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#India – Urge the Government to Support Banning of Nuclear Weapons #mustshare

February 07, 2014

time to ban

CNDP Briefing
on the
Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons

13-14 February, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico

CNDP supports the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons, being organised next week in Mexico, where around 130 countries are participating. Several prestigious international organisations such as the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and civil society organisations coordinated by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons(ICAN) are also participating.

This conference aims to deepen the understanding of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons as a follow-up to the discussions in Oslo in March 2013. It is expected that the Mexico conference would result in an international call for a new treaty banning nuclear weapons.India is going to participate officially in the upcoming conference in Mexico. We urge the Indian government to actively support the initiative and join the call for the nuclear ban treaty. We are encouraged to see that India and Pakistan have registered for the conference, while other nuclear-armed nations have not. The response this conference has received worldwide is a testimony to the fact that abolishing nuclear weapons remains a deeply popular aspiration and the world must progress faster towards this goal.

Kumar Sundaram would be participating in the Mexico conference on behalf of CNDP, India and will be a representative from Indian civil society. He will be issuing and forwarding briefs and related updates from the conference and can be reached on [email protected]

The website of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICANW.org), and a site specially launched for this conference www.goodbyenuk.es can be accessed for more detailed information. Updates will also appear on the CNDP website.

With warm regards

Achin Vanaik
Praful Bidwai
Anil Chaudhary
Lalita Ramdas
Abey George
and others

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION HERE

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Pakistan: Why we can’t rid society of weapons

by Naeem Sadiq

With each blast, massacre and killing, Pakistan as a state, fails one more time. How many citizens will be slaughtered or blown apart by militants before our delusion gives way to reality? Pakistan stubbornly continues to live in a state of denial, refusing to acknowledge that it is being brutally attacked by a bloodthirsty enemy from within and without. Already driven to the wall, the only mindless response that the state has to offer is yet more barriers, check posts, bunkers, statements and resolutions. To many, it is still not obvious that we are on a suicidal path and unless we can take proactive and radical measures, the violence could only conclude in total collapse of the state.

The problem is not beyond the institutional capacity of Pakistan. The state has never made a serious, consolidated and scientific attempt to combat violence. The well-protected ruling class operating out of Constitution Avenue does not seem inclined to put their money where their mouth is. Consider the facts to understand how a ruling elite can themselves be the biggest reason for the promotion of crime and militancy in Pakistan.

The Supreme Court, in its suo-motu case 16/2011, concluded that the federal government issued 46,114 licences of prohibited bore and 1,202,470 licences of non-prohibited bore in the past five years. Not to be left behind, the Sindh government admitted to issuing another 400,000 gun licences. It was equally incredible to read reports of the grant of 69,000 prohibited bore licences to the members of the National Assembly — an average of over 300 lethal licences per “peace-loving” MNA. Raja Pervez Ashraf, defying the Election Commission’s ban, gifted 288 weapon licences to his party workers. Even the most benign looking “caretaker” prime minister, hours before his departure from the PM House, approved one prohibited and four non-prohibited bore gun licences for himself and his cabinet ministers.

What is overlooked is that the distribution of millions of gun licences (intended as bribe) is only partly reflected in official records. Little is known of millions of licences that were faked, sold illegally, not documented or simply issued and the registers declared as lost. Fake gun dealers, using fake documents, procured thousands of prohibited bore gun licences and sold them in the open market for up to Rs100,000 each. In May 2013, two NADRA directors were arrested for their connivance in issuing illegal arms licences. The racket of the licence issuance process was exposed by five Karachi citizens who, in January 2013, used their “right to information” to demand full details of all weapons issued by the federal and the provincial governments since 2001. That information was illegally concealed and has not been provided so far.

So, when the new PM orders a review of 34,000 weapons licences, he is only scratching the tip of the iceberg. The recently announced ban on the issuance of new weapon licences is equally superficial as there are already enough of them around to kill every Pakistani twice and yet be available for other errands.

Pakistan’s survival is deeply linked to its capacity for taking a number of urgent, forceful, well-coordinated and well-planned measures. Begin by striking down the Arms Ordinance. Withdraw all gun licences and announce a phased programme for the surrender of all weapons. No individual, regardless of rank or status, must be allowed to issue, use, possess, carry or display a weapon or explosive of any class. Break the link between vehicles and militancy by registering (or alternatively impounding) thousands of vehicles that are smuggled, stolen, or do not carry the standard officially issued number plates. These are the ones that are engaged in crime, kidnapping, smuggling and bomb blasts.

All this can no longer be possible by the police or the Rangers. It may be inevitable to task the army to undertake this massive operation — to purge the country of all kinds of weapons, their possessors, suppliers and sponsors. Will the ruling elite and the political parties continue to remain a hurdle in the path of peace by their unwillingness to say farewell to their own armouries?

 

The writer [Naeem Sadiq] is a health, safety and environment consultant
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2013

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Tribal weapons ban in Indian state of #Chhattisgarh

 

By Salman RaviBBC News, Raipur

Maoists in Chhattisgarh (July 2012)Chhattisgarh is a hotbed of India’s Maoist insurrection

Tribal or indigenous people in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh are to be banned from carrying traditional weapons such as sickles, axes and bows and arrows, police say.

They say that the move is necessary because of increasing attacks on police and civilians by Maoist insurgents with tribal weapons in public places.

The move has drawn criticism from tribal bodies and political parties.

They argue that it curtails the rights of tribal people.

Maoists are active in more than a third of India’s 600-odd districts. They say they are fighting for the rights of poor peasants and labourers.

Chhattisgarh is one of the Indian states worst affected by Maoist violence.

Rebels in its Narayanpur district have established a “liberated zone” over an area of 4,000 sq km (2,485 sq miles).

Boards, written in Hindi and local dialects, have been erected by police throughout the state warning of “legal action” if anyone is found to be carrying traditional weapons in public places, especially in markets.

A police spokesman in Narayanpur told the BBC that Maoists were targeting villagers and police in market places.

“They are taking advantage of the tribal tradition and it becomes difficult to differentiate between a Maoist and a tribal in such places. This is the reason we have decided to restrict carrying traditional weapons in public places,” Superintendent Mayank Srivastava said.

Such has been the criticism against the initiative, however, that police say they may soon alter the ban so that it applies only to the carrying of bows and arrows by tribal people.

Ramesh Thakur, a spokesman for the tribal group Sarva Adivasi Sabha, said that the move violated the rights of tribal people to carry weapons as guaranteed by the Indian constitution.

“The authorities have failed to counter the Maoists in this belt and so they are venting out their ire on the local populace,” he said

 

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