Pak­istan's nu­clear stock­pile could be­come world's third largest: re­port

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Pak­istan could be­come the third largest nu­clear stock pile within the next five to ten years, be­hind only the United States and Rus­sia, the Washington Post re­ported, quot­ing re­ports pub­lished by two Amer­i­can think tanks.

The re­port pub­lished on Thurs­day by the Carnegie En­dow­ment for In­ter­na­tional Peace and the Stim­son Cen­ter said that Pak­istan, out of its fear of In­dia, was far out­pac­ing its ri­val neigh­bour in the de­vel­op­ment of nu­clear war­heads and may be build­ing 20 nu­clear war­heads an­nu­ally. The re­port cites an­a­lysts as say­ing that Pak­istan pos­sesses around 120 nu­clear war­heads as com­pared to In­dia's 100. The re­port con­cluded by say- ing that Pak­istan could have at least 350 nu­clear weapons within five to 10 years.

Pak­istan's lead over In­dia could sig­nif­i­cantly grow due to its large stock­pile of highly-en­riched ura­nium that could be used to quickly pro­duce low-yield nu­clear de­vices. The re­port fur­ther said that though In­dia, in com­par­i­son to Pak­istan, has far larger stock­piles of plu­to­nium, which is needed to pro­duce high-yield war­heads, In­dia ap­pears to be us­ing most of its plu­to­nium to pro­duce do­mes­tic energy.

"The growth path of Pak­istan's nu­clear ar­se­nal, en­abled by ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture, goes well be­yond the as­sur­ances of cred­i­ble min­i­mal deter­rence pro­vided by Pak­istani of­fi­cials and an­a­lysts af­ter test­ing nu­clear de­vices," the re­port states.

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