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Pakistan to become 5th largest nuclear weapons state by 2025; should India be worried?

 

The current stockpile has exceeded the projection made by the US Defence Intelligence Agency in 1999, which estimated Pakistan would only have 60 to 80 nuclear warheads by 2020.

 PIA asks passengers to report five hours before the flight time...

Pakistan, which at present has a stockpile of 140 to 150 nuclear warheads, is headed towards becoming the fifth largest nuclear weapons state. According to a report titled 'Pakistani nuclear forces 2018', Pakistan will have a projected nuclear arsenal of 220 to 250 warheads by the year 2025.

 

The report says US' assessment of Pakistan's nuclear weapons security has changed over the last decade from confidence to concern after the introduction of tactical nuclear weapons.

"With Pakistan developing several delivery systems, four plutonium production facilities, and expanding its uranium enrichment facilities, the stockpile is likely to increase over the next decade," the report said.

Analysis of a large number of commercial satellite images of Pakistan army garrisons and air force bases show mobile launchers and underground facilities which might be related to nuclear forces, it added.

The authors of the report say the increase will depend on a number of factors like how many nuclear-capable launchers the country wants to deploy and how much the Indian nuclear arsenal grows.

"Speculation that Pakistan may possess 350 warheads by 2028 and become the third-largest nuclear weapon state are exaggerated because that would require a build-up two to three times faster than the growth rate over the last 20 years," the authors said.

Pakistan is adapting its nuclear posture to counter military threats at the tactical level by producing and inducting short-range nuclear-tipped missiles.

It seeks a full spectrum deterrent which can not only respond to nuclear attacks but can also counter a conventional Indian army incursion into Pakistani territory, says the report.

"This has been causing considerable tension in other countries, including the US, which fears that the threshold for nuclear weapon use during a military conflict with India will be lowered," says the report.

Hans M Kristensen, the lead author of the report is the director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in Washington, DC. Robert S Norris and Julia Diamond are the co-authors of the report.

 

8 Sep 18

 

 

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India's River Diversion Plan and South Asia's Waters

More dams are to come, as India’s need to power its economy means it is quietly spending billions on hydropower in Kashmir. The Senate report totted up 33 hydro projects in the border area with Pakistan. The state’s chief minister, Omar Abdullah, says dams will add an extra 3,000MW to the grid in the next eight years alone. Some analysts in Srinagar talk of over 60 dam projects, large and small, now on the books. (This special report has appeared in the Bulletin on Current Affairs - February 2012, you may have to Buy the print edition to read full story)

More in the Edition:

South Asia's Water - a growing rivalry

Indian, Pakistani & Chinese Border Disputes

India's River Diversion Plan: Its impact on Bangladesh

Water Crisis can Trigger nuclear war in South Asia

Reclaimed Water - the Western Experience

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