Pak nukes located at 9 sites, are vulnerable to terrorists
Last week, Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi flaunted his country's nuclear-capable short-range missiles, which he claimed are aimed at deterring the Indian military's 'cold start' doctrine. However, there are risks that these missiles are vulnerable to accidents and could end up with terrorists. A Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has found that Pakistan nuclear arsenal comprises of an estimated 130-140 warheads and is expanding.
Pakistani PM asserts that nukes are safe and secure
On September 21, Pakistani PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said his country is developing short-range nuclear weapons to deter India's 'cold start doctrine.' He asserted that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is safe and secure. He said no extremist or any other element "can gain control of fissile material or a nuclear weapon." He said Pakistan's civilian leadership, not the military, has control over the nuclear weapons.
Pak nukes vulnerable to "accidents," could escalate conflict with India
The FAS report says that Pakistan has stored its nuclear assets at nine different locations. Author Hans Kristensen told the Times of India that Pakistan's short-range missiles and warheads would likely be distributed to regional sites, increasing risks of "accident and incidents." "If used against conventional attacks, use of the tactical nuclear weapons would likely lead to escalation to a wider nuclear war quickly."
US particularly concerned over Pakistan's tactical nuclear weapons
Last month, a Trump administration official said the US was particularly concerned about Pakistan's development of tactical nuclear weapons. These smaller nukes are designed to be used on the battlefield against a conventional attack by India. However, Washington believes they are more susceptible to terrorist theft. Also, their use could turn a conventional war between India and Pakistan into a catastrophic full-blown nuclear conflict.