PRESS STATEMENT [From Pakistan] ON HIROSHIMA DAY, AUGUST 6, 1998
This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the tragic use of atomic bombs
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Despite the intense efforts of peace
activists to secure the world from repeating such a calamity and to
compel nuclear weapons states to move towards disarmament, thousands of
nuclear weapons more destructive than those used in World War II are
still stockpiled. Further, India and Pakistan tested their own nuclear
devices in May 1998, thereby choosing a path that can lead only to
We believe that the manufacture, testing and deployment of nuclear
weapons devastate the health and security of people as well as the
planet. Whole scale nuclear war will destroy the human race and much of
existing life on earth. Nuclear weapons are illegal, immoral and
criminal. The threat of use of nuclear weapons has already been declared
by the World Court of Justice to be 'contrary to the rules of
international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the
principles and rules of humanitarian law'.
We therefore call for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. We
call others to join in the challenge to achieve a total ban on the
research, development, testing, production, deployment use and
stockpiling of nuclear weapons.
Peace-loving citizens of Islamabad/ Rawalpindi join others from around
the country to demand that:
a The five recognized nuclear powers make a time-bound commitment to
destroy their stocks of nuclear weapons and pledge to halt the
development of any nuclear weapons whatsoever.
b Pakistan and India immediately declare an official moratorium on
further nuclear tests, stop the production of material for nuclear
weapons, and commit themselves to cease weaponizing and deployment.
Pending the elimination of all nuclear weapons, the Pakistan government
should proactively enact its own legislation through constitutional
amendment not to research, develop, produce or deploy any nuclear
weapons or target existing ones against any state.
c As a first step to achieving the goal of eventual complete
disarmament, we call upon the Pakistan and Indian governments to sign
the CTBT, participate in negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off
d All people, particularly those of us in Pakistan, have a right to
access information on defense and nuclear issues. As those who are
likely to die if the nuclear threat turns into nightmare, it is our
right to be fully aware at this time of the human, environmental and
economic costs of a nuclear weapons programme.
e Both India and Pakistan should take the following immediate steps to
reduce regional tension and the risk of accidental war:
1. Sign a no-first strike treaty.
2. Halt further development of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
3. Check irresponsible statements by politicians, ministers and
scientists regarding the use and testing of nuclear weapons.
4. Ensure the highest level of nuclear safety and professional
accountability at all nuclear-related facilities.
A nuclear weapons program has only put the lives of millions of South
Asians at grave risk, and eaten up scarce resources that by right should
have been invested in human development. A strong human resource base
and resilient economy is our best defense against external aggression
and strong-arm tactics. We urge all the peoples of the sub-continent to
raise their voices against a devastating nuclear and conventional arms
race and demand of their governments' adequate safeguards against
nuclear catastrophe. War and tension in South Asia must become a thing
of the past and we must work to become instead a model for peaceful