Atomic Reporters director Tariq Rauf in conversation with science reporter Pallava Bagla of New Delhi TV

By Pallava Bagla

Is South Asia really the most dangerous place since two nuclear armed neighbours keep sabre rattling and brandishing their atomic weapons? India and Pakistan both became declared nuclear armed countries in 1998 and since then there have been many skirmishes including the latest in 2019 after India carried out air strikes on Balakote . Tariq Rauf, considered the dean of all non-proliferation issues in the world and former head of inspections at the global nuclear watch dog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria . Rauf believes there will be no `nuclear flash point’ between India and Pakistan and says he does not lose sleep over this exaggerated claim. 

He still thinks the possibility of a nuclear war between Russia and America is far greater as they have thousands of weapons at hair trigger readiness. 

Rauf says both India and Pakistan should sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and then both should be admitted to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) together

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. Surprisingly Rauf says India is not barred from selling nuclear technology to the world as NSG rules only bar sales of atomic technology to India. He also has sharp but similar advice for both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Imran Khan. This Pakistan born, Canadian citizen sat down for extended interview with Pallava Bagla inside the legendary Board Room of the IAEA where the only decorations on the walls are wooded sculptures from Ramayana and Mahabharata.