Episode 129 – Are Pakistan’s Nukes Safe?

The recent comments by US President Joe Biden set off a short-lived firestorm in Pakistan, while also bringing front and center Pakistan’s nuclear program and the safety of its weapons.

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Christopher Clary about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and their safety, discussing what the risks are and how Pakistan has invested in securing its nuclear weapons.

Dr. Christopher Clary is an Assistant Professor of Political Science University at Albany. His research focuses on the sources of cooperation in interstate rivalries, the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation, U.S. defense policy, and the politics of South Asia.

Reading Recommendations:

– Eating Grass by Feroz H. Khan

– Pakistan’s Pathway to the Bomb by Mansoor Ahmed

– The Limits of Safety by Scott Sagan


0:00 Introduction

2:10 Remarks by Biden

5:40 Recent developments around nukes

10:10 Political instability and nuclear safety

15:00 AQ Khan’s role

23:20 Changes after AQ Khan

33:30 Are there any concerns?

39:30 Is Pakistan too big to fail?

45:00 Impact of Biden’s statement on US-Pakistan relations

49:30 Reading recommendations