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Malik asks IAEA to take notice of nuclear proliferation by India

Former interior minister Rehman Malik. File photo

ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister and Chairman Institute of Research and Reforms (IRR) ex-senator Abdul Rehman Malik has urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take serious notice of continuous nuclear proliferation by India and probe into the incidents on urgent basis.

“The IAEA chief should call an emergency meeting, inviting western countries cautioning about this new trend by India to bring uranium as one of the business commodities, being traded openly by private dealers,” he said while addressing a press conference here Monday and making public his letter, written to IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.

In his letter Rehman Malik stated that he would like to draw attention to the combined seizure of 7.1kg of highly enriched uranium from two citizens of India namely Jigar Jayesh Pandya and Abu Tahir Afzal Husain Choudhary, a scrap dealer, on 6 May, 2021 in Mumbai.

He said that it was not the first time that such a highly radioactive substance has been seized by police in recent years but in 2016, Indian police seized almost 9kg of depleted uranium in the Thane area of Maharashtra. He stated that it is, thus, evident that India has been found involved in illicit nuclear proliferation activities and uranium theft, as there is a history of unauthorised possession of radioactive material in India.

Rehman Malik said the present incident and many other incidents which have not yet been reported must be an eye-opener for the IAEA, as it has further endangered nuclear security especially when it is in the hands of an irresponsible extremist government in India. He stressed that timely warning and necessary legal action will enable to stop the Indian nuclear products from landing in the hands of terrorists.

He urged that world must stop this new wave and mode of terrorism of these dirty bombs which will be too dangerous for the world and will frustrate all modern measures against terrorism.

“Although India is not a signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), yet it was able to secure a waiver from IAEA owing to its supposedly falsely reported ‘excellent record in nuclear security”, he added.

For the proposed probe into sale of uranium in India, Rehman Malik in his letter has proposed some important points to save the world from the dirty bomb in the hands of terrorists. Those points include:

He demanded a detailed investigation by IAEA because the present BJP government is controlled by extremists and cannot be trusted. Rehman Malik requested to IAEA to refer the case of nuclear proliferation to FATF as it is too serious to be ignored and allowed to endanger the world as it is too serious issue and a bigger dirty bomb is bigger threat than actual terrorism and money laundering.

He said it is high time that the safety measures adopted by India to safeguard the nuclear material against proliferation are reviewed by IAEA and the waiver granted to it is withdrawn forthwith, and in the meantime, a total freeze on the operation of these nuclear plants may be imposed.

He stressed that the nuclear programme in India is in the hands of irresponsible and inexperienced civilians and the extremist government which is being governed by RSS who have their unethical motives in contrast to Pakistan’s outstanding nuclear safety and security record duly verified by the international monitoring watchdog.

He emphasized that unless India strictly regulates nuclear material, it would be considered complicit in the proliferation of nuclear material. He explains that under Article 39 of the UN Charter, it constitutes a direct threat to international peace and security, if a country is found to be noncompliant with its safeguards.

He said that India has to prove its credibility by enhancing the internal administration and security of its nuclear plants and also needs to bring stringent legislation by enhancing punishment on nuclear proliferation. “The private dealing with uranium has to be prohibited otherwise every dirty bomb in the hands of terrorists and every non-state actor will be worse than Osama bin Laden and Daesh,” he said.