He said that Pakistan's nuclear capability had matured to full operational capability in the past seven years.

Khaled Mahmood, an Islamabad-based analyst, said the test was probably meant as a message to domestic hardliners who claim that Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president, was "unilaterally giving concessions to India".

He said: "It is obviously a show of power as the missile test came a day after the two sides held talks."

In March 2005, Pakistan test-fired its longest nuclear capable missile, the Shaheen II, which can travel over 2,000km.

India test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni III missile, with a range of 3,000 km, in July 2006.

G. Parthasarthy, a former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan, said that Pakistan was welcome to test whatever missiles it wanted.

He said: "We all know that these are either of Chinese or North Korean origin. Perhaps, it's a symbol of welcome to Chinese president Hu Jintao's visit to the region next week. It won't affect India-Pakistan relations."