INTERNATIONAL

Despite economic difficulty, Pakistan continued its nuclear program, according to a senior US intelligence officer

The senior US intelligence officer told Congress that Pakistan continued to pursue nuclear modernization last year in spite of economic unrest because its defense strategy is still heavily influenced by its tense relationship with India.

Lt Gen Jeffrey Kruse, the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, made these statements on Monday at a congressional hearing on China.

Kruse informed the MPs that Pakistan has asked for help from other countries, such as the UN Security Council, in order to settle its conflict with India over Kashmir.

He said that since February 2021, Islamabad and New Delhi have maintained a tense truce along their common line of control.

“Despite its economic unrest, Pakistan has continued to work toward nuclear modernization. The previous year saw an increase in terrorist attacks against Pakistani security personnel and civilians, the speaker said.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute states that, as of January 2023, Pakistan is estimated to possess 170 nuclear bombs.

Low on funds In order to get over its financial difficulties, Pakistan is relying on close friends like Saudi Arabia and China for loans.

Furthermore, Muhammad Aurangzeb, Pakistan’s finance minister, is now in Washington to negotiate a fresh loan arrangement with the IMF.

Pakistani national flag. a representational image.
China and Pakistan reach an agreement to establish a nuclear power facility in Punjab province.
According to Kruse, Pakistan’s defense strategy is still shaped by its tense relationship with India, which he shared with influential US politicians.

Nonetheless, he said that since the nations’ February 2021 recommitment to a truce, cross-border violence has declined.

“Islamabad is upgrading the security of its nuclear materials and nuclear C2 (command and control) while also modernizing its nuclear arsenal. Pakistan’s Ababeel medium-range ballistic missile had a successful test in October,” he stated.

At a nine-year high, extremists murdered almost 400 security officers in 2023. Over the last year, Pakistani security forces have carried out nearly daily counterterrorism operations.

Relations between Islamabad and New Delhi have always been tense, mostly because of the Kashmir dispute and cross-border terrorism that comes from Pakistan.

Pakistan severed its diplomatic relations with New Delhi in 2019 after the Indian government’s revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which dissolved Jammu and Kashmir’s unique status and divided the State into two Union Territories.

India has always said that it wants to have normal neighborly ties with Pakistan, but it has insisted that Islamabad must establish an atmosphere free from hatred and terror in order for this to happen.

Additionally, New Delhi has maintained that the constitutional actions implemented by the Indian government to guarantee socioeconomic growth and sound administration in the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory are internal affairs of India.

Pakistani national flag. a representational image.
Pakistan’s economy depends on oxygen and ventilators with the Army

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