Pak could become fifth largest nuclear power by 2025: Report

Washington: Pakistan is on course to become the world’s fifth largest nuclear weapons state, a top US think-tank said, estimating that the country’s warheads would more-than-double to 250 in the next ten years.

“Pakistan has a nuclear weapons stockpile of 110 to 130 warheads, an increase from an estimated 90 to 110 warheads in 2011,” said a report on ‘Pakistani nuclear forces 2015’ released by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

The release of the report coincides with the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the US.

“With several delivery systems in development, four operating plutonium production reactors, and uranium facilities, the country’s stockpile will likely increase over the next 10 years, but by how much will depend on many things,” it said.

The report comes just a day after Pakistan acknowledged having developed “low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons” to “deter” a possible attack from India.

Authored by Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris, the report, however, said there are two key factors that will determine the number of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile: 1.How many nuclear-capable launchers Pakistan plans to deploy, and 2.How much India’s nuclear arsenal grows.