India is concerned that extremist groups such as Islamic State may get their hands on nuclear arms from Pakistan, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh said.
“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,” Singh said on Saturday on the sidelines of the Shangri-La regional security conference in Singapore.
Terrorism has killed more than 50,000 people in Pakistan since 2001 and given rise to concern about the security of its armaments. Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear program in the world, according to the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, with an arsenal of 100 to 120 warheads, compared with China’s 250 and India with 90 to 100.
Singh said if Pakistan develops technology that enables its submarines to carry nuclear warheads, “it would just be a step further in arming their defense services.”
India has also been criticized for the quality of its nuclear security. The Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative said last year that India’s nuclear materials security conditions were adversely affected by the continued increase in its quantities of nuclear material, as well as high levels of corruption among public officials.
India ranked 23rd out of 25 countries in the NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index, only above Iran and North Korea. Pakistan ranked 22nd.