South Asia 1540 Reporting

1540 Introduction Page: UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection

Region Overview

The South Asia region includes eight countries which possess a diverse spectrum of technological capabilities, and face serious Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) proliferation and terrorism challenges. The region remains critical to the implementation of UNSCR 1540 because it has growing nuclear arsenals and stockpiles of fissile material; known terrorist and separatist activities; porous and often ill-defined borders; and is in close proximity to key global shipping lanes.

Terrorist and insurgent violence is a common feature of many South Asian countries. A number of groups included on the U.S. Department of State's "List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO)" are active in five of the eight countries in the region (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). [1] The most active groups located in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India are Islamist terror organizations, and while their weighting of priorities varies, they remain dedicated to the annexation of Indian Kashmir and the expulsion of Coalition forces from Afghanistan. [2] India also contends with numerous attacks from Maoist Naxalite insurgents each year. Large ungoverned spaces along the Afghan border in Pakistan's North West Frontier and Federally Administered Tribal Areas, as well as porous and ill-defined borders in Jammu and Kashmir, have enabled terrorist organizations to plan and execute cross-border attacks against the governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Coalition forces.

Organizations of concern, including Lashkar E-Tayyiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), serve as force multipliers for Al-Qaeda (AQ) in the region. [3] In September 2012, the United States added the Haqqani Network to its Foreign Terrorist Organization list. [4] The increasing frequency and intensity of terrorist violence in Pakistan has called into question the Pakistani government's ability to effectively secure its nuclear arsenal, materials, and related facilities. In December 2014, the deadliest attack in Pakistan's history killed at least 144 people in an Army-run school in Peshawar. [5]

For detailed information on this region's NBC and delivery system capabilities, see the relevant country profiles.

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WMD-Related Illicit Trafficking

Illicit trafficking in NBC materials is of particular concern in South Asia because of the presence of sensitive technologies, active terrorist organizations, porous and ill-defined borders, and the region's location between two major sea lanes of communication (the Strait of Hormuz and the Malacca Straits). Two of the top fifty container ports, as measured by volume, are located in the region (Jawaharlal Nehru, India and Colombo, Sri Lanka). [6]

According to the Database on Nuclear Smuggling, Theft and Orphan Radiation Sources (DTSO), there were nine recorded trafficking cases involving uranium ore, yellowcake and low enriched uranium (LEU) in India between 1993 and 2005. [7] Relying on open source information, the CNS Global Incidents and Trafficking Database documents an additional eight cases of theft and attempted trafficking in India between 2008 and 2012. [8] Most instances of uranium theft seem to have occurred at local facilities in the northeastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, the locations of India's most productive uranium mines. [9] A joint analysis by the Royal United Services Institute and the Observer Research Foundation detailing the security risks posed by chemical, biological, and radiological materials in India found a vast gap between large- and small-scale industrial operations in terms of their personnel's security perceptions and the measures undertaken to mitigate the risk of theft and trafficking. [10] Many trafficking incidents were reported along the border with Bangladesh.

The discovery of A.Q. Khan's international nuclear smuggling network in 2003 revealed Pakistan to be a major hub of illicit trafficking in nuclear technology. The so-called "father" of Pakistan's nuclear bomb recalibrated the clandestine import operation for Pakistan's njuclear weapons program into a sophisticated export operation for personal profit. Khan's network managed to elude detection by the intelligence community, exploited weaknesses in export control systems, and recruited a number of suppliers, including some operating in Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) member states. [11] The network is known to have assisted Libya, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq with their illicit nuclear ambitions. Many analysts believe that the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI) was at least aware of, if not actively assisting, the Khan network. Although Pakistan has worked to improve its ability to control trade in sensitive materials, concerns still remain about its ability and political will to do so.

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1540 Implementation

All eight countries in South Asia have submitted national reports to the 1540 Committee, though these reports vary dramatically in terms of their quality and comprehensiveness. [12] With the exception of India and Pakistan, most reports simply highlight each country's non-possession of NBC weapons, reaffirm membership in and support for the major nonproliferation and disarmament-related treaties, and list national legislation that is often archaic and seldom more than tangentially relevant to the spread of NBC materials to non-state actors.

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Export Controls and Related Measures

The two countries in the region with the most advanced NBC capabilities, India and Pakistan, are also the countries with the most developed export control systems. This is a relatively recent development. India began to develop and institutionalize a structured system of export controls in the early 1990s, when mature scientific, technological and industrial capacities made it a producer and end-user of sensitive dual-use material, equipment and technologies. An inter-ministerial group finalized the first control list in 1993, called Special Materials, Equipment and Technology (SMET). [13] In April 2000, the Director General of Foreign Trade announced an updated control list of Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies (SCOMET). [14] India significantly expanded the scope of its export controls in 2005 with the WMD and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act. [15] In October 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush signed the U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act. Since then, India has sought membership in the four main multilateral export control regimes: the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Australia Group (AG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA). To that end, India has begun to harmonize its domestic system with the guidelines and practices of those regimes. [16]

Pakistan announced new comprehensive national legislation on 23 September 2004 entitled the Export Control on Goods, Technology, Material and Equipment Related to Nuclear and Biological Weapons and their Delivery Systems Act. [17] The law called for the deployment of comprehensive control lists, including a catch-all provision; the creation of an Oversight Board; and it included licensing and record-keeping provisions. Implementation proceeded slowly. In October 2005, Pakistan promulgated a control list incorporating items listed by the NSG, AG, and MTCR. In April 2007, Pakistan established the Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV) within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. SECDIV is responsible for formulating and implementing export control regulations. [18] Pakistan last updated the control lists in April 2015. [19]

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Regional Cooperation and Outreach

A number of international organizations and donor states have conducted outreach activities in South Asia to address limited capacity and facilitate the full implementation of UNSCR 1540. The 1540 Committee hosted a "Workshop on Implementing UNSCR 1540 in South Asia" in Colombo (Sri Lanka, 2009). [20] In 2011, the Committee hosted an additional event in the United States designed to train Afghan officials on national reporting as it related to UNSCR 1540 and a number of other Security Council resolutions. [21] In December 2012, India hosted a workshop on nuclear security. [22]

Conscious of the need to demonstrate responsibility commensurate with their capabilities, both India and Pakistan have offered assistance through the Committee website. [23] India's offer includes a statement of willingness to turn its initial training course experience into a regular event, through the establishment of a regional training center. [24] However, no country in the region has requested assistance through this matching mechanism.

Despite the lack of assistance requests through 1540 Committee channels, the United States has provided assistance to align export control systems in South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) with international standards through the Department of State Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) Program. [25] This assistance includes technical exchanges; the provision of inspection and interdiction equipment; training; and regional seminars to promote best practices.

Few if any opportunities exist for 1540 cooperation through regional organizations in South Asia. While the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) generally exhibits a tendency towards timidity on security issues, the organization has previously embraced regional conventions in recognition of obligations devolving from UN Security Council Resolutions. Citing UNSCR 1373 (2001), SAARC signed into law an Additional Protocol to its Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism at the 12th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in January 2004. [26]

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1540 Implementation Challenges

Growing nuclear arsenals and stockpiles of fissile materials; widespread terrorist and insurgent activity; porous and often ill-defined borders; and proximity to key global shipping lanes make implementation of UNSCR 1540 in South Asia critical to the larger mission of preventing the proliferation of NBC weapons and related technologies. The IAEA and the OPCW have hosted numerous workshops in South Asia to address the demonstrated need for capacity-building in physical protection of NBC-related materials and strategic trade controls. These ongoing efforts must be continued and strengthened. 1540 supporters in the international community can emphasize how securing trade in sensitive materials, improving port security, and strengthening border controls can have an overarching positive effect on economic growth for the South Asia region.

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Sources:
[1] "Foreign Terrorist Organizations," United States Department of State (Bureau of Counterterrorism), 27 January 2012, www.state.gov.
[2] "Foreign Terrorist Organizations," United States Department of State (Bureau of Counterterrorism), 27 January 2012, www.state.gov.
[3] "Foreign Terrorist Organizations," United States Department of State (Bureau of Counterterrorism), 27 January 2012, www.state.gov.
[4] Bureau of Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State, "Foreign Terrorist Organizations," 28 September 2012, www.state.gov; "US to Designate Haqqani Network as Terror Group," BBC News, 7 September 2012, www.bbc.co.uk.
[5] "Country Reports on Terrorism 2014," United States Department of State (Bureau of Counterterrorism), June 2015, www.state.gov.
[6] "Top 50 World Container Ports," World Shipping Council, www.worldshipping.org.
[7] Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan, A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks (IISS Strategic Dossier, 2007), p. 130.
[8] "NIS Trafficking Collection," 2 October 2012, www.nti.org.
[9] Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan, A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks (IISS Strategic Dossier, 2007), p. 130.
[10] "Chemical, Biological and Radiological Materials: An Analysis of Security Risks and Terrorist Threats in India," Joint Study by the Royal United Services Institute and the Observer Research Foundation, 2012, p. 67.
[11] David Albright and Corey Hinderstein, "Unraveling the A.Q. Khan and Future Proliferation Networks," The Washington Quarterly, Spring 2005, p. 112.
[12] "National Reports," 1540 Committee, www.un.org.
[13] "India's National Report to the 1540 Committee," 1540 Committee, 6 December 2004, www.un.org.
[14] "India's National Report to the 1540 Committee," 1540 Committee, 6 December 2004, www.un.org.
[15] "India's Export Controls: Current Status and Possible Changes on the Horizon," SECURUS Strategic Trade Solutions, 2011, www.securustrade.com.
[16] "India's Export Controls: Current Status and Possible Changes on the Horizon," SECURUS Strategic Trade Solutions, 2011, www.securustrade.com.
[17] IAEA, "Communication of 17 October 2011 from the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the Agency concerning the Export Control Policies of the Government of Pakistan and a Statutory Regulatory Order," INFCIRC/832, 30 November 2011, www.iaea.org; "Pakistan's National Report to the 1540 Committee," 1540 Committee, 5 November 2004, www.un.org.
[18] Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Prime Minister approves the Establishment of Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," 30 April 2007, www.mofa.gov.pk.
[19] Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Export Control List," 28 March 2015, www.mofa.gov.pk.
[20] 1540 Committee, "Event List and Related Documents," United Nations, www.un.org.
[21] 1540 Committee, "Event List and Related Documents," United Nations, www.un.org.
[22] 1540 Committee, United Nations, "Event List and Related Documents," 2013, www.un.org.
[23] 1540 Committee, "Summary Offers of Assistance from Member States," United Nations, www.un.org.
[24] 1540 Committee, United Nations, "Event List and Related Documents," 2013, www.un.org.
[25] Justin Friedman, "The Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program," U.S. Department of State, www.exportcontrol.org.
[26] "Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and Its Additional Protocol," SAARC, www.saarc-sec.org.

October 27, 2015
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About

This report is part of a collection examining implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in South Asia to-date.

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.