WASHINGTON, Oct 4: The United States has urged both India and Pakistan to restrain their nuclear weapons and missile programmes besides stressing on both the countries to renew the stalled peace process.

Commenting on Pakistan’s latest missile test, State Department’s spokesman Richard Boucher told a briefing on Friday that “the initial reactions (to the test) are such that it doesn’t seem to have heightened tensions in the (South Asian) region.”

“But he added that the United States has “continued to urge both Pakistan and India to take steps to restrain their nuclear weapon and their missile programmes, including no operational deployment of nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.”

Mr Boucher said that the United States also has encouraged the two neighbouring states “to begin a dialogue on confidence- building measures that could reduce the likelihood that such weapons would ever be used.”

“And obviously we think that dialogue could be part of a broader engagement between the two countries to reduce tensions,” he added.

Asked if the missile test was provocative and scheduled to happen before a planned visit to the region by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, the spokesman said: “It was the latest in a series of tests of this (HATF-III Ghaznavi) missile.”

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