“The feeling I had was that everyone was dead. The whole city was destroyed… I thought this was the end of Hiroshima—of Japan—of humankind… This was God’s judgment on man.”
The words of a protestant minister who was an eye witness to the havoc brought down by one of the two bombs dropped separately on Japan by the United States.
An air craft flies through the clear sky, a thick mushroom cloud rises with a blinding flash, wave after wave of fire engulfs the diameter miles outwards. Tens of thousands die immediately, others succumb to injuries shortly. Those who survive are burnt, impaired and crippled with undefinable mental trauma and permanent memories of moments when hell’s doors were open to the earth, but their painful lives are expected to be short lived from now on.
The first atomic bomb ever to have been used, Little boy, a Uranium gun type bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6th of August 1945. The city held nearly 280,000 civilians and 43,000 soldiers. 90,000 to 166,000 people died merely in the coming four months. According to Hiroshima city, the estimated number of deaths was 237,000. The second bomb, used on Nagasaki merely three days later, was named Fat Man. It immediately claimed 40,000 to 75,000 lives among the 236,000 residents present in Nagasaki. 60,000 suffered severe injuries and the death toll by the end of the year is estimated to have risen by 5000.
After more than 50 years following the Japanese surrender and rebuilding. The enormous loss of life, with the annihilation of infrastructure in addition to the deaths of majority of the health professionals of the areas, and destruction of health facilities, the aggravated risk of deaths with the prevalent radiations multiplying the rates of stroke and heart diseases still keeps a visible mark on the populations of those areas. From Leukemia, mental retardation to birth defects in children of the inhabitants of these cities. Nuclear war does not only damage the innocent generations that unfortunately live in its time, but it also impairs and endangers generations that were not even remotely involved in the catastrophe.
Today, among the nine nuclear armed states, Pakistan, India and Israel are not signatories of the Nuclear non Proliferation Treaty. India possesses around 110 warheads where as Pakistan holds at least 10 more. The two countries are currently, once again, in a dead-lock which may result in a military engagement that could most possibly escalate in to a war, and any war between Pakistan and India must have a nuclear back-drop. The defenses of both countries are centered around each other, and Pakistan’s arsenal strategically designed to neutralize any existential threat from the numerically larger enemy force. Irrespective of the strategic or numeric advantage any country may have, irrespective of the outcome or simply irrespective of which ever side wins, a nuclear out burst between Pakistan and India could have dire and irreversible after effects.
If the two countries move into a nuclear collision, its results would not only be limited to them, but the entire world may be implicated. According to International Physicians for the prevention of Nuclear war, an Indo-Pak nuclear war could “end human civilization”. According to the summary from a study on Consequences of regional war between India and Pakistan done by Rutgers at the University of Colorado- Boulder available at Nucleardarkness.org, if Pakistan and India employ a hundred low yield nuclear weapons which are already available in their arsenals, , an estimate shows that 20 million people may die from the direct effects, in addition to which the blasts would result in 1-5 million tons of smoke, within ten days temperatures in the northern hemispheres would drop sharply, 25-40 percent of the protective ozone in the mid latitudes and 50-70 percent in the northern latitudes would be destroyed. Growing seasons in the northern hemispheres would be significantly shortened, world grain stock may also deplete and food shortages would result in hundreds of millions of deaths.
Pakistan and India, in their collision may effect the world permanently. As a citizen of Azad Kashmir, I believe that India and Pakistan may go into a decisive engagement over Kashmir as the main cause. Irrespective of the outcome, we have sacrificed enough blood and lives for a decision of our fates. But never have we wished the same fate for our brethren in Pakistan nor even to the aggressors in our matter, India. Pakistan and India, both being democratic states, carrying some very sought after strategists, negotiators and diplomats, on both sides of the civ-mil spectrum, are capable enough of resolving their issues in a manner expected from democratic and humane nations. To all the war mongers on both sides, if Kashmir is the cause, I would say we have had our share of blood shed, we never demanded more blood, we demanded our liberty, we demanded a plebiscite. And what good would any liberty or any victory be, if there is no longer a world to celebrate it in? I urge all my fellow nationals to be as humane as much as we are patriots.
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