Pakistan tests nuclear capable missile again
Pakistan's military yesterday carried out a training launch of a long-range nuclear-capable missile which can hit targets deep in rival India, the second such test in three days, the military said.
The Shaheen II, or Hatf VI, missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres (1,280 miles) was launched from an undisclosed location by the Army Strategic Force Command, a military statement said.
The successful launch "marked the culmination of a field training exercise," the statement said. "It validated the operational readiness of a strategic missile group equipped with Shaheen II missile."
Pakistani scientists on Saturday test-fired another Shaheen II missile from an undisclosed location, following a similar test in February last year.
The Shaheen II is Pakistan's longest range ballistic missile system. It is a two stage solid fuel missile which can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads, the statement said.
Pakistan's arsenal includes short-range, medium and long-range missiles named after Muslim conquerors.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir witnessed the launch and congratulated the Army Strategic Forces, the statement said.
"Pakistan can be justifiably proud of its defence capability and the reliability of its nuclear deterrence," the statement added.
South Asian rivals India and Pakistan -- which have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir -- routinely carry out missile tests since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998.
New Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said after witnessing Saturday's launch that Pakistan's nuclear weapons were aimed at "sustaining strategic balance in South Asia.”