Terrorism has evolved, but responses have become old: Modi

"By putting spotlight on nuclear security, Obama has done great service to global security," he says

April 01, 2016 06:58 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:02 pm IST - Washington

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Barack Obama at a working dinner with global leaders at a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Barack Obama at a working dinner with global leaders at a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on Wednesday.

India on Friday pledged a contribution of $1 million to the IAEA nuclear security fund. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made this commitment in his speech at the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). India has already made a contribution of $ 1 million.

Mr. Modi underlined the priority India has attached to nuclear security at home, in terms of institutional frameworks, resources for training people, and by continuing to reflect India’s international obligations in national actions, said Amandeep Singh Gill, JS (Disarmament and International Security Affairs) in the Ministry of External Affairs, briefing reporters on the Prime Minister’s intervention at the plenary. Mr Modi’s told the gathering how India was moving to safer technologies to protect radioactive material. Mr Modi cited as an example, the shift to the use of Cesium 137 only in its vitrified form in medical equipment, moving away from powder and liquid forms. Mr Modi also outlined India’s plans to enhance engagement with the IAEA, the Interpol and other international forums on the issue of nuclear security.

The question of Pakistan’s continuing deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in battlefields has not been raised by India as it was more a question of disarmament and arms control, said the official. But Mr. Modi did raise the possibility of individuals within the state structure getting friendly with a terrorist, leading up to a nuclear terrorism incident, without naming any particularly country, said Mr. Gill. Mr. Modi made this point at the dinner on Thursday night, hosted by President Barack Obama.

Outdated responses

Global terrorism has evolved over time and terrorists are now using modern technology and devices while national and international efforts to counter them have become outdated, Mr Modi told a gathering of global leaders at the dinner. Mr Modi sat to the left of Mr Obama at the dinner in the East Room of the White House. To Mr. Obama’s right sat Chinese President Xi Jinping. Mr. Modi thanked Mr Obama for putting the “spotlight on nuclear security.”

Elaborating on his theme that while terrorists evolved, governments have not, Mr Modi said: “Terror has evolved. Terrorists are using 21st century technology. But our responses are rooted in the past.” The Prime Minister identified three “contemporary features of terrorism:” “First, today's terrorism uses extreme violence as theatre. Second, we are no longer looking for a man in a cave, but we are hunting for a terrorist in a city with a computer or a smart phone. Third, state actors working with nuclear traffickers and terrorists present the greatest risk.”

Mr. Modi said while terrorism has become globally networked, “we still act only nationally to counter this threat.” “The reach and supply chains of terrorism are global; but genuine cooperation between nation states is not,” the PM said.

The PM said without prevention and prosecution of acts of terrorism there could be no deterrence against nuclear terrorism. Mr Modi told world leaders that nuclear security must remain the abiding national priority for all countries and all states “must completely abide by their international obligations.”

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