evidenced by the consistent rollout of new weaponry, it is clear that research and development in the ordinance industry in Pakistan continues to reach new heights. The latest manifestation of this is Shaheen 3, Pakistan’s newest surface-to-surface missile, capable of striking the furthest corners of India, thereby ensuring maximum deterrent capabilities against the noisy neighbour on the east. This is not to say that Pakistan has become completely self-reliant in securing important defence equipment; imports will still continue to play an important role. But in the long-term, the possibilities for selling equipment to other countries and reducing the international acquisition burden on our defence budget will go a long way in making the entire process more sustainable.

The most important thing of note, however, is that this is a nuclear-capable missile. With tactical armaments and improved long-range missiles, India’s threats of escalating war are nullified even further. Given the consistent hostility from the New Delhi administration, it is positive to see the armed forces increase their capability, and that too through homegrown initiatives.

Compared to established armament producing states such as the US, Russia and China, our foray into the field is still nascent. This is exactly why our ability to produce indigenous fighter jets, unmanned drones and nuclear-capable missiles is an astonishing feat in itself. But what this indicates is that the future for Pakistani arms production is very bright, and if we continue our research, we might one day stand shoulder to shoulder with the most capable armament producers in the world.