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PM to pitch for strong commitments against nuke proliferation

world Updated: Apr 12, 2010 10:41 IST

PTI
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to raise pitch at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on Monday for strong commitments by individual countries and firm responses by international community against proliferation, amid fears about terrorists gaining access to atomic material.

Singh will join leaders of 46 other countries in discussing mechanisms to strengthen global initiatives for securing nuclear material and installations.

The Summit is taking place amidst increasing apprehensions and concerns about the possibility of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and material falling into the hands of terrorists.

While the Prime Minister is unlikely to directly refer to Pakistan in this context, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao are expected to raise concerns regarding Pakistan at the official-level meetings.

Singh is expected to pitch for firm response to the challenges of proliferation and possibility of terrorists gaining access to nuclear material. He is expected to share India's apprehensions about terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

During the official-level deliberations, India will raise concerns about the possibility of terrorists gaining access to nuclear material in Pakistan.

The summit, an initiative of Obama, will focus on dangers posed by clandestine proliferation and illicit trafficking of nuclear material and the possibility of terrorists acquiring atomic material.

Ahead of his visit, the prime minister said nuclear terrorism and proliferation of sensitive technologies are "legitimate concerns" which require "firm responses".

He emphasised the need for "highest standards of security" in the nuclear field to reinforce public faith in the benefit of atomic science.

Noting that nuclear energy was poised to play a growing role in addressing the developmental challenges of the present times, he said, "This will be possible only if we, as individual nations, and as a global community ensure the highest standards of security which reinforce public faith in the benefits of nuclear science."