News Release

Interviews Available: India and Pakistan

PERVEZ HOODBHOY
Professor of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan, Hoodbhoy said today: “Nuclear affairs are now being guided by wishful, delusional thinking. The most frightening delusion is India’s trivialization of Pakistan’s nuclear capability…. Lacking any desire for political settlement … jihadists in Kashmir [are attempting to] provoke full-scale war between India and Pakistan, destabilize Musharraf, and settle scores with the U.S…. Many observers have noted that attacks on Indian civilians coincided with the visits of high officials from Western countries. Could the upcoming visits by Richard Armitage and Rumsfeld provide a trigger for the next atrocity and a nuclear war?”
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MOHAN RAO
Rao, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has just returned from India. He said today: “In both India and Pakistan much of the rhetoric is aimed at a domestic audience. It’s a race to the bottom. In Pakistan there’s been a series of dictatorships while in India there’s been more of a tradition of democracy, but there’s been a growth of extremist ideology in both. In India, the BJP Hindu fundamentalist party has used fascist ideology and violence to mask narrow economic agendas. It has used the Kashmir question to galvanize the population. Now, the BJP is benefitting from the silent majority seeing a benefit from cooperating with the U.S. and the anti-Islamic rubric of the ‘war on terrorism.’ The U.S. is asserting its power overtly with money and covertly with intelligence….”

RAHUL MAHAJAN
Author of The New Crusade: America’s War Against Terrorism, Mahajan said today: “The ‘you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists,’ ‘axis of evil,’ ‘ready for preemptive action’ rhetoric, combined with bellicose U.S. actions, not just in Afghanistan, but also towards Iraq — less directly towards Venezuela, Cuba, Somalia, potentially others — has naturally created a climate in which non-superpower states argue that they can take similar license as the U.S. already has — Sharon in Israel, Vajpayee in India…. The governments of India and Pakistan do have an interest in a limited war — a border skirmish with hundreds or thousands of deaths — to help stabilize both governments domestically. They have no interest in all-out war of a conventional kind, let alone nuclear.”
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M. V. RAMANA
Research staffer at the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University, Ramana is coauthor of a recent Scientific American article, “India, Pakistan and the Bomb.” He said today: “From what we know, India and Pakistan have not yet deployed their nuclear weapons…. Even under these circumstances, if India launched attacks across the line of control in Kashmir, it could result in a full-scale war, possibly leading to nuclear war…. The new U.S. nuclear posture review calls for expanding the role of nuclear weapons. That could act as a model for India and Pakistan in terms of thinking about using nuclear weapons on the battlefield. Despite the rhetoric around the recent accord between Bush and Putin, the U.S. and Russia still have thousands of nuclear weapons deployed, many on hair-trigger alert. As part of its efforts at defusing the India-Pakistan crisis and urging India and Pakistan to not deploy their nuclear weapons, the U.S. should follow what it preaches by de-alerting its missiles.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167