“Sea-based weapons can aggravate crisis stability concerns in the India-Pakistan dyad and present unique command-and-control challenges for Pakistan, which may be required to place these weapons at a higher level of readiness during peacetime….The threat of theft and sabotage may be greater in the case of Pakistan’s sea-based weapons than it is for its land-based forces.”

–Ankit Panda-The Diplomat

The reports of the damage of Indian nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine, Arihant, has renewed the debate of nuclearization of the Indian Ocean, and the second-strike capability of Pakistan. Nuclearization of the Indian Ocean can be linked to the dream of the Indian Navy to be a blue-water navy, and a major power to contain the Chinese influence in the ocean, especially after the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, and the development of a naval base in Djibouti. To keep the strategic balance of power with India, Pakistan has no other possible option but to build a viable sea-based nuclear deterrence.

However, the nuclear triad is not only an expensive option but also is anomalous in the case of Pakistan. The incidents of attack on the Mehran Air Base, Kamra Air Complex, and the sabotage of PNZ Zulfiqar in 2014 by rogue naval officers put a constraint on the choice. Since most of the countries possessing nuclear weapons possessing countries keep the weapons in a nuclear-powered submarine whose position is undisclosed. However, Pakistan does not possess any nuclear submarine, so it would be forced to keep the weapons in a conventional submarine that has limited range. Therefore, the position of nuclear weapons in peace times would be predictable. This would compromise the safety of nuclear weapons.