PAKISTANI INTELLECTUALS AND ACTIVISTS CALL FOR AN
END TO NUCLEAR ARMS RACE
We reject the claim by the government of Pakistan that it's nuclear weapons
tests were justified because of the existence and testing of nuclear weapons
in India. We similarly reject the claim made by the government of India that
it's nuclear weapons were justified by those of others. In the same way that
murder does not justify more murder, seeking a capability to carry out mass
destruction cannot be justified by saying that others already have it.
We believe that by their action, the governments of India and Pakistan have
increased the possibility that nuclear threats may be made, and nuclear
weapons deployed and used in South Asia. In a region that is home to one
fifth of humanity, this would be a catastrophe so great that it can barely be
imagined and must be prevented.
We believe there can be no justification for any state to engage in activities
that allow it to design, develop, test and maintain nuclear weapons since
these are fundamentally weapons of terror and mass destruction. These
weapons are repugnant to civilized society. The only acceptable solution to
the threats posed by existing nuclear weapons is not more nuclear weapons
but the abolition of all such weapons.
We believe our fellow citizens of Pakistan, and the world as a whole, must
respond to this grave crisis and that four responses are required:
1. We call on the government of Pakistan to give a binding commitment
that it will not further test, develop or deploy nuclear weapons.
2. We call on the government of India to do the same.
3. We call upon the governments of Pakistan and India to enter into
dialogue to resolve outstanding disputes so that a sound basis can be laid
for peace and development in the region. There are two underlying
issues which need to be addressed immediately in regard with
normalization of relations between Pakistan and India. First and
foremost is the Kashmir dispute. This issue needs to be resolved
according to the wishes of the people of Kashmir. Existing policies and
positions of both Indian and Pakistani states remain untenable and
illegitimate without an expressed mandate of the Kashmiri people.
Second, to move towards substantive peace between the two countries,
it is imperative that the states of India and Pakistan, stop forthwith,
moulding public opinion towards the hatred of the other on the basis of
communal, religious, cultural or other grounds.
4. We call on the nuclear weapons states to immediately and publicly
declare that they will uphold their binding commitments under Article
VI of the NPT and initiate negotiations on an international Convention
to ban all nuclear weapons.