A main priority of Pakistan is to continue growing nuclear weapons and nuclear technologies. This is primarily to compete with India, which has long been a rival of Pakistan. As an ally to the United States and many other states, Pakistan is willing to discuss nuclear policies, but the primary goal will remain defense against a possible attack from India.
Pakistan began nuclear testing in 1974 and has continued to grow in both number of tests, and categories of weapons. In 1999 the Lahore Agreements between Prime Ministers Vajpayee and Sharif established that Pakistan would give advanced notice for these tests, but the tests would be allowed to continue. Currently Pakistan has approximately 145 nuclear warheads in some capacity.
Unlike many other states, Pakistan has not signed the NPT treaty. Because India has also not signed the treaty, Pakistan will not sign unless India does first. This is done to protect Pakistan from India and the threat it presents.
The civilian nuclear cooperation agreement in 2005 created a lot of anger within Pakistan because it posed a threat to the balance of power within southern Asia, inevitably leading to an arms race between Pakistan and India. Pakistan believes that it should receive a similar deal because it too is going though a power crisis. By granting a similar agreement, there would be a stronger chance of maintaining balance within the region.
A strong foreign ally to Pakistan has been China. China has shared many different nuclear technologies including designs for a war head, nuclear power technologies, and materials. According to a report done by the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2001 Pakistan has also obtained nuclear materials from the Former Soviet Union and Western Europe.
The relationship between Pakistan and the United States is currently shaky thanks to remarks said by President Donald Trump. Trump has made claims that Pakistan has “done nothing for the United States” and Pakistan responded by calling Trump’s assertions false. After the attack on September 11th due to pressure from the U.S. Pakistan agreed to help the U.S. fight the war on terror, but did provide refuge to leaders from both the Taliban and Al Qaeda including Osama Bin Laden. The Trump administration has made the decision to cut off funding to Pakistan for reasons like this.
For a long time, Pakistan has been accused of aiding known terrorist groups, despite its denial of these claims. Many frustrations come out of Pakistan’s continual protection for known terrorists and for providing these groups with intel and resources. Likely, this is done to weaken Afghanistan and thus weaken India’s influence there. Pakistan will continue to do so unless India is weakened or an agreement is achieved.