Pakistan tests short-range ballistic missile

Other News Materials 13 February 2008 10:26 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The Pakistan military on Wednesday launched a short-range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads in a routine launching training drill, the military said.

The Army's Strategic Missile Group carried out the launch of the Hatf-III Ghaznavi, which has a distance of to 290 kilometres, a statement from the military said.

Pakistan first test-fired the Ghaznavi in December 2006 and handed over it to the Army Strategic Command in March 2007.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro witnessed Wednesday's exercise and said nuclear-armed Pakistan's military strength ensures peace in South Asia, where rival neighbour India also has nuclear weapons.

"The Pakistani government is fully committed to retaining a strong conventional and unconventional deterrence and will meet all the needs of a strong national defence," he added.

It was the third ballistic missile test carried out by Pakistan this year. Earlier it successfully test-launched Shaheen-1 and Ghauri missiles.

Soomro also lauded the country's strategic forces and scientific organizations for "having developed and operationalized a strong nuclear deterrence capability."

Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test in 1998 and is believed to have around 50 warheads.