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Pak increasing nuclear weapons: US scientist

News18test sharma |

Updated: September 1, 2009, 2:31 PM IST
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Pak increasing nuclear weapons: US scientist
Hans M Kristensen claims Pakistani N-warheads are ready for use.

New Delhi: An American scientist has claimed that Pakistan has increased the number of its nuclear warheads from 60 to 90 and has kept them ready for use at any time.

Hans M Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists in an article on the federation's website has also put up a picture of possible Pakistani nuclear weapons storage area about 12 km from Karachi.

The scientists say Pakistan is keeping its missiles with nuclear warheads in a completely assembled form and can launch them at a very short notice.

According to them a satellite picture shows that the Masroor Air Base near Karachi is where missiles like the medium range Shaheen maybe stored.

They also claim that Pakistan is developing two new cruise missiles - the ground-launched Babur and the air-launched Ra'ad.

The new cruise missiles will carry nuclear warheads miniaturised to fit onto them.

Moreover, two new plutonium production reactors are coming up and Pakistani scientists are also building a second chemical separation facility.

On the other hand India, which has a declared policy of no first use of nuclear weapons, keeps the warheads separate from the missile.

But Kristensen also writes that India is also increasing its nuclear stockpile and the increase in warhead does not mean Pakistan is "thought to be sprinting ahead of India".

Nuclear policy expert Bharat Karnad says Pakistan has always had ready weapons and it is not a revelation

"They have had it for several years. The reason why they are doing is that they want to be ready to detain any threat at any point. They also apprehend danger to nuclear weapons by outside countries which they don't want to name but by implication they have the United States, Israel and India that is who they fear will attack them," says Karnard.

"Pakistani army by nature is very dominant while the terrorists do have a certain reach within their society it is unlikely they will be able to have access to the nuclear weapons easily," he adds.

First Published: September 1, 2009, 2:31 PM IST
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