Pakistan’s nuclear security comes under scrutiny once again, this time in the Harvard Kennedy School report, "Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Continuous Improvement or Dangerous Decline?” claiming that the risk of nuclear theft in Pakistan remains apparently high. When Pakistan’s nuclear stockpiles and its security is discussed, then India is almost always put forth as the most obvious comparison. The report deemed the nuclear security measures in India as weaker than those of Pakistan but the risk remains restrained.

It is understandable that the US be concerned with Pakistan’s nuclear prowess and raise questions and concerns time to time over the impending security risk. But the fact of the matter is that Pakistan leaves no stone unturned to ensure the utmost security and protection of its nuclear weapons, and the report has agreed to that much. Allotment of 25,000 troops to guard its nuclear stocks and facilities is a massive commitment to security one that our Indian counterpart has not displayed.

The level of risk claimed is skewed and causes unnecessary alarm to an already aggravated and scared American public. The US as it is has displayed a wavering confidence in Pakistan’s capabilities to protect its weapons and reports like these worsen that trust. A report in The Washington Post last year had claimed that the US is exploring an option that could make way for a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan like the one concluded with India in 2005. The government vehemently denied this as limiting nuclear activity at the moment puts Pakistan in a weaker position in the ongoing efforts for dialogue.

Last year in October, Pakistan unveiled its ‘proactive’ approach to the aggression displayed by the Indian side and confessed to have made low-yield nuclear weapons if the situation were to escalate. The report may have been right on one account that Pakistan and India have continued to expand their arsenals and rely on "doctrines likely to lead to early dispersal of those weapons in the event of a crisis". It is important thus that a dialogue between Pakistan and India must not halt in the face of extremism and terrorism from either side, lest such damaging hypothesis may become a reality. The hard-hitting fact is that this race to be the biggest, baddest country in the region will only end when both sides concede to peace and rid themselves of these annihilating nuclear weapons. While this may seem a utopian idea in this lifetime, the least we can do is try.