Pakistan on Tuesday successfully test fired a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads, the military said.
The military said in a statement that Ghauri Hatf 5, with a range of 1,300 kilometres (800 miles), could carry conventional and other warheads.
The launch was conducted by the Army Strategic Force command’s strategic missile group at the end of a field-training exercise aimed at testing the force’s operational readiness, the statement said.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chairman General Khalid Shahmeem Wyne and other senior military officers and scientists witnessed the tests, it said.
“You have made the nation proud and we salute you for your outstanding work,” Gilani told the scientists and engineers.
Gilani said Pakistan could be proud of its defence capability and the reliability of its nuclear deterrence. This capability, he added, formed the bedrock of Pakistan’s security policy and will continue to be enhanced.
“The test amply demonstrates the credibility of our minimum deterrence strategy, which is the cornerstone of our security policy and ensures peace in the region,” he said.
“It also sends the right signals internationally that Pakistan’s defence capability is impregnable and should never be challenged.”Gilani said Pakistan was a responsible nation with an extremely reliable nuclear capability and did not harbor any aggressive designs against anyone.
South Asian rivals India and Pakistan — which have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed territory of Kashmir — have routinely carried out missile tests since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998.
Pakistan’s arsenal includes short-, medium- and long-range missiles named after Muslim conquerors.
“Let there be no doubt that Pakistan’s armed forces are highly professional, motivated and fully capable of safeguarding Pakistan’s security against all types of aggression,” Gilani added.