Continued development of Indo-Pak nuclear arsenals could endanger strategic stability: report

By News Desk

The US Congressional Research Service report (CRS) has once again blown the whistle about some factors that could well ominously endanger strategic stability between Pakistan and India. What is important is to note that this is not the first time that Uncle Sam has come forward with a list of dangers about the nuclearization of South Asia. What is threatening and amazing is that the US is the main reason for increasing nuclearization of the less integrated region. What a paradoxical and hypocritical approach the US has adopted towards the region.

According to the CRS‘s report titled “Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons” , Pakistan’s expansion of its nuclear arsenal, the development of new types of nuclear warheads and the adoption of the ‘full spectrum deterrence’ doctrine have caused observers to “express concern about an increased risk of nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India, which also continues to expand its nuclear arsenal”.

The report estimates Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal may consist of “approximately 110-130” warheads, but said it was possible that the size of the arsenal was larger than estimated. Despite the fact that America has reposed its confidence in controls on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons,  the report added that “continued instability in the country could impact these safeguards”, the CRS report warned.

The report further stated that  a range of steps  had been taken to “increase international confidence” in Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal  and , above all, improve nuclear security and prevent further proliferation of nuclear-related technologies and materials after 2004 revelations about a procurement network run by Abdul Qadeer Khan.

The report has raised some points about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets. Even though “strengthened export control laws, improved personnel security and international nuclear security cooperation programmes have improved Pakistan’s nuclear security”, but “instability in Pakistan has called the extent and durability of these reforms into question”.

Earlier this year, a report examining nuclear security worldwide suggested India’s “nuclear security measures may be weaker than those of Pakistan”, but went on to say that the risk “appears to be moderate”, while claiming that the risk of nuclear theft in Pakistan “appears to be high”.

Such a report on the eve of the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s (NSG) upcoming meeting signals that the US is not interested in backing up Pakistan in joining the NSG. While turning a blind eye to the growing nuclear programme of India makes it crystal clear that the Obama administration is inclined to get India joined the 48-member of NSG. Who will acquire the much-touted membership of the NSG will be determined in the coming meeting of the group  in Seoul.

 

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