Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
In South Asia, the two rival Pakistan and India- both equipped with nuclear war heads- are head to head for decades but the recent spark continued this whole year. Though, Leaders on Pakistani side were assuming that the tension will be reduced after Indian election but the total opposite happened. Both states are in constant warmongering, undoubtedly PM Imran peace gesture wasn’t taken as peace instead overplayed the card for election campaign.
A fiction article came across, when I was reading paper. The India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmir is depicted in a manner that it highlights nuclear war and the possible destruction with it. The article starts with, showcasing of attack on Indian parliament resulting the killing of many leaders- though the authors clears that the spark is expected from both sides.
To which, New Delhi retaliates by intervening in Azad Kashmir- by sending army and tanks to AJK- but Pakistan reacts with its full power. Here starts nuclear game, entering to a deadliest conflict in history, and catastrophic global cooling with temperatures not seen since the last Ice Age.
This scenario was constructed by nuclear studies researchers in a newspaper. The article states that with nuclear conflict between both rivals, will result more than 100 million immediate deaths, followed by global mass starvation after megatons of thick black soot block out sunlight for up to a decade.
The study can be found online with title, “Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe” is written by multiple authors.
Nuclear experts long worry on possible nuclear war destruction, as many countries are in the line to enter into nuclear club. All wanting to obtain nuclear power propagates as this will only be for the energy purposes but all knows that nations are concern over their sovereignty. Conflicts are increasing on the globe and boundaries are redrawing, Middle East is in turmoil.
The current study comes at a time of renewed tensions between the two Asian rivals; both have fought three full scale wars on Muslim majority territory of Kashmir and rapidly increasing their atomic war heads.
Both countries are having around 150 nuclear war heads, and the number is more likely to increase in the coming years, as both are investing more each year to equipped themselves with more of these deadliest weapons.
Professor Alan Robock says, “Unfortunately it’s timely because India and Pakistan remain in conflict over Kashmir, and every month or so you can read about people dying along the border.” He has said well, as we can see aggression on the Line of Control every day.
On August 5th PM Modi abrogated the article 370-35A to scrape the autonomy and take way the special status of Indian Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan protested the issue in United Nation, PM Imran warned the world of the possibility of nuclear war, as he said, if it comes to fight then we will fight to the end.
In late February, the world witnessed dog fight between Indian and Pakistani interceptors. Realizing the possibility of all destruction both pulled back. As mention, the Pakistani peace gesture was sidelined and the warmongering continued. Even with the overthrowing of Kashmir special status, India continued as Rajnath claimed to change “no first nuclear use” policy. On the contrary, Pakistan stands on the policy of, only use nuclear weapons if it could not stop an invasion by conventional means or were attacked first with nuclear weapons.
The possible destruction with nuclear war is extracted from the current statistics of India-Pakistan population. The current population and the urban centers (could be the main targets), the researchers estimated up to 125 million could be killed if both countries expended the bulk of their highest yield weapons.
Around 75-80 million people were killed in World War II. This most extreme scenario would involve the use of 100 kiloton weapons, more than six times as powerful as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima.
A single airburst from such a bomb could kill two million people and injure 1.5 million — but most of the deaths would occur from the raging firestorms that followed the blast.
“India would suffer two to three times more fatalities and casualties than Pakistan because, in our scenario, Pakistan uses more weapons than India and because India has a much larger population and more densely populated cities,” the paper states.
As a percentage of its urban population, though, Pakistan’s losses would be about twice those of India. But nuclear Armageddon would be only the beginning.
The research found that the firestorms could release 16 million to 36 million tons of soot (black carbon) into the upper atmosphere, spreading around the world within weeks. The soot in turn would absorb solar radiation, heating the air up and boosting the smoke’s rise.
Sunlight reaching the Earth would decline 20 to 35 percent, cooling the surface by 3.6 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 5 degrees Celsius) and reducing precipitation by 15 to 30 percent.
Worldwide food shortages would follow, with the effects persisting up to 10 years.
Talking to Media, Professor Robock said “I hope our work will make people realize you can’t use nuclear weapons, they are weapons of mass genocide,” the paper contains evidence to support the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Experts also point out that this study will help global communities to evaluate the cost of nuclear war for everyone, not just combatant nations, as it has huge climatic impacts that are hazardous for all, not just one region.
It is time, for both countries leaders to realize the catastrophe this warmongering could cost. In this time of need, the media should also take peace oriented approach in covering Indian Occupied Kashmir and should focus to make a bridge to bring both rivals on dialogue table, as dialogue is the only way forward.