SANDNet Weekly Update, August 15, 2001

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CONTENTS
August 15, 2001
Volume 2, #33

Nuclear Issues

1. Indian Nuclear Policy

India

1. India-PRC Relations
2. India-Pakistan Relations
3. Kashmir
4. India-US Relations
5. US Sanctions
6. India-Nepal Security Talks
7. SAARC

Pakistan

1. Pakistan-India Relations
2. PRC Alleged Missile Sales
3. Pakistan-PRC Relations
4. Kashmir
5. US Sanctions

Kashmir

1. India-Pakistan Relations

Sri Lanka

1. Constitutional Referendum


Nuclear Issues
    
1. Indian Nuclear Policy

Atul Aneja writes in The Hindu that India is attempting to integrate under a coherent military command a triad of nuclear weapons delivery systems, but at current only has a few planes and the Agni-II missile as viable delivery systems. Aneja cites a government source as stating that the Agni-III long-range missile does not exist. Aneja states that the unified nuclear command architecture has been delayed because the final relationships between the services and with the political leadership is being completed.


India
    
1. India-PRC Relations

India and the PRC are preparing to discuss definition of the border in the Ladakh area of the Line of Actual Control after having completed a similar exercise for the 345 km middle sector. At the 13th meeting of the Joint Working group on the border issue, officials reviewed the findings of the expert group. The disagreement between the two countries over this part of their border is expected to be greater than the middle sector. Both countries are seeking to calm border tensions in order to increase bilateral trade.

Vladimir Surin, head of the Moscow-based Center for Studies of Problems of Public Importance, stated that there should be a nuclear summit mechanism, similar to the G-8 but comprising the nuclear states, including the PRC and India.

2. India-Pakistan Relations

Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee told the Parliament that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf told him during the Agra summit that Pakistan would reclaim the Jammu and Kashmir territory ceded to the PRC in 1963 if India and Pakistan complete an agreement on Kashmir. India believes the PRC is illegally occupying some 38,000 square kilometers. The Foreign Office of Pakistan released a statement rejecting Vajpayee’s statement on the PRC-controlled Kashmir as “a figment of his imagination.” Vajpayee also reiterated that cross-border terrorism by Pakistan must be curbed before talks on Kashmir can be successful.

Indian Foreign Office spokeswoman Nirupama Rao, replying to questions about the meeting of the Pakistani and Indian Foreign Ministers on the sidelines of SAARC, said that Pakistan needed to address cross-border terrorism before relations can be normalized.

3. Kashmir

K.K. Katyal writes in The Hindu that it is worrying that Pakistan has begun to “wiggle out of solemn commitments” on the Line of Control in its statements before and during the Agra summit. Pakistan, states Katyal, is suggesting that the LoC is not an international boundary and should be permeable to “freedom fighters.” Katyal states that the Indian government was quick to realize that it was a dangerous situation if militants could cross from the Pakistani side of the LoC and if Indian troops could pursue them back across.

A meeting chaired by Indian Home Minister L.K. Advani has declared a number of districts in Jammu and Kashmir as “disturbed areas” under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives the military unfettered power to deal with militants. The affected area began as four districts, and expanded under the request of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to include all of the Jammu and Kashmir state except Ladakh and Leh and Kargil. Reactions to the move were mixed, though many critical and supportive of the move described it as an admission by the Indian government of the extent to which law and order had eroded in the state.

4. India-US Relations

Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh denied that the US had played a behind-the-scenes role in the Agra summit or its failure.

Israeli defense officials expressed worry that improving US-India relations may result in increased US export of military hardware to India, cutting into Israel’s weapons sales.

5. US Sanctions

Indian media reported on an article in the Washington Post, in which Bush administration officials were quoted as stating that they would begin working with Congress when it returned from recess to lift the sanctions imposed on India after the 1998 nuclear tests. US Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Command Admiral Dennis Blair said that lifting the sanctions would give the US greater flexibility in the region. The US has already waived some sanctions, permitting the US Defense Department to spend $500,000 this year training Indian military officers.

US State Department spokesman Philip Reeker clarified the official position of the Bush administration as being that sanctions were under review in consultation with Congress and that no decisions have been made.

6. India-Nepal Security Talks

Facing a Maoist insurgency, Nepal is seeking to define with India policies to encourage stability in the Himalayan Mountains. The Nepalese Army, geared for internal security rather than against external aggression, will likely increase its interactions with India’s paramilitary forces, which also are oriented towards internal security issues.

7. SAARC

SAARC participant states agreed on a meeting of commerce ministers in New Delhi. The meeting will likely be held in late August and is intended to allow India and Pakistan to build upon the Agra summit. India announced that the official reason for the meeting is to form a regional position for negotiations at the November meeting of the World Trade Organization.


Pakistan
    
1. Pakistan-India Relations

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf called upon India to exercise restraint in their public statements. He said, “I am exercising restraint myself and trying to avoid giving provocative statements with the sole purpose of settling disputes with India through peaceful means.”

2. PRC Alleged Missile Sales

The PRC denied media reports in the US that allege the PRC had transferred to Pakistan a dozen batches of missile components in a breach of a US-PRC non-proliferation agreement. PRC President Jiang Zemin also denied the transfers in meetings with US Senators. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said, “China has no intention to assist any country in any way to develop ballistic missiles which can be used to carry nuclear weapons.”

3. Pakistan-PRC Relations

PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan praised Pakistan for maintaining peace and stability in South Asia, pointing in particular to the Agra summit.

The PRC Exim Bank will provide $200 million in soft-term loans to Pakistan for the modernization of its railway systems. Part of the loan will include the supply of 69 locomotives and 175 coaches.

4. Kashmir

Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement that India’s decision to term districts in Jammu and Kashmir “disturbed” is further evidence of its repression of the freedom movements there. A spokesman said, “The government of Pakistan condemns this Indian decision which will further intensify repression and human rights violations by the Indian occupation forces.”

5. US Sanctions

Pakistan Ambassador to the US Maleeha Lodhi warned the US that any move to single out India for a lifting of sanctions would affect bilateral ties with Pakistan. The Ambassador said that while India has been subjected to a single layer of sanctions, Pakistan has faced five layers of sanctions, and that the US should pursue a fair and equitable policy on sanctions relief.

Kashmir

1. India-Pakistan Relations

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Inamul Haq and Indian Foreign Minister Chokila Iyer met for 75-minutes on the sidelines of the SAARC Standing Committee Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They both described their talks as useful and friendly. Iyer said that Kashmir would be an aspect of future talks but would not determine the progress of their relations.


Sri Lanka
    
1. Constitutional Referendum

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga gave into pressure from the Opposition parties and postponed the referendum on a new constitution scheduled for August 21. Reports stated that the referendum has been postponed until October 18, 2001.

 


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