The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) and the Stimson Center (SC) have claimed that Pakistan may be building twenty nuclear warheads annually and could have the world’s third-largest nuclear stockpile in upcoming ten years.
The report by two American thinks tanks CEIP and SC stated that Pakistan is continuously expanding its nuclear capabilities against its archrival, India, also a nuclear power. According to both institutions, Pakistan has about 120 nuclear heads against 100 of India. Pakistan operates four plutonium production reactors against one of the India. Pakistan is in a position to build 20 nuclear warheads annually.
The report compared the Pakistan’s nuclear strategic policy with Soviet Union saying: “Just as the Soviet Union’s large nuclear arsenal was of no help whatsoever for its manifold economic and societal weaknesses, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons do not address its internal challenges.”
Some editorial painted Pakistan as a country that is recklessly building its nuclear arsenal. But they must keep in mind Pakistan was no the first to introduce weapons in South Asia; India did.
Western think tanks also proposes five nuclear weapon-related initiatives to Pakistan:
– Shift declaratory policy from “full spectrum” to “strategic” deterrence.
– Commit to a recessed deterrence posture and limit production of short-range delivery vehicles and tactical nuclear weapons.
– Lift Pakistan’s veto on Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty negotiations and reduce or stop fissile material production.
– Separate civilian and military nuclear facilities.
– Sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty without waiting for India.
The only way the international community can prevent an arms race and stabilize the nuclear balance is to adopt a criteria-based approach to nuclear normalization for both India and Pakistan. Criteria for Pakistan should be the same as — or as lax as — for India.
Why Pakistan needs nuclear weapons?
Some newspapers are claiming that Pakistan never responded on its nuclear warheads policy. Below are the few lines written by Pakistan embassy spokesman to The New York Times:
1)- Pakistan was not the first to introduce nuclear weapons in South Asia; India did. Pakistan had to develop nuclear capability purely for self-defense. Regrettably, the editorial conveniently avoided referring to India’s aggressive military posturing and its expanding nuclear and missile capabilities.
2)- To Pakistanis, the western narrative about nuclear dangers, and thus the basis for Pakistan’s exclusion from the nuclear mainstream, is profoundly unfair and accentuates nuclear risks in the region.
3)- As one former Pakistani diplomat aptly sums up, Pakistan cannot ignore:
“India’s growing conventional capabilities (further augmented by the west for commercial and geopolitical reasons) coupled with its provocative military doctrines continue to pose a wide-ranging threat for Pakistan. On its part, Pakistan seeks to balance its military capabilities by combination of nuclear and conventional strategies. The point is that Pakistan is merely responding to the threat environment being constructed around it as it did by conducting its nuclear tests in 1998.”
4)- South Asian nuclear competition is generated by India’s actions and the support New Delhi receives from exogenous forces. As long as Pakistan is kept outside the nuclear mainstream, Pakistani analysts argue, instability will grow because New Delhi maintains hegemonic aspirations that are immutable and will become more problematic with rising disparities in national power on the subcontinent.
5)- Granting of NSG membership to India while by-passing Pakistan would have predictable outcomes: emboldening India to significantly expand its nuclear arsenal and capabilities and turning down any meaningful disarmament/arms control offers from Pakistan. This could lead to an open-ended nuclear arms race in South Asia.
Abdul Hadi is a C.A student and professional blogger who has been writing since five years. He specializes on various topics including Business, Technology, News, and Reviews. He likes to produce such content that readers like to read.