India eyes nuclear clubs
While addressing the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a strong pitch for membership of four exclusive nuclear clubs stating that it would help strengthen its export control systems and maintain the international standards of its nuclear programme.
“India has never been a source of proliferation of sensitive technologies and we are determined to further strengthen our export control systems to keep them on par with the highest international standards,” The Indian Express quoted Singh as saying.
The report also stated that the prime minister also released the National Progress Report on steps taken by India to secure its nuclear installations and said that comprehensive reviews of nuclear safety measures have been undertaken at their nuclear facilities.
Singh said India was determined that its expanded nuclear power programme would follow the highest standards of nuclear safety and security.
On the other hand, also at the summit, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani emphasised ‘national responsibility’ for strengthening nuclear security as he renewed demand for access to civilian nuclear energy and made a strong pitch for Pakistan’s membership of atomic cartels, in particular the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Gilani urged the international community to give Pakistan access to nuclear technology for peaceful uses on a non-discriminatory basis.
“National measures are the most important part of our efforts to enhance nuclear security. If nations do not move, nothing would move. If nations move feebly, nuclear risks increase many times,” the Pakistani prime minister stated.
The US has said that it will wait for a request from Pakistan on its needs for nuclear technology and energy before deciding if it can accept the Pakistani demand.
“I don’t know whether we’ve had discussions in the past about these issues, but we would obviously await a request and then see what makes sense,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said when asked to comment on the prime minister’s statement.
“We obviously have a rich dialogue with Pakistan about its energy needs,” she told a daily news briefing at the State Department.