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Terrorists could use Pakistani nukes against India, Israel, US

Terrorists could use Pakistani nukes against India, Israel, US

Author: P. Jayaram (IANS)
Publication: The Hindustan Times
Date: November 30, 201

An Israeli parliamentarian has warned about the possibility of terrorists gaining control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and using it to "destroy three countries" -- India, Israel and the US

"If there is a coup d'etat in Pakistan and extremists and terrorists get hold of their nuclear weapons, they will use them to destroy three countries -- you, us and the US" said Joseph Lapid, member of an Israeli parliamentary team currently visiting India.

At a joint press conference by the team, Lapid, a survivor of the Holocaust, said the September 11 attacks had demonstrated what the terrorists were capable of.

"If you don't take terrorism seriously, then it will be too late. Today, they are using only knives and planes, tomorrow they will have chemical and nuclear weapons," he said.

The four-member team arrived here after what team leader Amnon Rubinstein described as an "unforgettable visit" to Kochi.

"We want to go back," he said, adding that the visit to the historic synagogue there and the interaction with the small, local Jewish community were memorable, just as a cruise in Kerala's backwaters was "out of this world."

Many shopkeepers in Kochi's "Jew Street" spoke to them in Hebrew and "we were very moved," he said.

The team is on a weeklong visit to India at the invitation of Parliament to mark the 10th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Responding to a series of questions on Jammu and Kashmir, Nawaf Mazalha, an Arab and a former deputy speaker of Knesset (Israeli Parliament), said it was not correct to compare the violence in the state with the Palestinian agitation against Israel.

"Kashmir is an Indian state and what is happening there is part of an attempt by somebody to split it. In Israel, it is not the same problem. They (Palestinians) want independence; we are saying they can't do it by terrorism," he said.

But it was evident that there were differences in perception among the four members along party lines -- two of them represented the ruling coalition and the others, opposition -- on the Palestinian issue, with Mazalha and Gideon Ezra, deputy minister of public security, arguing over Tel Aviv's handling of it.

But the members were uniformly impressed by the great strides being made in India-Israel relations in various spheres, including defence.

"There is a total fusion of interests between India and Israel because our two countries are so much similar in so many respects" despite the differences in sizes, Lapid said.

While both countries had significant Muslim minority populations, which are loyal to the state and moderate in their view, some extremists with terrorist links were endangering the unity of the countries, he said.

Rubenstein said relations between the two countries were progressing by "leaps and bounds" and was confident that the two-way trade that stood just under $1 billion last year would cross the $2 billion mark by the end of the decade.

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