As my colleague Prashanth Parameswaran already reported last week (See: “Time for Pakistan to Change its Nuclear Strategy: Experts”), a new paper by two American think tanks titled “A Normal Nuclear Pakistan” argues that Pakistan could have the third-biggest nuclear stockpile within a decade and could end up producing 20 nuclear warheads annually.
Furthermore, the report, co-written by two scholars of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center, notes that Islamabad is successfully competing with – and likely outperforming – New Delhi in the build-up of its nuclear arsenal.
“Pakistan operates four plutonium production reactors; India operates one. Pakistan has the capability to produce perhaps 20 nuclear warheads annually; India appears to be producing about five warheads annually,” the report states.
Pakistan is estimated to possess around 120 nuclear weapons against India’s 100. However, “[w]hether New Delhi chooses to compete more intensely or not, it is a losing proposition for Pakistan to sustain, let alone expand, its current infrastructure to produce greater numbers of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery,” the study finds.