India-Pakistan: May 29, 2002

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: The 1.2 billion people in India and Pakistan continue to fret over the possibility of being in the middle of the first nuclear war. India has as many as 100 nuclear bombs, Pakistan, perhaps 20-30. For both nations, the most reliable delivery method is via jet aircraft. If there were an exchange of  nuclear weapons, several million would die and the fallout would drift east into Southeast Asia and China. President Musharraf of Pakistan gave two televised speeches over the weekend. The one in English stressed peace and negotiation. The one in Urdu stressed doing whatever necessary to defend the nation. Musharraf appears unwilling or unable to crack down on the Islamic militants in Pakistan. The militants in Kashmir continue their attacks on Indians. If India moves into Pakistani Kashmir, Pakistan could put up a stiff fight, but would be outnumbered and would eventually lose. Pakistan would probably not go nuclear over this. But once occupying all of Kashmir, India would then be faced with Islamic militants operating out of Pakistan proper. Invading Pakistan to go after those camps could lead to a nuclear war, and unless Pakistani and Indian diplomats work out some kind of deal, there will be tremendous, probably irresistible, public pressure on India to do something militarily. Another major terror attack by Islamic militants could be the trigger.

 

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