( dpa ) - Pakistan on Friday successfully carried out a training launch of a medium-range ballistic missile that is capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the military said.
The army's Strategic Missile Group conducted the launch of the Ghauri (Hatf-V) missile, which can fire payloads up to 1,300 kilometres, a statement from the military said.
Pakistan first test-fired the Ghauri on November 16, 2006.
President Pervez Musharraf, who witnessed the exercise, rejected the concerns expressed recently by Western leaders that Pakistan's around 50 nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of Islamic extremists if the ongoing political instability and militant violence grows further.
"We have taken note of various imaginary scenarios being propounded by those who do not wish Pakistan well. Such elements have never reconciled to a nuclear Pakistan," Musharraf said.
The country is capable of thwarting all threats to its sovereignty and to its nuclear capability, he said, advising caution to the critics.
Pakistan says its atomic program is mainly aimed at maintaining a strategic balance with Nuclear-armed India. The two countries have fought four wars since their freedom from Britain in 1947.
"The nation has developed a strong nuclear deterrence capability," Musharraf said. All "needs for the strategic capability as per Pakistan's minimum deterrence requirements will be met by the nation."