The Indo-Pak Hostilities: Citizens speak out against war

The Indo-Pak Hostilities:

Citizens speak out against war

Newsletter July 1999

Over the last few months, Indo-Pak hostilities have culminated into a virtual war. The government and the media have been echoing a new found nationalistic fervour. Everyone, from residential societies to corporate houses have jumped into the race to prove their patriotism. It would seem that such jingoism is the order of the day.

Yet, on both sides of the border, many people are protesting against the war. Individuals, organisations and forums are raising their voices in favour of a cessation of the hostilities, an end to the politics of hatred and a commitment to peace.

Among several such efforts have been those of the Movement in India for Nuclear Disarmament (MIND) that came into being in the immediate aftermath of the Pokhran nuclear tests, and Citizens Against War (CAW) formed in response to the current crisis. Both these forums consist of numerous individuals and organisations, including Saheli.

As we go to the press, it seems that the hostilities have come to a halt; but the issues confronting both nations live on. Only a serious committment to the peace process can help confront and resolve these issues.


Stop This Insanity!

“The present escalation of hostilities and actual engagement between Pakistani and Indian forces has the potential to snowball into a major conflict. This is the first occassion when engagement of this kind has taken place between the two countries since the 1971 Indo-Pak war. That it is hapenning today when the sub-continent is under a nuclear shadow, makes the situation especially alarmed for people on the both sides of the border ... What makes the situation doubly dangerous is the fact that the legitimacy of both the Govts., at this point of time, is seriously compromised.

Elimination of the possibility that this or future conventional conflicts between India and Pakistan can ever escalate into a nuclear exchange,regardless of which country begins it or why, can only be done if both countries rapidly and fully reverse direction to denuclearise themselves and the region even as we continuously fight for total global disarmament."

(Excerpt from the statement by Movement in India for Nuclear Disarmanent)


We Don't Want War

“We, the peace-loving people of India, raise our voices to protest against this war. We believe that many people will lose their lives in this war and the escalation of the war can also lead to the use of nuclear weapons which will have a great impact on millions of people ... Peace loving people in Pakistan have also raised their voices against the war. In Baluchistan, on the 28th of May, 5000 people demonstrated against the war ... The peace-loving people of India and Pakistan need to condemn the Governments of both the countries for the preparations of the war and the propaganda ... We have to fight the system which causes exploitation, poverty, oppression, insecurity and war."

(E xcerpt from the pamphlet of Citizens Against War)