Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked the global community to give up the notion of “his terrorist is not my terrorist” as he made a veiled attack on Pakistan, saying the “greatest risk” is from state actors working with nuclear traffickers while the responses to such acts are “rooted in the past”.
He also pledged USD 1 million to the Nuclear Safety Fund of the IAEA, second such contribution by India in as many years, and highlighted the measures put in place at home to enhance safety and security in the atomic field, including ways to deal with the nuclear waste.
Modi, while speaking at the White House dinner hosted by US President Barack Obama to kick off two-day Nuclear Security Summit here and intervening at the Summit later, underlined the need for maintaining highest level of vigil with regard to nuclear terrorism.
Referring to the recent terror attacks in Brussels, he said it showed how real and immediate the threat to nuclear security is from terrorism and that all countries must completely adhere to their international obligations in this regard.
“Terrorism is globally networked. But, we still act only nationally to counter this threat... Drop the notion that terrorism is someone else’s problem and that ‘his’ terrorist is not ‘my’ terrorist,” he said in a message to the global community.
“The reach and supply chains of terrorism are global, but genuine cooperation between nation states is not,” said Modi who was seated next to Obama at the dinner which was attended by heads of States of more than 20 countries.
Outlining three contemporary features of terror that the world should focus on, the Prime Minister said today’s terrorism uses extreme violence as ‘theatre’.
“Second, we are no longer looking for a man in a cave, but we are hunting for a terrorist in a city with a computer or a smart phone.
“Third, state actors working with nuclear traffickers and terrorists present the greatest risk,” he said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan whose top scientist A Q Khan had been indulging in proliferation of nuclear technology.
Dwelling at length on the threat posed by terrorism to the world, Modi said it has evolved and terrorists are using 21st century technology “but our responses are rooted in the past”.
Praising the US President for his initiative on nuclear security, Modi said Obama’s legacy must endure.
“By putting spotlight on nuclear security, Obama has done great service to global security,” he said.
Giving details of the Prime Minister’s interventions, Joint Secretary (Disarmament) in the External Affairs Amandeep Singh Gill said he highlighted the threat perception with regard to nuclear terrorism, particularly against the backdrop of Brussels attacks.
The points in Modi’s intervention included the actions India has been taking and will be taking to ensure safety and security of its nuclear programme.
These actions include continuous strengthening of the institutional framework as well as the independent regulators besides training in the field of nuclear security, Gill said.
India’s continued focus on strengthening the technological dimension of the nuclear programme was among other aspects of the Prime Minister’s intervention, the official said.
Among other points of highlight in Modi’s intervention was India’s shift from use of nuclear materials with radioactive potential, particularly in the medical field, to reduce vulnerability of exposure.
Gill said India will continue to engage with IAEA, the international watchdog in nuclear field, with regard to nuclear safety and security. In this context, seminars will be hosted by India with participation of IAEA experts.
The focus of the Prime Minister’s intervention was that India will maintain momentum for enhancing nuclear security, the MEA official said.