Singh to pitch for a global nuclear safety centre in India

Singh to pitch for a global nuclear safety centre in India

New Delhi: Amid growing concerns of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will join the leaders of 42 other countries in Washington on 12 April to discuss ways to strengthen global initiatives to avoid such a scenario.

The two-day Nuclear Security Summit will focus on the dangers posed by clandestine proliferation and illicit trafficking of nuclear material and the possibility of terrorists acquiring atomic material.

At the summit, Singh is expected to amplify India’s apprehensions about terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction while underlining the need for greater impetus on securing nuclear material through physical protection and legal mechanisms.

He is also likely to propose the setting up of an International Nuclear Safety Centre in India.

“You are aware of our concerns on terrorism and the possible acquisition of nuclear devices and material by terrorist groups," foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said on Sunday while briefing the media on the prime minister’s visit to the US for the summit.

On India gaining access to Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley, a Pakistani-origin American who confessed in a US court to playing a key role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Rao said negotiations are under way but India is “satisfied" with the progress of discussions.

India has been seeking access to Headley to find out the details of his activities regarding the 26/11 attacks and plans for further strikes in the country.