Nuclear theft in India worries the world | By Attiya Munawer

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Nuclear theft in India worries the world


BOTH Pakistan and India are nuclear powers, both have nuclear assets, but there is a lot of talk in the world about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, the noise of its nuclear weapons being unsafe, while the noisy country India’s nuclear weapons are the most insecure.

Recently, seven kilograms of uranium used in an atomic bomb was stolen from the Indian city of Mumbai.

The arrival of this dangerous nuclear material in the hands of the general public has made it clear that India is a very irresponsible country in terms of safeguarding its nuclear material.

Surprisingly, India was the first country to detonate a nuclear device in Asia and on several occasions has been acting irresponsibly as a nuclear state, yet other Western countries, including the United States, have turned a blind eye to it.

India is also a member of the Nuclear Club. On the contrary, Pakistan has always proved to be a very responsible nuclear country, yet it has been targeted.

If such an incident had taken place in Pakistan, there would have been a hurricane all over the world. The silence of the world powers on theft is raising many questions.

India is emerging as a global threat under the leadership of Narendra Modi. Uranium theft in India is a matter of concern for the whole world. Uranium is the basic and most important element used in nuclear weapons.

It is also used in the manufacture of many lethal weapons and ammunition. The purpose for which the stolen uranium was to be used in India is being investigated by Indian agencies.

It is also possible that the facts have come to their notice, regardless of where the uranium came from or where it is going.

The biggest question is how did uranium get into the hands of unscrupulous people despite being under tight security?

This is not the first case of uranium theft in India. There have been many incidents before this.

In 2016, seven kg of uranium was seized in Maharashtra, while in 2018, one kg of uranium was recovered from Kolkata.

The police arrested the accused, who was investigated by the relevant agencies, but the report was never made public.

These are the incidents in which uranium was seized. This shows that India’s nuclear program has never been safe.

The successive incidents of theft of nuclear material in India have made it clear that this country could be the cause of nuclear catastrophe for the world at any time.

Unlike India, Pakistan’s nuclear program is the safest. Last year, a report by the US Nuclear Security Index named Pakistan as a country with better nuclear weapons protection.

According to the report, Pakistan outperformed India by six points in terms of protection of nuclear assets.

Pakistan scored 47 points out of India’s 41 points. Pakistan followed all the rules and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its spirit.

That is why Pakistan’s nuclear program is considered safe, yet there has been vain and false propaganda by India that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons have fallen into unsafe hands, which is a deliberate conspiracy to mislead the world public opinion, through which India seeks to cover up the flaws and shortcomings of its nuclear program.

India has failed to cover up the flaws of its nuclear programme, the flaws of its nuclear program have begun to emerge which calls for several sanctions on it.

Despite the Indian government’s claims of strict surveillance of uranium, theft and smuggling is the utter incompetence of the concerned agencies or everything is happening with the connivance of the officials of these agencies.

On the one hand, uranium is being stolen in India; on the other hand, it is on the verge of becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

In this regard, a full-fledged campaign is being run and lobbying is being done.

Although the United States has not been as enthusiastic about making India a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group since Biden became President, as India continues its campaign, the silence of the international community on India’s behaviour is incomprehensible.

Even after clear evidence that India’s nuclear weapons are insecure, the duplicitous attitude of the international community remains the same, then no one will be able to save the world from nuclear catastrophe.

—The writer is a regular columnist, based in Lahore.