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India concerned over security of Pak nuclear programme

Press Trust of India  |  Seoul 

Ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit here next week, India today voiced concerns over Pakistan's nuclear programme saying it has "very little confidence" on the capabilities of its western neighbour on securing its atomic assets.

"We have very little confidence that their nuclear programs are secure or will stay safe," sources said when asked about the security of atomic materials in Pakistan.

The possibility of "insider threat" was the prime concern among the Indian establishment and building capacities would be the key element in India's pitch at the Nuclear Security Summit which begins here on Monday.

"The real problem is the insider threat," the sources said talking about Pakistan's nuclear programme.

The sources cautioned that the fissile material could get into the hands of terrorists, who could use it to make dirty bombs.

They said an insider could be a person having legitimate reason to hold and control nuclear materials but who could also do the same for illegitimate purposes.

Multilateral meetings, like the Nuclear Security Summit, help in building capacities and building cooperation with countries but each country needs to shoulder the responsibility of protecting its own nuclear assets.

Concerns over nuclear security have heightened, particularly in the wake of the Fukushima accident, as officials fear that fissile material from such crippled reactors could fall in wrong hands if proper steps were not taken to secure it.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to unveil before the Summit the steps India has taken to tackle challenges of nuclear terrorism.

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First Published: Sat, March 24 2012. 18:21 IST