New IISS Adelphi book: Overcoming Pakistan’s Nuclear Dangers by Mark Fitzpatrick

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New IISS Adelphi book: Overcoming Pakistan’s Nuclear Dangers by Mark Fitzpatrick

All IISS press releases from March 2014.

For immediate release, 26 March 2014

New IISS Adelphi book: Overcoming Pakistan’s Nuclear Dangers by Mark Fitzpatrick

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the third Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague this week, arguing that Pakistan has maintained a safe and secure nuclear programme for several decades and deserves to be involved in all international export-control regimes, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the IISS Non-proliferation and Disarmament Programme, assesses these claims, and the arguments that challenge them, in his latest Adelphi book, Overcoming Pakistan’s Nuclear Dangers, published this month by the IISS. 

Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal – the fastest growing in the world – raises concerns on many grounds; the escalation of South Asia’s strategic arms race, and subsequent increased potential for theft, sabotage and nuclear terrorism; worries that Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons technology might again be transferred to nuclear aspirants; and, of gravest concern, the potential for a nuclear war, triggered by another large-scale terrorist attack in India with Pakistani state fingerprints, as in the 2008 Mumbai atrocity. 

Mark Fitzpatrick evaluates each of the potential nuclear dangers, giving credit where credit is due. Over the course of researching and writing the book, Fitzpatrick changed his views on the best way to address Pakistan’s nuclear dangers – and now suggests a course of action that will be controversial in the West:

‘The dangers associated with Pakistan’s nuclear programme – including nuclear terrorism, accidents, an arms race, onward proliferation, and most worrisome of all, the potential for a nuclear war – can best be averted by offering Pakistan a path to nuclear normalcy.’   

Mark Fitzpatrick provides a very well-informed, comprehensive, balanced and fair picture of the Pakistani case. I learnt more from his insightful analysis than anything else I have read on the subject. 

Hans Blix, Director General Emeritus, International Atomic Energy Agency 


Fitzpatrick breaks from the common, one-sided Western assessments of Pakistan’s nuclear programme by carefully examining its drivers and the regional security dynamics that impelled its evolution. He boldly – and correctly – identifies the issues that need to be addressed to establish deterrence stability in South Asia.

Maleeha Lodhi, former Pakistani envoy to the United States and the United Kingdom


Mark Fitzpatrick directs the IISS Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme. He is the author of The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: Avoiding Worst-case Outcomes (IISS, 2008).

For review copies, or to arrange an interview with the author, please contact the IISS Press Office: press@iiss.org, +44 (0)20 7395 9146.

Notes to Editors:

The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a world-leading authority on global security, political risk and military conflict. The IISS was founded in the UK in 1958 with a focus on nuclear deterrence and arms control. Today, it is also renowned for its annual Military Balance assessment of countries' armed forces and for its high-powered security summits, including the Shangri-La Dialogue. The IISS has international offices in Washington DC, Bahrain and Singapore.

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