A new study published yesterday in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says that Pakistan has dramatically increased the rate of its nuclear weapons production in recent years, and is now expanding its nukes stockpile faster than any other country in the world.Pakistan is currently estimated to have 90-110 nuclear weapons, ranking it sixth in the world—just ahead of its neighbour and rival, India.
The new report suggests the Pakistani arsenal could reach 150-200 warheads by the end of the decade.
The last 10 years have seen a much faster rate of Pakistani nuclear proliferation than expected. The United States defence Intelligence Agency estimated in 1999 that Pakistan would have 6-80 nuclear weapons by 2020. It actually reached that figure in 2006.
Pakistan’s nuclear weapons production is projected to expand even further in coming years as two new plutonium reactors and a fuel reprocessing factory start production.
Pakistan says it needs nuclear weapons to deter invasion by its traditional enemy, India—a claim many analysts find dubious. Fears have grown in recent years that weapons could fall into the hands of Islamist militants, who have infiltrated the army and intelligence services.
Last month, Foreign Policy magazine ranked Pakistan as the 12th most failed state in the world.
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