Pakistan Military: Missile Test Successful

Alex Rossi, India correspondent
Pakistan Military: Missile Test Successful

The Pakistani military has claimed to have successfully tested a nuclear-capable ballistic missile just days after its arch rival India launched its own new intercontinental weapon, the Agni V.

The move has provoked fears of further instability in the region .

Pakistan and India have long held a profound distrust of each other and have gone to war three times since they were founded in 1947.

The missile - a Shaheen-1A, an intermediate-range ballistic missile - is capable of reaching targets in India and can carry conventional as well as nuclear warheads.

Its impact point was in the Indian Ocean. Military officials would not reveal the range of the missile.

Analysts say Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is the fastest-growing in the world.

Like neighbouring India , Pakistan is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

It conducted nuclear tests in May 1998, shortly after India conducted similar experiments.

But despite the fact it is smaller and on the brink of economic collapse, the country continues to spend enormous sums of money on weapons.

Pakistan is thought to have more nuclear warheads than India and it is estimated that it spends around \$2.5bn (£1.5bn) each year on its nuclear-defence programme.

The Islamic country is thought to have between 90 and 110 warheads, whilst defence experts say New Delhi has between 80 and 100.