LONDON: Pakistan continues to be ahead of India when it comes to having higher number of nuclear warheads and beats Israel as well as North Korea, a report by a Stockholm-based think-tank said today.
The report comes just days after disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan, father of Pakistan's nuclear programme, claimed that the country had the ability to hit India in five minutes. The claim was ridiculed by Indian experts who underlined that nukes should always be weapons of deterrence and not offensive.
As per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) annual nuclear forces data, Pakistan is believed to have 110-130 nuclear warheads.
On the contrary, India is said to have about 100-120 nuclear warheads.
The report said that while the US and Russia were slowly reducing their nuclear arsenals they are modernising their capacities.
The other nuclear weapon-possessing states have much smaller arsenals, but have all either begun to deploy new nuclear weapon delivery systems or announced their intention to do so, it added.
"China appears to be gradually increasing its nuclear forces as it modernises the arsenal. India and Pakistan are both expanding their nuclear weapon stockpiles and missile delivery capabilities. North Korea is estimated to have enough fissile material for approximately 10 nuclear warheads.
However, it is unclear whether North Korea has produced or deployed operational weapons," the report said.
Last year also, Pakistan was ahead of India when it came to nuclear warheads. While India was said to have about 90-110 nuclear warheads, Pakistan had 100-120 of them.
At the start of 2016, nine nations — the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — possessed approximately 4,120 operationally deployed nuclear weapons.
If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possessed a total of approximately 15,395 nuclear weapons compared with 15,850 in early 2015, the report said.