News / Asia

    Report Says Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal Tops 100

    Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani speaks while in Washington for the 2010 nuclear security summit (FILE).
    Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani speaks while in Washington for the 2010 nuclear security summit (FILE).

    A prominent U.S. newspaper says Pakistan has doubled its nuclear arms stockpile in recent years to exceed 100 weapons.

    The Washington Post reported Monday that Pakistan now has a larger arsenal than its nuclear-armed neighbor and arch-rival India based on estimates provided by non-governmental analysts.

    Based on recently accelerated production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, analyst David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security told the newspaper that Islamabad may now have up to 110 nuclear weapons.

    Two other analysts, Hans Kristensen and Shaun Gregory, put the figure at between 100 and 110.

    Experts say Pakistan was driven to accelerate its weapons production after the United States and India signed an agreement in 2008 which gives New Delhi access to civilian nuclear technology. Pakistan is seeking a similar deal.

    A defense attache at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington told The Washington Post the number of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and the status of its production facilities are confidential. White House officials would not respond to inquiries about the size of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

    Pakistan and India conducted nuclear tests in 1998, and have fought three wars since partition and independence in 1947.

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