Pakistan WMD Stats


Pakistan embarked on a nuclear weapon program in the early 1970s after its defeat and break up in the Indo-Bangladesh war of 1971. Islamabad regards nuclear weapons as essential to safeguard the South Asian balance of power and offset its conventional inferiority and lack of strategic depth against India. The technological complexity associated with nuclear weapons and their systems of delivery is also closely tied to Pakistan's post-colonial identity as the first Muslim nation to have acquired such a capability. There is no reliable, publicly available information to suggest that Pakistan has biological or chemical weapons.


  • Biological: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of biological weapons of mass destruction
  • Chemical: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of chemical weapons of mass destruction
  • Missile: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of missile weapons of mass destruction
  • Nuclear: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of nuclear weapons
Biological While Pakistan is not known to possess biological weapons, it has talented biomedical and biochemical scientists and well-equipped laboratories, which would allow it to quickly establish a sophisticated biological warfare (BW) program, should the government so desire. Indeed, the United States reported in 1996 that Islamabad had been "conducting research and development with potential BW applications." It is not known whether this potential has since been realized. Pakistan signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) in April 1972 and ratified it in 1974. 1996
Chemical Pakistan signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1993 and ratified the treaty in 1997. Islamabad has apparently made no admission in its treaty-mandated declarations of having possessed chemical weapons. Further, there is no reliable information in publicly available literature asserting that Pakistan has ever possessed chemical weapons, although some analysts suspect that it supports an offensive program. 1997
Missile Pakistan is developing both solid- and liquid-fueled ballistic missiles, based extensively on foreign systems. In the early 1990s, Pakistan purchased a small number of 300km-range M-11 ballistic missiles from China; Beijing also built a turnkey ballistic missile manufacturing facility at Tarwanah, a suburb of Rawalpindi. By the late 1990s, China helped Pakistan develop the 750km-range, solid-fueled Shaheen-1 ballistic missile, which was last tested in October 2002. In the late 1990s, Pakistan also acquired a small number of 1,500km-range Nodong ballistic missiles from North Korea. The Pakistani version of the Nodong, known as the Ghauri, was flight-tested in April 1998 and April 1999. The ballistic missiles are being developed by two rival agencies, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and the Khan Research Laboratories, which fall under the aegis of the National Development Complex. 2002
Nuclear In the mid-1970s, Pakistan embarked upon the uranium enrichment route to acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. By the mid-1980s, Pakistan had a clandestine uranium enrichment facility; and as early as 1989-1990, the United States concluded that Islamabad had acquired the capability to assemble a first-generation nuclear device. Pakistan is believed to have stockpiled approximately 580-800kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU), sufficient amounts to build 30-50 fission bombs. In 1998, Pakistan commissioned the Khushab research reactor, which is capable of yielding 10-15kg of weapons-grade plutonium annually. According to the United States, China helped Pakistan by providing nuclear-related materials, scientific expertise, and technical assistance. Islamabad conducted nuclear tests in May 1998, shortly after India conducted its own weapon tests and declared itself a nuclear weapon state. Pakistan is not a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). 1998


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