- Pakistan's goal is to be able to strike a large number
of targets throughout India with nuclear-tipped missiles in an event of
war, a US National Intelligence Estimate report has said.
- The Estimate says foreign support for Pakistan's ambitious
solid-propellant ballistic missile acquisition and development programme
has been critical. Pakistan sees missile delivery nuclear weapons as a
vital deterrent to India's much larger conventional forces, and as a necessary
counter to India's nuclear programme.
- According to the report, Pakistan pursued nuclear capability
more for strategic reasons than for international prestige. "Since
the 1980s, Pakistan has pursued development of an indigenous ballistic
missile capacity in an attempt to avoid reliance on any foreign entity
for this key capability. Islamabad will continue with its present ballistic
missile production goals until it has achieved a survivable, flexible force
capable of striking a large number of targets throughout most of India."
- According to the Estimate, India believes that a nuclear-capable
missile delivery option is necessary to deter Pakistani first use of nuclear
weapons and thereby preserve the option to wage limited conventional war
in response to Pakistani provocations in Kashmir or elsewhere.
- The proliferation of ballistic-missile technologies,
materials and expertise, especially by Russian, Chinese and North Korean
entities, has enabled emerging missile states to acelerate the development
timelines for their existing programmes and acquire turnkey systems, it
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