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Pakistan Test-Fires Long-Range Missile --> (RFE/RL) April 29, 2006 -- Pakistan said today it has successfully test-fired a long-range, nuclear-capable, surface-to-surface missile.

The ballistic Hatf VI missile has a range of 2,500 kilometers and can carry conventional and nonconventional weapons.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said his country needs its nuclear strength to maintain peace in the region.

"It a historic and fortunate day today for Pakistan because, once again, with the endeavors and efforts of our scientists, we have successfully tested a Shaheen-2 [Hatf VI] missile," he said. "Pakistan is a peace-loving country and we want peace in this region. But peace is established through power, and for this, we have to take our conventional and nuclear strength forward. This is our asset, this is nation's asset, and, God willing, we will establish peace through it, in this region. I congratulate the scientists, the engineers, and all those who have worked for the nuclear program as well as today's missile test, because Pakistan's recognition in the world today is the result of their efforts and endeavor."

The Pakistani military said the test was conducted to validate additional technical parameters since the last test-fire of the missile in March 2005. It was not known where the test was conducted.

(AP, Reuters)