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Shanghai forum concerned over Pakistan’s nuclear arms

Vladimir Radyuhin

MOSCOW: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) voiced concern over the situation in Pakistan and the risk of its nuclear weapons falling into terrorist hands.

“The situation in Pakistan, which possesses nuclear weapons, is the cause of growing concern of the SCO member-states,” said a senior Russian security official.

“The situation in Pakistan is growing more explosive, with authorities controlling less and less territory,” said Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Vladimir Nazarov, briefing the media on a meeting of the SCO security chiefs in Moscow on Wednesday.

“The SCO states have legitimate worries that nuclear weapons in Pakistan may fall into the hands of terrorists,” he said. The SCO security chiefs also urged Pakistan to eliminate the terrorist-training camps on its territory. “We know who have set up those bases. It is up to them to clear this devil’s nest now,” said Russia’s Deputy Secretary .

The SCO took the view that the NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan must pay more attention to the problems of Pakistan, said Mr. Nazarov.

“First of all, they should stop foreign aid to Pakistan ending up in the pockets of terrorists,” said the Russian official. The SCO states agreed to seek greater involvement of the SCO observers — India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan — in setting up anti-narcotics security belts around Afghanistan. The recommendations of the SCO security chiefs will be discussed at the organisation’s summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on June 15-16.

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