Recently, Global Zero in India and Pakistan ran a powerful photo series campaign asking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif to not use nuclear weapons.
9 world leaders across the world have the power to kill thousands of people at a moment’s notice with the push of a button – immediately launching a nuclear strike. Prime Minister Modi in India and Prime Minister Sharif in Pakistan similarly control the fate of over 200 nuclear warheads collectively.
Increasing tension between India and Pakistan has increased the likelihood of global nuclear catastrophe. PM Modi and PM Sharif’s fingers on “the red button” threaten the fate of not just these two nations but of the world.
Over a 100 Global Zero activists, from New Delhi to Islamabad, Bangalore to Karachi, Amritsar to Lahore took part in a photo series, saying “Don’t Nuke Us, PM Sharif/ PM Modi. Say #NoRedButton.” The powerful messaging of this action, comes at a time when both countries have been on the brink of war and threats of using nuclear weapons has been made.
A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would produce so much smoke that global temperatures would fall below those of the last Ice Age, shortening the growing season around the world and threatening the global food supply. One “average” nuke dropped on a major city would vaporize everything within 1.6 km, and kill 12 lakh people in the first 24 hours, with significantly more deaths from radiation exposure and injuries in the follow weeks .
The consolidation of power into the hands of so few — the leaders of the 9 countries that control nuclear arsenals – raises the threat of a nuclear war- by intent, by miscalculation, or by accident.
We must work to eliminate nuclear weapons forever, to permanently dismantle the undemocratic system that gives one person absolute authority over weapons of mass destruction. We must say No to the Red Button.
About the contributor: Rashi Jauhri is the South Asia Field Organiser for Global Zero (an organisation based out of Washigton DC, USA) in India, the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.