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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 57, May 2001

Documents and Sources

Statement by Indian Anti-Nuclear Movement

Statement of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), India, May 11, 2001.

"Three years after May 11, 1998, when India carried out its Pokharan II tests, the deterrence theory it so determinedly espoused to justify going nuclear, lies in shreds. In the context of the subcontinent, Kargil established that even conventional wars are not prevented by the mere possession of nuclear weapons. In fact, the subcontinent came dangerously close to deploying nuclear weapons, with prominent members of the security establishments of both India and Pakistan publicly voicing a series of nuclear threats and counter-threats. Contrary to the claim of the government that Pokharan II has enhanced our nuclear security, we have learnt that our government is...[committed] to build underground nuclear shelters from where, in case of a nuclear attack, a nuclear offensive can be directed and launched.

Contrary also to the claims of New Delhi, Pokharan II has not chastened the other nuclear-weapons states but only helped to reinforce the already existing hawkish attitudes of the NWSs, above all of the US. The US has announced its decision to build a National Missile Defense system and regional Theater Missile Defenses. And so desperate is New Delhi to get into the good books of Washington, that it has enthusiastically endorsed this decision, ignoring the grave damage that these plans for building NMD/TMDs inflict on the global efforts to bring about steady, cumulative and total nuclear disarmament. What is more, the US pursuit of NMD/TMDs will push Russia and China to increase their arsenal of offensive missiles and other delivery systems carrying nuclear warheads, which in turn will be the excuse for India (and then Pakistan) to do the same.

Nor must we ignore the most important ethical aspect of nuclearisation: the fact that nuclear weapons are not military weapons, but instruments of genocide. For any country to possess, or contemplate the use of these weapons is a crime against humanity. In a nuclear confrontation, there are no winners or losers, and the devastation is total. The only sane alternative is for all the nuclear weapons states to negotiate, and roll back their weaponisation programmes. Countries like Ukraine and South Africa have shown the way, by destroying their nuclear arsenals. In the subcontinent, the only hope for permanent peace between India and Pakistan is to come together at the negotiating table, while simultaneously rolling back their nuclear weapons programmes.

Can nations as underdeveloped and impoverished as India and Pakistan indulge in the sheer profligacy of a nuclear weapons programme, while millions of their citizens perish from malnutrition and disease, while children are sold by their parents in order to stay alive, while hospitals lie in appalling neglect, while primary schools die a lingering death due to lack of funds? ...

The CNDP calls upon the people of India to oppose the path that our government has adopted, and pressurize it to roll back its nuclear weapons programme, and resume its earlier crusade for worldwide nuclear disarmament. The CNDP further calls on the Indian government and on other governments to unequivocally, whole-heartedly and vigorously oppose the US plans for building a NMD/TMDs. Failure to stop these global and regional nuclear trajectories will only worsen Indian and world security and weaken the all important struggle to completely and permanently eliminate nuclear weapons from the globe. This is the least that the nation of Buddha and Gandhi should do!"

Source: South Asians Against Nukes Post, May 10.

© 2001 The Acronym Institute.