Human Rights

Civil Society urges for Indo-Pak dialogue, says nuclear war can destroy 12 million lives

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Civil Society groups and individuals from Jammu and Kashmir have shown concern over the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir, and voiced their opinion urging for dialogue, peace and justice.

Referring to recent statements by the Indian Army Chief and the reply from the Pakistani authorities, civil society members said that because of irresponsible statements, (the situation) can escalate into a full-blown war between the two nuclear powers and lead to terrible brutalization, primarily of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The letter further states that soldiers from both armies become cannon fodder.


Here is the full text of the letter

January 19. 2018.

Civil society groups and individuals from Jammu and Kashmir are deeply distressed at the emerging situation in Jammu and Kashmir, consequent upon the brinkmanship and belligerent policies and statements made by official representatives of India and Pakistan.

The recent reckless statement made by the Indian Army Chief where, inter alia, he said, “We will call the (nuclear) bluff of Pakistan. If we will have to really confront the Pakistanis, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff.”

This was responded to by combative statements made by Pakistani authorities including the one made by the Pakistan Foreign Minister who said, “… amounts to an invitation for a nuclear encounter. If that is what they desire, they are welcome to test our resolve…”

We have seen in the past that these irresponsible statements lead to the immediate escalation of violence at the Line of Control (LOC) and accusations and counter-accusations. The same happened this time as well.

Jammu and Kashmir is witness to and victim of Indo-Pak wars and unabated militarized violence for last many decades. Because of their experiences of suffering, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are very conscious that these irresponsible statements can escalate into a full-blown war between the two nuclear powers and lead to terrible brutalization, primarily of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Further, soldiers from both armies become cannon fodder. Similar intransigence was witnessed between the years 1999 to 2002, during which India and Pakistan mounted a limited war in Kargil, but what remained invisible was the escalation of violence on the people of Jammu and Kashmir around this period. This military adventurism also took a huge toll on soldiers from both sides.

Significantly, despite the three wars and all military manoeuvres in last seven decades between India and Pakistan, the countries have been unable to resolve or end the conflict. Therefore, the civil society of Jammu and Kashmir earnestly appeals to the leadership of both the countries to end belligerence and replace it with rationality and dialogue to peacefully resolve the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

In this context, it is most opportune to recall the Pentagon lead study, which estimated, in the event of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, that 12 million people would die. We appeal to the civil society groups of India, Pakistan and the world at large to not remain silent in this situation, which can lead to a major catastrophe.

The silence of those who believe in dialogue, peace and justice will only embolden the vested interests that are keen on escalating tensions between the two countries. We hope that the civil society groups and those who believe in non-violent conflict resolution will mobilize themselves by persuading both the countries to shun nuclear sabre-rattling and to engage in meaningful political dialogue, a dialogue which is time-bound and result oriented and leads to the eventual resolution of the Kashmir dispute.


1. Abdul Majid Zargar, Chartered Accountant, Civil Society Activist

2. Adv. Parvez Imroz, President – Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society

3. Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor – The Kashmir Times

4. Dr. Altaf Hussain, Pediatrician, Civil Society Activist

5. Dr. Ather Zia, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Gender Studies Program, University of Colorado

6. Dr. Gazalla Noor Amin, Secretary General, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industries

7. Dr. Ghulam Qadir Allaqband, Consultant Physician

8. Dr. Javid Iqbal, Writer, Civil Society Activist

9. Dr. Mehboob Makhdoomi, Writer, Columnist

10. Dr. Mona Bhan, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, DePauw University

11. Dr. Mubeen Ahmed Shah, Ex-President Joint Chamber of Commerce and KCC&I

12. Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, President – J&K RTI Movement

13. Dr. Shujaat Bukhari, Editor in Chief, The Rising Kashmir

14. Essar Batool, Author, Civil Society Activist

15. Feroze Ahmed, President – Human Welfare Voluntary Organisation

16. Gowhar Geelani, Journalist, Political Commentator

17. Iftikhar Geelani, Senior Journalist

18. Mehmood ur Rashid, Columnist

19. Mirza Waheed, Writer

20. Mohammad Ashraf, Ex-DG of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir

21. Mohammad Junaid, City University of New York

22. Mohammad Saleem Beg, Convenor – INTACH

23. Mohammad Shafi Pandit, Ex-Chairman J&K Public Service Commission

24. Monisa Qadri, Faculty IUST

25. Nusrat Andrabi, Ex-Member JK Wakf Board

26. Prof. Gul Mohammad Wani, Department of Political Science, University of Kashmir

27. Prof. Hameeda Nayeem, Department of English, University of Kashmir, President – Kashmir Centre Social and Development Studies

28. Prof. Noor Ahmad Baba, Dean School of Social Science, Central University of Kashmir

29. Prof. Siddiq Wahid, Ex-Vice Chancellor, IUST

30. Prof. Suvir Kaul, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania

31. Riyaz Masroor, Senior Journalist

32. Sanjay Kak, Filmmaker

33. Sanjay Kumar Tickoo, President – Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti

34. Siraj Ahmed, Kashmir Economic Alliance

35. Syed Shakeel Qalandar, Ex-President FCIK, Civil Society Activist

36. Syeda Afshana, Faculty, MERC, University of Kashmir

37. Yousuf Jameel, Senior Journalist

38. Zahir ud Din, Journalist, Author

39. Zareef Ahmed Zareef, Poet, Civil Society Activist


40. Khurram Parvez, Human Rights Activist

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