The Marshall Islands, an island nation located near the equator in the Pacific Ocean that was site of 67 nuclear tests between 1946 and 1958, is all set to take legal action against India, Pakistan and Britain.


The government, based in the Marshall Islands capital of Majuro, has accused these countries of ‘flagrant denial of human justice’, saying in a statement that it would move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and file a lawsuit against India, Pakistan and Britain for their failure in halting the nuclear arms race. A senior official of Marshall Islands stressed that the hearing might take place at The Hague-based principal judicial organ of the United Nations between March 7 and March 16.

In 2014, the Marshall Islands strongly criticised nine countries for “not fulfilling their obligations with respect to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament”. Majuro also sent letters to China, Britain, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the US, asking them to immediately stop the nuclear arms race. These countries were also asked not to breach their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), although India and Pakistan did not sign the treaty.

As the world’s nuclear heavyweights did not take any action, The Marshall Islands decided to sue them. The official said that it is important to sensitise the international community to dire consequences of nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the ICJ said that they would only accept cases brought against Britain, India and Pakistan, as they recognised the ICJ’s authority.

Meanwhile, eight of the nine countries, accused by The Marshall Islands, have officially admitted to possessing a nuclear weapon. So far, Israel has not acknowledged having a nuclear weapon. Observers are of the opinion that Israel is the lone nuclear-armed nation in West Asia. India and Pakistan have made no comment on the issue.

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog - Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]