New Delhi, Aug 6 IANS | 5 months ago

A campaign for a nuclear-free South Asia is planning to send a memorandum with 10,000 signatures, including those of well-known scientists, jurists, artists and intellectuals, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Aug 9 appealing that South Asian countries forgo the path of confrontation.

The Nuclear Free South Asian Democratic Union Campaign, on the 69th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing Wednesday, said that the campaign calls upon the Modi government "to give up the fallacious 'Credible nuclear deterrent policy'".

In a statement, it said the campaign memorandum "endorsed by artists, scientists, intellectuals, jurists and human rights activists of South Asian community urges the South Asian states to forgo the path of confrontation".

"We accept the challenge posed by the grim elements of narrow sub-national and sectarian forces, within and without the South Asian borders. The life and liberties of future generations are at stake here in the heightened communal trust-deficit when the main problems of development and survival are common concern of people in South Asia," it said.

It said that India and Pakistan have amassed some 200 nuclear warheads avowedly in 'self-defence'. "But the nuclear weapons in 'self-defence' is an irrational political reasoning. For, the nuclear weapons do not differentiate between friends and foes."

"In a nuclear conflict, all movable and immovable - homes, schools, hospitals, temples, mosques, and churches, factories and offices, stationary vehicles and metros and airports - would be engulfed in the nuclear holocaust," it said.

"It is, therefore, imperative that the peoples of South Asia give up fighting for exclusive regional, sub-national, sectarian or religious identities. Though divided we are, we need to begin with assertion that the South Asian peoples share not only geographical space but also a common history and culture. History teaches us not to repeat the past mistakes," read the memorandum.

It said that Prime Minister Modi has "with the message of 'The World is One Family' (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam) and on the occasion of the PSLV-C23 launch, announced India would offer the PSLV-C23 to serve the entire South Asian community. The campaign urges the Modi government to constitute the Nuclear Weapons Free South Asian Democratic Union," it said.

(Posted on 06-08-2014)

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