ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has called for an investigation into illegal uranium possession and sales in India after recent incidents in which over 13 kilograms of the nuclear material were seized in two Indian states.
On May 5, the Anti-Terrorism Squad in the western Indian state of Maharashtra arrested two individuals in Mumbai for the possession of 7.1 kg of natural uranium worth $3 million.
In another incident earlier this week, Indian police intercepted 6.4 kg of the radioactive mineral in the eastern state of Jharkhand.
"Pakistan reiterates its call for thorough investigation of such incidents and measures for strengthening the security of nuclear materials to prevent their diversion," the Pakistani foreign office said in a statement on Friday evening.
"It is equally important to ascertain the intent and ultimate user of the attempted uranium sale given its relevance to international peace and security as well as the sanctity of global non-proliferation regime."
Calling it a "matter of deep concern," the foreign office said such incidents "point to lax controls, poor regulatory and enforcement mechanisms, as well as possible existence of a black market for nuclear materials inside India."
"The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 and the IAEA Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) make it binding on states to ensure stringent measures to prevent nuclear material from falling into wrong hands."
The UN resolution regarding the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was adopted unanimously in 2004.
The IAEA convention, ratified by both Pakistan and India, establishes legal obligations for parties regarding the physical protection of nuclear material. It criminalizes offences related to illicit trafficking and sabotage of nuclear material.