Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal consists of approximately 110 to 130 India-specific nuclear warheads, a recent US Congressional report has revealed.
“Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal probably consists of approximately 110-130 nuclear warheads, although it could have more,” the the US Congressional Research Service report read.
Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking military action against Pakistan, it added.
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Although Pakistan’s nuclear programme is widely regarded as designed to deter India, its arch-rival, from launching any nuclear misadventure against the country, but its expansion and development of new types of nuclear weapons and adoption of a doctrine called “full spectrum deterrence” have led some observers to express concern about an increased risk of a nuclear conflict between the two nations, the report upheld.
“Islamabad is producing fissile material, adding to related production facilities, deploying additional nuclear weapons and new types of delivery vehicles,” the report said.
In recent years, Pakistan has taken some strong measures, including strengthening of export control laws, improved personnel security and international nuclear security cooperation programmes, to bolster the security of its nuclear arsenal which has received global acclamation.
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However, it said that a number of recent terrorist incidents have cast doubts in the durability of the measures taken by Islamabad to ensure the safety and security of its nuclear arsenal. “Some observers fear radical takeover of the Pakistani government or diversion of material or technology by personnel within Pakistan’s nuclear complex,” it said.
The report went on to point out that New Delhi is also constantly engaged in expanding its nuclear weapons and capabilities which may jeopardise the peace and stability in the region. “Continued Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons development could jeopardize strategic stability between the two countries,” it warned.
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India and Pakistan have been arch-rivals since gaining independence from Britain in 1947 and have fought three wars against each other.
Read the full report here.
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