Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sikhs asking for peace. (removing nuclear weapons).

I was reading various news items regarding Sikhs across the globe when I got to know about this. Here it is.

London: Following the delivery on 26 January 2009 to the Indian and Pakistan Governments as well as to the UN Security Council of a formula to remove the risk of nuclear war in Punjab that Sikhs consider their Homeland, a delegation of Sikhs has briefed the UK Government about the proposals.

Military experts have warned that Punjab will be the theatre of war in South Asia and the conflict is likely to involve nuclear weapons resulting in millions of casualties.

The proposals call for India to remove all its nuclear weapons systems (and other WMDs) from Punjab and to undertake to the Sikh community that it will not use its homeland for the purposes of firing or targeting such weapons. The formula also involves a commitment from Pakistan not to target the territory. The UN is also requested to oversee implementation of the proposals by establishing and monitoring a no fly zone for those weapons systems. The formula has been endorsed by thirty-six leading Sikh organisations based in the Sikh Homeland as well as across the Diaspora.

The delegation stressed that the British have a special obligation given their role as the ex colonial power as they had formally recognised the Sikh Nation as a stakeholder in the region till at least August 1947. In addition, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council which has influence over the two countries, Britain could be a key player in removing the anxiety the Sikhs and others in the region have about the risk of an all out war.

Indo-Pak tensions over recent days and weeks, with political and military leaders on both sides speaking openly about war, have lead major world powers including the UK to call for restraint. The delegation stressed that the Sikhs, perhaps more than any other party, wanted peace to prevail. They had no option but to raise their concerns at the international level as even the slightest risk of nuclear war in their territory is unacceptable. That risk carries the threat of near annihilation for the world's fifth largest religion; no other people face that level of threat.

Neil Kernohan (Head of the India, Nepal and Bhutan desk at the Foreign Office), Joanne Crabtree (India desk), Carl Spychal (India-Pakistan Desk) and other officials were apprised that the underlying tensions in South Asia remain very high; the political compulsions of the forthcoming Indian general election in a few months would see a further rise in belligerence so the "nightmare scenario" will at some point need to be addressed.

The UK-based delegation comprised Amrik Singh Sahota, OBE, Gurmej Singh Gill, Santokh Singh Saran, Gurcharan Singh, Jaspal Singh, Mandeep Singh, Narinder Singh and Ranjit Singh Srai who delivered the proposals on behalf of the international coalition of thirty six Sikh organisations.

Source: World Sikh News.

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