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Pakistan announces test of medium-range ballistic missile

By Aliza I. Kassim, CNN
  • The launch of the Hatf-V missile was to test the army's readiness, the military says
  • The missile could carry conventional or nuclear warheads 1,300 kilometers
  • Prime minister: "We do not harbor aggressive designs against anyone"

(CNN) -- Pakistan conducted a test launch of a medium-range Hatf-V ballistic missile Tuesday, the military said.

The launch was aimed at testing the operational readiness of the Army Strategic Force, and was carried out by the Strategic Missile Group of the Army Strategic Force Command, the military said.

Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, the Pakistan military's chief spokesman, said the Hatf-V, also known as the Ghauri, "is a liquid fuel missile which can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads over a distance of 1,300 kilometers" (about 800 miles).

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani joined the top military officers and scientists who observed the event from an undisclosed site, the military said.

Gilani said the test demonstrates the credibility of Pakistani's deterrence strategy, sending "the right signals internationally that Pakistan's defense capability is impregnable and should never be challenged."

Asked what repercussions and world reactions he expected from the test, the prime minister said, "We do not harbor any aggressive designs against anyone. We wish to live in peace with honor and dignity, and our nuclear capability is, in fact, our deterrence against all forms of aggression."