Pakistan expresses concern over illicit uranium sales in India

Pakistan expresses concern over illicit uranium sales in India

Islamabad (Web Desk): Pakistan on Friday expressed its deep concern over illicit Uranium sales in India, which show lax controls, poor regularity and enforcement mechanisms as well as possible existence of black market for nuclear materials inside India.

Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said this while responding to media queries about reports of attempted illicit uranium sales in India.

“We have seen the reports about yet another incident of attempted illegal sale of six kilogrammes of Uranium in India,” he said.

The FO spokesperson said that similar incident involving seven kilogrammes of Uranium in the Indian state of Maharashtra last month and other such reports in the past are a matter of deep concern.

He said that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1540 and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) make it binding on states to ensure stringent measures to prevent nuclear material from falling into wrong hands.

Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan reiterates its call for thorough investigation of such incidents and measures for strengthening the security of nuclear materials to prevent their diversion.

“It is equally important to ascertain the intent and ultimate use of the attempted Uranium sale given its relevance to international peace and security as well as the sanctity of global non-proliferation regime,” the FO spokesman said.

Earlier, the Indian media reported that police in the state of Jharkhand arrested seven people for having "mineral uranium" in their possession and for their plans to sell it in the black market.

It is pertinent to mention that uranium is used in several areas, including nuclear explosives and medical techniques.

The very fact that some people stole or illegally mined uranium raises concerns about nuclear safety and security in India.

It also indicates the possibility of a nuclear market existing in India that could be connected to international players.

Pakistan had also voiced serious concern last month after reports of the Maharashtra seizure emerged, pointing to gaps in state control mechanisms there.