NEW DELHI: India has been alive to the problem of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons falling into the hands of non-state actors. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Wednesday hinted that the non-state actors with nuclear weapons can detrimental to international security and thus “responsible states” needed to get together to prevent it.
The Foreign Secretary was speaking at the 2017 edition of the Implementation and Assessment Group Meeting of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, in which Pakistan is one of the participating countries besides the US, Russia, UK and Germany.
“Events that have unfolded around us, more so in the past couple of decades, have highlighted that terrorism remains the most pervasive and serious challenge to international security. If access to nuclear technology changes State behaviour, it is only to be expected that it would also impact on non-state calculations,” Jaishankar said while making a strong case for nuclear security.
Last year a report from a US think-tank Harvard Kennedy School has warned that the risk of “nuclear theft” in Pakistan, which has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world, continues to remain high. The Foreign Secretary sought greater commitments from the states to avoid such a scenario. “Responsible States provide political commitments to assure each other that they will protect nuclear material under their control from falling into the wrong hands,” Jaishankar said without naming Pakistan.
Jaishankar underlined that combating nuclear terrorism requires a two-prong approach – combating terrorism and ensuring nuclear safety. “The dangers of discriminating among terrorists – good or bad or even yours and mine - are increasingly recognized. Terrorism is an international threat that should not serve national strategy. Nuclear terrorism even more so,” Jaishankar said.
The GICNT was launched in 2006 by Russia and the US and in a decade it has 86 member countries and five official observer organisations.