Research opens a window into Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme

Extensive research carried out by Project Alpha, based at King’s College London, reveals critical new information about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and missile programme, at a time when the country is aspiring to be a leading player in non-proliferation.

Pakistan continues to develop its strategic industries and is seeking to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group; a group of responsible nuclear exporters who aim to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The new report from Project Alpha reveals deceptive methods carried out by Pakistan to obtaining and servicing its strategic programmes, through a complex network of foreign suppliers, particularly China.

Pakistan is using layers of middlemen and front companies the report claims, with some foreign suppliers may not be aware of their eventual ties to Pakistan’s strategic programmes. The scale of procurement from China for all of Pakistan’s strategic programmes is so substantial, authors argue, that it must be concluded that the Chinese state is either complicit in supplying Pakistan’s programmes, or is negligent in its control over state-owned enterprises.

The report comes after Project Alpha, along with IHS Jane’s identified a possible new uranium enrichment facility in Pakistan. 

Commenting on these recent revelations, Ian J Stewart, head of Project Alpha at Kings, said: ‘It is disappointing to see Pakistan apparently expand its uranium enrichment capacity outside of safeguards and it is difficult to see how these actions are consistent with the principles of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.’

‘Beyond the spotlight, Pakistan is frantically bolstering and improving its strategic weapons system.’

Read the full report Pakistan’s strategic nuclear and missile industries: A baseline study for non-proliferation efforts here