WASHINGTON (AP) -- A top adviser to the government of Pakistan says it needs short-range "tactical" nuclear weapons to deter archrival India, although critics fear it could increase the risk of a nuclear war.
Khalid Kidwai also rejected concerns over the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. He said Pakistan has adequate safeguards to protect what analysts have described as the world's fastest-growing atomic arsenal.
Pakistan's development of smaller warheads built for use on battlefields, in addition to longer-range weapons, has increased international concerns that they could get into militant hands.
Pakistan and larger neighbor India have fought three wars. They have held on-off peace talks but are involved in a nuclear arms race that shows no sign of abating.
Kidwai spoke Monday at a conference organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.