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Pakistan likely to continue to modernise and expand its nuclear capabilities:US intelligence official

Wed, 18 May 2022   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Washington, May 18 (PTI) Pakistan is likely to continue to modernise and expand its nuclear capabilities by conducting training with its deployed weapons and developing new delivery systems in 2022 as it perceives it as key to its survival, given India’s nuclear arsenal and conventional force superiority, the Pentagon’s top intelligence official has told lawmakers.

Lt Gen Scott Berrier, Director, Defence Intelligence Agency told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a recent Congressional hearing that Pakistan’s tense relationship with India will continue to drive its defence policy. He said Pakistan “perceives nuclear weapons as key to its national survival, given India’s nuclear arsenal and conventional force superiority.” “Pakistan very likely will continue to modernise and expand its nuclear capabilities by conducting training with its deployed weapons and developing new delivery systems in 2022,” Berrier said.

“Pakistan’s relations with India remain strained since a high-profile anti-India militant attack in the Union Territory of Kashmir in February 2019,” he said, referring to the Pulwama attack in which 40 Indian paramilitary troopers were killed. “New Delhi’s August 2019 revocation of Kashmir’s semiautonomous status added to these tensions. However, cross-border violence has decreased since February 2021, when both countries recommitted to a ceasefire,” Berrier said, adding, “India and Pakistan have not made meaningful progress toward a long-lasting diplomatic solution since then.” India announced withdrawing the special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories in August 2019.

India’s move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 outraged Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad. India has said that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility, and violence. India has said the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.

Last year, India and Pakistan announced that they have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors. In his testimony, Berrier said that on April 11, Shehbaz Sharif was elected as Pakistan’s new prime minister after a no-confidence vote removed Imran Khan from the post. In his first speech as prime minister, Sharif called for rebuilding the US-Pakistan relationship and denounced Khan’s conspiracy theory that the US had orchestrated his removal.

“Sharif probably will give priority to addressing Pakistan’s economy while deferring to the Army on security issues for at least the first 6 months of his term,” he said. “Khan’s removal almost certainly portends a period of political instability as the Sharif government transitions and as Pakistan prepares for elections due no later than August 2023,” he added.



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POST COMMENTS (1)

Kalidan Singh

May 18, 2022
I wish Pakistan well in modernizing its military, and nuclear arms. This is good news for India. Thus far, willing donors financed these operations (Emirati, Saudi, US). The rest was funded by the tax revenues of Pakistan (where no one pays income tax). To keep this going, the Pakistani military transformed into a large, successful organized crime racket, with subsidiaries that controlled supplies of commodities. The country boasts of successful sugar mafia, daal mafia, anaaj mafia. The Pakistani military had to control everything (information exchange, discourse, political leadership, national budget). Hence, Pakistan cannot produce anything of commercial value, nor manage efficient distribution of goods and services. This is a good thing for India; the spigots of free cash from Saudis, China, US, Emirati, Turkey and others may not be gushing as they once were; this will call the Pakistani military to double its criminal activity inside Pakistan, control an even greater proportion of the economy, steal even more. There will be fewer schools, colleges, universities, factories, markets; there will be more guns, bombs, mines, madrassas. To control the population, the country will slowly transform into a full fledged Caliphate that restricts everyone, with Sharia as the only law of the land. When Pakistan is so intent on self-destruction, we should be good neighbors and stay out of their way.

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