India has important role in stewardship of nuclear weapons: Kerry


WASHINGTON:Hailing India for securing its nuclear material, the US said that India has a very important role to play in securing nuclear weapons and nuclear materials. The US Secretary of State John Kerry said: India has a long record of being a leader, of being responsible. Mr Kerry also held a meeting with Indias National Security Advisor Ajit Doval at the State Department on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.

Indias Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Washington to attend the summit being held from March 31-April 1. This is also the last nuclear summit that US President Barack Obama will preside over as he completes his tenure as President at the end of 2016. India has a very important role to play with respect to responsible stewardship of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials. India has a long record of being a leader, of being responsible, and it is particularly important right now at a time when we see in the region some choices being made that may accelerate possible arms construction, which we have serious questions about Mr Kerry said.

The appreciation for India comes at a time when questions were being raised about the safety of nuclear material in South Asia. Various reports have suggested that Pakistans nuclear weapons are at risk from terror groups present in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Weve raised them with various partners in the region. So our hope is that this Nuclear Security Summit will contribute to everybodys understanding about our global responsibilities and choices, Mr Kerry said indirectly hinting at Pakistans deployment of nuclear weapons.

The US has repeatedly said that battlefield deployments make nuclear weapons vulnerable to theft and sabotage and has called upon Pakistan to desist from the move. However, Pakistan has turned down the US request. Pakistans Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was scheduled to participate in the summit had to cancel his visit in the eleventh hour after the terror attacks in Lahore on March 27 which killed 76 people.

Focusing on Indias commitment, Mr Doval said: Mr Modi was deeply interested in seeing and ensuring that the safety and security of the radioactive material must be ensured.


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