Letter: New risk of nuclear war

Share
Sir: A volatile and dangerous chapter has opened in world history. It is clear that once India conducted its nuclear tests Pakistan seemed to have little choice but to respond. Unless matters are quickly controlled South Asia, one of the poorest regions in the world, could be seeing the start of a nuclear arms race. Considering the high tension between the two countries and the religious zeal that has fed into the nuclear programme, the chances of the world's first nuclear exchange are high.

The strategy of sanctions will not work, as they hit the poor and will simply exacerbate the many problems facing South Asia. It reflects the neo-imperialist attitude of some Western countries.

We need to identify the urgent problems in the context of South Asia and resolve them. The first of these is Kashmir. It has an ongoing freedom movement, ignored by the world, and the people of Kashmir have suffered too long and lost too many lives. United Nations Resolutions have been ignored for too long.

We need to make sure that both countries ensure the security of smaller countries and that of the minorities in their midst.

All the members of the nuclear club must now commit themselves to a nuclear- free world. They must recognise that the old club rules no longer apply.

Pakistan's nuclear tests will be seen in many parts of the world with a great deal of discomfort. The general Islamophobia fuels fears of an "Islamic bomb". But for most Pakistanis they are seen as a major step towards national security and dignity.

We believe that South Asia is at a crossroads and if it moves towards self-destruction it will draw in the entire planet. However, the very seriousness of the crisis means that the world cannot ignore the problems of the Subcontinent any longer; this is the one silver lining that we must explore. We believe those of goodwill should support the movement to restore peace and sanity to South Asia and encourage India and Pakistan to divert their resources to tackling poverty. The strategy needs to be global, urgent and implemented on several fronts simultaneously. There is no time to lose.

Professor AKBAR AHMED

Fellow, Selwyn College, Cambridge

Professor KHURSHID AHMED

(Former senator; Vice President, Jamat-i-Islami, Pakistan)

The Rev Dr EDWARD CONDRY

Rector of Rugby

Sir OLIVER FORSTER

(High Commissioner to Pakistan 1979-84)

ASH KARIM

SHAHED SADULLAH

Editor, The News

IMAN ABDUL SAJID

Director, Islamic Centre, Brighton

MOHAMMED SARWAR MP

(Glasgow Govan, Lab)

JAMES SHERA

Lord WEATHERILL

Cambridge

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: Every privatised corner of the NHS would be taken back into public ownership

Philip Pullman
 

Errors & Omissions: Magna Carta, sexing bishops and ministerial aides

John Rentoul
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links