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Are arch-rivals India and Pakistan trying to out-missile one another?
Pakistan's military today claimed the successful launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile, days after rival India successfully launched a nuclear-capable missile able to reach China in a new show of strength, reported The New York Times.
Pakistani authorities told the Times that today's test-firing of the Hatf IV Shaheen-1A missile was not related to India's military activities.
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The military released a statement saying the missile, which has a greater range than Pakistan's previous missiles, was fired into the Indian ocean, said Reuters. Its exact range was not immediately clear.
Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division head Khalid Ahmed Kidwai told NYT that the missile can carry a nuclear warhead. Islamabad-based defense analyst Mansoor Ahmed said that would help the weapon avoid detection, calling the test an example of Pakistan's "resolve and capability to modernize its nuclear delivery systems," according to NYT.
Pakistan, which along with India has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, has a weapons arsenal stocked with various missiles named after Muslim conquerors, according to The Telegraph.
The country is believed to have the fastest-growing nuclear stockpile in the world.