Pakistan Test-Fires Second Missile in a Week

Pakistan (search) on Wednesday test fired a medium-range, nuclear-capable missile, the second such test in less than a week, the army said.

The army said it successfully fired off the Hatf-4 missile (search), also known as the Shaheen 1, in the early morning hours. The missile has a range of 435 miles, meaning it can hit most major targets in rival India.

"The test is part of the ongoing series of tests of Pakistan's indigenous missile systems," the army said in a statement, adding that: "In a spirit of confidence building Pakistan had given prior notification of the tests to its neighbors."

On Friday, Pakistan shot off the short-range Hatf-3 Ghaznavi (searchmissile and promised other tests in coming days.

In New Delhi, the Indian Defense Ministry spokesman could not be reached immediately for comment on the new Pakistani missile test.

But Pakistan insisted that India and other neighboring countries were notified beforehand.

The army would not reveal the location of Wednesday's test, citing security reasons.

Friday's test was the first in Pakistan since March, but Islamabad insists the missile tests have nothing to do with simmering tensions with India.

The two countries appeared headed for peace talks a few short months ago, and the silos were silent while they resumed diplomatic ties and restored bus links.

On April 18, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee raised hopes in the region with a surprise call for peace with Pakistan, saying he was extending a "hand of friendship" to his bitter rival.

The two countries appeared eager to discuss even the flashpoint issue of Kashmir, the Himalayan region split between them but claimed by both in its entirety. The former princely state has been the source of two of the three wars between Pakistan and India since 1947.

But negotiations never materialized and Pakistani and Indian leaders have recently traded accusations and insults.

Indian and Pakistani officials at the U.N. General Assembly last month engaged in their most bitter public sparring in years.

India's U.N. ambassador, Vijay Nambiar, accused Pakistan of engaging in a "diplomacy of abuse and hate."

Vajpayee later acknowledged the "peace process has suffered a setback," while Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Masood Khan accused the Indian leader of being "full of negativity."