India and Pakistan have been involved in missile development race for decades now and both nations claim that their programs are meant to serve as a deterrent. Pakistan began its program in 1987 to counter equivalent program that existed in India. The program was aggressively pursued by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s government to bridge the missile gap with India which tested Prithvi-I missile in 1990.
Pakistan’s aggressive military strategy combined with an expanding nuclear weapons arsenal should be a matter of deep concern for the whole world, not merely for India.
Pakistan has made admirable progress in developing missiles. Some of the notable missiles that Pakistan has developed are – Abdali, Ghaznavi, Ghauri, Shaheen and Babar series of missiles.
About names of Pakistan missiles
What stands out in the naming of Pakistani missiles is that they have named many of them on the invaders who plundered India. Ghaznavi, Ghauri, and Taimur left a trail of blood wherever they went and looted the locals. They destroyed temples, forced conversions and tormented the local people.
Mahmud Ghaznavi, an 11th-century Persian invader of Turkic origin, invaded India 17 times and attained notoriety for destroying and looting the Somnath Temple. Ahmed Shah Abdali, an 18th-century Afghan king is known for the holocaust his army carried out on Sikhs. Between 1748 and 1765, Abdali invaded India 7 times and is also known for the humiliation he brought to the then Mughal dynasty.
Taimur invaded Delhi in 1398 and his invasion was followed by one of the brutal massacres which Delhi saw in the medieval ages.
Babur was different from the above mentioned middle-eastern kings in the sense that he settled in India and founded the Mughal Dynasty. Even he is said to have destroyed Hindu temples.
The rationale behind Pakistan naming missiles by these tyrants
Pakistan just does not want to come out of the mindset that Muslims are rightful rulers of the subcontinent. Even the history taught at schools in Pakistan emphasises more on Islamic rule during the Mughal period than of the freedom struggle and Vedic times. There is little mention of Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters in their textbooks. They try to imbibe this idea among their people that Muslims are the rightful rulers of India and that Hindus usurped power from them.
After the 1947 partition, Pakistan was formed and their entire identity hinges on Islam. By naming missiles on Muslim invaders, they are trying to send a message that “We will plunder you in the same way that these tyrants did.”
It also highlights that Pakistan would ardently cling on to anything which is opposed to the Indian identity and these missile names are the most visible proof of this fact.