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Hiroshima-size Bomb Can Kill 3 M in Pakistan and 4 M in India

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By Rasheed Khalid

We are living in a populous region where one Hiroshima size nuclear bomb used by each, according to a joint study conducted by South Asians, can kill three millions in Pakistan and four millions in India, said Dr. A H Nayyar, former professor of Physics, Quaid-i-Azam University. 

He was speaking at the technical session on ‘Nuclear Pakistan: An Overview of the Strategic Dimensions’ on the second day of two-day Islamabad Literature Festival in Islamabad on May 1.

While speaking on Pakistan’s changing nuclear posture, he said that basing on nuclear deterrence, we thought that we have freedom to go to covert war. Kargil war, he said, led to our humiliating defeat in a conventional war. He said that one of our army chiefs talked of nuclear war also reflecting mindset of those strategising for us. 

He said that we are an instable society and our nuclear establishment sought help from abroad so that our weapons do not land into hands of non-state actors. He said that many in Pakistan talked of using it against India and India announced to start all-out war if nukes used anywhere against India. He said that we are living in a populous region where one Hiroshima size bomb used by each, according to a joint study conducted by South Asians, can kill three millions in Pakistan and four millions in India. 

Dr. Nayyar said that Pakistan will have to disperse weapons for safety but this would also mean dispersal of authority. He said that this dispersal is very peculiar to Pakistan due to geography. He said that insurgency is going on in the country and no sacrifice will be more for militants to get hold of nukes for their ‘noblest cause.’ He said that large amount of fissile material will need large amount of steps to protect them. 

Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said that nuclear weapons are an equaliser in the wake of conventional asymmetry between India and Pakistan. He said that nuclear weapons are illegal, inhuman and unacceptable but provide a shield and became a compulsion after India having them. 

He said that Kargil was not the first covert war started by Pakistan as there is a history like Operation Gibraltar. He said that Pakistan is the only country replying to world queries on nuclear programme. We have made public how many troops are defending our nuclear arsenal, he said. He rejected calculations of human casualties in nuclear war as hypothetical. He said that deaths in two World Wars were far more than deaths by the two nuclear weapons dropped on Japan. 

In the question hour, a participant asked if nuclear weapons provide safety, what will happen if 190 plus countries possess them. Dr Cheema referred to armada of the West saying it is also a threat. Dr Nayyar said that nobody believes Indian claims about safety of its nuclear installations. He said that South Asia has a reactive psyche and we are ever ready for a race in arms. One participant observed that when we talk of deaths of millions of people like at a slaughter house, we are either “strategic or moral idiots.” Dr Cheema said that in deterrence, fear of nuclear weapons is used to thwart war. 

An official of SPD said that we have provided nuclear security to our weapons and in dispersal of weapons, authority is not delegated to lower levels. Dr Nayyar said that we are in a nuclear race which is escalatory and not in our favour. He said that the two countries should engage in talks on having restraint and living in peace with each other.

[Source: The News] 

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