India–Pakistan Arms Race in Fissile Materials Production?

Dr. G. Balachandran was a Consulting Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
Dr. Ch. Viyyanna Sastry was Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi
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  • July 2011

    Ever since India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in 1998, Western media reports have constantly highlighted the dramatic increase in Pakistan's production of nuclear fissile materials and nuclear warheads. Reports published at end of January in the New York Times and the Washington Post are a case in point. These reports, quoting serving and retired US administration officials, mentioned that the latest US intelligence assessments have concluded that Pakistan has been steadily expanding its nuclear arsenal – particularly since President Obama took office in 2009. According to these reports, over the last three years, Pakistan has increased its nuclear weapons arsenal from 60–70 to 90–110. This amounts to an increase of roughly 10 weapons a year. These news reports also estimate that the rate at which Islamabad is building up its capacity will in due course enable it to overtake Britain as the fifth largest nuclear weapons power. Lastly, the reports envisage an arms race between Pakistan and India.