Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. - Gulf News Archives Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Pakistan matched its arch-rival India, detonating five nuclear devices, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in an address to the nation. The retaliatory tests virtually guarantee a nuclear arms race on the Asian subcontinent, one of the poorest regions in the world. “We have matched India with five tests of our own,” he said in his speech to the nation. However, he did not offer any information about the type or strength of the devices Pakistan exploded near the border with Iran and Afghanistan. Nawaz said the explosions did not release any radioactivity into the atmosphere.

Other important events:

1919 Armenia declares independence.

1937 Neville Chamberlain becomes British Prime Minister.

1956 France cedes its former settlements in Pondicherry, Karikal and Mahe in India.

1961 Paris-Bucharest Orient Express train makes final trip after 78 years.

1963 Jomo Kenyatta becomes first Prime Minister of Kenya.

1964 Palestine National Congress forms the Palestine Liberation Organisation in occupied Jerusalem.

1971 Soviet Union launches spacecraft towards Mars, containing the first capsules to land on the planet.

1976 US and Soviet Union sign treaty limiting the size of underground nuclear explosions set off for peaceful purposes.

1977 Fire races through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky, killing 165 people.

1979 Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat announces opening of air corridors between Egypt and Israel.

1985 David Jacobsen, director of the American University Hospital in Beirut, is kidnapped.

1993 Eritrea and Monaco become members of the United Nations.

1995 At least 1,500 people die in an earthquake that destroys a coastal village on Sakhalin Island in Russia’s Far East.

1997 Russia and Ukraine sign the Partition Treaty on the Black Sea Fleet.

2002 Emaar Properties announces free-hold ownership for Emiratis and expatriates.

2004 A court strips former dictator Augusto Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution in a surprise ruling.

2008 Nepal becomes republic.

2010 Jonathan Trappe, a registered pilot, crosses the English Channel afloat in a wicker chair and 55 giant helium balloons.

2011 Egypt lifts a four-year-old blockade of Gaza Strip, easing travel restrictions of Palestinian Territory.

2012 A raging fire kills 19 people, including 13 children in Villagio Mall, Doha, Qatar.

2014 Bestselling author Maya Angelou dies at the age of 86.

2015 Al Shabab wins the GCC Champions League final against Oman’s Al Seeb.