The head of Pakistan’s nuclear energy organization has told President Gen. Pervez Musharraf that India’s traditional numerical superiority in manpower and conventional weapons is no match for Islamabad because the country has “mastered state-of-the-art nuclear technology.”
According to the Pakistani newspaper Jang, Atomic Energy Commission chairman Dr. Ishfaq Ahmed, in an “emergency meeting” with Musharraf earlier this week to discuss the status of Pakistan’s nuclear programs, said Islamabad had also achieved “surprising successes” overall in the defense sector.
Officials told Musharraf that the successes had been achieved through “the coordinated efforts” of several government agencies — the Atomic Energy Commission, the National Development Complex, Dr. A.Q. Khan Laboratories and “other institutions” — to “eliminate India’s land, sea and air supremacy over Pakistan in conventional arms.”
The paper said following Pakistan’s May 1998 nuclear weapons tests, Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal was “upgraded … to the highest level,” while “measures have been taken to increase their power to 50 kilotons or above.”
Meanwhile, the paper said, the country’s nuclear warheads were miniaturized.
“Pakistan will make smaller bombs with more kiloton power,” said the report.
Both India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons in May 1998. India announced its first test on May 11, followed by another announcement of separate tests on May 13. On May 28, Pakistan — then led by now-deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif — announced it had conducted five tests of its own, to “settle the score” with New Delhi.
U.S. intelligence agencies said they were surprised by the tests, having had no indication they were being planned.
The Pakistani newspaper report said that if India — “obsessed with its conventional weapons superiority” — made attempts to attack Pakistan or blockade its ports, Islamabad “would not hesitate to use the ultimate weapon,” a thinly-veiled reference to its nuclear arsenal.
The paper said Pakistani troops would deploy newly developed Shaneen and Ghauri missiles. The missiles “would be carried by an F-16 aircraft or delivered by a missile on Pakistan’s latest submarine to hit the enemy’s territory on the other side.”
WorldNetDaily reported Feb. 23 that Pakistan — in response to a similar announcement by India — said it would place nuclear-capable missiles aboard its fleet of submarines.
“The Pakistan navy continues to strive hard to make up for the deficiencies and achieve a qualitative edge over a numerically superior enemy,” Pakistani Rear Adm. Afzal Tahir, deputy chief of naval staff, said last month.