Kyle Mizokami said Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and policies were continually evolving to match perceived threats and the increasingly bitter feud with India over the disputed Kashmir region puts the security of the whole subcontinent at risk.
Pakistan does not have a “no first use” policy and insists it reserves the right to use nuclear weapons, particularly low-yield tactical nuclear weapons, to offset India’s advantage in conventional forces.
A recent report published in Science Advances said the death toll in the event of nuclear warfare in the region could top 125 million.
The report stated: “India and Pakistan may be repeating the unfortunate example set by the United States and Russia during the ‘cold war’ era: that is, building destructive nuclear forces far out of proportion to their role in deterrence.”
Mr Mizokami said: “Pakistan is clearly developing a robust nuclear capability that can not only deter but fight a nuclear war.
“It is also dealing with internal security issues that could threaten the integrity of its nuclear arsenal.
“Pakistan and India are clearly in the midst of a nuclear arms race that could, in relative terms, lead to absurdly high nuclear stockpiles reminiscent of the Cold War.
“It is clear that an arms-control agreement for the subcontinent is desperately needed.”
Tensions between the nuclear neighbours are at boiling point because of India allegations that Pakistan is knowingly harbouring terror groups which launch regular cross-border attacks.
Indian Kashmir’s governor Satya Pal Malik said India would send troops into Pakistan to go “inside and destroy” the terrorist camps if the attacks continued.
He said: “Pakistan will have to behave and stop these terror camps. If it does not behave, we will go deep inside and destroy these camps.”
The strife-torn region is still reeling from a bloody suicide bomb attack claimed by Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammad in which 44 Indian paramilitary police were killed.
Police said a car filled with explosives had rammed a bus carrying the troops to Srinagar in the deadliest militant attack on Indian forces in Kashmir since the insurgency against Indian rule began in 1989.
India responded by launching cross-border airstrikes on alleged terror training camps in Pakistan and both sides have accused the other of military breaches of a fragile truce ever since.
The situation deteriorated further in August when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked Article 370 and other related provisions, passing a new law to end autonomy in Jammu and Kashmir.
Simultaneously, it locked the region down, detaining thousands of people, imposing movement restrictions and enforcing a communications blackout.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan this week called upon the international community to play its role in bringing peace to the region.
He said the entire world should work to facilitate a just and durable solution to the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India.
Mr Khan said New Delhi’s decision to revoke the autonomy of the disputed region had a negative impact on regional peace and security.