In­dia-Pak N-war may kill 125m in a week, sur­pass WW2 toll: Study

Cry­ing Apoc­a­lypse Pak’s Game­plan, Says Jais­hankar As US Ap­pears To Back Delhi’s K-Pol­icy

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - Chi­danand.Ra­jghatta @times­group.com

Wash­ing­ton: Paint­ing apoc­a­lyp­tic sce­nar­ios has been part of Pak­istan’s game plan for Kash­mir, but New Delhi is con­fi­dent of bring­ing nor­malcy to the re­gion, In­dia’s ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter S Jais­hankar as­serted dur­ing a grand tour of Wash­ing­ton’s for­eign pol­icy com­mu­nity this week aimed, among other things, at ex­plain­ing the ra­tio­nale for the Modi gov­ern­ment’s move to scrap Ar­ti­cle 370 and change the sta­tus quo.

The ex­er­cise ev­i­dently suc­ceeded in re­as­sur­ing Wash­ing­ton, where the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has im­plic­itly sup­ported In­dia’s de­ci­sion to change the dy­nam­ics of the re­gion in the face of Pak­istan’s in­tran­si­gence over ter­ror­ism. A state depart­ment read­out of Jais­hankar’s meet­ing with his US coun­ter­part Mike Pom­peo said the two “dis­cussed a range of is­sues, in­clud­ing the grow­ing US-In­dia strate­gic re­la­tion­ship, de­vel­op­ments in Kash­mir, and global is­sues of con­cern”.

The glanc­ing ref­er­ence to Kash­mir with­out any crit­i­cal asides sug­gested Wash­ing­ton did not share the hys­te­ria ex­pressed in Pak­istan PM Im­ran Khan’s histri­on­ics at UNGA. It may have made good the­ater and head­lines, but go­ing by Jais­hankar’s seven think­tank en­gage­ments in seven days in the US, and global re­ac­tions, it has left the for­eign thin­tank com­mu­nity unim­pressed.

The MEA-man­darin turned for­eign min­is­ter was heard re­spect­fully through­out the week, with the cap­i­tal’s sea­soned vet­er­ans ex­press­ing ad­mi­ra­tion for his ex­pan­sive pre­sen­ta­tions. “I’ve stud­ied In­dia for 30 years, when its for­eign pol­icy was largely hes­i­tant, re­ac­tive and in­ef­fec­tual. My take­away from @DrSJais­hankar is that In­dia now has a firm grasp of its in­ter­ests around the world and an as­sertive, self-con­fi­dent and pur­pose­ful strat­egy to ad­vance them,” tweeted Peter Lavoy, a for­mer se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial in the Obama White House, re­flect­ing on Jais­hankar’s tour.

The In­dia-Pak asym­me­try was one of the is­sues Jais­hankar ad­dressed on the oc­ca­sions he spoke about Is­lam­abad and its ob­ses­sion with Kash­mir (which was only a small part of his pre­sen­ta­tions).

In­deed, Pak­istan’s hype about an im­mi­nent con­fla­gra­tion got an­other aca­demic boost on Jais­hankar’s last day in the US with a new re­port re­port that pro­jected the fall­out and death count from a nu­clear war with In­dia: Around 125 mil­lion fa­tal­i­ties in less than a week — sur­pass­ing the death toll of WW2 spread over its en­tire six years — a 35% re­duc­tion in sun­light reach­ing Earth’s sur­face, a 1530% de­crease in rain­fall, and con­se­quent famine and food short­age for a gen­er­a­tion.

But it was the premise of how the nu­clear war could be­gin — in the pa­per pub­lished in Sci­ence Ad­vances — that was eye-catch­ing. The sce­nario in­volves mil­i­tants at­tack­ing In­dia’s Par­lia­ment in 2025, killing most lead­ers. New Delhi re­tal­i­ates by send­ing tanks into POK. Fear­ing it will be over­run, Is­lam­abad hits the in­vad­ing forces with its bat­tle­field N-weapons, trig­ger­ing an In­dian re­tal­i­a­tion and an all-out N-war.

In­deed, that has pretty much been the sce­nar­ios Is­lam­abad has also pro­jected ex­cept for ac­cus­ing In­dia of stag­ing a “false flag” oper­a­tion to at­tack Pak­istan. In In­dia’s eyes, in­vok­ing nu­clear war is a des­per­ate gam­bit on part of a coun­try that has no past, no fu­ture, and no hope.

“They will paint apoc­a­lyp­tic sce­nar­ios be­cause one that is their wish and two that’s ac­tu­ally what their game­plan has been for 70 years,” Jais­hankar ex­plained, adding, “We have also seen a lot of alarmist rhetoric com­ing (from Pak­istan), not just about false flag, (but also) ji­had... go­ing all the way to nu­clear weapons. That kind of gives you a sense of the (lack) of re­spon­si­bil­ity of the peo­ple who are say­ing (such things).”

Full re­port on www.toi.in

Getty Im­ages/iS­tock­photo

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