India Warns Kashmiris to Prepare for a Nuclear Attack

India and Pakistan fought wars in 1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999 — the last one occurring after they were both nuclear-armed. The current problem started when India and Pakistan traded fire across the Line of Control in the disputed territory of Kashmir. According to a New York Times editorial on January 17:

One of the likeliest flash points for a nuclear war is the enduring conflict between India and Pakistan, which have scores of nuclear weapons. In recent weeks, several fatal incidents across the disputed Kashmir border have stoked new fears that the firing of bullets could escalate into something even worse.

The latest conflict began on Jan. 6 when Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged gunfire across the Kashmir border, leaving one Pakistani soldier dead. Two days later, another confrontation resulted in the deaths of two Indian soldiers, one of whom was beheaded. A third incident occurred on Jan. 10 when the Pakistani Army said that Indian soldiers shot and killed a Pakistani soldier. On Wednesday, Pakistan accused India of killing another of its soldiers, making the past two weeks the worst for violence in the Kashmir region since a cease-fire was reached in 2003.

And today an AP dispatch reported India taking precautions against a possible nuclear attack:

Officials in Indian-controlled Kashmir are warning residents to build bomb-proof basements, collect two weeks’ worth of food and water and be prepared for a possible nuclear war. … The notice, published Monday by the Kashmir police in the Greater Kashmir newspaper, advised people to build toilet-equipped basements large enough to house the entire family for two weeks. If there is no basement, residents should construct bunkers in their front yards, the notice advised.

While such a war is unlikely, it represents one more pull of the trigger in a deadly game of “nuclear roulette” — a global version of Russian roulette. Even if the nuclear “gun” has 1,000 chambers and only one has a bullet, if we keep pulling the trigger, it is only a matter of time before we destroy ourselves. Isn’t it time we stopped playing this suicidal game?

Martin Hellman

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About Martin Hellman

I am a professor at Stanford University, best known for my invention of public key cryptography -- the technology that protects the secure part of the Internet, such as electronic banking. But, since 1982, my primary interest has been how fallible human beings can survive possessing nuclear weapons, where even one mistake could be catastrophic. My latest project is a book, co-written with my wife Dorothie, with the audacious subtitle "Creating True Love at Home & Peace on the Planet." It's on Amazon and a free PDF can be downloaded from its website:
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4 Responses to India Warns Kashmiris to Prepare for a Nuclear Attack

  1. Aaron Tovish says:

    The call for fallout shelters is very disturbing. It represents another turn of the screw. India wishes to signal that it is willing to risk triggering the use of nuclear weapons by Pakistan. This is meant to convince Pakistan that use of nuclear weapons would be futile, but it has the opposite effect since it reinforces Pakistan’s fears that India will pursue convention aggression against it. Indeed, some might argue that since the civilian population is safely squirreled away in fallout shelters, nuclear weapon use would only effect soldiers in the field, allowing use to conform with the rules of war. Of course, this is patent nonsense, but so is the entire nuclear enterprise in light of what we now know of catastrophic climate change.

  2. tms says:

    it would be interesting to see what will happen after that … It is a completely new thing in our history and will change the course of history

    • Aaron Tovish says:

      Interesting? Interesting?!?
      Take the time to learn what can be projected on the basis of the scientific knowledge of firestorms, tropospheric residence time of smoke and soot, rapid climate cooling, shortened growing seasons, food shortages, global nutrition, mass starvation. If we do not do everything in our power to ensure that this remains scientific projection and nothing more, your curiosity may be satisfied — assuming you are not among the one billion dead!

  3. slots online says:

    Hi website owner, do you allow guest posting ??? Please let me know,
    i’m interested 🙂

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