Pakistan tests 2 missiles, wants nuke recognition

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 8, 2010 14:09
1 minute read.

 
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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan successfully test-fired two ballistic missiles Saturday capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the military said, as the Islamic nation's leader urged the world to recognize it as a legitimate nuclear power.

The Shaheen-1 missile has a range of about 400 miles (650 kilometers), while the second Ghaznavi missile could hit targets at a distance of 180 miles (290 kilometers), an army statement said. Both can carry conventional and nuclear warheads.

Pakistan's missiles are mostly intended for any confrontation with archrival India, but Saturday's tests were unlikely to aggravate tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors, since they both routinely conduct missile tests.

The latest Pakistani missile test came more than a week after the leaders of two sides met in Bhutan on the sidelines of a regional conference, hoping to improve relations that have been strained since the deadly 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani urged world powers "to recognize Pakistan as a dejure nuclear power with equal rights and responsibilities," the army statement said. The prime minister called for cooperation on civilian nuclear power, which would help relieve Pakistan's chronic energy shortages.

Pakistan has refused to sign nonproliferation accords and faces a nuclear trade ban.

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