HIROSHIMA: Imagine everything that you have ever cared about being “eliminated” in a fiery carnage.

This is entirely possible as the world right now has the capability of destroying itself many times over – in the event a nuclear war breaks out.

This is the grim reality painted by former US Defence Secretary Dr William Perry, 87.

The Director of the Preventive Defence Project estimated that there were more than 1,600 nuclear weapons across the globe presently.

“Each of them is several times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima in 1945,’’ he added.

Dr Perry, who served as Defence Secretary in 1993 to 1994, said the nuclear weapons were remnants of the Cold War where the United States, Russia (then Soviet Union) and North Korea were competing in a race to arm themselves with as many nuclear arms as possible.

Speaking at the 25th United Nations Conference on Disarma­ment Issues held here last week in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the bombing in 1945, Dr Perry believed that the world avoided a catastrophe by luck as much as by adequate management.

Considering the fact that dialogue between nuclear-weapon states yielded few tangible results, he said the treat of nuclear war was entirely possible and could happen due to “miscalculations”.

Efforts being made to eliminate nuclear weapons, which include the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review in New York this year, failed miserably in progressing the cause.

Coupled with the fact that Russia is planning to increase its nuclear arsenal, Dr Perry believes the threat will force the US to develop an expensive nuclear plan, which pushes them further away from ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Out of the eight countries which did not ratify the treaty, the US, France, Britain, China and Russia are nuclear-capable countries.

Originally published on The Star on Aug. 31st, 2015.

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