Pakistan: A Nuclear Power

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On May 28, 1998, Pakistan became a nuclear power when it successfully carried out five nuclear tests at Chaghi, in the province of Baluchistan. This was in direct response to five nuclear explosions by India, just two weeks earlier.

Widely criticized by the international community, Pakistan maintains that its nuclear program is for self-defense, as deterrence against nuclear India. A former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, offered justification for Pakistan’s nuclear program when he said that if India were to produce a bomb, Pakistan would do anything it could to get one of its own. It has always been maintained by Pakistan that a nuclear threat posed to its security can neither be met with conventional means of defense, nor by external security guarantees.


India had already posed a nuclear threat against Pakistan ever since it tested a nuclear device in May 1974. At that time Pakistan had no nuclear weapons. India maintained that its nuclear program was based on their requirement to have a minimum nuclear deterrence, and that it was not against any specific country.

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