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India's multi-ethnicity danger to its nukes: report

Updated on 2002-04-27 11:59:29

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WASHINGTON, April 27 (PNS): Stating that New Delhi's "overconfidence" about its ability to keep its nuclear weapons and materials from falling into terrorist hands could be misplaced, a report by US policymakers and think-tanks has warned that the country's multi-ethnic society may pose a serious danger to its arsenal.

"India is a multi-ethnic society with the world's second-largest Muslim population, and Arab fighters could blend into Indian society," reports PTI referring to a report, prepared during a conference in Washington by the NGO Stanley Foundation of IOWA.

The vulnerability of Indian nuclear weapons or material to theft or diversion was an "overlooked" matter, it said adding it was "unclear whether Delhi has given serious consideration to this potential in the light of official overconfidence about the security of India's nuclear weapons."

The report also expressed concern about the danger of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists in case of a coup.

Several observers were of the opinion that, in such a scenario, the US military should be ready to provide security over the nuclear weapons or even to take the weapons out of Pakistan entirely without the permission of Pakistani authorities, David Albright, president and founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, said.


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