Ludhiana, October 6, 2017: In a joint letter by Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) and Pakistan Doctors for Peace and Development (PDPD) to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Prime Minister of Pakistan it has been requested to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
The text of the joint letter has been released to the local media by Dr Arun Mitra of IDPD. The joint letter reads as under:
"The landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), adopted on July 7 by 122 non-nuclear-weapon states following negotiations earlier this year, prohibits the development, testing, production, possession, stockpiling, use, or threatened use of nuclear weapons. The Treaty completes the process of stigmatizing and delegitimizing nuclear weapons on the basis of their catastrophic health, environmental, and humanitarian impacts.
This treaty is a significant forward step toward eliminating the most destructive weapons ever created, and the existential threat nuclear war poses to humanity and to the survival of all life on Earth. Unprecedented damage these weapons can cause has been evidenced by their use on the human population in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Present day nuclear weapons are much more deadly. The ionizing radiation produced at detonation kills people from radiation sickness, while radioactive contamination of the environment causes cancers, chronic diseases, birth defects, and genetic damage.
Even a small fraction of the nuclear weapons that exist today can damage the global climate and food production so severely that billions of people would starve. The health and international relief communities cannot respond to the terrible devastation caused by these weapons.
The expenditure incurred on the nuclear weaponisation programme if diverted can open doors for health care to all the people globally. In this respect this is a landmark treaty which gives us opportunity for a collective nuclear disarmament.
As medical professionals we are deeply concerned over the catastrophic health crises that would follow in the event of nuclear fallout. Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) and Pakistan Doctors for Peace and Development (PDPD) both affiliates of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), recipient of Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 have been campaigning for total nuclear disarmament, check on proliferation of small arms, solution to all the issues through mutual dialogue and end to violence of all kinds. It is worth mentioning here that both the organizations had an effective participation in the 22nd World Congress of IPPNW held at York in UK from 4th to 6th September 2017. The congress overwhelmingly spoke in favour of the ban treaty. The World Medical Association, Red Cross and Red Crescent have equally welcomed the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons.
We are poor countries and need to cut down on the arms race significantly to improve the life style including health and education of our people. It is therefore imperative that both Pakistan and India not only sign the treaty but also convince other nuclear weapon possessing countries to be part of this multilateral global effort for abolition of nuclear weapons."
The joint letter has been signed by Dr S S Soodan, President, IDPD and Dr Tipu Sulatan, President PDPD.