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India concerned about nexus between covert proliferation and terrorism

By Super

Paris, Feb. 6 (ANI): Prime Minister's special envoy on climate change Shyam Saran has said that India is deeply worried about the potential nexus between clandestine proliferation and terrorism.

Addressing the historic summit on 'Global Zero', Saran said: "India is deeply worried about the potential nexus between clandestine proliferation and terrorism and the ever-present danger of such weapons or vulnerable nuclear materials falling into the hands of Jehadi and non-State actors."

"While this is a specific threat to India, it also threatens the security of all States" said Saran while welcoming the United States' initiative to host the Nuclear Security Summit in April this year.

"Over the long term, it is also our view that it is only through the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and by putting in place universally applicable, non-discriminatory and fully transparent verification procedures, that we can fully prevent and deny nuclear materials from falling into dangerous hands," Saran added.

He noted that it was difficult to confine the security interests of a country like India to the arbitrarily defined regional settings.

"India's security has been adversely impacted by the clandestine proliferation of nuclear weapons in its neighbourhood, often ignored and on occasion, encouraged by certain important countries and the activities of the so-called A.Q.Khan network is an ominous reminder of the threats India continues to face in this respect," he said.

Expressing deep concern over the link between terrorism and proliferation Saran warned: "This is an escalating danger and will not be put on hold, while we take our time to achieve Global Zero. In any case, nuclear weapons cannot credibly deter non-state actors or jehadi groups from using or threatening the use of clandestinely acquired nuclear weapons, even if it is a crude one."

He stressed the Globe Zero initiative should highlight these realities as well, in order to reinforce the argument for urgency.

Saran said that as it is apparent that the centre of gravity of political and economic power is now shifting towards the Asia-Pacific region, it is only to be expected that military capabilities and security assets, gain a higher profile in our region.

"India welcomes the lead taken by the US and Russia in reducing their nuclear arsenals, we must remain mindful of security trends, including relating to the improvement, accretion and deployment of strategic armaments, in the Asia-Pacific region," he noted.

Saran also said that this should also be of concern to the international community as well, "as we (the nations across the world) move with practical steps towards Global Zero."

Meanwhile, mentioning about India's thinking on Global Zero, Saran said: "While India is a nuclear weapon state, it is the only such state to declare unequivocally that, in its perception, its security will be enhanced and not diminished in a world free of nuclear weapons."

He also said: "India has taken steps to underscore its commitment to nuclear disarmament and contribute to confidence-building. India has publicly adhered to a policy of non-first use of nuclear weapons and to the non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon States. Despite our well-known reservations on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, India is committed to its voluntary unilateral moratorium on nuclear explosive testing."

"India has impeccable and universally acknowledged credentials on non-proliferation. It is in recognition of India's unmatched non-proliferation record over the past more than half a century that it was possible to persuade the United States and the 45 member States of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to re-engage with India in international civil nuclear commerce under an India-specific Safeguards agreement with the IAEA," Saran stated. (ANI)

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