‘India needs treaty against illegal arms supply’

India needs a strong arms control treaty as ammunition and explosives from over 50 countries are being supplied to extremist groups in the country.

New Delhi: India needs a strong arms control treaty as ammunition and explosives from more than 50 countries are being supplied to various extremist groups in the country with the help of various non-state actors, an NGO working in the area of disarmament said here.

Demanding a tougher global law to regulate supply of arms and ammunitions, Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI) on Tuesday demanded an international framework to scrutinise and check illegal and illicit sale of weapons.

"We need a stronger treaty with checks against illegal supply of arms. We all know that illicit arms and ammunition from developed countries are being used by extremist groups here," former project leader on arms procurement, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Ravinder Pal Singh said.

He further added that India as one of the biggest weapons importer in the world procures arms and ammunitions from around 57 countries.

"The threat is manifold here. We need safeguards against sale of illicit weapons, their recycling and surveillance of weapon stockpile, their accountability and necessary corrective measures," Singh said.

Secretary General of CAFI Binalakshmi Nepram further added, "Considering that small arms and light weapons are highly vulnerable to diversions, pilferages from state arsenals or copying by non-state actors are a major challenge to domestic peace and security."

An international mandate is required for all the countries to review inadequacy in controlling problems of gun violence from illicit arms which has grown unabated despite their existing legislation, she said.

The global crisis of illicit weapons has prompted the United Nations member states to initiate program of action to prevent, combat and eradicate illicit trade in small arms and light weight weapons, they said.