Accession Number:

AD1005590

Title:

Pakistans Nuclear Weapons

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Congressional Research Service Washington United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2016-02-12

Pagination or Media Count:

31.0

Abstract:

Pakistans 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, and deploying additional nuclear weapons and new types of delivery vehicles. Pakistans nuclear arsenal is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking military action against Pakistan, but Islamabads expansion of its nuclear arsenal, development of new types of nuclear weapons, and adoption of a doctrine called full spectrum deterrence have led some observers to express concern about an increased risk of nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India, which also continues to expand its nuclear arsenal.Pakistan has in recent years taken a number of steps to increase international confidence in the security of its nuclear arsenal. Moreover, Pakistani and U.S. officials argue that, since the 2004 revelations about a procurement network run by former Pakistani nuclear official A. Q. Khan, Islamabad has taken a number of steps to improve its nuclear security and to prevent further proliferation of nuclear-related technologies and materials. A number of important initiatives, such as strengthened export control laws, improved personnel security, and international nuclear security cooperation programs, have improved Pakistans nuclear security.However, instability in Pakistan has called the extent and durability of these reforms into question. Some observers fear radical takeover of the Pakistani government or diversion of material or technology by personnel within Pakistans nuclear complex. While U.S. and Pakistani officials continue to express confidence in controls over Pakistans nuclear weapons, continued instability in the country could impact these safeguards. Furthermore, continued Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons development could jeopardize strategic stability between the two countries. For a broader discussion, see CRS Report R41832, Pakistan-U.S

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Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE