Statement on Nuclear Explosions by India & Pakistan


by Women's Action Forum (WAF) Working Committee,
Pakistan

June 03, 1998

Women's Action Forum, Lahore, is deeply distressed by the explosion of
nuclear devices in India and Pakistan. While we condemn India for starting
the nuclear race in South Asia, we are saddened that Pakistan has
responded in kind and lost its moral high ground in the process. In addition,
the imposition of Emergency rule and the suspension of fundamental rights
in Pakistan following the explosions is extremely perturbing.

WAF believes that neither violences nor the tools of violence guarantee
national security. It has been amply demonstrated by the example of the
Soviet Union that the acquisition of a nuclear arsenal did not ensure security
and that the only long term and enduring insurance of territorial integrity is
the economic well-being of a people.

WAF has always strongly opposed nuclearisation, militarisation, and war-
mongering and upheld dialogue and other peaceful means of mediating
conflict. It is unfortunate that people should be encouraged to rejoice in the
acquisition of weapons of death and mass destruction, instead of being
asked to soberly reflect on the horrifying implications of acquiring nuclear
weapons. In a region where 40% of the population lives beneath the poverty
line, it is tragic that such large amounts should be spent on nuclear weapons
programmes.

WAF holds the Western nuclear powers responsible for the current situation
in South Asia, as they have consistently followed the dual policy of keeping
their own arsenals intact while urging restraint on others.
WAF has no words strong enough to condemn the attack by the Shabab-e-
Milli on Dr. A.H.Nayyar in the Press Conference held by the Pak-India
Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy, in Islamabad, on 2nd June. We
fully support the statement of the Forum and oppose this barbaric attempt
to silence the voices of reason and sanity emanating from both sides of the
border.

We appeal to the leadership of India and Pakistan to put a stop to this
madness. There can be no justification, moral or otherwise, for an act that
imperils the future of the human race.

We demand:

1. An end of the Emergency and the restoration of Fundamental Human Rights in Pakistan.
2. An end to the rhetoric of violence and war by the leadership of both India & Pakistan.
3. Immediate action against those elements who are using violence to stifle debate on issues that are critical to the existence and well being of the peoples of South Asia and the world.
4. An immediate dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve outstanding issues including Kashmir, in a peaceful and rational atmosphere.
5. India and Pakistan should immediately sign a No War Pact as well as the CTBT and NPT.
6. Finally, we demand that all nuclear powers should destroy their arsenals and put an end to the hypocrisy and double standards which are largely responsible for the threat of extinction faced by the human race today.




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