Pakistan-India nuclear war can kill 100 million people: reports
October 3, 2019
WASHINGTON (Web Desk/AFP) – A new research report of two US universities have said that if the Pakistan-India nuclear war takes place 100 million people may be killed within the first week. This scenario was modelled by researchers in a new paper published on Wednesday, which envisaged more than 100 million immediate deaths, followed by global mass starvation after megatons of thick black soot block out sunlight for up to a decade. It comes at a time of renewed tensions between the two South Asian rivals, which have fought several wars over the Indian Occupied Kashmir Valley and are rapidly building up their atomic arsenals. They currently each have about 150 nuclear warheads at their disposal, with the number expected to climb to more than 200 by 2025. “Unfortunately it's timely because Pakistan and India and remain in conflict over Kashmir, and every month or so you can read about people dying along the border,” Alan Robock, a professor in environmental sciences at Rutgers University, who co-authored the paper in Science Advances, told AFP. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped the autonomy of occupied Kashmir in August, following which his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan warned the UN last week that the dispute could escalate into nuclear war. The two countries last fought a border conflict in February, but they pulled back from the brink after Pakistan returned a downed pilot to India. India has a “no first strike” policy, but reserves the right to mount a nuclear response to any hit by weapons of mass destruction. Pakistan has declared it would only use nuclear weapons if it could not stop an invasion by conventional means or were attacked first with nuclear weapons. The authors wrote that although their scenario had Pakistan pulling the trigger first, they did not mean to imply they believed this was more likely.