August 22, 2001
Volume 2, #34
Nusrat Javeed assesses the recent US Defense Department-commissioned report by RAND’s Ashley Tellis stating that India does not intend to build a “ready nuclear arsenal,” but rather a “force in being” of separated nuclear weapons components. Javeed writes that the Tellis report “in a very subtle way projects India as a responsible kid on the South Asian nuclear scene and justifies Washington’s warming up to New Delhi in post cold war days.”
Bhartendu Kumar Singh, IPCS Research Officer, analyzes debate over whether China would use nuclear weapons against India in a future conflict.
Shivaji Mukherjee, of the Institute for Conflict Management, compares India’s and China’s policies of no-first-use of nuclear weapons.
Wg. Cdr. NK Pant writes in an IPCS analysis that Chinese criticism of India’s Ministry of Defence 2000-2001 Annual Report has drawn more attention to that report than it normally receives.
Two reports consider debate within India’s strategic community over whether to support, and seek to join, the US proposed national missile defense system.
Three US senators, following their visit to China, repeated charges that China has been selling arms and missile-related equipment to Pakistan, Iran and North Korea. China reiterated its denial of the charges. Once senator was quoted as saying that Chinese leaders were “stonewalling” the senators on the issue during their meetings in Bejing.
Three analyses assess evolving US-Russia relations, on such issues as missile defense, in the context of Asian regional strategic relationships that also include India and China.
According to unnamed Indian sources, U.S. President George W. Bush is likely to visit India in the first quarter of next year.
India reportedly has finalized contracts to purchase US$3 billion in arms from Russia. The arms will include 150 SU-30MKI multi-role fighters, 40 MI-17 IV helicopters and 310 T-90S main battle tanks. The Indian navy reportedly will receive Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, along with fighters and early-warning helicopters, for the price of refitting the ship. Proposals under consideration would provide India with six S-300PMU1 low- to high-altitude air-defence systems for protection against missiles and aircraft, the BM 9A52 Smerch 300 multiple rocket system, and the possible lease of four Tu-22 ‘Backfire’ bombers.
Abanti Bhattacharya, of Jawaharlal Nehru University, observes that the 1962 India-China border conflict casts a shadow over current India-China relations, and explores avenues to improve relations.
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee told the Indian parliament that the agenda for his next summit meeting with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf would be worked out ahead of time by the countries’ two foreign ministers. Vajpayee stated there was already a “broad framework” for future talks, and that his one-on-one discussion with Musharraf at the Agra summit was “very serious” and “threw up several new elements.” In a speech at the historic Red Fort, Vajpayee stated that Musharraf obstructed the Agra summit by focusing excessively on Kashmir.
Indian Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj stated that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s focus on Kashmir at the Agra summit was an attempt to deflect India’s concerns over cross-border terrorism.
India Union Home Minister L K Advani stated that India favors continuance of dialogue with Pakistan, but not at the cost of dealing with cross-border terrorism.
Crown Prince of Bhutan Dasho Jigme Khesar Wangchuck arrived in India to discuss his country’s security concerns, including terrorist strikes by insurgents.
Kulbir Krishan, Senior Fellow at IDSA, assesses the terrorism and migration challenges India faces along its long land border with Bangladesh.
Pakistan Foreign Secretary Inamul Haq met in Washington with US Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman for discussions that reportedly focused on Pakistan government plans to restore democracy in the country. Foreign Secretary Haq also met with several other U.S. government officials.
Unnamed senior Pakistani officials were quoted as saying that the US government has requested Pakistan’s support for an operation inside Afghanistan against Osama bin Laden, including secret deployment of US special forces in northern Pakistan. The officials added that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf rejected the support and sought to convince the U.S. officials that another military strike against Afghanistan would prove counter-productive.
Dr. Chintamani Mahapatra, of Jawaharlal Nehru University, assesses whether US-Pakistan relations will change substantively under new US President George W. Bush’s administration.
Pakistan Foreign Secretary Inamul Haq called on India to resume dialog with Pakistan by building on the Agra summit.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have begun their first joint venture in armaments production.
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, in a speech at the historic Red Fort, vowed to that India “will not leave any effort to crush Pakistan-sponsored terrorism” in Kashmir, and stated that Pakistan cannot “succeed in wresting Kashmir, through jehad and terrorism,” having failed to do so in war.
The Muttahidda Jihad Council (MJC), an alliance of the Mujahideen groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, stated that India could not prevent independence movements by force.
A senior Indian colonel reportedly claimed that at least 12 Pakistanis were killed when Indian forces retaliated to shelling along the Line of Control. A Pakistani spokesperson categorically denied the claim.
A group of Sri Lanka’s business leaders called for the government to find a negotiated settlement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to restore international confidence in the country.
The LTTE accused Sri Lanka’s government of acquiring Russian-made “chemical weapons.” The defence ministry denied the claim, stating that its latest acquisition from Russia was an “infantry rocket flame thrower.”