BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: South Asia  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Monday, 2 December, 2002, 12:20 GMT
India voices nuclear weapons fear
Shaheen missile
Pakistan says its weapons could not get into the wrong hands
The Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, has warned that the world faces a "disastrous threat" if Pakistan's nuclear weapons fall into the wrong hands.

The comments follow remarks made by Russian President, Vladamir Putin, that weapons of mass destruction in the country could fall into the hands of "bandits and terrorists."

President Putin and his wife at the Taj Mahal
President Putin has close relations with India

Mr Putin, in an interview with The Hindu newspaper ahead of a three-day visit to India, said Russia remained worried about the problem - despite Pakistani efforts to deal with it.

On Sunday, a Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman responded by saying Russia's own system of safeguarding its nuclear assets was a matter of serious concern to the international community.

Bilateral meeting

Islamabad also said it was concerned about the Russian foreign ministry's comments to the effect that the seizure of a Hindu temple in Indian-administered Kashmir was connected to a "terrorist infrastructure" in Pakistan.

Pakistan intends to take up the issue with the Russian authorities at a bilateral meeting of the Joint Working Group in Moscow on Monday.

But Prime Minister Vajpayee repeated the Russian president's concerns by saying: "This matter raised by President Putin must be taken seriously by the entire world."

Indian soldiers in south-western Kashmir firing at Pakistani positions
Indian and Pakistani troops are withdrawing from the border
Despite concerns, President Putin praised efforts by Pakistan and India to withdraw troops from their shared border.

He said: "I think that relaxation of tension in such an explosive and dangerous region is an act that deserves respect and we will try to support any steps taken by either country towards that objective."

President Putin is to hold talks with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and a host of cabinet ministers during his visit.

India and Russia are long-time allies and Mr Putin was last here in 2000, while Mr Vajpayee went to Moscow last year.

Both India and Pakistan have tested nuclear devices, and the two countries remain locked in a potentially deadly stand-off over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

See also:

25 Oct 02 | South Asia
24 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
25 Oct 02 | South Asia
13 Feb 01 | South Asia
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes