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Tuesday December 07, 2021

FO indifferent to lawsuit against Pakistan in ICJ

March 10, 2016

 Marshall Islands rises against nuke tests

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been dragged to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by the Republic of the Marshall Islands which says that besides Pakistan, eight other nuclear weapons states have violated various obligations to negotiate in good faith to dismantle their nuclear arsenals.

While India faced the ICJ, now it is the turn of Pakistan, but the government here does not want anyone to know either which legal team will be representing Pakistan nor what will be the arguments that Pakistan will present for maintaining a nuclear arsenal. The Islands says the declared states are bound to negotiate disarmament by the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, while the other states face similar obligations under customary international law.

Even though the ICJ decided whether it can hold such hearings or even if there is a verdict, it will not be binding on Pakistan. As usual spokesman at the Foreign Office did not share information on this issue.

A visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a horrific reminder as to what happens the day after such nuclear bombing. The US once again started nuclear tests on these Pacific islands, some of which were vapourised by these atomic bomb tests, with citizens still bearing the affects of these deadly tests.

“Nobody expects the Marshall Islands to force the three powers to disarm, but the archipelago's dogged campaign highlights the growing scope for small countries to get a hearing through global tribunals,” states one report.

The US has carried out 67 nuclear tests on these islands, which now ensures that many of these islands can never be inhabited again. “The Marshall Islands wants a moral and judicial pronouncement that can strengthen their political campaign against nuclear weapons,” said Lyal S. Sunga, who heads The Hague Institute for Global Justice think-tank’s Rule of Law program to the AFP.

According to published data the US in 1954 carried out a 15-megaton test which was 1,000 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima. The US nuclear tests caused serious radioactive contamination of the lagoon, radiation exposure at the surface near the detonation point amounted to a lethal 730 R in the first 24 hours. Bikini Island, some three miles from surface zero could not be safely landed on until a week had passed.

While the US never tires of pressurising Pakistan on its nuclear policy, the Marshal Islands efforts should be a stark reminder of a country which not only is the first one to use nuclear bombs but continues to have a history of nuclear accidents including an instance of mistakenly loaded six AGM- 129 cruise missiles each loaded with nuclear warheads on to a US air force bomber in 2007. To add to such a blunder it took 36 hours before the missiles were reported missing.