Isis could obtain nuclear weapon from Pakistan, warns India

Comments by Defence Minister Rao Inderjit Singh follow Isis's own 'far-fetched' claims it could obtain a Pakistani nuclear device via corrupt officials

India's defence minister has voiced concern that the radical Islamist group Isis could obtain a nuclear weapon from "states like Pakistan".

Rao Inderjit Singh made the comments on the sidelines of the Shangri-La regional security conference in Singapore, Bloomberg has reported.

"With the rise of Isis in West Asia, one is afraid to an extent that perhaps they might get access to a nuclear arsenal from states like Pakistan," Bloomberg quoted him as saying.

Earlier in the month Isis suggested it could attempt to buy its first nuclear weapon within a year and that it might come from Pakistan.

An article in its propaganda magazine Dabiq said: "The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilāyah [official] in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region."

 

The article, supposedly authored by John Cantlie, the British journalist held hostage by Isis and regularly used by the group in its propaganda campaigns, admits the scenario is "far-fetched".

Political analysts also see the scenario as unlikey.

Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme began in the 1970s in response to India's development and testing of its own nuclear device.

Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist who helped develop Pakistan's nuclear bomb, confessed in 2004 that his network had sold nuclear know-how on the black market to states such as North Korea and Iran.

But both Pakistan and India rank poorly in terms of nuclear security. According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative's 'nuclear materials security index', out of 25 countries Pakistan is ranked 22nd, while India is ranked 23rd.

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