Pakistan, the Islamic world’s only nuclear-weapons state, continues to grow its nuclear arsenal largely for one reason—India. Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.” After the humiliating defeat at the hands of India in 1965, the program became a higher priority for Pakistan. As per an estimate, Pakistan currently posses 120 nuclear weapons, more than India. Pakistan has been projecting its nuclear weapons as those required for war fighting. In its report of July 1998, the Rumsfeld Commission had said: “Pakistan’s ballistic missile infrastructure is now more advanced than that of North Korea. It will support development of a missile of 2,500-km range, which we believe Pakistan will seek in order to put all of India within range of Pakistani missiles.”
In its arsenal, Pakistan has missiles like Ghaznavi or Hatf-III Ghaznavi missile (range of 290km), Abdali-1 or Hatf-II Abdali (a range of 180 km—200 km), Ghauri or Hatf-V missile (1,500 km), Ghauri-II or Hatf-VA missile (2,000 km), Babur or Hatf-VII missile (700km).
What’s surprising is that many of these Pakistani missiles have been named after the invaders who plundered India. For instance, the Turkish conqueror, Mahmud of Ghazni, attacked India 17 times during the period between 1000 and 1027 AD. There’s hardly any doubt that his invasions of India were bloody, as he plundered the unlimited wealth of India. In each of his invasions of an Indian dynasty, he carried back vast wealth with him, and transformed places like Mathura, Kanauj, and Thaneshwar into ruins. His rule was also a huge setback to Indians arts and architecture, as he demolished idols and temples.
Likewise, between 1747 and 1769, Ahmad Shah Abdali, later known as Ahmad Shah Durrani, the founder of modern Afghanistan, invaded (and looted) India nine times. By 1749 Durrani and his army took control Punjab, Sindh and Kashmir. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty in India, also looted the riches of the country.
It looks like the biggest reason for Pakistan to name its missiles after Muslim invaders is that it has a burning desire to take revenge against India for four defeats (the 1947–48 war, the 1965 war, the 1971 war, and the 1999 Kargil war). It is needless to mention that India won every time and Pakistan lost most of Kashmir and all of East Pakistan. Moreover, since their very origin was as a home for the Muslims of the sub-continent, the invaders are essentially the founding fathers of the Islamic identity in India.
If you think there are other reasons for it, then do share it with us.