WASHINGTON: Pakistan is increasing its nuclear stockpile and developing tactical nuclear weapons and new ballistic missile systems. In January 2017, Pakistan conducted the first test launch of its nuclear-capable Ababeel ballistic missile, demonstrating South Asia's first MIRV payload, and in early July, Pakistan demonstrated an expanded-range Nasr CRBM," Pentagon <link>top intelligence Chief Ashley said.
Islamabad is likely to proceed with its counterinsurgency operations and border management efforts along its western border while sustaining counterterrorism and paramilitary operations throughout the country, says Pentagon <link> top intelligence Chief.
These efforts have had some success in reducing violence from militant, sectarian, terrorist, and separatist groups, but Pakistan will look to the US and the Afghan government for support against anti-Pakistan fighters in Afghanistan, he added.
India seeks status as a global power, the Pentagon <link> 's top intelligence chief told US lawmakers on Tuesday, adding that as such New Delhi perceives its strategic forces as necessary elements to achieve that goal.
India has put its first domestically-built nuclear submarine, the INS Arihant, into service, and is set to take delivery of its second nuclear sub, the INS Arighat, in 2018, Lt Gen Robert Ashley link>>, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"New Delhi seeks status as a global power and perceives its strategic forces as necessary elements to achieve that goal," Ashley said.
He said India continues to modernise its military to better posture itself to defend its interests at home and in the broader Indian Ocean region while reinforcing its diplomatic and economic outreach across Asia.
"Continued exchange of heavy fire between Indian and Pakistani forces along the Line of Control poses a risk of inadvertent or gradual escalation of hostilities," he said.
In 2017, the lengthy Doklam stand-off between Indian and Chinese forces along the Bhutan-China border heightened tension between India and China and prompted both sides to increase their forces near the Line of Actual Control, he added.
"We expect that both sides will maintain this elevated force posture along disputed border areas through the remainder of 2018," Ashley said.