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Pakistan test-fires short-range missile
Updated: 2004-12-08 14:48

Pakistan test-fired a short-range nuclear-capable missile Wednesday, the second in just over a week despite a thaw in relations with neighboring India, military officials said.

Pakistan said it had notified its neighbors it would test a Shaheen, a missile with a 435-mile range, and insisted the test would not affect ongoing talks with India.

"It will have no negative impact on our relations," Pakistan army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan told The Associated Press.

New Delhi had no immediate comment.

Pakistan had said it would conduct more tests after it fired a nuclear-capable, short-range Ghaznavi missile on Nov. 29. India responded with a missile test the following day.

The two countries have fought three wars since they gained independence from Britain in 1947.

Pakistan became a declared nuclear power on May 28, 1998, when it conducted underground nuclear tests in response to those carried out by India. It tested its first missile the same year.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has allocated $8 million to strengthen its nuclear watchdog, an English-language newspaper said. The Dawn said 55 nuclear experts would be hired with the new money.

Pakistan tightened its nuclear controls after Abdul Qadeer Khan, the disgraced founder of its nuclear program, admitted in February that he had supplied technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Although President Gen. Pervez Musharraf has pardoned Khan for his role in making Pakistan the world's first Islamic nuclear power, he is living in virtual house arrest in Islamabad.

Authorities say they have restricted Khan's movement for "security reasons."


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