PM for N-security hub

PM for N-security hub

Manmohan Singh. PTI

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may moot the proposal in the Nuclear Security Summit, which is going to take place in Washington on April 12 and 13.

India’s offer assumes significance as it comes from a country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. New Delhi is keen to ensure that its stand against any discriminatory treaty does not get it branded as an obstructionist against global initiatives on non-proliferation.

The prime minister is also likely to air India’s concerns on terrorism and the possibility of nuclear devices and material falling into the hands of terrorists. Though India’s concerns on the issue are centred mainly around the doubts on the reliability of the security arrangements made for nuclear materials and installations in Pakistan, Singh is unlikely to directly refer to the country in his speech in the summit.

Good idea

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Saturday said that the proposal to set up an international centre on nuclear security in India was “a good idea”.  “We need to develop it further,” she said. She, however, declined to share with the media more details about the proposal and said: “Let’s wait for the outcome of the summit.”

But sources said that New Delhi had already made the proposal in the preparatory meetings that had taken place in Tokyo and The Hague during the run-up to the summit.
As New Delhi’s ‘sherpa’ for the summit, the Foreign Secretary herself represented India in the preparatory meetings along with a delegation comprising senior officials from the Department of Atomic Energy and Ministry of External Affairs.

The proposal to set up the centre is believed to have received positive responses from the US and several other western countries.

Delhi’s offer

India, according to the sources, also offered to bear a substantive share of the resources that would be required for setting up the centre. Sources said the centre was proposed to be dedicated for carrying out researches on nuclear safety and security and to compile best practices to be replicated around the world.

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