WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – Two American think tanks in a report have claimed that Pakistan could add at least 350 nuclear weapons into its arsenal within the next five to 10 years, making it the world’s third-largest nuclear stockpile.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center stated in his latest report that Pakistan is rapidly expanding its nuclear capabilities owing to a war fear of India.
However, Pakistan is far outpacing India in the development of nuclear warheads, the report adds. According to estimates, Pakistan has 120 nuclear heads while India has around 100.
Further, the report said Pakistan could be building up to 20 nuclear warheads annually.
“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 stated in the next few years, Pakistan’s large stockpile of highly enriched uranium that could be used to quickly produce low-yield nuclear devices would become a growing advantage for the country.
India on the other hand, has far larger stockpiles of plutonium, which is needed to produce high-yield warheads, than Pakistan does. However, India appears to be using most of its plutonium to produce domestic energy.
With increasing warheads, Pakistan would probably possess more nuclear weapons than any country except the United States and Russia which each have thousands of the bombs.
Nuclear expert at the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, Mansoor Ahmed, said he suspects that “a more accurate assessment of Pakistan’s capability is that it can develop no more than 40 to 50 new warheads over the next several years.”
However, Ahmed did not dispute that Pakistan’s military is seeking to expand its nuclear capabilities