Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pakistan Surging Ahead on Nuclear Front After Racing Ahead of India in Ballistic and Cruise missiles

After racing ahead of India in ballistic and cruise missiles, with covert help from China and North Korea, Pakistan seems to be surging ahead on the nuclear front too. A series of recent estimates by international nuclear watchdogs and reputed thinktanks hold that Pakistan has a total of 70 to 90 warheads compared to India's 60 to 80. China, in comparison, has around 240 warheads. Pakistan, after all, is supplementing its ongoing enriched uranium-based nuke programme with a weapons-grade plutonium one. In its latest annual world military expenditure report released on Wednesday, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Pakistan's weapons-grade plutonium production would jump seven-fold with the two new reactors at Khushab nearing completion. "Our conservative estimates are that Pakistan has 60 warheads and could produce 100 nuclear weapons at short notice," said SIPRI, adding that Islamabad had earmarked its US-supplied F-16 fighters, Ghaznavi and Shaheen missiles as its nuke delivery systems.

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