ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Nuclear Civil Defence in South Asia:Is It Feasible?

While nuclear arsenals in India and Pakistan keep growing, there has been some suggestion of them seeking to develop civil defence measures to protect their populations from a nuclear war. This paper discusses the practicality of nuclear civil defence in south Asia. It first outlines the nuclear weapons effects from which India and Pakistan must seek to protect their citizens. It then describes briefly how other nuclear weapons states have approached tasks such as protection of their citizens against blast, fire and fall-out, and possible evacuation of populations from cities, as well as alerting and educating the public to nuclear danger. The authors then assess the challenges that India and Pakistan would confront if they seek to implement such measures. Finally, with these constraints in mind, the paper offers simple proposals for civil defence measures that might mitigate in some small way the great damage that would follow from nuclear weapons use in the subcontinent.

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