Nuclear Disarmament Pakistan

Arsenal Size

  • Estimated stockpile: 130-140 nuclear warheads. Pakistan’s nuclear warheads are believed to be in central storage facilities in the southern part of the country. [1]
     
  • According to HEU and plutonium production levels, Pakistan could be producing 12 to 21 new nuclear warheads each year. [2]
     
Key Delivery Systems
  • Nuclear-capable aircraft: U.S.-built and supplied F-16A/B, and French-manufactured Mirage V. Pakistan has likely modified both for nuclear weapons delivery. [3]
     
  • Operational ballistic missiles: short-range Abdali (Hatf-2), Ghaznavi (Hatf-3), Shaheen-I (Hatf-4), and medium-range Ghauri (Hatf-5), Shaheen-II (Hatf-6) [4]
     
  • Operational cruise missiles: ground-launched Babur (Haft-7) and the air-launched Ra’ad (Haft-8) [5]
     
  • The Nasr (Hatf 9), a tactical ballistic missile, had a successful test launch in 2011 and entered into force in 2013. [6]
     
  • In testing: The Shaheen 1A, a ballistic missile with a range of 900 km and the Shaheen 3 ballistic missile (range: 2750 km) were successfully test launched in December 2015. The Shaheen 3 is designed to “reach Indian islands” so India cannot use them as “strategic bases or… establish a second strike capability.” [7][8]
     

Estimated Destructive Power

  • Unknown, likely over two megatons [9]
     

Estimated Military Fissile Material Stockpiles

  • Plutonium stockpile: Estimated 200 kg. [10]
     
  • Weapons-grade HEU: estimated 3.1 ± 0.4 tons [11]
     
  • Estimated to have enough fissile material for more than 200 weapons [12]
     
  • Pakistan is moving away from solely HEU-based weapons to lighter and more compact plutonium core warheads [13]
     
  • Able to produce 150kg of HEU and 12-24kg plutonium each year [14]
     
  • Operates one HEU enrichment facility in Kahuta, though there may be others unknown to the public. [15]
     
  • Operates heavy water plutonium production reactor complex at Khushab, and plutonium reprocessing plant at the New Laboratories facility of the Pakistan Institute of Science and Technology (PINSTECH). [16]
     

Disarmament and Commitments to Reduce Arsenal Size

Future Commitments
  • Supports negotiation of a non-discriminatory, verifiable Fissile Materials Treaty, but asserts that the treaty should cover existing stocks. [18] Due to the consensus rule governing the Conference on Disarmament, Pakistan has been able to effectively block the start of any negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty and will continue to do so until an agreement to include existing stockpiles is added to the treaty. [19]
     
  • Supports a direct, comprehensive approach to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and materials within an agreed upon timeframe. [20]
     
  • Has attended the last three Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons—Oslo, March 2013; Nayarit, February 2014, and Vienna, December 2014. [21]
     
  • Pakistan joined all other nuclear weapons possessing states in boycotting the 2017 Nuclear Ban Treaty negotiations at the UN General Assembly. [22]
     

Nuclear Weapons Policies


Nuclear Testing Policy
Use of Nuclear Weapons
  • Retains first-use policy against nuclear armed states, but has declared a no-first-use policy against non-nuclear weapon states [27]
     
  • Continues to adhere to the policy of Credible Minimum Deterrence, asserting it will not enter into an arms race with any other country but remaining aware of evolving security dynamics in South Asia. Has stated its intention to maintain a full spectrum deterrence capability to deter all forms of aggression [28]
     
  • Ratified the India-Pakistan Non-Attack Agreement in January 1991 [29]
     
  • Signed the Lahore Agreement in February 1999 [30]
     
  • Supports legally-binding agreements on negative security assurances [31]
     

Sources:
[1] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, "Pakistan's Nuclear Forces, 2016," Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Vol. 72 (3), www.thebulletin.org.
[2] "Countries: Pakistan," International Panel on Fissile Materials, 3 February 2013, http://fissilematerials.org.
[3] Paul K. Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin, "Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons," Congressional Research Service, 1 August 2016, www.fas.org.
[4] "Design Characteristics of Pakistan's Ballistic and Cruise Missiles," Nuclear Threat Initiative, September 2014, www.nti.org.
[5] Zia Mian, "Pakistan," Assuring Destruction Forever, Reaching Critical Will, March 2012, pp. 51-58, www.reachingcriticalwill.org; "Design Characteristics of Pakistan's Ballistic and Cruise Missiles," Nuclear Threat Initiative, September 2014, www.nti.org.
[6] Asad Haroon, "Pakistan Test Fires Haft IX," Dispatch News Desk, 26 September 2014, www.dnd.com/pk.
[7] Alexander Smith, "Pakistan Test Fires New Shaheen 1A Ballistic Missile," NBC News, 15 December 2015, www.nbcnews.com; "Pakistan Successfully Test-Fires New Shaheen III Missile," Dawn.com, 11 December 2015.
[8] "A Conversation with Gen. Khalid Kidwai," Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference 2015, 23 March 2015.
[9] Original estimates (1.3 megatons) were based on 2009 nuclear arsenal (>60 nuclear weapons) and drawn from Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi, "Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Agenda for Global Policy Makers," Report of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, November 2009, pp. 20, www.icnnd.org. Updating that estimate for an arsenal of roughly 100 nuclear weapons gives a conservative yield of roughly 2.1 megatons, all else held constant.
[10] "Countries: Pakistan," International Panel on Fissile Materials, 5 August 2016, http://fissilematerials.org.
[11] "Countries: Pakistan," International Panel on Fissile Materials, 15 January 2016, http://fissilematerials.org; Paul K. Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin, "Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons," Congressional Research Service, 1 August 2016, www.fas.org.
[12] Zia Mian, "Pakistan: Still Assuring Destruction Forever," Reaching Critical Will, March 2013, pp. 15, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[13] Zia Mian, "Pakistan: Still Assuring Destruction Forever," Reaching Critical Will, March 2013, pp. 15, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[14]Zia Mian, "Pakistan: Still Assuring Destruction Forever," Reaching Critical Will, March 2013, pp. 15, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[15] Paul K. Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin, "Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons," Congressional Research Service, 1 August 2016, www.fas.org.
[16] Paul K. Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin, "Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons," Congressional Research Service, 1 August 2016, www.fas.org.
[17] See statement of Mr. Elahi, A/C. 1/59/PV.19 General Assembly Fifty-Ninth session First Committee 19th Meeting Thursday, 28 October 2004, accessed through Pakistan Security Research Unit, University of Bradford, http://spaces.brad.ac.uk:8080/display/conf/Home; Marvin Miller and Lawrence Scheinman," Israel, India, and Pakistan: Engaging the Non-NPT States in the Nonproliferation Regime," Arms Control Today, Vol. 33, December 2003, www.armscontrol.org.
[18] Yogesh Joshi, "Logic May Help: Pakistan and the FMCT," Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich/International Relations and Security Network, 7 March 2011; Statement by Ambassador Khan to the Conference on Disarmament, General Debate on the FMCT 16th May 2006, accessed through Pakistan Security Research Unit, University of Bradford, spaces.ac.uk:8080/display/ssispsru; Fissile Materials Working Group, "Why the Conference on Disarmament Still Matters," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Web Edition, 30 November 2011, www.thebulletin.org.
[19] "Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty," Reaching Critical Will, www.reachingcriticalwill.org; Paul Meyer, "Free the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty: Functionality over Forum," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Web Edition, 19 September 2011, www.thebulletin.org.
[20] "Statement made by Ambassador Zamir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the CD Plenary, 10 September 2013," reading statement of the Pakistani National Command Authority from 5 September 2013, Reaching Critical Will, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[21] Ambassador Zamir Akram, Statement on Nuclear Disarmament at the Plenary Meeting of the Conference on Disarmament, 24 February 2015, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[22] Revised List of Participants, "Conference: The Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons," 4-5 March 2013, www.reachingcriticalwill.org; "Registered Participants," Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, 13-14 February 2014, www.reachingcriticalwill.org; Pakistan Statement at The Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, 8-9 December 2014, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[23] "Pakistan Joins US-Led Boycott Against UN Meeting to Ban Nuclear Weapons," The Express Tribune (Pakistan), 28 March 2017, www.tribune.com.pk.
[24] "Pakistan Offers India Moratorium on Nuclear Tests," The Express Tribune, 17 August 2016, www.tribune.com.pk.
[25] Jonathan Medalia, "Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," Congressional Research Service, 2 June 2005, www.opencrs.com.
[26] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations and Regimes, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, www.nonproliferation.org.
[27] Qazi M. Khalilullah, General Assembly Sixty-first Session First Committee 21st Meeting Thursday, 26 October 2006, A/C.1/61/PV.21, accessed through Pakistan Security Research Unit, University of Bradford, spaces.ac.uk:8080/display/ssispsru.
[28] Paul K. Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin, "Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues," Congressional Research Service, 13 January 2011, www.opencrs.com.
[29] "Statement made by Ambassador Zamir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the CD Plenary, 10 September 2013," reading statement of the Pakistani National Command Authority from 5 September 2013, Reaching Critical Will, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[30] India Pakistan Non-Attack Agreement, Nuclear Threat Initiative, www.nti.org.
[31] Lahore Agreement, Nuclear Threat Initiative, www.nti.org.

July 13, 2017
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The Nuclear Disarmament Resource Collection contains information and analysis of nuclear weapons disarmament proposals and progress worldwide, including detailed coverage of disarmament progress in countries who either possess or host other countries' nuclear weapons on their territories.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.