Pak test-fires nuclear-capable Ghauri ballistic missile

The Strategic Missile Group of the Pakistani army's Strategic Force Command conducted the test to mark the conclusion of a field training exercise aimed at testing the operational readiness of the formation that controls the nuclear-capable missiles.
A military spokesman said the test was successful.

The Ghauri or Hatf-V is a "liquid fuel missile which can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads over a distance of 1,300 km," the spokesman said.
The military did not say where the missile was test fired.

Prime Minister Gilani, who witnessed the test along with Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne and Strategic Force Command chief Lt Gen Jamil Haider, said the nuclear deterrence "formed the bedrock of Pakistan's security policy and will continue to be enhanced."

"The test amply demonstrates the credibility of our minimum deterrence strategy, which is the cornerstone of our security policy and ensures peace in the region. It also sends the right signals internationally that Pakistan's defence capability is impregnable and should never be challenged," Gilani said in his speech on the occasion.

In an apparent response to renewed concerns expressed by the West about the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and the possibility of atomic materials falling into the hands of extremists, Gilani said: "I would also like to reiterate with full authority that Pakistan's nuclear weapons are safe, fully secure and under a multi-layered command and control system."

Pakistan is a "responsible nation with an extremely reliable nuclear capability and we do not harbour any aggressive designs against anyone," he said.

"We wish to live in peace with honour and dignity and our nuclear capability is in fact our deterrence against all forms of aggression. Let there be no doubt that Pakistan's armed forces are highly professional, motivated and fully capable of safeguarding Pakistan's security against all types of aggression," he added.

The Pakistani people and government stand fully behind their armed forces and support their nuclear and missile programme, Gilani said.

"Pakistan is not only here to stay but will also go from strength to strength in the pursuit of establishing its rightful place in the community of strong and prosperous nations," he added.

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