PM to pitch for strong commitments against nuke proliferation

Last Updated: Monday, April 12, 2010 - 09:51

Washington: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to raise pitch at the Nuclear Security Summit here on Monday for strong commitments by individual countries and firm responses by international community against proliferation, amid fears about terrorists gaining access to atomic material.

Singh will join leaders of 46 other countries in discussing mechanisms to strengthen global initiatives for securing nuclear material and installations.

The Summit is taking place amidst increasing apprehensions and concerns about the possibility of Pakistan`s nuclear arsenal and material falling into the hands of terrorists.

While the Prime Minister is unlikely to directly refer to Pakistan in this context, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao are expected to raise concerns regarding Pakistan at the official-level meetings.

Singh is expected to pitch for firm response to the challenges of proliferation and possibility of terrorists gaining access to nuclear material. He is expected to share India`s apprehensions about terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

During the official-level deliberations, India will raise concerns about the possibility of terrorists gaining access to nuclear material in Pakistan.

The summit, an initiative of Obama, will focus on dangers posed by clandestine proliferation and illicit trafficking of nuclear material and the possibility of terrorists acquiring atomic material.

Ahead of his visit, the Prime Minister said nuclear terrorism and proliferation of sensitive technologies are "legitimate concerns" which require "firm responses".

He emphasised the need for "highest standards of security" in the nuclear field to reinforce public faith in the benefit of atomic science.

Noting that nuclear energy was poised to play a growing role in addressing the developmental challenges of the present times, he said, "This will be possible only if we, as individual nations, and as a global community ensure the highest standards of security which reinforce public faith in the benefits of nuclear science."

He pointed out that India was an important stakeholder in this global endeavour.

Talking about India`s well developed and indigenous nuclear energy programme, which dates back six decades, Singh said, "We have an impeccable record of security, safety and non-proliferation which reflects in our conduct as a responsible nuclear power."

The Prime Minister underlined that India has been a consistent advocate of complete and universal global nuclear disarmament.

Singh is also likely to propose setting up of an International Nuclear Safety Centre in India.

India sees the summit and its associated preparatory process as important elements in strengthening international resolve to cooperate on nuclear security and supporting the
expanded use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 12, 2010 - 09:51

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