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Pakistan test-fires nuclear capable ballistic missile

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missilePakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Friday, the military said, two days after the government confirmed it would resume high-level peace talks with arch-rival India.

The test is the latest in a series carried out by India and Pakistan since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998.

The military said it had fired a Shaheen III surface-to-surface ballistic missile which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads within a range of 2,750 kilometres (1,700 miles).

“The successful flight test with its impact point in the Arabian Sea, validating all the desired parameters … was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system,” the military said in a statement.

The head of the Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Mazhar Jamil, congratulated scientists and engineers involved on achieving a “significant milestone” which complemented the country’s existing deterrence capability, it said.

Jamil asserted that “Pakistan desires peaceful co-existence in the region for which nuclear deterrence would further strengthen strategic stability in South Asia”.

Pakistan last tested the Shaheen III on March 9 this year.

Relations between Pakistan and India — which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 — have always been fraught but soured further last August amid a rise in clashes along their borders and a row over a Pakistani diplomat meeting Kashmiri separatists.

On Wednesday India’s Foreign Minister held talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad on the sidelines of a regional summit on Afghanistan, where they jointly announced they would resume high-level peace talks.


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