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Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

— Robert Frost

According to Al Jazeera, India and Pakistan are on the brink of a major confrontation after Pakistan claimed to have shot down two Indian fighter jets in response to the bombing of alleged terror targets inside Pakistan. Tensions have been rising since a suicide car bombing by a Pakistan-based armed group, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), in Indian-administered Kashmir killed at least 42 Indian Paramilitary forces on Feb. 14.

Also, Al Jazeera reported that the risk of an all-out conflict rose dramatically Tuesday when India launched air raids on what it said was a JeM training base.

Zia Mian, Pakistani born co-director of the Program on Science and Global Security at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, was a guest on “Democracy Now!” on Wednesday morning. He suggested that we need to focus on a return to a cease-fire situation and that both sides need to step back, stop the shelling and keep their airplanes on the ground — and then, painstakingly negotiate.

Both countries have issued veiled threats of nuclear warfare. What would a regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan look like?

According to nucleardarkness.org, 100 nuclear explosions in the cities of the two countries would create firestorms and 5 million tons of smoke that would rise above the cloud level into the stratosphere and form a global smoke layer, which would remain in place for 10 years. The decreases in average temperature, precipitation, sunlight and stratospheric ozone would act to shorten growing seasons and reduce agriculture production for several years.

Estimates for world grain reserves adequate to sustain human populations vary from 30 to 50 days. It has been estimated that up to 1 billion people could starve to death in the years following a regional nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India.

After three years of international conferences, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons completed a U.N. treaty that embodies the principle that there can be no safe hands for nuclear weapons, establishing the same standard for all its parties. Far from ignoring the security concerns of governments, the treaty is a direct response to them.

On July 7, 2017, an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It is a landmark international agreement that outlaws the ultimate weapons of mass destruction and establishes a pathway to their elimination. Once 50 nations have ratified the ban, it will become international law. So far, 21 governments have ratified it.

Contact Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardener through the capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121.

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.

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