Islamabad, September 25: A report by a US think tank has said that Pakistan has stored its tactical nuclear weapons at nine places across the country, which are at a serious security risk. Also Read - Ex-Pakistan PM Abbasi's Physical Remand Extended Till August 15
The Federation of American Scientists said that Pakistan has hidden its nuclear warheads in storage facilities near bases that house nuclear-capable launchers. Also Read - Former Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Arrested by NBA on Corruption Charges of Rs 10,000 Crores
Renowned US nuclear weapon expert Hans Kristensen said that Pakisan was building short-ranged nuclear weapons intended to be used against India in case of a limited nuclear conflict. The warheads for these weapons are stored in regional storage sites near places where nuclear weapon systems are placed. (Also read: Pakistan is Now ‘Terroristan’, Produces And Exports Terror Around The World: India at UN) Also Read - Pak court sentences member of religious outfit to 30 years in jail
Kristensen said the short-range systems were intended to be used early in a conflict. They will be distributed early; which will raise the risk of accidents and incidents, he told TOI.
“If used against conventional attacks, use of the tactical nuclear weapons would likely lead to escalation to a wider nuclear war quickly,” Kristensen told TOI.
The report further said that Pakistan has a nuclear stockpile of 130-140 tactical nuclear weapons and is rapidly increasing their number.
The Trump administration recently said that the US was concerned about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. It said that the development of tactical nuclear weapons was particularly concerning as it was easier to steal them. The administration had said that these tactical weapons could land in the hands of terrorists, and also increased the risk of a nuclear war in the region.
Pakistan refuted the allegations made by the Donald Trump administration, saying the nuclear sites were safe and the weapons were in the right hands. Pak PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had said that the weapons were under a strong command-and-control system. He also said that the weapons were a deterrent to India’s cold start policy.
Tactical-nuclear weapons different than the traditional strategic nuclear weapons. The tactical weapons are short-ranged; and have lower yield than strategic weapons.