The launch was witnessed by Mohammedmian Soomro, the caretaker prime minister, and Ashfaq Kayani, the army chief, the statement  added, saying that more details would be announced later.


Pakistan and India have routinely conducted missile tests since the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours carried out tit-for-tat atomic detonations in May 1998.


However in 2004 they launched a slow-moving peace process aimed at ending six decades of hostility and resolving their dispute over the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, the cause of two of their three wars.


In February 2007 Pakistan and India signed a deal to cut the risk of atomic weapons accidents.


The two countries have an agreement to notify each other about  tests of ballistic missiles but not cruise missiles.