Pakistan’s Nuclear Modernization Continues Despite Economic Challenges: US Intelligence Official

By A Correspondent
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Kruse at the congressional hearing. (Screenshot, courtesy Defense Now)

During a recent Congressional hearing on China, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Kruse, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, addressed Pakistan’s nuclear modernization efforts amidst economic turmoil and its ongoing tensions with India.

Kruse highlighted Pakistan’s determination to enhance its nuclear capabilities despite economic difficulties, driven largely by its strained relationship with India, which remains a key factor shaping Pakistan’s defense policy.

Additionally, Kruse noted Pakistan’s efforts to garner international support, including from the United Nations Security Council, to address the Kashmir dispute with India. Despite an uneasy ceasefire along the Line of Control since February 2021, tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi persist.

Despite financial constraints, Pakistan is reportedly relying on allies like China and Saudi Arabia for financial assistance. Pakistan’s Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb is currently in Washington to negotiate a new loan package with the International Monetary Fund to alleviate economic pressures.

Kruse emphasized that while cross-border violence between India and Pakistan has decreased since their ceasefire agreement in February 2021, Pakistan remains committed to modernizing its nuclear arsenal and enhancing nuclear security measures.

In 2023, militant attacks in Pakistan reached a nine-year high, with approximately 400 security forces killed. Pakistani security forces have responded with intensified counterterrorism operations to address the growing threat, he added.

The historical tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi, exacerbated by the Kashmir issue and cross-border terrorism, continue to shape their bilateral relations. Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with India in 2019 following India’s revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. New Delhi claims that its constitutional measures in Jammu and Kashmir are “internal matters”, focusing on socio-economic development and good governance in the region.

 

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