130 nuclear warheads pointed at India

- Varun Sharma   21-01-2016


Two nations split apart in 1947; one moved on to be a global powerhouse, while the other finds it difficult to gain traction and is ‘literally’ being bombarded by homegrown terrorism. A latest US Congressional report for the Congressional Research Service (CRS) corroborates that Pakistan has an estimated 110-130 warheads in its arsenal, aimed to deter India from taking an offensive military action and crossing the LOC.

[CRS is the independent research wing of the US Congress, which prepares periodic reports by eminent experts on a wide range of issues so as to help lawmakers take informed decisions.Reports of CRS are not considered as an official view of the US Congress.]

Pakistan has been obsessed with India ever since independence. With long decades of being controlled by the military; Pakistan saw man coups. The two countries have fought four wars since they came into existence. India blames Pakistan for fighting a proxy-war with it through radicalised militants. With peace talks being put on hold with terrorist attacks on India soil; tension of war has loomed over the sub-continent for decades.

The Congressional report expressed concerns over Islamabad’s ‘full spectrum deterrence’ doctrine. Pakistan doesn’t have a policy against a nuclear first strike. The current doctrine however, increases the risk of a nuclear conflict between the two bitter neighbours.

[India has consistently stressed over the years that it would not be the first to use a nuclear weapon. India might however, launch a nuclear attack against a biological or chemical attack, and never use a nuclear weapon against a country that doesn’t have the same capability.]

"Pakistan's nuclear arsenal probably consists of approximately 110-130 nuclear warheads, although it could have more. Islamabad is producing fissile material, adding to related production facilities, deploying additional nuclear weapons, and new types of delivery vehicles," Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its latest report.

A lot of observers across the world are stressed over the fact that Pakistan continues to expand its nuclear arsenal, and developing newer types of nuclear weapons even though it has more than enough nuclear weapons to deter India (and as far as it goes, the rest of the world).

In an ever increasing fear to the world, that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons will end up in the hands of non-state (terrorists) entities that plan to start a full scale war with India; Pakistan claims that Islamabad has taken a significant number of steps to beef up the security around nuclear weapons sites and has measure to prevent the proliferation of nuclear materials and technologies.

It was not a long time ago, when in September of 2014, a Pakistan Navy frigate (the latest with their navy) PNS Zulfiqar was attacked and briefly captured by the members of al-Qaeda. Rogue members of the navy assisted the terrorists in the capture of the ship. Their aim was to use the Zulfiqar's anti-ship missiles against the US Navy patrolling the Arabian Sea. The Pakistani forces quickly took back the ship, killing 10 militants and four navy officers who went rogue.

Such an incident begs us to question, how well is Pakistan protecting its nuclear secrets and weapons? Even if one such weapon silo is captured by non-state entities and fired upon at India – it would lead to the end of both countries and possibly the world!