A report by a top US think tank has predicted that Pakistan could turn into the fifth largest nuclear weapons state in the world by 2025.
The report titled ‘Pakistani nuclear forces 2015’ read that, “Pakistan has a nuclear weapons stockpile of 110 to 130 warheads, an increase from an estimated 90 to 110 warheads in 2011.”
It added that, “With several delivery systems in development, four operating plutonium production reactors, and uranium facilities, the country’s stockpile will likely increase over the next 10 years, but by how much will depend on many things.”
The report further said that, “The important factors will be the number of nuclear-capable launchers Pakistan plans to deploy and how much India’s nuclear arsenal grows.”
The report was authored by Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris revealed that by 2025 the figure would raise up to 220 to 230 warheads. The estimate has been made on the past 20 year’s record of Pakistan.
Kristensen said, adding that he hoped Islamabad’s “nuclear plans does not set off an action-reaction route” and said that, “India is paying more attention to China in its nuclear planning than Pakistan.”
“Pakistan currently has six types of operational nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, adding at least two more are under development – the short-range Shaheen-1A and medium-range Shaheen-3,” the report further added.
“Pakistan is developing two new cruise missiles, the ground-launched Babur (Hatf-7) and the air-launched Ra’ad (Hatf-8). It also claimed Pakistan is developing a sea-based nuclear capability, referring to a submarine that could carry nuclear warheads,” the report further said.
The report came after the day when Pakistan admitted of having developed “low yield tactical nuclear weapons” to deter any attack from the India in the future and coincides with the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the United States. According to the Pakistani officials, “he is expected to tell the president that Pakistan will not accept limits on its use of small tactical nuclear weapons.”
Whereas Foreign Minister of Pakistan Aizaz Chaudhry said that, “Pakistan would not accept any restriction or compromise on its nuclear capability.”
In an interview to the state television he said, “Pakistan’s nuclear program was based on the objective of minimum deterrence, aimed to prevent Indian aggression.”
He further said, “Pakistan had every right to have nuclear weapons in the face of India’s Cold Start doctrine.”
He said that, “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would reiterate in the US that use of force would be of no solution to Afghan crisis.”
Whereas political analyst Hassan Askari said, “The US has two objectives behind this visit,” and added that, “The first is to put pressure on Pakistan to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiation table and the second is to persuade Pakistan to discourage the activities of the Afghan Taliban within Pakistan.”