Pakistan currently has 140 to 150 nuclear warheads and the stockpile is expected to increase to 220 to 250 by 2025 if the current trend continues, according to the latest report by authors keeping a track of the country's nukes. If that happens, it would make Pakistan the world's fifth-largest nuclear weapon state," Hans M Kristensen, Robert S Norris and Julia Diamond said in the report 'Pakistani nuclear forces 2018'.
Kristensen, the lead author, is the director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in Washington, DC. Over the past decade, the US assessment of nuclear weapons security in Pakistan appears to have changed considerably from confidence to concern, particularly as a result of the introduction of tactical nuclear weapons, the report said.
"With several delivery systems in development, four plutonium production reactors, and its uranium enrichment facilities expanding, however, Pakistan has a stockpile that will likely increase further over the next 10 years," says the report.
"Speculation that Pakistan may become the world's third-largest nuclear weapon state - with a stockpile of some 350 warheads a decade from now - are, we believe, exaggerated, not least because that would require a buildup two to three times faster than the growth rate over the past two decades," the authors said.
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