Pakistan’s military has said it successfully conducted a test of its surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, a day after the country’s foreign minister reiterated an offer to India to resume peace talks.
The Shaheen-II missile, test-fired on Thursday, can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads to a range of up to 1,500km, the military said.
“The training launch was aimed at ensuring operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command,” said a military statement released on Thursday.
The test comes as tensions between India and Pakistan remain high after a military standoff earlier this year that saw both countries launch air attacks on each other’s territory, in which an Indian fighter jet was shot down in an aerial dogfight.
India launched its attack on Pakistani soil on February 26, days after a deadly attack in Pulwama in Indian-administered Kashmir earlier that month that Indian authorities blamed on Pakistan.
India claimed to have destroyed a training camp run by armed group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), but an Al Jazeera visit to the site revealed little evidence to support the claim.
At least four Indian bombs appeared to land close to a JeM-run school, wounding one man.
Pakistan denied any involvement in the Pulwama suicide bombing, and launched retaliatory attacks on February 27, targeting unpopulated areas as a show of force.
Thursday’s test was conducted to reiterate Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence posture, military spokesperson Asif Ghafoor said in a statement.
“Shaheen-II fully meets [Pakistan’s] strat[egic] needs towards maintenance of desired deterrence stability in the region,” he tweeted, alongside a video of the test.
Source : Aljazeera