Pakistan successfully test-fired on Tuesday an intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads as parts of its efforts to boost its defenses, a military statement said.
Nuclear-armed Pakistan conducts regular missile tests, despite a revived peace process with nuclear rival India. The last time Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable missile was on June 4.
“Pakistan this morning carried out another successful test of the indigenously produced intermediate range ballistic missile Hatf V (Ghauri),” the statement said.
It said Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz witnessed the test of the surface-to-surface missile, which has a range of 940 miles.
In March, Pakistan test-fired the Shaheen II ballistic missile with a range of 1,250 miles. It said the missile was capable of carrying nuclear warheads to every corner of India.
Pakistan tested its first nuclear bomb in 1998 and says its weapons program is a response to that of India, with which it has fought three wars since both countries won independence from Britain in 1947.
Ghauri and Shaheen are different versions of a Pakistani missile series named Hatf, which is a reference to an ancient Islamic weapon.
Pakistan first test-fired the Ghauri missile in April 1998. India and Pakistan carried out nuclear tests the following month.
The Ghauri missile were formally inducted into the military in January 2003.
The missile was developed by Khan Research Laboratories, Pakistan’s main uranium-enrichment facility, which was named for Abdul Qadeer Khan, the once-revered as the father of the country’s atom bomb.
Khan was fired this year from his job as a special government adviser after he admitted to exporting nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
Some experts say the Ghauri missile was developed with North Korean help in return for nuclear know-how, but Pakistan denies the link and says it is indigenously produced.