Saturday, 28 May 2016

Line of Control

I saw a tweet earlier today relevant to both my current geographical location (Indian-controlled Kashmir) and matters nuclear.  It was from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation and pointed to a blog / news post of its own.  It pointed out that 28th May is the anniversary of Pakistan's series of nuclear bomb tests which took place over three days starting on 28th May 1998.  

I'm in Kashmir, through which runs a contested border between India and Pakistan.  While I'm in the Indian part of Kashmir, in the capital Srinagar, the nearest national capital to where I am is Islamabad, about 100 miles away.  I read in the article that the bomb tests took place "in the eastern part of the country" but a quick look at the map they show in the post indicates that actually it was in the west of Pakistan, quite far from where I am now.  It also reminded me that I am currently in one of the nine nuclear weapons states.  In fact it is the fifth one I have been to this year (following the UK, US, France & China).  I expect to go Russia in September.   Now perhaps I need to arrange trips to Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel.

The de facto border between India and Pakistan up here in Kashmir is called the Line of Control.  I was amused by the sign (shown in the photo) used in the coffee shop next to the guesthouse on campus which indicated where the staff area was, where the public is not supposed to enter.