Alliance for a
Secular and Democratic
South Asia

[Press Release]

For Immediate Release: Contact: Abha Sur
Thursday, May 14 1998 (617) 576-2388

South Asians against Nuclear Weapons

Contrary to the perception created in the media, there is significant
dissent among South Asians regarding the recent nuclear tests by India.
At a meeting held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology two days
after the first round of Indian nuclear tests, over a hundred Indian and
Pakistani academics, students, and professionals, gathered to discuss
the escalating arms race in the region. There was overwhelming
opposition to the nuclear tests conducted by India as well as missile
tests conducted by both Pakistan and India recently. The Alliance for a
Secular and Democratic South Asia, a Cambridge based activist group,
circulated a petition protesting the tests. Since then
letters in support of the petition have been pouring in from South
Asians across the country.

Acknowledging the popularity of the tests in India, Dr. Abha Sur of
Harvard University differentiated between the questionable motivations
of the Indian government and the reasons for mass support of their
actions. She said, "The support received by the Indian government is
intrinsically linked to the refusal of the nuclear weapon states to even
negotiate the possibility of eliminating their stockpile of nuclear
arsenals. The actions of the Indian Government, however, are highly
irresponsible and adventurous as they reinforce politics of terror in
the region."

"Unfortunately, the pervasive images of irrational and bitter enmity
between India and Pakistan obscures the long standing and continuing
bonds of culture and community among the peoples of the region," noted
Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy, an eminent Pakistani Physicist.

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