NEW DELHI: We all know that Pakistan’s economy is in shambles. Frequent protests are erupting over high fuel prices and exorbitant power bills. Petrol is being sold at a record high of Rs 300/litre and there are power outages of many hours across many cities.
After trying many times to seek financial help from China and Gulf nations, Pakistan has to ultimately agree to tough IMF conditions for a bailout.
However, amid all this economic catastrophe, Pakistan is still continuing with its obsession of increasing its nuclear arsenal.
According to a research report by the Federation of American Scientists, “Pakistan continues to gradually expand its nuclear arsenal with more warheads, more delivery systems, and a growing fissile material production industry.”
“Analysis of commercial satellite images of construction at Pakistani army garrisons and air force bases shows what appear to be newer launchers and facilities that might be related to Pakistan’s nuclear forces,” the report says.
The scientists have estimates that Pakistan now has a “nuclear weapons stockpile of approximately 170 warheads”.
Here are highlights from the report:
*Pakistan currently is producing sufficient fissile material to build 14 to 27 new warheads per year.
Nuclear-capable aircraft and air-delivered weapons
The aircraft most likely to have a nuclear delivery role are Pakistan’s Mirage III and Mirage V fighter squa- drons. The Pakistani Air Force’s (PAF) Mirage fighter- bombers are located at two bases.
Masroor Air Base outside Karachi houses the 32nd Wing with three Mirage squadrons: 7th Squadron (“Bandits”), 8th Squadron (“Haiders”), and 22nd Squadron (“Ghazis”).
A possible nuclear weapons storage site is located five kilometers northwest of the Masroor base.
Land-based ballistic missiles
Pakistan appears to have six currently operational nuclear-capable, solid-fuel, road-mobile ballistic missile systems: the short-range Abdali (Hatf-2), Ghaznavi (Hatf-3), Shaheen-I/A (Hatf-4), and Nasr (Hatf-9), and the medium-range Ghauri (Hatf-5) and Shaheen-II (Hatf-6). Two other nuclear-capable ballistic missile systems are currently under development: the medium- range Shaheen-III and the MIRVed Ababeel.
Land-based missile garrisons
As per the report, an analysis of commercial satellite imagery suggests that Pakistan maintains at least five missile bases that could serve a role in Pakistan’s nuclear forces.
Akro garrison
Gujranwala garrison
Khuzdar garrison
Pano Aqil garrison
Sargodha garrison
The ever expanding nuclear arsenal of Pakistan is not just a matter of concern in India but for the entire world. In the words of US President Joe Biden, “Pakistan is “one of the most dangerous nations in the world due to the lack of cohesion in its nuclear security and command and control procedures”.

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