Pakistan’s nuclear weapons which are between 110 to 130 are aimed at discouraging India from taking military action against it, according to a latest Congressional report.
Islamabad’s “full spectrum deterrence” doctrine has increased the risk of nuclear battle between India and Pakistan, according to the report.
“Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal consists of 110 to 130 nuclear warheads. Islamabad is producing fissile material, adding to related production facilities, deploying extra nuclear weapons, and new types of delivery vehicles”,” Congressional Research Service (CRS), an independent research wing of the US Congress, said in its 28-page report.
In recent years, Pakistan has taken many measures to step up global confidence in the security of its nuclear arsenal, said report.
Moreover, Pakistani and US officials say Islamabad has taken several steps to improve nuclear security and to prevent proliferation of nuclear-related technologies and materials, it said.
A number of initiatives such as strengthened export control laws, improved personnel security, and international nuclear security cooperation programmes, have improved Pakistan’s nuclear security, the CRS said.
“However, instability in Pakistan has called the extent and durability of these reforms into question. Some observers fear radical takeover of the Pakistani government or diversion of material or technology by personnel within Pakistan’s nuclear complex,” the CRS said.
“While the US and Pakistani officials are confident continue to express confidence in controls over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, continued instability in the country could impact these safeguards. Furthermore, continued Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons development could jeopardise strategic stability between the two nations,” it concluded.
According to CRS, Pakistan has said continued exclusion of the country from the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) “would affect regional peace, security and stability,” and “undermine the global non-proliferation regime”.
According to the US law, the US could advocate for Pakistan’s NSG membership without congressional approval. Ambassador Olson testified on December 16, 2015, that the Obama administration is “not negotiating…a civil nuclear cooperation pact with Pakistan.'”
However, as per media reports, the US is considering supporting Islamabad’s NSG membership in exchange for Pakistani actions to reduce perceived dangers associated with the country’s nuclear weapons programme, it said.