Pakistan has test-fired a ballistic missile that is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to every part of India, another escalation in Islamabad's effort to keep pace with its neighbouring rival's formidable military advances.
Pakistani military leaders said the Shaheen-III missile has a range of up to 2700 kilometres, which could enable it to reach deep into the Middle East, including Israel.
After the missile was fired into the Arabian Sea on Monday, the head of the military unit that oversees Pakistan's nuclear program congratulated scientists and engineers for "achieving yet another milestone of historic significance".
The medium-range Shaheen-III is an updated version of the indigenously produced Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II, which had shorter ranges. "The test launch was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system at maximum range," the military said in a statement.
Pakistani military leaders are trying to maintain a "credible deterrence" as arch-rival India rapidly invests in military hardware.
In recent years, India has moved toward the creation of a missile defence system and is upgrading its air force and submarine fleet. In 2012, India test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, which it said has a range of more than 5000 kilometres.