‘Disarm’ plea for Sikhs in Punjab nuclear peril
The United Nations has been urged to intervene to de-escalate a situation that could end in an India-Pakistan nuclear conflict and “a complete disaster” for the millions of Sikhs who live in the Punjab, a region divided between the countries.
United Sikhs, a global voice for the community, voiced serious concerns about the outcome of a possible India-Pakistan nuclear war, in a presentation at the United Nations’ 62nd Annual DPI/NGO Conference in Mexico City.
“Nuclear Disarmament: Reconciling Security Between India and Pakistan with Basic Ethics and Through Non-Violence” was the second effort by Sikhs to draw attention to the heightened tension in the Indian sub-continent.
It highlighted instances of the threat of nuclear conflict between the two nations on five different occasions, outlined the serious local and global consequences of such a conflict, and argued for the urgent and immediate need for nuclear disarmament.
As well as a devastating outcome for the Sikh community, some experts suggest that there would be a global famine resulting in a billion starvation deaths from environmental impact, in addition to loss of life due to direct impact.
Representatives from the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from more than 50 countries met to urge action on disarmament.
In his presentation, Jaspreet Singh, staff attorney of United Sikhs, said: “When the bombs were dropped on Japan, the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not allowed to have a single voice in the matter; men, women, children, just perished. The fear of the Sikh community in relation to India and Pakistan is the same.”
Giving examples of the ethics of justice and defence in Sikhism, United Sikhs maintained that the use of nuclear weapons was not morally justifiable in any situation given the far-reaching damage they caused without concern or consideration for those who were not directly involved. Nor did they allow for dialogue between conflicting parties.
Jaspreet Singh disputed the notion that general deterrence results from possession of nuclear arms, and argued that general deterrence, even if true, is not worth the possibility of nuclear conflict.
The conference attracted 1300 NGO representatives. They called on governments and international organisations to strengthen their commitment to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons and to promptly start negotiating a convention prohibiting and eliminating those weapons everywhere, within an agreed time-bound framework.
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