Pakistan successfully test-fired an indigenous short-range nuclear-capable missile on 31 March, the military said.
The surface-to-surface Abdali ballistic missile _ which has a range of 200 kilometers and was launched from an undisclosed location inside Pakistan _ “can carry all types of warheads,” the military said in a statement issued from Rawalpindi, a garrison city near the capital, Islamabad.
The military did not provide any further details, but Pakistan and its nuclear-armed rival, neighboring India, routinely test missiles.Pakistan’s latest comes about a week after India tested its indigenously developed air-to-air Astra missile, with a range of up to 80 kilometers.
Pakistan and India have fought two of three wars over the mountainous Kashmir region, which is divided between the two countries but claimed in entirety by both, after gaining independence from Britain 1947.
India became a declared atomic power in 1974, while Pakistan first carried out underground nuclear tests in 1998 in response to the tests done by New Delhi, rejecting pleas from world leaders at the time.
India’s and Pakistan’s short, medium and long-range missiles are able to hit targets within each other’s territory.Pakistan named its Abdali missile after Ahmad Shah Abdali, an 18th-century Afghan king who attacked India and was accused of plundering the country’s riches.
Pakistan-India relations have improved since 2004, when they began a peace process in an effort to resolve differences, including the one over Kashmir.
The leaders from Pakistan and India will meet next week on the sidelines of a regional summit in New Delhi. The two countries are main members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, or SAARC, which will hold its annual summit in New Delhi on April 3-4.