(London Post – Media Report) Pakistan says it will not compromise on its stockpile of nuclear weapons. Pakistani officials say Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will tell US President Barack Obama that Islamabad won’t accept limits on the use of small tactical nukes. The two leaders are set to meet at the White House later on Thursday. Pakistan insists that tactical weapons would deter a surprise attack by its nuclear rival India and that America’s demand is unreasonable. But the US is concerned that the smaller size of the bombs may make them more tempting to use in a conventional war. Washington is preparing to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Islamabad as part of efforts to bolster bilateral ties. However, the offer seems not to be attractive enough to dissuade Pakistan.
Pakistan has also manufactured “ tactical nuclear devices” which can be used at a limited scale in a particular territory, something no longer a secret. Pakistan is expected to have the third largest nuclear stock pile within the next five to ten years, behind only to the United States and Russia, according to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center. The reports says that Pakistan, out of its fear of India, is far outpacing its rival neighbour in the development of nuclear warheads and may be building 20 nuclear warheads annually which means Pakistan could have at least 350 nuclear weapons within five to 10 years. The US think tank estimates that Pakistan currently possesses as many as 120 nuclear warheads as compared to India’s 100.