Link­ing Nu­clear Se­cu­rity and Ter­ror

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s re­cent for­eign tour had two ob­jec­tives: gar­ner sup­port for In­dia’s membership of the Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers Group (NSG), and to high­light that nu­clear se­cu­rity can­not be achieved with­out a con­certed global ap­proach to tackle ter­ror­ism. This en­tails act­ing on coun­tries like Pak­istan, where state ac­tors col­lude with ter­ror­ists. Much of the prime min­is­ter’s en­gage­ment fo­cused on In­dia’s membership to global nu­clear ex­port regimes. Thus the fo­cus on dis­pelling con­cerns about In­dia’s ef­forts on nu­clear se­cu­rity, by stress­ing on the high pri­or­ity be­ing given to the is­sue do­mes­ti­cally, and in its in­ter­na­tional en­gage­ments by the con­tri­bu­tion of $1mil­lion to the IAEA nu­clear se­cu­rity fund and par­tic­i­pa­tion in three sum­mit sub­groups or ‘gift bas­kets’ on coun­ter­ing nu­clear smug­gling, nu­clear se­cu­rity con­tact group in Vi­enna, shar­ing of best prac­tices. The bi­lat­eral en­gage­ment with six NSG mem­bers con­trol­ling the ex­port of nu­clear tech­nol­ogy is part of this ef­fort. The most im­por­tant demon­stra­tion of In­dia’s lead­er­ship lies in the link­ing of the is­sue of ter­ror­ism and nu­clear safety. In call­ing for the adop­tion of a global rather than na­tional re­sponse to ter­ror, New Delhi has brought to the fore a weak­ness in the cur­rent ef­forts to tackle ter­ror­ism. In re­it­er­at­ing the prob­lem of state ac­tors work­ing with ter­ror­ists and nu­clear traf­fick­ers, the prime min­is­ter turned the spot­light on a real but rarely recog­nised prob­lem: Pak­istan, with its fast-grow­ing nu­clear arse­nal and nexus be­tween the state ap­pa­ra­tus and ter­ror­ists.

The true mea­sure of suc­cess of this in­ter­ven­tion will be ev­i­dent at the NSG ple­nary in June — if In­dia se­cures membership of this group. Fail­ing which, this visit will be just one more stop in New Delhi’s con­tin­ued diplo­matic ef­fort.

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