NAPSNET Week in Review 29 March, 2002

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"NAPSNET Week in Review 29 March, 2002", NAPSNet Weekly Report, March 29, 2002,

United States

1. US-Russia Nuclear Relations

On March 29, it was announced that US and Russian negotiators have made so much progress on offensive weapons and a new strategic framework that US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin may sign agreements on both at their Moscow summit in May, the State Department says. “There are issues that remain to be discussed, as there always are in this sort of affair,” John Bolton, undersecretary for arms control and international security, told reporters at the Foreign Press Center.
“Russ ia-US Nuclear Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, US)

Former atomic energy minister Yevgeny Adamov disputed the Russian government’s strong support of a global nuclear test ban on Thursday and said that the resumption of test explosions is vital for preserving the combat readiness of Russian nuclear weapons. Adamov stated, “If we decide to keep nuclear weapons, nuclear tests are inevitable.” Adamov served as nuclear power minister until President Vladimir Putin fired him a year ago. “A nuclear device comes through a certain life cycle, it’s being periodically disassembled and certain materials are changed … so no one can be sure that it functions properly if not tested,” Adamov said at a news conference.
“Russ ia Nuclear Testing” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, US)

2. Philippines-US Anti-terrorism

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo said more joint anti- terrorism military exercises with the US are on the table this year after a ground-breaking US-Filipino military operation in the south ends in July. The current group of more than 600 US troops taking part in exercises “will be pulled out after six months,” Arroyo said. However, more US troops are expected in the Philippines to take part in another training program to begin after July, she said. Arroyo said future training exercises will involve US soldiers in civic actions, including building of roads on Basilan, where some 160 US Special Forces are currently “training, advising and assisting” the local army against the Abu Sayyaf.
“Phil ippines-US Anti-terrorism” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

Korean Peninsula

1. ROK Diplomatic Visit to DPRK

ROK President Kim Dae-jung will send his special assistant for foreign affairs, security and unification, Lim Dong-won, to the DPRK as a special envoy some time in the first week of the next month announced on March 24. “President Kim has decided to send the envoy to the North in a desire to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula,” the spokeswoman said. President Kim recently proposed Lim’s dispatch to the DPRK, which in turn responded it positively, she said. Lim stated, “My mission is to convey to the highest North Korean leader the thinking of President Kim on how to avert a security crisis that may arise on the Korean peninsula,” Lim said. Seven or eight working-level officials will accompany Lim Dong-won, the presidential envoy, when he visits the DPRK April 3. Kim Bo-hyun, deputy director for DPRK affairs at National Intelligence Service; Cho Myoung-gyun, director-general of Inter-Korean Exchanges and Cooperation Bureau, and Kim Chun-sig, director of the policy coordination division of the ministry will aid Lim.
“ROK Diplomatic Visit to DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, US)
“Inte r Korean Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, ROK)
“Inte r Korean Dialogue” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, ROK)

“DPR K-ROK Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US) “Inter Korea Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

2. US View of Agreed Framework

Hard-liners in the US Bush administration hope a recent decision questioning the DPRK’s compliance with a 1994 nuclear agreement is a prelude to the Agreed Framework’s demise, according to US officials. “The battle remains to be fought (on North Korea) but that’s why this shift in the certification question this year is so important,” one senior official stated. “If they don’t allow the IAEA the kind of access they need (for inspections), then it’s clear they (North Koreans) will have broken the Agreed Framework and the responsibility for that will be unambiguously theirs,” the official said. In such a case, he would press the US to stop backing the reactor construction and stop providing oil supplies, although humanitarian aid would continue.
“US View of Agreed Framework” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, US)

3. US Military Bases in ROK

The US military will close half of its bases in the ROK in the next 10 years under an agreement signed by the nations on March 29, but will not reduce the number of US troops stationed here. A joint statement said the US military will shut down 28 combat and support facilities and three training ranges, returning more than half the land currently occupied by US forces to the ROK government by 2011.
“US Military Bases in ROK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, US)

4. ROK View of DPRK-US Relations

ROK President Kim Dae-jung told defense officials on Friday he saw tentative signs that the DPRK would open dialogue with the US. “I can’t say for certain, but it looks like the United States and North Korea are moving toward dialogue,” Kim said after meetings with ROK defense ministry officials. According to a transcript released by the presidential Blue House, Kim said an expected resumption of DPRK-Japan talks on top of Lim’s trip “makes one think that North Korea might have changed its rejectionist attitude to a stance for dialogue.” Lim told reporters on Thursday he would “convey President Kim’s thoughts on how to prevent unforeseen security threats in the peninsula” and the ROK’s belief that DPRK-US talks were important in that context.
“ROK View of DPRK-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, US)

5. ROK Air Force Project

The ROK government said it would stage a new head-to-head test on two rivals for a major fighter jet order. Boeing and the Rafale maker, Dassault Aviation SA, have hotly disputed the contract in which there are four contenders. The ROK ministry said in a statement: “We will carry out a second-stage evaluation. A final decision will be made in April following full consultations with other government agencies, taking into account the impact on the country’s economy, industry as well as diplomatic considerations.”
“ROK Air Force Project” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, ROK)
“ROK Air Force Project” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, ROK)
“ROK Fighter Jet Project” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

6. DPRK-US Relations

Continued meetings between DPRK representative to the United Nations Pak Gil-yon and Jack Pritchard, the US point man on the DPRK, herald positive signs for relations between the two nations. US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told a group of ROK media correspondents Wednesday that Pritchard met Pak in New York last week (March 29), following their discussion only a week before. The New York channel is the only existing contact point between the two governments, but had been defunct since President George W. Bush labeled the DPRK an element of the world’s “axis of evil” earlier this year.
“DPRK -US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, ROK)

7. ROK-US Joint Military Exercises

US and ROK troops wound up a week of major war games which have angered the DPRK. The joint drills, which started last Thursday, marked the first merger of two separate exercises with hundreds of thousands of troops involved. As part of the exercises aimed at deterring a military threat from the DPRK, around 100 tanks and armored vehicles were involved in a mock battle Wednesday near Cheongok, a village just south of the heavily fortified inter-Korean frontier.
“ROK- US Joint Military Exercises” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

8. ROK-PRC Relations

Top foreign policymakers from ROK and PRC met in Beijing on March 28 to discuss the planned high-level meeting between the two Koreas and the issue of DPRK refugees crossing the border to PRC, ROK officials said. ROK Foreign Minister Choi Sung-hong, who arrived in Beijing earlier in the day for a two-day visit, briefed his counterpart, Tang Jiaxuan, on the background of the April 3-5 trip to Pyongyang by Lim Dong-won, President Kim Dae- jung’s special envoy. Also high on the agenda were escalating disputes over hundreds of thousands of DPRK defectors hiding in the PRC and activists helping them seek asylum, according to the officials. Choi expressed his gratitude for PRC’s decision regarding the 25 defectors, but also reaffirmed ROK’s position that DPRK escapees should be dealt with in a humanitarian way rather than repatriated.
“ROK -PRC Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, ROK)

9. ROK-Japan Visit

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi wound up his three-day visit to the ROK on Saturday. Koizumi arrived in Seoul on Thursday for a trip very much focused on reconciling the two countries which will co-host football’s World Cup finals from June. At their meeting Friday, Koizumi and ROK President Kim Dae- Jung agreed to exchange visits during the soccer tournament from May 31 to June 30 and to push for a free trade bloc between their countries.
“DPR K-Japan Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

“ROK-Japan Visit” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

10. DPRK-Japan Mystery Ship Incident

The Japanese government is expected to decide in late April whether it will attempt to raise a suspected DPRK spy ship from the East China Sea, with officials leaning toward an investigation of the vessel despite diplomatic considerations. According to Shinzo Abe, deputy chief Cabinet secretary, Japan has every right to investigate why the 100-ton ship entered Japanese waters and exchanged fire with pursuing Japan Coast Guard boats. The coast guard, which used an underwater camera to photograph the ship on February 26, plans to send submersibles and divers to the site in late April.
“DPR K-Japan Mystery Ship Incident” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, DPRK)

11. ROK-Japan Relations

The ROK and Japan vowed on March 22 to kick off a new era of friendship as joint hosts of the World Cup but officials confirmed Japanese Emperor Akihito would not attend the opening ceremony in Seoul. ROK President Kim Dae-jung and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi met for a summit on the second day of a visit of the Japanese leader, said the report. Japan showed, however, that it is not yet ready to send its emperor to visit Korea for the first time since the occupation, said the report. At their summit, it reported, Kim and Koizumi also agreed to launch a joint study into a free-trade area between their countries and discussed issues concerning the DPRK.
“ROK -Japan Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, US)

12. Indonesian President Visiting Two Koreas

Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri will arrive in the DPRK Thursday for a three-day stay on the invitation of Kim Yong- nam, the country’s nominal head. Megawati will meet DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-il and will be carrying a message from ROK President Kim Dae-jung asking the DPRK to enter into dialogue with the ROK, US and Japan, according to a Foreign Ministry official.
“Indo nesian President Visiting Two Koreas” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, ROK)

13. ROK PRC-RF Visits

The ROK’s two top Foreign Ministry officials will make separate visits to Russia and the PRC in the coming week, as the ROK tries to revive the reconciliation process on the Korean peninsula. The two visits come ahead of a trip to the DPRK next week by an ROK presidential envoy to kickstart a dialogue between the two Koreas that stalled last year. ROK Foreign Minister Choi Sung- hong will visit the PRC on Thursday and Friday, for talks his ministry said will cover relations with the DPRK. On Sunday, Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hang-kyong will arrive in Moscow for a four- day visit and talks with his Russian counterpart, Alexander Losyukov, Kim’s office said in a brief statement. Topics will include the situation on the divided Korean peninsula and bilateral relations, it said.
“ROK PRC-RF Visits” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

14. DPRK Economic Policy

DPRK Premier Hong Song Nam stated in a report to the DPRK legislature that the DPRK must “readjust its economic foundations” this year and open itself up to more international trade and cooperation. Delivering a report to the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly at a meeting on the 2002 budget and policies, he said the DPRK must “improve trade and economic cooperation and widely conduct joint ventures and collaboration with different countries and international organizations.”
“DPR K Economic Policy” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

15. DPRK Food Shortages

David Morton the World Food Program chief in Pyongyang announced that the DPRK’s food stocks are likely to run out in April or May and without further support from donor countries, food aid will be exhausted by July. “Last year’s harvest is still going out through the public distribution system at the rate of 300 grams per day — much less than a person needs,” Morton said. Morton also said that he did not believe Afghanistan was the reason for the DPRK’s lack of aid but suggested Japan’s contribution was flagging. “What is missing actually is Japan, which gave half a million tons last year. Japan was the biggest donor last year,” he said.
“DPRK Food Shortages” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, US)

16. PRC-Japan-ROK Environmental Talks

Environment ministers from the PRC, Japan and ROK will meet in Seoul on April 20 and 21 to discuss measures to reduce damage from the yellow sand that blows east from the Gobi Desert, clouding the air in all three countries. The Ministry of Environment reported Thursday that the three ministers will talk about technology and funding of the project to plant trees and build irrigation facilities in Neimeng in inner PRC, which is known as one of the areas where the sandstorms have originated.
“Envi ronmental Talks” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, ROK)

People’s Republic of China

1. PRC Domestic Military Policy

The Associated Press (“CHINA BARS SOLDIERS FROM USING MOBILE PHONES, PAGERS,” Beijing, 03/29/02) reported that the PRC has barred its soldiers from using mobile phones and pagers in an effort to keep its military secrets under wraps. Soldiers must have permission from an officer of divisional commander rank or above to use a mobile phone, and then only for work. Even soldiers granted exceptions to the new rules will be barred from taking mobile phones aboard military planes and boats, or into war rooms, intelligence facilities, communications complexes, missile firing areas, or secret conference rooms, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday. The regulations also forbid soldiers from visiting “unhealthy places,” Xinhua said, in an apparent reference to brothels. The regulations were signed by PRC President Jiang Zemin.
“PRC Domestic Military Policy” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, US)

2. PRC View of DPRK-ROK Dialogues

PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhang Qiyue said on March 26 that the PRC welcomes the resumption of dialogue between the DPRK and the ROK and looks forward to positive results to be made by the special envoy from the south. The PRC has always held that the Korean Peninsula’s problems should be solved through dialogue and cooperation between the two sides concerned since they are the ones who have the problem, Zhang said at a press conference.
“PRC View of DPRK-ROK Dialogues” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, US)

3. PRC-US Relations

PRC Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue on March 26 reiterated the PRC’s strong opposition to the US support of Taiwan’s efforts to join the World Health Organization (WHO). At a scheduled press briefing in Beijing on March 26, Zhang said: “Taiwan is making a political issue of joining the WHO under the pretence of a health matter.” “Actually, Taiwan is attempting to split the motherland within the organization,” Zhang added. Zhang then said, “We urge the US to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs via the Taiwan question and to strictly abide by the three Sino-US joint communiques and the one-China policy.”
“PRC -US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, US)

4. Cross-Straits Relations

A Taiwan affairs official said on March 29 that any form of “Taiwan independence” will poison cross-Straits relations and heighten tension and confrontation — eventually damaging the interests of Taiwan compatriots. Proclaiming the so-called World Taiwanese Meeting — with the theme of “independence for Taiwan” held in Taipei on March 17 — a farce, Li Weiyi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of the PRC, said separatist activity in any form of “Taiwan independence” will be absolutely opposed by the PRC.
“Cro ss-Straits Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, PRC)

5. PRC Spacecraft Launch

The PRC launched an unmanned spacecraft, “Shenzhou III,” at 10:15 pm on the night of March 25 from Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center of Gansu Province, and ten minutes after blast-off, the spaceship entered its preset orbit. General Secretary of CPC Central Committee, President of PRC and Chairman of CPC Central Military Commission Jiang Zemin watched the successful launch, said the report. Jiang said that the successful launch symbolizes one more milestone for the PRC’s space science and technology, and showed the PRC’s spirit of constantly striving to become stronger.
“PRC Spacecraft Launch” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, PRC)

6. PRC-US Relations

The PRC media blasted the US on March 28 accusing his administration of betrayal after a string of “insensitive moves.” “Here we are on the verge of another setback in Sino-U.S. ties,” the China Daily said in an editorial on Thursday. “Beijing feels betrayed,” the state-run newspaper said, adding: “Gone is the euphoria that surrounded US President George W. Bush’s visit in February.” Topping the list of the PRC’s concerns was the U.S. decision this month to allow Taiwan defence minister Tang Yiau- ming into the US for talks with defence officials. “Friendship is out of the question in the absence of reciprocity,” the editorial said.
“PRC- US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, US)

7. PRC Hu Visit

The PRC said Thursday it still plans to send Vice President Hu Jintao to the US, dampening speculation that the visit might be cancelled due to tensions over Taiwan. Despite earlier sidestepping of the issue, on Thursday, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, “China and the United States are making preparations for this visit.” Details will come “in due time.”
“PRC Hu Visit” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, US)

8. PRC-US Relations

The PRC has denied permission for a US navy destroyer to make a routine port call in Hong Kong as tensions grow over the US decision to allow Taiwan’s defense minister to visit the US. “The Chinese government denied a request for the USS Curtis Wilbur…to visit Hong Kong April 5 to 9. This would have been a routine port call,” Barbara Zigli, a spokeswoman for the US consulate in Hong Kong, told stated Tuesday. “There was no reason given for the disapproval and I am not going to speculate about it,” Zigli said. She said the consulate received the notification from the Chinese government on March 18
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“PRC-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

9. PRC Immigration Policy

The PRC will launch a fresh crackdown on illegal immigration in April, state media said on Monday. The official Xinhua news agency said the crackdown would focus on groups of foreigners who either sneak into the PRC in transit to a third country or Chinese smuggled out of the country in cargo containers. The clampdown, announced at a public security meeting on illegal immigration in Beijing on Monday, aimed to “check the increasingly prominent trend of illegal immigration and at the same time to promptly clear out and repatriate foreigners staying illegally in China,” Xinhua said.
“PRC Immigration Policy” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)


1. Japan Anti-terrorism

Japan will extend its non-combatant operations in support of the US-led anti-terror war in Afghanistan. Japan sent 1,200 military personnel, three destroyers and two supply ships to the Arabian Sea to back the US campaign, and its mission was scheduled to end on March 31, a spokesman for the Defense Agency said Tuesday. But the government said it would continue its operations until May 19.
“Japa n Anti-terrorism” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

2. Japanese New Security Legislation

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Thursday that large-scale acts of terrorism should be covered under legislation planned to deal with military attacks. “The basic thinking is how to deal with a military attack on Japan, preparing for terrorism after September 11, as well as incomprehensible activities, such as the suspicious ship,” Koizumi told reporters. Government and ruling coalition officials have said large-scale terrorism, suspicious armed vessels and agents, as well as cyber-terrorism should be debated separately from the emergency legislation now under discussion.
“Jap anese New Security Legislation” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

3. Japan-DPRK Relations

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi gave a measured welcome to the announcement by the DPRK to resume talks with the Japanese Red Cross Society over alleged abductions of Japanese nationals. “We have been demanding North Korea take proper measures to deal with the abduction cases. If this (announcement) was made as part of those measures, we would welcome it,” Koizumi told reporters on Saturday. “But we have to watch their actions to determine how serious they are,” he cautioned.
“Jap an-DPRK Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, US)
“DPRK Japanese Abductions” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 27, US)

4. Japanese Self-Defense Forces

The Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) on Wednesday inaugurated Japan’s first infantry regiment designed to respond rapidly to emergencies on remote islands in southwestern Japan, GSDF officials said. The regiment of about 600 troops, which will be based at the GSDF’s Camp Ainoura in Sasebo, is tasked with patrolling and defending 2,522 islands near Kyushu and Okinawa. The regiment will also be mobilized when natural disasters strike inhabited islands. The new regiment is far smaller than a normal infantry unit, which usually comprises about 1,000 troops, to enhance mobility and readiness.
“Jap anese Self-Defense Forces” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, Japan)

5. US Bases in Okinawa

US Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy Woodland will spend 32 months in prison for raping a woman in Chatan, Okinawa Prefecture, last year, the Naha District Court ruled Thursday. In handing down his verdict finding Woodland, 25, guilty of the June 29 rape, Presiding Judge Soichi Hayashida said the airman had compounded the original crime. Despite the guilty verdict, many Okinawans voiced frustration Thursday about how little has been done to deal with crime and other problems associated with the large US military presence in the prefecture.
“US Bases in Okinawa” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, Japan)

6. US-Japan Relations

General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, voiced hope Wednesday that Japan will not invoke any time limit upon its support for the US-led war on terrorism, with the campaign expected to last for many years. Myers said this should be Japan’s decision but added in an interview with Kyodo News, “I’m sure the government of Japan will do the right thing when the time comes.”
“US- Japan Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 29, Japan)

7. Japan Constitutional Revision

An interview with Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker Taro Nakayama, chairman of the Lower House Research Commission on the Constitution. He evaluated the progress of the commission, saying, “The Constitution was considered untouchable two years ago, but it has since become touchable. The public’s interest in constitutional debate has grown considerably. With the exception of how to deal with the war-renouncing Article 9, there is little difference in opinion among political parties.” Nakayama states, “Article 9 is not necessarily the only one (to deal with), but the question boils down to how to reconcile the present inconsistencies between the current Constitution and the nation’s body of laws.”
“Jap an Constitutional Revision” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, DPRK)

8. Japanese Nuclear Weapons Policy

Japan’s record on nuclear disarmament is dismal, a group of ten experts concluded Wednesday in a report card to the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Their assessment covered 15 areas, including “13 practical steps” such as early ratification of CTBT for nuclear disarmament that was agreed on at the UN review conference of NPT in May 2000. The report card graded the government’s effort from May 2000 to February 2002. The overall evaluation was D-minus. “To put more pressure on the government, we will hand the report card to lawmakers as well as diplomats all over the world who will attend the preparatory committee of the NPT review conference being held in New York in April,” said Hiromichi Umebayashi, chair of the evaluation committee and the director general of Peace Depot. The evaluation committee includes former Hiroshima Mayor Takashi Hiraoka and Osaka University professor Mitsuru Kurosawa. “Japanese Nuclear Weapons Policy” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, DPRK)

9. Oversea A-bomb Survivors

The Japanese government decided Tuesday to allow atomic-bomb survivors living abroad to receive treatment and health-care allowances in Japan beginning June 1, government officials said. The Cabinet-approved revision to a decree under the A-bomb survivors assistance law means survivors will no longer be required to renew their hibakusha health card every time they visit Japan for treatment, they said.
“Ove rsea A-bomb Survivors” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 28, DPRK)

Nuclear Issues

1. Related News and Analysis

Senator Richard Lugar, a ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, believes that nuclear threat reduction measures between the US and Russia can be extended to Pakistan and India. Sophisticated radiation sensors have reportedly been installed at US border positions and key locations around Washington. India tested Akash, a surface to air missile with a 25 km range.
“Rel ated News and Analysis” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #11)

Afghanistan War and Implications

1. Afghanistan: Current Situation

Afghan fighters and US troops have been engaged in a fierce battle with al-Qaeda and Taliban soldiers in eastern Afghanistan. The US troops have suffered their highest casualty since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. There have been reports of splits between Afghan soldiers fighting alongside the US forces. The US forces have now begun to withdraw from the area. According to a report in the daily Frontier Post, Afghan soldiers supporting the US forces are been paid about $200 a month. In an unrelated event, three Danish and two German soldiers were killed in Kabul when munitions they were defusing exploded.
“Afg hanistan: Current Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #11)

2. Humanitarian Crisis

Afghan refugees living in camps in Iran and Pakistan have started to move back to Afghanistan. Iran hopes to repatriate some 400,000 Afghan refugees this year. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has, however, warned Afghan refugees against returning to their homes too quickly. Meanwhile, between 300 to 500 Afghan fleeing the US bombardment in eastern provinces have entered Pakistan.
“Hum anitarian Crisis” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #11)

India-Pakistan Tensions

1. News

India has reduced the number of troops on the border with Pakistan. India has rejected various Pakistani offers aimed at reducing tension between the two countries. Pakistan, meanwhile, has acknowledged that it fired on an Indian plane carrying V.K. Bhatia, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command, that had entered Pakistan airspace at the Line of Control. The plane was hit but landed safely. India’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pakistan in connection with SAARC Information Ministers’ conference has not helped in reducing tensions between the two countries. Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan has urged Pakistan and India to peacefully resolve their differences.
“New s” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #11)

2. Analysis

Essays and editorials in Indian and Pakistani press have urged the two countries to peacefully resolve their various disputes. Kunwar Idris essay in the daily Dawn argues that “Pakistan must strive for peace and friendship with India for the sake of the unity of the Muslims of the two countries.” Writing in the daily Hindu, K. K. Katyal believes that “Indian Minister’s (Sushma Swaraj) visit to Pakistan after the recent escalation could have been put to constructive use.”
“Ana lysis” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #11)

Pakistan and India

1. Pakistan: Domestic Situation

Pakistan has formally conveyed its decision to the US that Ahmed Omar Saeed Shaikh, the prime suspect in Daniel Pearl kidnapping case will be tried in Pakistan. There have been speculations that elements of Pakistan military intelligence (ISI) have been involved in the Daniel Pearl case. The US Secretary of State Colin Powell, however, has stated that there is no evidence of ISI involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl. The Pakistan government has announced that it “will not take any further action against those activists of the banned groups who were arrested but had no criminal charges or having no FIR registered against them.”
“Pak istan: Domestic Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #11)

2. China – Pakistan Relations

Pakistan and China have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on military cooperation in the defense production sectors.
“Chi na – Pakistan Relations” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #11)

3. India: Domestic Situation

Over 600 people have been killed in the communal violence in Gujarat, India. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has given mixed signals about whether or not it will abide by the court ruling on holding of puja at Ayodhya. India’s Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has stated that the proposed “symbolic puja” by the VHP on March 15 at Ayodhya would be allowed only if allowed by the Supreme Court. Indian opposition leaders have accused the Gujarat government of “criminal negligence if not connivance” in the Gujarat killings. In his essay for the daily Hindu, Harish Khare accuses the Gujarat government and its Chief Minister Narendra Modi of supporting the rioters. Home Minister L.K. Advani has rejected the Opposition’s demand for his resignation and the removal of Gujarat Chief Minister. Meanwhile, K.G. Shah, a retired judge of the Gujarat High Court, has been appointed to head an inquiry into the Godhra train carnage and the subsequent violence.
“Ind ia: Domestic Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #11)


1. Internal Situation

Political unrest and violence in Jammu and Kashmir was reported in Pakistani and Indian newspapers. A report by Sudha Ramachandran of Asia Times examines Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Faith), an all women Kashmiri separatist group. According to a report in the daily News, various Kashmiri militant groups organized under the umbrella of United Jihad Council have begun restructuring their organizations. Meanwhile, the Chief Election Commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh has ruled out early Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Int ernal Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #11)

2. India and Pakistan

In his essay for the daily Dawn, Khalid Mahmud examines the implications of President Musharraf’s crackdown on Jihadi groups in Pakistan for the political future of Kashmir.
“In dia and Pakistan” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #11)

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