ADDRESSING the global nuclear summit, US President Barrack Obama once again reminded the world of persistent threat posed by nuclear terrorism. He warned that the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) has already used chemical weapons and if the outfit somehow obtained nuclear material it would not hesitate using it for mass death and destruction.
The concerns expressed by Obama are genuine especially in the wake of recent terror attack that ripped through Brussels. Months before the deadly bombings, it is believed that at least two of the suspected terrorists were targeting a nuclear plant in Belgium. The El-Bakroui brothers cased the Doel facility and secretly videotaped a top nuclear researcher there. This episode clearly indicates that the nuclear facilities of developed nations are not secure and face possible theft at the hands of terrorists. Often a baseless propaganda is unleashed again Pakistan’s nukes but the fact is that those behind this deliberate false campaign ignore the truth that the country has not seen any breach or accident in its forty year old nuclear programme while IAEA has recorded 2734 nuclear accidents worldwide including five in India. Anyway sticking with nuclear terrorism, there is wider consensus amongst world leaders about this serious threat yet efforts to save the world from this danger are undermined by discriminatory policies of some big powers that are not ready to cut down their nuclear stock. In fact, there exist no effective system to fully secure nuclear materials. Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi highlighted the same issue at a White House working dinner pointing out radioactive sources being employed in various fields including hospitals, industry and research centres. Terrorists can easily access these sites and use their material as dirty bombs for their sordid designs. According to experts the likelihood of a dirty bomb could be averted by making it legally binding on countries to protect all nuclear facilities and to secure nuclear material in domestic use, storage and transport. Pakistan has shown its commitment towards this end by signing the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.