What Would Happen If A Nuclear War Between India And Pakistan Broke Out?

India vs Pakistan nuclear cover

If anything our history has told us that war is a nightmare, despite the efforts of the wise, war still broke out in the past. Both the world wars showed us gruesome scenarios which must never be repeated and the cursed dropping of the atomic bomb in Japan just shocked the entire humanity. In a world where many countries have already invested billions of dollars into armed forces, it is no surprise to know that most of these nations are equipped with nuclear power. Though peace treaty has prevented many wars, the question is that what would happen if two nations were to ignore the treaty and go full force at each other with their nuclear bombs? Especially the two developing nations India and Pakistan.

How exactly does a Nuclear Bomb function?

As of today, there are about 15,000 nuclear bombs throughout the world, it is important to know how exactly does it work. Though there are many types of nuclear weapons the way basic ones work is that there are an intricate system of explosives and a radio-active core packed inside the warhead, to initiate the process a trigger sends a shockwave to the core that compresses it greatly. This initiates a process of nuclear fission chain reaction, this instantly increases the temperature to a million degrees celsius creating a plasma, that starts the fusion of nuclei, and this results in the ball of plasma that we are familiar with. The worst of all things, the nuclear weapons that are present today are way more devastating than the ones that were dropped on Japan, as that particular one was 15 kilotons.

Agni 6

India’s Agni 6 nuclear missile.

Nuclear War between India and Pakistan

As we have seen throughout history, as soon as these two split they are constantly at each other’s throats. Regarding the territory of Kashmir, both have fought endlessly and there have been three wars already and as recently as of the 2020’s United Nations summit, the Prime Minister of Pakistan stated that the two nations might be heading for another war. To make things worse, both nations possess over 300 nuclear warheads combined and are constantly trying to gain more. In the extreme scenario, both of these nations will be wiped and the entire Earth would have to face the consequences. Experts even estimate it to be an event similar to the extinction of dinosaurs, given the fact that 100 kilotons of bombs are present and both countries possess these. Both of these nations can either choose to go in one of two ways.

Nuclear explosion

A nuclear explosion in the process.

  • Tactical Nuke: In this smaller capacity nuclear bombs are specifically launched to target major cities or vital parts of a nation. For example, if Delhi and Islamabad, the capital cities of India and Pakistan respectively are nuked they will cut off the important information centers, media hubs, and political commands of either nation. Not only that, the psychological effect of this would be dire, far away from the population from these cities will be filled with intense emotions of sorrow, hatred, and grief meanwhile the neighboring areas will be damaged tremendously and emergency services will have no means to help the victims. As much as these two nations claim their superiority, pandemics showed the real picture of the medical services and it was not looking good.
  • Full-Blown Attack: In this scenario, neither of the two countries hold back and if their leaders go crazy as a barrage of nuclear arsenal will be unloaded onto each nation. Here no strategy is required as a maximum of 10 warheads of 100 kilotons capacity are enough to vaporize the entire nation, surely it will not cover the entirety of the land but the shockwaves will travel across which is enough to set back each nation at least a century. If God forbid they unleashed all of their nuclear weapons, it will not only erase these two nations completely but the entire planet might face an extinction-level threat.

We are lucky that no such wars have broken out on the Earth yet, as it will turn our planet into a nightmare.

Effects of Nuclear Bomb

To understand the true devastation of this scenario, understanding how it affects a place and the people in it is essential. We’ll explore what would happen if a nuclear bomb was to be dropped in a populated city.

  • Initial Phase: Here people are busy going to and from work. Traffic is bad as every day, people are honking, some are bargaining for the price to be reduced while others are engaged in food, like any typical day. Suddenly, a bomb is dropped either by a targeting system or a bomber, first, it would look like any regular bombing, panic is sure to be generated but as soon as it is detonated all hell breaks loose. Within a millisecond a giant hot ball of plasma appears out of nowhere and within the same timeframe it balloons up to approximately 2 kilometers in diameter. Everyone and everything in this fireball simply vanish, with no injuries or remains, they simple vaporizes into thin air. One second there is life and the next second nothing, but compared to what comes next it was an easy death. As people not in the span of this fireball and looking directly in its direction will be blinded for few hours as it is nothing short of a star at this point. Next, a thermal pulse is released from the heat of this emitted light and within the diameter of 15 kilometers everything catches on fire, anything that is capable of burning will be burnt, this includes trees, cloths, and even people, they simply are on fire within a second and not just a simple burn but the worst third-degree burns.
Nuclear fireball

Picture of a nuclear fireball captured at a millisecond after detonation.

  • Second Phase: People who are a couple of kilometers away will only now realize something has happened but unfortunately it is already too late as they cannot escape the shockwaves that are heading in their direction faster than the speed of sound. Due to the radiation, the air surrounding the plasma ball is superheated and compressed which explodes resulting in this shockwave, everything in its way is simply blown away like paper in a hurricane, and only reinforced structures with metal frames and cement are able to withstand some of the shocks. This shockwave travels up to 25 kilometers and people behind windows who are observing the catastrophe are severely cut with shattered sharp glass. As cities are full of basic amenities like petrol pumps, and LPG filling stations they start to explode causing more explosions and fires. Finally, after a few minutes, the familiar mushroom cloud raises up to kilometers in the sky casting a shadow over the city, this sucks in cooler air rapidly in the city, providing more oxygen causing the fires the spread even further.
Mushroom cloud nuclear

The mushroom cloud after a nuclear explosion.

  • Third Phase: The dreadful post phase of a nuclear attack. Within the next few minutes, people with serious injuries die and within the next few hours, a painful death full of burns and radiation ends others. Finally, the deadly black rains pour down full of radioactive ash, radiation is through the roof now in the city, people who managed to survive up to this point will be breathing deadly toxins with each breath and will be dying soon. The sky will be blocked by the smoke, white ashes, and dust of this catastrophe will remain in the environment, no food or drinking water will be remaining as all of it is either burnt or evaporated. As for the help from outside, well, it will never come, the authorities are likely to cancel any aids due to the level of radiation. Surrounding areas that were lucky enough to be outside of the radius of the attack, will be overworked in hospitals and other essential services as many injured people will be showing up.
Hiroshima destroyed

The aftermath of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

You can get a picture of the dread and horrors that are likely to be induced within the minds of people and they may never recover from this trauma. As for the city, a country can simply say goodbye to that piece of land as it is no longer habitable. Now if a nuclear war was to break out between India and Pakistan, this scenario will be occurring all over the two countries, and as you can imagine what extent of devastation it will have.

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