A.Q. Khan network must be dismantled, stresses India

April 1st, 2009 - 11:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh London, April 1 (IANS) India Wednesday called for the world’s most powerful countries to work together in order to dismantle the nuclear smuggling network run by A.Q. Khan, the so-called father of the Pakistani bomb.
“On the A.Q. Khan network, we feel that there is a need for much more transparency, not only about what happened in the past, but there’s a need for us to be certain that nothing like that will happen again,” Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters here.

India’s call came in the run-up to Thursday’s summit of the Group of 20 (G20) countries in London and follows reports that associates of Khan, who was once held under house arrest for his role in nuclear proliferation, are outside any official control both within and out of Pakistan.

Menon said the world community needs to ensure that nuclear materials, technology and equipment are all “not just secure today, but always be secure. This is very important.”

“The danger of networks like the A.Q. Khan network is that they blur the line between what is official and what is not official. That is really the worrying part,” Menon said.

The situation in Pakistan is among issues that are set to be discussed not only at the full meeting of the G20 leaders but also bilaterally between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama Thursday.

Menon said it was important to put in place systems to prevent a recurrence of such proliferation. “we think it’s very important that the international community must work together.”

“There has been a fair amount of work done by concerned countries, and we look forward to carrying that work forward,” he added.

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