Pakistani officials, including defence minister Khawaja M Asif, should now think twice before threatening India with a nuclear attack. They should do this not because India has issued any nuclear threat to Pakistan but because of their own researchers who have claimed India has the largest and oldest nuclear programme in the developing world.
PTI reports that a Pakistani think-tank has found that India possesses sufficient material and the technical capacity to produce between 356 and 492 nuclear bombs. The study titled ‘Indian Unsafeguarded Nuclear Program’ published by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) is co-authored by four nuclear scholars including Adeela Azam, Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Ali and Sameer Khan.
ISSI said in a statement: “A groundbreaking research study reveals that India already has sufficient material and technical capacity to make 356 to 492 nuclear bombs. This work is in contrast to several earlier studies which took a much modest view of the Indian nuclear bomb-making potential.”
The statement said the purpose of the study was to provide an understanding of the true history, size, extent and capabilities of the different aspects of the complex Indian nuclear programme which New Delhi has kept outside the International Atomic Agency safeguards.
The authors claim that the study contains evidence that India has the largest and oldest “unsafeguarded” nuclear programme in the developing world and among the states are not the party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Former Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Ansar Pervez was quoted as saying by PTI that the research breaks new ground by providing officials, researchers, scholars and students with new insight into India’s nuclear weapon-making capacity.
He further said that in terms of detail, depth, analysis and the use of information from primary sources, the research is far superior to several studies on the Indian nuclear program and carefully blends social science perspective with technical details.
(With PTI inputs)