India hit out at Pakistan on Thursday for making an unverified claim that some material seized recently in Jharkhand’s Bokaro was uranium and described it as an attempt by Islamabad to malign the country.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the material seized was not uranium and asserted that India maintains a stringent law-based regulatory system for internationally-controlled items, which is reflected in its “impeccable” non-proliferation credentials.
“The Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, after due evaluation and laboratory analysis of the material sample, has stated that the material seized last week is not uranium and not radioactive,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
“The gratuitous remarks about India by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, drawing upon a media report, indicate their disposition to malign India without caring to check or verify facts,” he said at a media briefing.
Mr Bagchi was replying to a question on Pakistan’s official remarks in response to a media report on the seizure of the suspicious material in Bokaro last week.
“Let me also reaffirm that India maintains a stringent law-based regulatory system for internationally-controlled items, which is reflected in our impeccable non-proliferation credentials recognised by the international community,” he said.
Last week, Pakistan’s foreign ministry called for a probe into what it called the seizure of nuclear material.
Asked about reports of security concerns at the Indian High Commission in Pakistan, Mr Bagchi did not give a direct reply but said the MEA maintains contacts with local authorities regarding the safety and security of its diplomatic premises.
“The MEA maintains contact with local authorities regarding the safety and security of all our diplomatic premises, which we believe is the responsibility of the host government,” he said.