ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan test fired its first cruise missile early Thursday without warning archrival India under a new treaty requiring notification of tests involving missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, officials said.
The Foreign Ministry said the missile notification agreement formalized by the two nuclear-armed nations over the weekend did not cover cruise missiles.
India's Foreign Ministry said it had no comment on the test. Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed (search) said the peace process should still move ahead.
The notification pact is part of a confidence-building process being pursued by the two South Asian neighbors that have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. They also agreed over the weekend to set up a hot line next month to help prevent accidental nuclear conflict.
Their hostile relations stem mainly from their dispute over Kashmir (search), a Himalayan region divided between them but claimed by each in its entirety.
The Babur cruise missile, which can also carry a conventional warhead, has a range of 310 miles and was fired from an undisclosed site. "By the grace of Allah, all design parameters for the flight were validated," a military statement said.
Cruise missiles are typically low-flying guided missiles that use jet propulsion. The military statement said the Babur can hit a target with "pinpoint accuracy" and be fired from surface warships, submarines and fighter jets.
"The technology enables the missile to avoid radar detection and penetrate undetected through any hostile defensive system," it said.
An army spokesman, Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, said Pakistan had joined the few countries "that can design and make cruise missiles."
India's military also has a cruise missile, the supersonic Brahmos.
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf (search) praised the scientists and engineers involved in the Babur project for their success, "and reiterated Pakistan's resolve to continue to meet emerging challenges and geo-strategic developments in its neighborhood," the army statement said.
Pakistan and India, which both conducted nuclear test explosions in 1998, often carry out tit-for-tat missile tests capable of reaching deep inside each other's territory.
In March, Pakistan successfully test fired its longest range nuclear-capable missile, the Shaheen II (search), which can reach 1,250 miles.
India has said it will test its longest range missile, the 1,865-mile Agni III, by year's end.