For immediate release | 12 June 2015
We are shocked at the level of jingoism being peddled by the ministers of the Modi government, members of the ruling BJP and sections of the mainstream media in India over the recent action by the Indian army in Manipur.
While several questions are being raised and newer facts are emeging as the details still unfold – whether or not it was a cross-border case of hot-pursuit, whether it was a retaliatory or a pre-emptive action etc, the manner in which this action is being linked to a general justification of such hot pursuit vis-a-vis Pakistan and China is deplorable and dangerous.
India and Pakistan are both nuclear-armed nations, with such close geographical proximity that a nuclear exchange between both would lead to large-scale devastation and irreversible climatic changes. And as the post-Pokharan history of South Asia suggests, the rhetoric and escalation of conventional war has a real potential to lead to nuclear sabre-rattling.
The fact that this action was carried out against India's own alienated citizens and not some external enemy itself is far from being a cause of jubilation. For real peace in longer term, we demand that the Armed Forces Special Power Act(AFSPA) must be removed immediately from the North East and Kashmir and sustained and open dialogue with people in the regions be initiated at the earliest.
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