ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan on Tuesday successfully test-fired a medium-range, nuclear-capable missile that would be able to hit most cities in neighboring India, but defense officials said the test was not intended as a message to its South Asian rival.
“The new version of the Ghauri V missile, which was test-fired today, has a range of 930 miles, and can hit most cities in India,” a senior defense official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
He said Pakistani authorities had informed India and other neighboring countries beforehand about the test.
Pakistan’s military in a statement confirmed the test saying: “Pakistan this morning carried out another successful test of the indigenously produced intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Hatf V (Ghauri) as part of a series of tests planned for the Ghauri Missile System.”
The ceremony to launch the missile was witnessed by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, the statement said, but it gave no details about the location from where the missile was fired.
The official said they have not sent “any wrong signal to India” by test firing the missile at a time when the two nations are engaged in peace talks.
Pakistan became a declared nuclear power on May 28, 1998, when it conducted underground nuclear tests following earlier tests carried out by India.
The two countries have a history of bitter relations and have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. Since coming to the brink of a fourth conflict in 2001, relations have thawed and leaders from both South Asian countries have started peace talks.