Letters to the Editor
Saturday 13 June 1998

Lasting Peace

We unequivocally condemn the nuclear weapons tests conducted by the
governments of India and Pakistan. We condemn both governments for
callously ignoring the basic needs of their people and draining yet more
scarce resources into a destructive arms race.

We further unequivocally condemn the Indian government for :

* Initiating the latest round of nuclear tension in Asia and
exacerbating the already antagonistic relationship with its neighbours,
Pakistan and China.

* Whipping up communal feeling against Pakistan.

We also condemn the United States government for :

* Hypocritically intervening in a part of the world where US
interventions from the 1950s onwards have actively fuelled a regional
arms race.

* Imposing a programme of economic sanctions which will hurt the people
of the two countries, not their governments.

* Imposing a lopsided global `nuclear disarmament' policy, where five of
the world's most powerful nations continue to have nuclear weapons.

We express our heartfelt support and solidarity with all democratic
initiatives -- especially by the people of India and Pakistan -- to stop
this criminal escalation of hostilities between the two countries and to
work together for lasting peace in the region.

signed by

Tony Benn, MP, UK
Dr Sudipta Kaviraj, School of African and Oriental Studies, London
Prof Claude Meillassoux, CNRS, Paris
Prof Tapan Raychaudhuri, Wissenschaftskolleg, University of Berlin
and 90 others, Cologne, Germany

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