`Indo-Pak nuke war may kill 12 mn people`

WikiLeaks cited the US as saying that Indo-Pak hostilities can lead to a nuclear war.

Last Updated: Feb 03, 2011, 13:19 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a startling disclosure, WikiLeaks cited a classified Pentagon study as saying that long-running hostilities between nuclear-armed neighbours - India and Pakistan - can eventually lead to a nuclear war in Asia.

According to the files released by the whistleblower website, the US warned at a non-proliferation meeting in 2008 that an atomic conflict between India and Pakistan could result in 12 million deaths.

As per the cables, leaked to the Daily Telegraph, the US further warned: ‘A nuclear and missile arms race (in South Asia) has the direct potential to lead to nuclear war in the world`s most densely populated area and a region of increasing global economic significance”.

The US also feels that an atomic arms race in the Middle East and Asia has the ‘direct potential to lead to nuclear war’.

Syria, Iran and North Korea are making all efforts to produce long-range missiles which could be fired outside the region, as per the document.

The cables also said that the then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sent a memo to Indian government to stop the sale of materials used to make chemical weapons to Syria.

In December 2008, a Syria-linked company tried to acquire pumps, glass-lined reactors and heat exchangers from two Indian private firms.

But the US memo led to the obstruction of the sale.

Reports say that Syria is using VX and Sarin to produce chemical weapons.

The US also intervened to block the sale of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons materials to North Korea.

A Chinese company had reportedly agreed to sell a deadly chemical to North Korea.