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Pakistan test-fires ballistic missiles

8 May 2010 10:09

Pakistan has successfully test-fired two short-range and medium-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the country’s military has announced.

An official statement issued by the Pakistani military on Saturday said the short-range ballistic Shaheen-1 missile and the medium-range ballistic Ghaznavi missile both “successfully hit the target areas.”

During Saturday’s missile test, Pakistani systems Ghaznavi and Shaheen were also test-fired.

“Both missiles can carry conventional and nuclear warheads to a range of 290 kilometers and 650 kilometers respectively,” the statement added.

The missile launch marked the conclusion of the annual field training exercise of Army Strategic Force Command, seeking to showcase Pakistan’s military capabilities.

Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Tariq Majid, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir, Director General of Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General Khalid Ahmed Kidwai and other senior military figures were present at the test fire.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gilani called on the international community to recognize Pakistan as a nuclear power, saying “It is time for the world to recognize Pakistan as a de jure nuclear power with equal rights and responsibilities.”

The Pakistani prime minister lauded the country’s nuclear deterrence capability while adding that Islamabad should be given a Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) waiver.

“Energy is a vital economic security need of Pakistan and nuclear energy is a clean way forward,” he stressed.

The 45-member NSG controls the export and sale of nuclear technology worldwide.

South Asian rivals India and Pakistan have routinely carried out missile tests since both countries demonstrated their nuclear weapon capabilities in 1998.

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