Pak may lose control of part of N-arsenal to terrorists:SIPRI

Pak may lose control of part of N-arsenal to terrorists:SIPRI

Charging that India and Pakistan were "expanding their capacity to produce fissile material for military purposes, the report said that while India could have 80-110 nuclear warheads today, up from 60-80 last year, Pakistan may have increased its count from 70-90 to 90-110.

Labelling Pakistan's nuclear programme as almost the fastest in the world, SIPRI said that both Islamabad and New Delhi continue to develop new ballistic and cruise missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons. "They are also expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes," the report said and claimed that Islamabad was now turning to producing lighter precision warheads for use in restricted spaces.

Releasing the report in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, Daniel Nord, Director of SIPRI said Pakistan may be close to danger of "losing control of part of its nuclear arsenal" to terrorist and said it was a matter of grave concern. Nord said South Asia, where relations between India and Pakistan seem perpetually tense, is "the only place in the world where you have the nuclear arms race."

The Swedish institute said that more than 5,000 nuclear weapons were deployed around the world and eight nuclear power continue investing in new weapon system, making disarmament in the future unlikely.

"More than 5,000 nuclear weapons are deployed and ready to use including nearly 2,000 that are kept in a high state of alert," the report said.

It said eight nuclear power states, US, UK, China, France, Russia, Israel, India and Pakistan possess more than 20,500 warheads, with Russia leading the table with 11,000 nuclear warheads including 2,427 deployed while the US had 8,5000 including 2,150 deployed.

The report for the first time said that North Korea "is believed to have produced enough plutonium to build a small number of nuclear warheads," but there is no public information to verify that it has operational nuclear weapons.

Nord also voiced worry over the potential consequences if "Israel or the United States decide that they will have to intervene and do something about the programme in Iran."
Iran has repeatedly insisted that its nuclear programme is non-military, but several world powers have demanded closer international inspection of Iran's nuclear sites to verfiy the claim.

SIPRI is an independent institution that receives 50 per cent of its funding from the Swedish state.

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