Nuclear smuggling racket unearthed in India

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Nuclear smuggling racket unearthed in India

LONDON - EU mandated Conflict Armament Research’s report published upon weapons’-specific issues in conflict area, stated that seven Indian companies along with others have been found incorporating components used by the IS to fabricate improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The report has found that over 50 companies from 20 countries have produced, sold or received hundreds of components, such as detonators, cables and wires, used by IS terrorists to build IEDs.

More importantly the report noted that “seven Indian companies manufactured most of the detonators, detonating cord, and safety fuses documented by CAR’s field investigation teams. Under Indian law, transfer of this material requires a licence.”

With all companies figured by the CAR list, the seven India-based companies reportedly contributing to the supply chain of IS IEDs include: Gulf Oil Corporation: Detonating cord, Solar Industries: Detonating cord, Premier Explosives: Detonating cord, Rajasthan Explosives and Chemicals: Detonating cord, Chamundi Explosives: Safety fuse, Economic Explosives: Detonators, IDEAL Industrial Explosives: Detonators.

Yet the world’s powerful states like the US have ignored the recent unearthing of a nuclear smuggling racket in India. Nevertheless, if the same had happened in Pakistan, it would have been a global issue. The influential power kept silence on this racket busting of 31 tons of nuclear material smuggling from India which nonetheless shows their resolve and seriousness about the issue.

This is disturbing as India being a party to the IAEA Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment, is duty-bound to prevent the smuggling of atomic minerals of all kinds. This also comes in the backdrop of a 2014 report pegged “India’s nuclear security practices” that ranks it at 23rd among 25 countries known to possess at least a bomb’s-worth of fissile materials. Also especially identifying the weakness in areas such as mode of transport security, material control, and accounting, and measures to protect against the insider threat, such as personnel vetting and mandatory reporting of suspicious behaviour.

Despite the poor Indian track record, the global nuclear order is focusing on making India a more reliable partner for nuclear technology and a NSG member. Global Prestige has been a major factor driving India’s quest for the mainstreaming in nuclear ‘disorder’ and build its nuclear weapons programme, while simultaneously it is also about gaining access to enrichment, reprocessing and advanced reactor technologies.

Most importantly, those favouring granting this unprecedented concessions have conveniently turned a blind eye to India’s 1974 nuclear test — dubbed the smiling Buddha — which resulted from illicit diversion of spent fuel for obtaining plutonium used in that test from a civilian research reactor (CIRUS).

Pakistan has always been admired for its role in the realm of nuclear safety and security. More recently, the IAEA chief expressed satisfaction over implementation of the agency’s safeguard measures in the country. While realising the potential and efforts Pakistan has taken for the safety and security, it is being still subjected to renewed propaganda.

Pakistan attaches highest significance to its nuclear safety and security and complies with all international and domestic obligations. With this ripe evidential scenario, why are there no fingers pointing towards India? Isn’t it similar to an ostrich hideout in sand despite dangers coming at front? By: Usman Ali Khan