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An Open Letter To PMs Of India And Pakistan About Their Increasing Nuclear Obsession

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By Ashesha Mehrotra:

On the account of International Day for Elimination of Nuclear Weapons Across the World on 26th September 2014, Global Zero has an open letter for the PMs of India and Pakistan

To Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef,

India and Pakistan, two nations, two identities but with one spirit, one culture and one desire to strive towards progress and peace. However it is not only our virtues but also our vices that make us one and the same. When it comes to our security, we are both nations with misplaced priorities. On this international day for the elimination of nuclear weapons, we ask you to revisit the inapt sense of security that the nuclear weapons have brought us as individual countries and as misunderstood neighbors.


Voicing the concerns of hundreds of young activists, volunteers, and leaders from India and Pakistan, we urge you to realize that amassing nuclear weapons will only lead to disaster, not military triumph. Some four decades ago, these weapons were acquired with the vision to enhance security and bring well being to the people of India and Pakistan. However, we have already faced each other multiple times since then, be it in 1987, 1990, 1998 (Kargil Crisis) or December 2001. All these instances have been periods of extreme tension between our countries, always shadowed by the impending doom of a nuclear war.

Each time, a catastrophic nuclear exchange between our two countries was narrowly averted. Four decades later, with a new generation, new ideas and new perspectives in place, we must question how safe these weapons really make us. We now have nuclear weapons that could cause 100 times the damage caused by the atom bombs used in Japan, which killed more than 200,000 in a blink of an eye. These shattering tragedies are not just historical events but portents of a possible future for any city, anywhere. Meanwhile, we spend less than 10-12% of our budgets on improving social welfare indicators like education, yet we spend billions developing weapons to trying to develop ways to prospectively destroy each other. We are a generation that does not need to cling to weapons that drain precious resources and assure our own annihilation. We ask you to lead the path to a nuclear-free world, which is a safe haven for our coming generations.

We are a group of volunteer leaders, advocates and concerned citizens who have all come together under the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, called Global Zero, fighting for a nuclear-free world by 2030.

We both are nations with misplaced priorities, but we are also nations with an upcoming generation of leaders that truly believes that they can shift mentalities, break barriers and most importantly build bridges-not more nukes.

Yours Sincerely,
Global Zero leaders from India and Pakistan

Global Zero is an organization fighting for the elimination of nuclear weapons around the world.

You must be to comment.
  1. Shiva orum

    Indeed, a thought provoking letter. It will have great impact if we could teach lessons of morality and mutual co-existence to those scientists who develop such weapons. Both nations need to respect each other. Pakistan and India can avoid nuclear arms race and they can divert their resources for economic development. A world free of nuclear weapons will be more stable. India being major player in the region should realize its responsibility and initiative in disarmament.

  2. Rabia

    The two countries have a mutual interest in stabilising their nuclear relationship. The way forward is not by ill-thought nuclear signalling but in engaging substantively to narrow the perception gaps and address the issues that lie at the root of both countries’ security predicaments and the region’s nuclearisation.

  3. Stoneman

    India is expanding a covert uranium enrichment plant that could potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons, a defence research group said on Friday, raising the stakes in an arms race with China and Pakistan. it adds to India’s already far greater advantage over Pakistan in terms of nuclear weapons production potential. India should take initiative to halt nuclear arms race in the region

  4. William Flynn

    Ironically, this letters value has been zeroed by the recent US policy of spending $1 trillion to update the nuclear arsenal. If the global guardian is not ready to go for global zero how come other states can? Secondly, India has obsession for nuclear power is understandable as it has economy, has covert operations of enriching Uranium, exploiting it from mines and offering nuclear deals with many states along with weapons import deals. Pakistan is only left with China and due to economic restraints not been able to pull anything like India.

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