ISLAMABAD, Pakistan –
Pakistan said it successfully test-fired a cruise missile Thursday capable of delivering nuclear warheads deep into India.
“The test will consolidate Pakistan’s strategic capability and strengthen national security,” a military statement said, without providing details.
The military says it has extended the range of the missile, first tested in 2005, to 435 miles – enough to reach New Delhi, the capital of archrival India.
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz congratulated the scientists and engineers involved in the project, the statement said.
It didn’t identify the site of the test, the second of the Babur model this year.
In February, Pakistan test-fired a new version of its long-range nuclear-capable missile, Hatf VI or Shaheen II, which has a range of 1,245 miles.
Pakistan routinely tests various nuclear-capable missiles in its arsenal, believed to be designed mainly to match that of neighboring archrival India.
The two countries have a history of hostile relations. Both carried out underground nuclear tests in May 1998.
However, in 2004 they began a series of negotiations to normalize relations and settle their dispute over the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, the main cause of bitterness between them.
Pakistan and India have fought two wars over Kashmir since their independence from British rule in 1947. Kashmir is split between the two countries, but each claims the whole of it.