Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has reportedly informed the US Congress that Pakistan has been seen increasing its procurement of small nuclear bombs and short range missiles…. He said that the new types of nuclear weapons would risk the regional security in the coming days.
During a recent Congressional hearing on global threats, Coats said that the South Asian nation has been procuring short-range tactical weapons, sea-based cruise missiles, air-launched cruise missiles and long-range ballistic missiles. He also said that instead of producing traditional nuclear weapons, Islamabad is manufacturing ‘tactical nuclear’ weapons or smaller sized nuclear weapons. The intelligence chief explained that the effect of smaller sized weapons is limited to a very small area, but it can destroy an entire battalion or brigade.
According to Coats, the change in the tactics clearly shows that Pakistan is making preparations for launching attacks in remote areas with smaller sized nuclear weapons. It also shows that Islamabad has no plan to go to a direct confrontation with its ‘enemies’. That’s why Pakistan has also increased the production of ballistic missiles.
Coats not only explained the Pakistani nuclear programme, but also analysed the implications of using such tactics. He said that these nuclear weapons would pose threat to the escalation of dynamics in South Asia. According to Coats, India should be aware of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, as the production of smaller sized nuclear weapon was aimed at countering the arch rival. “Militant groups supported by Islamabad will continue to take advantage of their safe haven in Pakistan to plan and conduct attacks in neighbouring India and Afghanistan, including against US interests,” insisted the intelligence chief.
As India has already adopted the ‘No First Use’ policy, New Delhi has no plan to produce such nuclear weapons. In case of direct confrontations, India still prefers traditional weapons. India is prepared for full scale nuclear war.
Meanwhile, defence experts are of the opinion that India, unlike Pakistan, has modernised its forces in the last few years. Pakistan, which is facing economic crisis, has realised that it would be difficult to beat India in case of a direct confrontation. As a result, Islamabad has changed its tactics. However, the international community is not at all happy with Pakistan’s nuclear programme.
It is to be noted that India has secured the fifth position as far as the defence allocation is concerned. In its latest ‘Military Balance 2018’ report, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has mentioned that India allocated USD 52.5 billion for the defence sector in 2017. Rahul Roy Choudhury, the IISS senior fellow for South Asia, said that India recently increased defence spending mainly to purchase arms and boost military power. Only four countries – the US (USD 602.8 billion), China (USD 150.5 billion), Saudi Arabia (USD 76.6 billion) and Russia (USD 61.2 billion) – spent more than India for defence purposes last year.
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