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Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique
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Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - An overview and critique

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Pakistan is a member of the ‘nuclear club’ with an arsenal of ~120 warheads. However, Pakistan’s regular appearance in lists of ‘unstable governments’, rising religious …

Pakistan is a member of the ‘nuclear club’ with an arsenal of ~120 warheads. However, Pakistan’s regular appearance in lists of ‘unstable governments’, rising religious
militancy in the region, and experience with A.Q. Khan Network have raised concerns globally. This paper provides an overview of Pakistan’s nuclear program, its regional/international cooperation, and key issues stirring international worry.

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  • 1. Vikas Sharma Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Program An Overview and Critique Vikas Sharma, PMP® Associate Director, Public Sector & Government Practice, Frost & Sullivan April, 2014 Contains 14 pages (excluding the cover sheet and References)
  • 2. Vikas Sharma Section 1 – Introduction While Pakistan had a civilian nuclear program since the 1960s aided by USA’s Atoms for Peace initiative; the turning point in favor of acquiring nuclear weapons came in the wake of defeat in 1971 at the hands of India, and secession of East Pakistan (Bangladesh). A crucial blow to Pakistan’s strategic and political influence, the defeat pushed Pakistani leadership towards pursuing nuclear weapons as essential levelers to combat India’s conventional superiority; their resolve encapsulated in President Bhutto’s eminently quotable vow of acquiring nuclear weapons even if it meant eating grass. Today Pakistan is a member of the ‘nuclear club’ with an arsenal ~120 warheads. However, Pakistan’s regular appearance in lists of ‘unstable governments’, rising religious militancy in the region, and experience with A.Q. Khan Network (that was held responsible for illicit transfer of nuclear technology in and out of Pakistan); have raised concerns globally. This paper provides an overview of Pakistan’s nuclear program, its regional/international cooperation, and key issues stirring international worry.
  • 3. Vikas Sharma Section 2 – Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapon Program This section provides an overview of Pakistan’s nuclear weapon capabilities, command & control regime, and instances of foreign assistance; and goes on to analyze key tenets of Pakistani nuclear engagement policy. Infrastructure & Arsenal • Pakistan is one of two countries (other being India) actively producing highly enriched Uranium (HEU). Starting production in 1980s, Pakistan is believed to have produced 2-3.5 tonnes of HEU, with current annual production of 120-180kg at the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) at Kahuta, enough for 10-15 warheads. Pakistan also has a parallel Plutonium production capability, with four operational reactors at Khushab (and one more under construction). Annual production from Khushab is estimated conservatively at 33kg. As of 2011, Pakistan’s Plutonium stockpile was estimated at around 150kg, set to rise fast as Pakistan’s seemingly aims to shift to a Plutonium-based nuclear program (evidenced by expansions at Khushab and new facilities at Nilore and Chashma). • Pakistan guards information on nuclear capability with extreme secrecy and doesn’t release official statistics regarding the size of its nuclear arsenal. Estimates based on available information – number of launchers, amount of fissile material produced and converted into weapon cores, amount used in each weapon, declarations by senior army generals – place Pakistan’s nuclear warheads at 120 at end-2013. These warheads are not believed to be operationally deployed but in central storage at various sites. Pakistan’s HEU-based warheads use an implosion design with a solid core of approximately 15-20kg of HEU, partly based on a similar Chinese warhead design. Delivery Systems • Presently, Pakistan has two delivery modes for nuclear weapons – missiles controlled by the Pakistan Army and aircraft controlled by Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
  • 4. Vikas Sharma • The perceived need to display ability to execute a nuclear strike deep within India has been the key motivation behind Pakistan’s interest in medium and long-range missiles. Pakistan has a variety of nuclear-capable medium range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) with ranges up to 2500km. The two flagship ballistic missile series are: o Shaheen – Solid-fueled ballistic missiles (BMs) with Chinese M-11 and M-18 lineage capable of delivering conventional or nuclear payloads. Shaheen 1 is a short-range ballistic missile with a range of 750km and Shaheen 2 is medium ranged at 2500km. While costlier, Shaheen missiles are believed to have higher accuracy and shorter deployment time than Ghauri. o Ghauri – Liquid-fueled BMs believed to be based on North Korea’s Rodong series. With a range of 2300km, Ghauri-II improved on Ghauri-I (1500km). Being liquid-fueled, Ghauri missiles can’t store fuel for extended periods and need to be fueled for hours before launching, thus making them vulnerable to ‘first strike’. Because of this, Pakistan is believed to be moving away from Ghauri as nuclear missiles of choice, using them for testing instead. • In addition to BMs, Pakistan has also developed two families of cruise-missiles o Babur – Can be launched from ground-based erector launchers, warships and submarines, with a range of 700-1000km; and are designed to avoid radar detection. Development was motivated by India’s reported plans to acquire Patriot missiles to counter Pakistan’s BMs. Work is believed ongoing on developing sea-based and air-based launch platforms for Babur. o Ra’ad – Is an air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) operational with the PAF. Current range is stated to be 350km and it can be armed with a 10-35kt nuclear warhead. • To diversify its nuclear-strike options and to address concerns that increasing number of nuclear assets and bases make Pakistan a ‘target-rich’ environment; Pakistan maintains air-based strike capability. Between dedicated squadrons of F-16s and Mirage V (soon to be replaced by Chinese JF-17s), Pakistan’s nuclear- dedicated aircraft exceed 50. The development of above-mentioned Ra’ad has bolstered Pakistan’s aeriel options in addition launching nuclear warheads from fighter-bombers (toss bombing).
  • 5. Vikas Sharma • Pakistan has developed ‘Nasr’, short-range nuclear-capable BMs that carry sub-kt warheads up to 60km. This foray into tactical nuclear capability is believed to be in response to India’s ‘Cold Start’ doctrine. Command and Control • Government’s command and control system is based on “C4I2SR” – command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The current structure, referred to as Strategic Command Organization (SCO), has three tiers – National Command Authority (NCA), Strategic Plans Division (SPD), and three Strategic Forces Commands (SFCs). • Established in 2000, NCA supervises all organizations involved in nuclear weapons, development, and employment, including the military. With Pakistan’s prime minister as its chairperson, NCA comprises top civilian and military officials. NCA has two committees – Employment Control Committee (ECC) that defines nuclear strategy and establishes command and control systems; and Development Control Committee (DCC) that is responsible for weapon development and oversight. Final authority to launch nuclear strikes requires consensus within NCA, with chairperson casting the final vote. • SPD, a 70-officer body headed by an Army director-general, acts as NCA’s secretariat, and is a key power-center. Its functions include formulating nuclear policy/strategy, developing chain of command, securing arsenals, and formulating/coordinating operational plans with the three SFCs for movement and deployment of weapons. SPD also oversees selection and training of personnel to serve in the nuclear complex. SPD has authority to investigate suspicious personnel conduct that may relate to proliferation; and recommend punishments for retired/serving personnel that override other laws. Foreign Assistance • China and Pakistan have long been allies and have signed numerous agreements on peaceful use of nuclear technology, whereby China has supplied nuclear power capability and equipment to Pakistan. However, China has also been accused of assisting in Pakistan’s nuclear weapon program, with claims
  • 6. Vikas Sharma of sale of weapon technology and weapon-grade Uranium, and of conducting weapon testing on Pakistan’s behalf. Evidence confirming these claims would hold China in direct breach of Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that it is a signatory to. China has repeatedly refuted these allegations. • Reports by Congressional Research Service (CRS) in the US have alleged that Pakistan has secretly obtained ballistic missile technology from North Korea, with flagship missile ‘Ghauri’ said to be reverse-engineered from North Korea’s Rodong missiles. • Officials from Israel and US have alleged since the 1990s that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons projects are being financed by Saudi Arabia, with the understanding that Pakistan would make nuclear weapons available to Saudi Arabia if called upon. This issue is discussed in detail later in this paper. Key Tenets of Nuclear Engagement Policy • Pakistan has stated that its nuclear weapons are solely intended to deter military aggression and would be used only if its ‘national integrity was threatened’ (President Musharraf in 1999) or ‘only if the very existence of Pakistan as a state is threatened’ (Lieutenant General Kidwai in 2001). Kidwai detailed Pakistan’s nuclear threshold on various facets: o Spatial – penetration by Indian forces on a large scale o Military – destruction of large swathe of land or air forces that could lead to imminent defeat. Nuclear retaliation is also threatened in case of pre-emptive strikes meant to destroy Pakistan’s nuclear installations. o Economic – strangulation via economic blockades, stopping Indus River’s flow, capture of Karakoram Highway etc. o Political – destabilization of Pakistan’s political stability by external forces • Since 1999, Pakistan has a declared ‘minimum deterrence’ policy, whereby instead of seeking a nuclear arsenal equivalent to India’s, Pakistan has set upon attaining one that is just large enough to inflict ‘unacceptable damage’ on India instead. By definition of guaranteed unacceptable damage, Pakistan is
  • 7. Vikas Sharma understood to use an Indian pre-emptive strike as planning assumption, to be calibrated further with deployment of missile defense by India. Pakistan first declared attainment in 2005, and has reiterated commitment to maintain it in line with changing bilateral relations and evolving understanding of ‘unacceptable damage’. • It has been widely conjectured that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are kept on ‘low-alert’ mode. During peacetime, missiles are stored separately separate from warheads; and possibly in a disassembled form. However, these storage sites are located within military bases, which means that weapons can be deployed with low latency. David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security describes Pakistan’s stance as ‘partial deployment’. Once made operational, one of three defined scenarios is to be executed – ‘launch on warning’; ‘launch under attack’; ‘launch on orders’. • Pakistan is assumed to subscribe to NATO’s controlled escalation approach in its nuclear engagement policy – having developed options for limited strikes on Indian bases near the border to signal resolve before heading for full-scale war. • While Pakistan has pledged no-first-use against non-nuclear-weapon states, it hasn’t ruled out first-use against nuclear-armed aggressors. This can be construed as an attempt to balance the scale against India’s conventional nuclear superiority. Also, it has possibly given Pakistan leeway to support low- intensity border conflicts or proxy-wars in Kashmir; while effectively deterring India at strategic level • While not officially declared, Pakistan’s nuclear targeting strategy is understood to be counter-value (targeting population and industrial areas) vis-à-vis counter-force (targeting military installations). India’s military bases are widely dispersed across its huge geography, which makes counter-force less viable given Pakistan’s paucity in both number and range of weapons. On the contrary, several major Indian cities and industrial centers are within Pakistan’s striking range.
  • 8. Vikas Sharma Section 3 – Participation in Arms Control and Disarmament Measures Pakistan’s posturing towards agreements and efforts directed at disarmament, non-proliferation and weapons- control is determined predominantly by its relationship with India. Pakistan typically offers to sign treaties that India declares willingness to, and refuses cooperation where India does the same. In view of that, this section analyzes Pakistan’s stance on international measures and organizations; followed by a discussion on bilateral efforts with India. Involvement in International Measures and Organizations • Pakistan is a non-signatory to Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Since Pakistan developed nuclear weapons post-1967, it can’t enter NPT as a nuclear-weapon state (NWS), and entering NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state (NNWS) would entail dismantling its nuclear arsenal and placing nuclear materials under IAEA safeguards. Pakistan’s enduring stance since 1967 had been that it would sign NPT as a NNWS if India did likewise. However, nuclear cooperation agreements between US-India and NSG waivers secured by India have left Pakistan aggrieved and it has changed its position, claiming it would only join as a NWS. Pakistan has cited growing military asymmetry with India as justification for needing to maintain adequate nuclear deterrence. • Pakistan has blocked negotiations on UN’s Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) that seeks to prohibit further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. Pakistan argues that FMCT should also require states to reduce current stocks of fissile material, since without this requirement; Pakistan would be disadvantaged against India’s larger existing fissile stocks and production capability, and its capacity to maintain minimum deterrence curtailed. Pakistan’s opposition has been hardened by nuclear-trade waivers granted to India by NSG in 2008 on US backing, since India can now ostensibly purchase foreign uranium for power-reactors while utilizing domestic reserves for developing nuclear weapons. Pakistan has expressed openness to FMCT if granted similar NSG waivers to access nuclear
  • 9. Vikas Sharma material for civilian energy use, a move opposed by USA on grounds of Pakistan’s unsatisfactory proliferation record. Interestingly, Pakistan’s FMCT opposition marks a rare occasion where Pakistan has taken a position independent of and contrary to India’s. • Although India and Pakistan have an unspoken moratorium on testing, both are non-signatories to Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) that bans nuclear explosions in all environments. Ostensibly, neither country is not facing undue pressure on this count since USA itself hasn’t ratified CTBT. Analysts consider it unlikely that Pakistan will test first, cognizant of the international sanctions and criticism it may draw. Three scenarios for possible future Pakistani testing can be painted: 1. Pakistan tests after an Indian test campaign, either for political posturing or for technical reasons (for example, enhancing reliability and security, testing new types of warheads such as thermonuclear devices, or new designs for smaller warheads). 2. Pakistan follows France’s example, conducts a final test-campaign, and joins CTBT 3. Pakistan detects critical design flaws in its warheads and has to test to correct them • Pakistan is party to some multilateral organizations and programs, including the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). It is part of USA’s Secure Freight Initiative, having stationed systems at Port Qasim to scan containers for nuclear materials. Pakistan has made its export control mechanisms more stringent, including the 2004 Export Control Act and establishing Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV) to regulate biological, nuclear and missile-related exports. Pakistan also maintains control lists of dual-use goods that are in line with standards maintained by organizations like NSG, Australia Group (AG), and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Bilateral Efforts with India • Negotiations to dial-down nuclear war posturing have been mired by multiple instances of failure to reach agreement and rejected proposals. Some examples: o Pakistan has repeatedly rejected India’s offer of a treaty on ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons
  • 10. Vikas Sharma o India rejected proposal for a South Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (1978) o India rejected proposal for mutual inspections of each other’s nuclear facilities (1979) o India rejected proposal for simultaneous adherence to NPT (1979) o India rejected simultaneous acceptance of full-scope IAEA safeguards (1979) o India rejected a bilateral nuclear test-ban treaty (1987) o India rejected a proposed South Asia Zero-Missile Zone (1994) • The first few proposals were raised by Pakistan when it hadn’t as yet perfected nuclear weapons technology, and were treated with suspicion by India as time-biding measures. Even in later years, India’s declared distrust of Pakistan’s intentions and contention that Pakistan may run a covert weapons program has blocked bilateral agreements. Seemingly, India’s distrust has been vindicated on several occasions such as revelations on A.Q. Khan Network, and Pakistan’s inability to garner trust from international community at large, including long-time ally USA. • There have been instances of successful bilateral diplomacy too as detailed below: o Agreement to not attack each other’s nuclear facilities (1989). Ever since, both countries have exchanged lists of nuclear installations at the start of each year o Agreement to set up a hotline to warn each other of accidents that may be mistaken for attacks (2004), followed by agreement to alert each other on ballistic missile tests. These were seen as necessary given persistent tensions and extremely short response-times available to react to perceived attacks o It merits noting that none of these agreements limited nuclear programs in either country • Strategic analysts concur that India’s securing NSG waivers has dented prospects of further nuclear- weapon related diplomacy between the neighbors, as Pakistan has perceived this development with great indignation and as a signal of preferential treatment for India, in effect recognizing India as a NWS, a status coveted by but declined to Pakistan.
  • 11. Vikas Sharma Section 4 – Areas of Concern Other than looming threat of mutually-destructive nuclear war in the Indian sub-continent, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program has given the broader international community several other causes for trepidation that can be classified into two buckets – 1) concerns over proliferation of weapons and related technology to other nations and 2) concerns over Pakistan’s ability keep its nuclear arsenal safe. This section details and analyzes various facets of these concerns. Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons • Pakistan’s biggest proliferation black-mark is the black market network set up and operated under Abdul Qadeer Khan (A.Q. Khan), who headed Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) and is revered as ‘father of the Pakistani bomb’. It found its origins in Pakistan’s extensive use of clandestine procurement networks in 1970s to obtain technology for its fledgling nuclear-weapons program (a fact admitted by Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI). Khan directed this procurement effort, and subsequently ‘re-wired’ the networks to provide key nuclear weapon components – material, enrichment technology, warhead designs, names of middlemen/manufacturers – to willing buyers for profit. Confirmed buyers include Libya, Iran and North Korea, though suspicion is attached to Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Syria too. This episode remains the severest loss of control over nuclear technology ever, and an enduring embarrassment for Pakistan’s government that scrambled to deny links with the culprit it once hailed as a national hero. Pakistan’s continued reluctance to provide access to A.Q. Khan for IAEA questioning has been criticized, and the network’s complete dismantling is unconfirmed. • Past incidents of Al-Qaeda contact with Pakistan’s nuclear intelligentsia have raised eyebrows, most notably the verified collaboration between retired Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) scientists – Bashiruddin Mahmood and Chaudiri Abdul Majeed – and Al-Qaeda leadership. Under umbrella of UTN humanitarian organization, discussions were held with Osama bin Laden and Ayman
  • 12. Vikas Sharma al-Zawahiri in August 2001 on nuclear bomb design and construction of radiological dispersal devices. UTN’s alleged work on biological weapons and ‘dirty-bombs’ also came to light. Post 9/11, Pakistan interrogated these scientists and placed them under house-arrest. • Saudi Arabia’s long-standing relationship with Pakistan (especially in military domain), is an open secret. Speculation is rife over a ‘pact’ that in return for financial assistance, Pakistan would make nuclear weapons available to Saudi Arabia if needed. Saudis’ interest in nuclear deterrents stems primarily from concern over Iran’s covert nuclear program. Saudis have threatened for years that if Iran gains nuclear weapon capability, Riyadh would follow. US efforts to relax sanctions in return for curtailed enrichment activities by Iran are believed to have strained US-Saudi relations, and raised the specter of Saudis turning to Pakistan. While Riyadh could just be posturing to pressurize US to be firmer with Iran, there exists clear recent precedent (2011) of Saudis requesting and receiving Pakistani military forces to quell a Shi’ite uprising in Bahrain. Some possible scenarios Pakistan could follow: 1. Promises nuclear retaliation from sites in Pakistan in event of nuclear attack on Riyadh 2. Commits nuclear-armed airplanes into Saudi airfields 3. Houses nuclear-capable missiles and crews to Saudi Arabia (would require Saudi development of requisite infrastructure – launch-pads, storage, control) 4. Sells nuclear missiles and technological know-how to Riyadh Interestingly (and worryingly), scenarios 1-3 don’t violate NPT and are similar to US stationing of nuclear-weapons in Europe during Cold War. • While chances of state-approved proliferation are assessed as low (except in Saudi Arabia’s case), concerns over proliferation by knowledgeable ‘insiders’ (such as A.Q. Khan and Bashiruddin Mahmood) persist. Pakistan has taken concrete steps to ensure such individuals’ reliability. SPD has instituted a Personnel Reliability Programme (PRP) similar to USA’s for officials and scientists working on sensitive projects. All individuals undergo security clearance by ISI, Intelligence Bureau, Military
  • 13. Vikas Sharma Intelligence and SPD; and are subjected to checks every two years or when transferred from one area of programme to another. Checks encompass all aspects related to family, education, political affiliations and fundamentalist inclinations. Similarly, a Human Reliability Programme (HRP) has been started for all military personnel involved in Pakistan’s nuclear program. Crucially, the 2007 Ordinance that legally institutionalized NCA, gave SPD authority to investigate suspicious conduct and prosecute any guilty personnel (whether retired or serving) with upto 25 years imprisonment, notwithstanding any other laws. • Another attempt to prevent recurrence of ‘Khan Network’-like debacles has been 2004’s Export Act, established to strengthen controls over export of material, equipment and technologies related to nuclear weapons. A control-list of dual-use goods that is consistent with international regimes like NSG, MTCR and Australia Group, is maintained and updated regularly. Exporters found guilty of violations face heavy fines, lengthy imprisonment, and seizure of all assets and property. As another show of intent, Pakistan has joined GICNT. Security of Nuclear Weapons • There is considerable international concern regarding security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, especially in light of increased insurgent and terrorist violence, and areas of Pakistan coming under Taliban control. Taliban-linked groups have led successful attacks on numerous government and military targets. Attacks on Minhas Air Force Base (which is conjectured to house nuclear weapons though denied by authorities) in 2007-09 and temporary gain of access to base by terrorists in a 2012 gunfight made global news. Pakistan’s HEU facility at Khushab lies close to Taliban-heavy territory. Also, there have been attempted kidnappings of officials and technicians working at nuclear power sites in west-Pakistan. Additionally, while Pakistan’s widely-known policy of separate storage of warheads and delivery vehicles provides protection against accidental launch, it has been argued that it makes it easier for unauthorized personnel to gain access and remove weapons’ fissile material. • Other worrisome scenarios that have been painted include –
  • 14. Vikas Sharma o loss of control to weapons to rogue military units o ascension to power of a radical Islamist government that is liberal with proliferation to Islamist terrorists or ignites mutually-destructive war with India o attack on civilian nuclear facilities to release large amounts of radioactivity or to acquire spent fuel to make ‘dirty bombs’ • Cognizant of the importance of security, Pakistan has a 10,000-strong security force headed by a two- star general deployed at its nuclear facilities. Facilities are geographically distributed and feature multi- layered security – air defence systems, no-fly zones, fencing, monitoring by close-circuit camera and sensors – supported by counterintelligence teams. Additionally, warheads are equipped with Permissive Action Links (PALs) that prevent activation by unauthorized personnel. For safe transportation, Pakistan has ratified Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) and has met stated guidelines. Post 9/11, Pakistan has welcomed US assistance (both financial and technical) in the area of security, while pointedly reserving the right to ‘pick and choose’ measures to undertake. As for securing spent fuel from nuclear power plants, Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) has devised a 5- year Nuclear Security Action Plan that includes procedures for handling spent fuel in accordance with IAEA standards. Additionally, PNRA has established safety and security centers, campaigns to locate and secure orphan sources, and detection equipment at strategic points to strike down smuggling. • There is little genuine evidence to suggest deficiencies in Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal upkeep. Senior US officials from government, military and intelligence bureaus have repeatedly expressed confidence in Pakistan’s nuclear security. Other governments (including France, U.K. and even India) have concurred on Pakistan having a solid command-and-control system and having made significant investments to heighten security at nuclear facilities. Analysts have likened Pakistan’s nuclear facilities to sanctuaries of stability amidst an otherwise chaotic country. A 2014 security study by Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) ranked Pakistan as ‘most-improved’ among the ‘nuclear club’ and rated its overall nuclear security above India’s. Looking deeper, the threat of Islamic fundamentalists coming to power seems
  • 15. Vikas Sharma far-fetched given past election performance record of Islamist parties. Similarly, a Taliban takeover scenario seems to dramatically over-estimate Taliban’s influence and goodwill, which has eroded with multiple terrorist attacks carried out by them on Pakistani soil. In fact, government is plotting to wipe out their threat, revealing its first counter-terrorism policy in February 2014. While continuing down the negotiation route, Pakistan has made clear its intent to react to Taliban-perpetrated terrorism with force, conducting aerial bombing of Taliban headquarters and sending troops to tribal hideouts. It also merits mention that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal has successfully survived a military coup (rise of Musharraf to power in 1999) and a major constitutional change (Eighteenth Amendment in 2010 directed at diluting Presidential powers). These are positive indicators for continued nuclear integrity in the face of future instability in the country.
  • 16. Vikas Sharma Section 5 – References The key sources referred to for developing this paper are listed below: 1. Bruno Tertrais, July 2012. “Pakistan’s Nuclear and WMD Programmes: Status, Evolution and Risks” EU Non-Proliferation Consortium 2. Henry D. Sokolski, Jan 2008. “Pakistan’s Nuclear Future: Worries Beyond War” Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College 3. A.H Nayyar, August 2008. “A Pakistani Perspective on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation” Freidrich Ebert Stiftung 4. Paul K. Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin, March 2013. “Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues” Congressional Research Service (CRS) 5. Toby Dalton and Jaclyn Tandler, September 2012. “Understanding the Arms Race in South Asia” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 6. Malik Qasim Mustafa, March 2009. “Are Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Safe?” Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad 7. Malik Qasim Mustafa, March 2011. “FMCT and Pakistan: Futuristic Perspectives” Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad 8. Rajesh M. Basrur, May 2009. “Nuclear Weapons and India-Pakistan Relations” Strategic Analysis Vol.33, No.3, Routledge 9. David E. Sanger, June 2004. “The Khan Network” Stanford Institute for International Studies 10. Moeed Yusuf, January 2009. “Predicting Proliferation: The History of the Future of Nuclear Weapons” Foreign Policy Studies Program, Brookings Institution 11. Hans M. Kristensen and Robert Norris, September 2013. “Global Nuclear Inventories, 1945-2013” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 2013 69:75

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