Terrorists may acquire nuke weapons: PM

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New Delhi, Jun 9 (UNI) Expressing concern over the possibility of terrorists laying their hands on nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today mooted a set of seven proposals for achieving global nuclear disarmament within a timeframe and helping countries like India to make use of nuclear energy for maintaining the pace of economic growth.

There was also a threat of such weapons of mass destruction finding their way to those driven by extreme ideologies and other non-state actors, Dr Singh said in his inaugural address at an International Conference on ''Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons.'' Further, the development of new weapon systems based on emerging technologies posed challenges to space security and provided new roles for nuclear weapons. And the threat of climate change and global warming itself raised a range of security concerns, especially for India and others in the developing world.

Ruling out the feasibility of ''regionalising'' nuclear disarmament, he said India's proposals would result in non-discriminatory and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons within a timeframe and offer wider options of energy sources for India and other developing nations.

He did not refer to the stalled Indo-US nuclear deal, but he was virtually making it clear that the agreement was crucial to India widening its energy options.

Pointing out that India had witnessed rapid economic growth in the last few years and was poised for even higher growth rates in the future, he said the country would need a peaceful international environment so that ''we can focus our resources on improving the lives of our people.

''We seek a world in which power flows through the empowerment of people, and from the strength and resilience of our economy, our society, our institutions and our values.'' Among his suggestions were reaffirmation of the unequivocal commitment of all nuclear weapon states to the goal of complete elimination of nuclear weapons and reduction of the salience of nuclear weapons in security doctrines.

The Prime Minister also wanted adoption of measures by nuclear weapon states to reduce nuclear danger, including the risks of accidental use of nuclear weapons.

There was need for... picking up from para one, line one of DI11, PM-NUCLEAR TWO LAST NEW DELHI.

UNI SN RP UCS1852

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