China, India should explore an amicable solution for border dispute
As the course of events in the Line of Actual Control (LAC) escalate a profound threat lurks over the horizon. The possibility exists that this conflict could propel nations to exercise the dreaded nuclear option.
A nuclear conflict between China and India could set the globe ablaze in an atomic holocaust that could kill over three billion people, destroy the global ecosystem, and plunge our world into a nuclear winter. The world will witness starvation on an unprecedented scale as agriculture will be decimated and medical care non-existent.
There can be no doubt that the greatest threat to civilisation, perhaps of mankind, comes from nuclear weapons. Mankind today is confronted with the threat of self-extinction from the massive and competitive accumulation of the most destructive weapons ever produced. Mankind is faced with a choice, we must halt the arms race or face annihilation.
China's nuclear arsenal stands at 320, while India has 150 nuclear weapons. Each of them has a destructive power thirty times that of the Hiroshima bomb.
Nuclear weapons give no quarter. Their effects transcend time, and space, poisoning the earth and deforming its inhabitants for generation upon generation. They leave us wholly without defence, expunge all hope for human survival. They hold in their sway not just the fate of nations, but the very meaning of civilisation.
Nuclear war threatens catastrophes that, although less encompassing than extinction, are still outside historical comparison. Although the physical threat of a full-scale nuclear holocaust has declined since the end of the cold war, nuclear war remains a grim reality in tension ridden Asia..
Can we preserve our civilisation without menacing it and all life on earth with annihilation? In a speech to the United Nations on September 1961, US president John F. Kennedy had said: "Every man, woman and child lives under a sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us."
We must remember that nuclear monsters lie in wait, many still on hair trigger alert, poised to obliterate every project and goal for bettering the world.
With common sense we can confront the menace and rid the world of weapons that continue to haunt our dreams.
Farouk Araie, Johannesburg, South Africa
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