Pakistan Watches the Storm

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Pakistan may wait a while before testing its own nuclear weapons, says TIME New Delhi bureau chief Tim McGirk. Washington may have been caught off guard by the intelligence community’s failure to anticipate India’s nuclear tests on Monday, but the administration has made swift and strenuous appeals to Islamabad to show restraint -- despite demands by a wide cross-section of Pakistani politicians that their government conduct its own nuclear test.

Wednesday’s second round of Indian tests has frayed nerves in Islamabad, but even then McGirk believes Pakistan -- which has been under U.S. sanctions since 1990 because of its nuclear program -- will hold back and enjoy the storm of condemnation breaking over New Delhi. “Pakistan will likely wait and assess the strength of the international community’s sanctions against India,” says McGirk. “If they don’t believe the sanctions are ironclad, they’ll probably conduct their own test.”