DEMONSTRATION FOR PEACE IN SOUTH ASIA AND NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT WORLDWIDE

    in New York on Monday, June 15th, 12 noon to 1.30 PM at Pakistani and Indian Consulates (65th St. and Fifth Avenue) / From 2.00 PM at the United Nations (Ralph Bunche Park, 43rd St. and First Avenue)
    SPONSORED BY:
    SAMAR (South Asian Magazine for Action and Reflection); War Resisters League; Peace Action International


We wish to express our pain and outrage at the establishment of a nuclear
suicide pact in South Asia last month, with the government of Pakistan having
followed the dubious lead of the Indian government in conducting underground
nuclear tests. As these two nations begin to lurch in the direction of a
deadly and exorbitant arms race, we also wish to condemn the immoral posturing
of the nuclear weapons states, including the U.S.-imposed economic sanctions
against India and Pakistan. For more than half a century, the U.S. and other
nuclear weapons states have disregarded plea after plea made in every major
international forum to begin negotiations to permanently abolish nuclear
weapons.

These recent explosions have made the subcontinent more insecure than it has
ever been: the missiles of all the other nuclear weapons states are now
trained on South Asian cities, and dangerous religious extremists are
empowered within. The decision to go nuclear was deeply undemocratic in both
countries. In India, this jingoistic decision was suddenly taken by the
minority government of the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
without consulting its coalition partners in government, let alone a yet to be
appointed National Security Council, to which the decision had been entrusted
by previous governments. In Pakistan, the blasts came after days of popular
protest against nuclear testing in several provinces, and were immediately
followed by the imposition of a state of Emergency and a clampdown on public
debate. These leaders are now strutting around self-importantly on the
international stage, as the impoverished masses in both countries foot the
bill for an escalating arms race and prepare for the possibility of sudden
annihilation. We extend our solidarity to the many people in India and
Pakistan who oppose nuclearization, whose valiant voices of protest have been
marginalized by the media.

We are also appalled by the hypocritical posturing of the nuclear nations,
when these nations have blocked every international move towards a nuclear-
free world by their insistence on retaining their own nuclear arsenals.
Lasting peace is possible only when the nuclear powers agree to disarm.
Otherwise, the Indian and Pakistani governments' actions will be matched in
time by other aspirants to the membership of the nuclear nations club. We
categorically oppose the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on India and
Pakistan, which will crush the most vulnerable sections of these societies,
the sections most likely to have opposed the decision to go nuclear. As the
citizenry of the world today, we demand a just process, in good faith, towards
global disarmament which applies equally to all nations.




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