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Central & South Asia
Pakistan tests short-range missile
Surface-to-surface weapon capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2007 08:02 GMT
The Abdali missile is named after an Afghan king who attacked India in the 18th century [File: AP]
Pakistan has test-fired a short-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, the military has said, ahead of peace talks with its neighbour, India.
 
The surface-to-surface Abdali ballistic missile, which has a range of 200km, was launched from an unspecified location on Saturday.
"The test was aimed at validation of the desired technical parameters which has been successfully achieved," Pakistan'smilitary said in a statement.

The launch comes after the testing of a long-range Shaheen II, also known as the Hatf VI, missile with a range of 2,000km, on February 23.
Pakistan and India, both declared nuclear powers, routinely carry out missile tests and have agreed to inform each other of launches in advance.
 
Nuclear arsenals

In February, the foreign ministers of Pakistan and India met in New Delhi and signed an accord to reduce the risk of accidents linked to their nuclear arsenals.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain 1947, including two over the disputed border region of Kashmir.

India became a declared atomic power in 1974 and Pakistan carried out its first underground nuclear tests in 1998.
 
The two countries nearly went to war for a fourth time in 2002, but their relations improved after they embarked on a peace process two years later.

They are scheduled to begin the latest round of talks in mid-March on a number of issues, including differences over the Himalayan territory.
 
The Abdali missile is named after Ahmad Shah Abdali, an Afghan king who attacked India in 18th century.
Source:
Agencies
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