August 12, 2005Security

Will it be Qasim next?

Pakistan’s missile naming convention is unchanged

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Babar was an Afghan warlord from the Ferghana valley, who after invading India in the 15th century, founded the Mughal dynasty that ruled India until the British took over. Pakistan has named its latest cruise missile after him. Despite publicly engaged in confidence-building measures with India, the naming of this missile follows a familiar pattern of naming its missiles after Afghan chiefs who invaded India (and ironically what is today Pakistan) at different times in history.

Mohammad of Ghor (Ghaur), was an Afghan warlord who invaded India in the 12th century. Pakistan named its long range ballistic missile after him.

Mahmud of Ghazni, was an Afghan raider who plundered India in the 11th century, who destroyed the famous temple at Somnath after looting its fabled riches. Pakistan named a ballistic missile in his honour.

Ahmed Shah Abdali was an Afghan chief who raided India in the 18th century. Pakistan named (or rather, renamed the North Korean Taepodong-1) ballistic missile after him.

Pakistan’s Tipu hasn’t taken off yet. But Tipu Sultan, who is celebrated as a hero by Indian nationalists, does not quite fit the profile of Ghori, Ghazni, Abdali or even a Babar. That leaves Mohammed bin Qasim, an eighth-century Arab general who first brought Islam to India. Perhaps he’s next.

Related Post: The origins of this naming convention

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