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Wednesday, May 29, 2002 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Bush and Putin Hail the Signing of a Nuclear Arms Treaty,...
2002-05-29

India and Pakistan Move Nuclear Warheads to the Border As Tensions Escalate

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Pakistan and India are on the brink of war. Pakistani sources are reporting that India and Pakistan have moved their 'tactical' nuclear warheads to the shared Kashmir border. Cross border skirmishes are continuing.

India’s foreign minister Jaswant Singh said today that Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf had been given enough time to fulfill his pledges to halt terrorism by militants operating from Pakistani soil.

Meanwhile, General Musharraf is dispatching five special envoys to the US, Europe and several Muslim countries to carry the president’s message that Pakistan does not want war with India and is ready to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue.

General Musharraf on Monday promised Pakistan’s armed forces would not start a war with India over Kashmir. But he said, "If war is thrust upon us, we will respond with full might."

Meanwhile, the Pentagon says a new American intelligence report has concluded that a full-scale nuclear exchange between the two countries could kill up to 12 million people immediately. Officials say even a "more limited" nuclear war would have cataclysmic results, overwhelming hospitals across Asia and requiring vast foreign assistance to battle radioactive contamination, famine and disease.

Today we are going to talk about the threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

We are going to begin with a family story, a family of anti-nuclear activists from both India and Pakistan. We are joined from India by Admiral Ramdas, former chief of the Indian navy and one of the most vocal opponents of the nuclear buildup on the subcontinent. We are also joined by his daughter, Kavita Ramdas, and by her Pakistani husband, Zulfiqar Ahmad, an activist from a prominent Pakistani family. 12 years ago, when Kavita Ramdas married Ahmad, it caused a furor in the Indian media. Now they are working on peace and social justice causes in California.

Guests:

  • Admiral Ramdas, former chief of the Indian Navy and one of the most vocal opponents of the nuclear buildup on the subcontinent. He has been a consistent voice of peace between India and Pakistan for decades.
  • Kavita Ramdas, CEO and president of Global Fund for Women (a grantmaking foundation that gives grants to women’s organizations outside the US).
  • Zulfiqar Ahmad, South Asia program officer at the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development (a Berkeley-based think tank). He is a Pakistani peace activist working to develop the "South Asian Initiative"-a nuclear disarmament plan for India, Pakistan, and China.
  • Zia Mian, co-editor of the book ??Out of the Nuclear Shadow and a researcher on South Asian security issues at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
  • M.V. Ramana, physicist and researcher in Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security, and a founding member of the Indian Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace. He recently co-authored a groundbreaking study in Scientific American called "India, Pakistan and the Bomb" which discusses why "the Indian subcontinent is the most likely place in the world for a nuclear war."

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