SANDNet Weekly Update, April 12, 2000

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CONTENTS
April 12, 2000

Pakistan

1. Nuclear Issues
2. Pakistan-U.S. Relations
3. Security Planning
4. Foreign Relations: Iran
5. Military Hardware
6. Domestic Politics: Sharif Verdict

India
7. Nuclear Issues
8. India-U.S. Relations
9. India-China Relations
10. Foreign Relations: Non-Aligned meeting, Turkmenistan

Kashmir
11. India-Pakistan Dialogue
12. Plane Case
13. Pakistan: Domestic Political Issues
14. India: Domestic Political Issues

Sri Lanka
15. Military Initiatives
16. Peace Initiatives


Pakistan

1. Nuclear Issues
The U.S. Commerce Department has redesignated Pakistan’s uranium enrichment plant at Gadwal as a “government entity,” rather than “military entity.” The change will allow some additional imports from the U.S.

Last week, Uzbeckistan customs officials seized 10 Pakistan-bound containers filled with “radioactive substances.” A Pakistan foreign ministry official denied involvement with the shipment. Kazakhstan, the country of origin, claimed that the containers’ contents were not radioactive.

Analysis: Using U.S. cost data as a starting point, Farrukh Saleem (in The News) estimates that Pakistan must have spent US$4.2 billion annually for two decades to develop its nuclear and missile technologies.

2. Pakistan-U.S. Relations
Louie Freeh, director of the U.S. FBI, visited Pakistan on April 6 and spoke briefly with Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf.

3. Security Planning
Pakistan engaged the Afghan terrorist issue in two ways: Pakistani police arrested two men who allegedly collaborate with Osama bin Laden, and Pakistani diplomats asked the Taliban government to close down “terrorist training camps.” At the same time, the United Nations Security Council threatened to impose more sanctions against Afghanistan if the Taliban government does not hand over Osama bin Laden to the U.S.

4. Foreign Relations: Iran
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh met Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar in Islamabad on April 4. Both sides agreed to cooperate regarding stability in Afghanistan, increased bilateral trade, and control of narcotics trafficking in the region.

5. Military Hardware
Pakistan officially announced its “Shaheen-II,” a medium-range (2500 km) ballistic missile that can carry a 1000 kg payload.

6. Domestic Politics: Sharif Verdict
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was convicted of conspiracy to hijack an airplane. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. The newspaper “Dawn” provided a comprehensive chronology of the case. “The News” summarized the arguments of the prosecution and defense. The Indian government did not comment on the verdict.


India

7. Nuclear Issues
John Holum, a senior advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton, argued that “very strong sanctions” continue to be imposed on India and Pakistan and that these sanctions will remain until these countries sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT). Brahma Chellaney anticipates little progress at the mid-April NPT review conference to be held in New York because neither nuclear powers nor non-nuclear powers have clear incentives to conform to the treaty’s expectations. The Times of India argues that U.S. credibility on nuclear issues is compromised both because it continues to maintain a nuclear arsenal that is twice as large as allowed under the START-II treaty and because the Clinton administration has not punished China and Pakistan for their nuclear collaboration. [On March 24, the U.S. CIA director testified that the Clinton administration has known of this collaboration since 1994.]

8. India-U.S. Relations
“Frontline” includes ten analyses of the Clinton visit. U.S. FBI director Louis Freeh arrived in New Delhi to deepen India-U.S. cooperation in the areas of international terrorism and organized crime. He formalized arrangements for setting up an FBI office in the U.S. embassy in Delhi and offered the FBI’s “active assistance” in India’s investigation of the December 1999 Indian Airlines hijacking.

Richard Celeste, U.S. Ambassador to India, stated that the U.S. is “prepared to give India serious consideration for permanent membership of the Security Council.”

9. India-China Relations
China objected to the Dalai Lama’s proposed visit to Taiwan. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sun Yuxi said “The political purpose of his visit is obvious. We have always stressed that both Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of Chinese territory. We are opposed to any attempt by any person to conduct political activities to split the motherland and undermine national harmony.”

10. Foreign Relations: Non-Aligned meeting, Turkmenistan
Ministerial-level leaders of 115 non-aligned movement countries met in Columbia on April 9-10. Following a proposal by Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, the convention approved a resolution that would ban all countries whose leaders came to power by force. The ban must be passed at the NAM summit meeting, scheduled for June 2001 in Dhaka.

C. Raja Mohan (The Hindu) reports that India is engaging in high-level diplomacy with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Sudan, and Egypt. Mohan argues that India seeks to turn other Islamic states against Pakistan on the terrorism issue.

Leaders from Turkmenistan met with leaders of India’s Joint Working Group on energy to discuss the sale and transport of natural gas from Turkmenistan to India. [Recent discussions regarding transport of natural gas from Turkey through Pakistan to India have raised the level of other producer countries’ interest in the Indian energy market.]


Kashmir

11. India-Pakistan Dialogue
Farooq Abdullah, chief minister of Indian-Administered Kashmir, said that Pakistan has been giving “encouraging signs” in the wake of U.S. President Bill Clinton’s visit to the subcontinent. A Pakistani “ministerial source” reported that, when Pakistani Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf met Bill Clinton, Musharraf told Clinton that Pakistan “condemns terrorism in all its forms and is not supporting any militant group or party in Kashmir.”

Pakistani Analysis: A Dawn editorial observes that India is considering the closure of railroad and bus links to Pakistan as well as diplomatic links. It urges New Delhi to reconsider this policy. Afzal Mahmood argues that U.S. support for the Indian position regarding Kashmir has increased the potential for India-instigated violence. Khalid Mahmud argues that attracting foreign investment is India’s main international concern. For this reason, he predicts that India’s currently strident rhetoric will be replaced by a willingness to reduce tensions in Kashmir in exchange for political stability in the region.

Indian Analysis: Radha Kumar argues that Pakistani Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf’s willingness to use his influence to de-escalate the activities of militant groups in Kashmir give his invitation for India- Pakistan talks greater credence than has been acknowledged by the Indian government.

12. Plane Case
In August 1999, India shot down a Pakistani reconnaissance plane. Pakistan sued India in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ heard Pakistani and Indian arguments regarding whether the ICJ has jurisdiction over the case. A jurisdictional ruling is not expected for several months.

13. Pakistan: Domestic Political Issues
The Home Department reports nearly 2 million licensed weapons in North West Frontier Province, the Pakistan province that borders Afghanistan and Kashmir.

14. India: Domestic Political Issues
On April 6, Indian Home Minister L.K. Advani offered to hold talks, “within the framework of the Indian Constitution,” with the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and other independent Kashmiri groups, but the time frame and specific goals of the talks were not clearly identified. On April 11, the Home Ministry denied four Hurriyat leaders the right to travel to the annual U.N. Human Right’s Commission meeting in Geneva. A Home Ministry spokesperson suggested that the four leaders would have used their stay in Geneva to mount an anti-India campaign.


Sri Lanka

15. Military Initiatives
The spring offensive continues. Government planes bombed Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) camps; the LTTE sank two government boats; and the death toll rose to 421. The LTTE now occupies the entire Vadamarchchi coast from Nagarkovil to Kattaikadu, east of Elephant Pass.

16. Peace Initiatives
Deputy Defense Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte rejected the LTTE demand that Sri Lankan government forces withdraw from the northern and eastern portions of the country prior to the commencement of peace negotiations. A commentary in “Himal” magazine argues that international mediation by a respected and impartial country such as Norway is the only way that a lasting peace can be achieved.


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