For a nuclear-free South Asia

The 66th anniversary of the atomic bombing on Hiroshima, Japan was observed throughout the world, including Lahore, on Saturday.
The demand for Pakistan to commit to nuclear disarmament has been echoing from some circles since long and the same was repeated at a remembrance vigil for victims of Hiroshima in Lahore by the Institute of Peace and Secular Studies (IPSS).
The IPSS staged a candle-light vigil in front of the Punjab Assembly (PA) to remember victims of the fatal bombings. IPSS Chairperson Diep Saeeda said that the terrible tragedy led Japan to their resolve for nuclear proliferation and Pakistan ought to learn a lesson from Japan and commit to nuclear disarmament. She added that in a climate of social and political unrest with poverty, unemployment, illiteracy plaguing the country, Pakistan was certainly not in a position to support a nuclear programme, which poses a threat to world peace, our own security and was devastating for the environment. Given the current crises that the country was faced with, where no individual from any faith or sect was safe, we could not allow militants to gain access to nuclear arsenal. IPSS’ vigil demanded the federal government to stop using public money on building nuclear reactors in Khushab and expanding the nuclear programme and focus its resources and energies for the progress and prosperity of the nation and well being of its people. Pakistan’s nuclear programme has become an issue of concern for the international community amid the security situation in the country after the region was terrorised by groups of militants. The international community has been considering the threats posed to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. The US and India have been accusing Pakistan of proliferating nuclear technology to countries such as North Korea and Iran. They have also been demanding that Pakistan should sign non-proliferation treaties. Demands from different progressive circles to stop expanding the nuclear programme have gained momentum, as the country was facing a severe financial crunch due to heavy allocation for this purpose.
On August 6, 1945, during World War II, a US B-29 Enola Gay dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima killing 0.15 million people. After three days, the US dropped another nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, Japan killing 70,000 people, which forced war-frenzy Japan to surrender to allied forces. A moment of silence was observed in Hiroshima to remember the victims of the disaster, which reshaped human history. A memorial ceremony, attended by 60 countries, including the US, also took place in Japan to strengthen Japan’s commitment to atomic peace in the world. Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui is son of a Hiroshima survivor who has forced the Japanese government to review its nuclear policy.



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