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By Hassaan Khan
Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear weapons programme in the world and could have enough fissile material to produce more than 200 nuclear devices by 2020, an influential American think tank said in a report.
The special report by the the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) report, titled “Strategic Stability in the Second Nuclear Age”, also identified South Asia as the region “most at risk of a breakdown in strategic stability due to an explosive mixture of unresolved territorial disputes, cross-border terrorism, and growing nuclear arsenals.”
Pakistan, the report said, has deployed or is developing 11 delivery systems for its nuclear warheads, including aircraft, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.
Oil price slide and sanctions ‘cost Russia $140bn’
The falling oil price is costing Russia up to $100bn a year, while Western sanctions have hit the country by $40bn, its finance minister has said.
Anton Siluanov made the comments on Monday at an international financial and economic forum in Moscow.
Reports on Monday suggested Russia could cut its oil production by about 300,000 barrels a day in an attempt to support the oil price.
Opec members meet in Vienna this week where falling prices will be discussed.
Vladimir Putin has said that Russia could suffer “catastrophic consequences” from sanctions, the falling oil price and the sliding rouble, while claiming they would have knock-on effects for other countries.
“The modern world is interdependent. It’s far from guaranteed that sanctions, the steep fall in oil prices and the loss of value of the national currency will lead to negative results or catastrophic consequences only for us,” the Russian president told TASS, the official news agency, on Sunday.
The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions on Russia following its annexation of the Crimea region in Ukraine and its alleged involvement in eastern Ukraine.
By Jamal Shahid
ISLAMABAD: Meteorologists worried at the depletion of glaciers in Pakistan studied six glaciers in the Karakorum Range recently, and the results have made them worry even more.
“All of them were found melting at a faster rate. The changing climate is taking a heavy toll on our glaciers,” Chief Meteorologist of Pakistan Met Department (PMD) Dr Ghulam Rasul told Dawn.
And the disaster awaiting the nation can be imagined as depletion of glaciers in northern Pakistan during the last decade had been consistent with the rising temperature.
Experts say the study showed that the Hinarchi glacier, which had retreated 800 metres in the 32 years between 1977 and 2009, retreated another 300 metres during the next five years.
Also explore: ‘Pakistan’s glaciers will melt by 2035’
Similarly, the Baulter glacier which had retreated 1,500 metres, shrank another 400 metres by 2014. The future of the Barpu glacier looks gloomy as it has shrunk 640 metres since 1977.
Dr Rasul explained that due to rising temperature the glaciers had been losing their ice mass at a faster rate than ever before.
“The last 15 years witnessed a big escalation in the thermal regime of glaciated and snow covered region of Pakistan. We recorded more than one degree Centigrade increase in temperature which triggered the formation of glacial lakes and the phenomenon of GLOF – glacial lakes outburst floods – occasionally high river flows, land slips and slides,” he said.
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