SANDNet Weekly Update, August 30, 2000

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CONTENTS
August 30, 2000

Nuclear Issues

1. Japan PM Visit
2. India Nuclear Policy
3. Pakistan Nuclear Waste Management

India

1. Overview
2. Military Hardware
3. Military Doctrine
4. Policy on Terrorism
5. Japan PM Visit
6. Foreign Relations: Oman, Myanmar, Maldives

Pakistan

1. Military Government
2. Japan PM Visit
3. Foreign Relations: PRC, Oman
4. World Bank
5. Missile Test

Kashmir

1. Hizbul Mujahideen Ceasefire
2. All-Parties Hurriyat Conference
3. Militant Groups
4. Commentary on Dialogue
5. India-Iran Gas Pipeline
6. India-Pakistan Diplomacy
7. Military Issues
8. Recent Violence

Sri Lanka

1. Parliamentary Elections
2. LTTE


Nuclear Issues

1. Japan PM Visit

The Japanese government has stated that aid to India or Pakistan will not resume until they sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Pakistan indicated that it is not ready to sign the CTBT until there is domestic consensus on the issue, but indicated that its accession to the treaty would not be unconditional. Musharraf had indicated that the resumption of aid by Japan would aid consensus building, but that moving too quickly on the CTBT could be internally destabilizing.

An article by PS Suryanarayana in The Hindu argued that as long as Japan is overly focused on the CTBT, it will be unable to refine its conventional strategic considerations in the region. Japan, the article argued, should take a lesson from Australia’s decision to transcend the nuclear issue.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori delivered to Pakistan the G-8 resolution urging Pakistan and India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Mori was positive on Pakistan’s promised moratorium on testing, but did not offer a relaxing of sanctions. He urged a reduction in tensions in South Asia. A Japanese official said, “We got the impression that General Musharraf said that if India carries out further test [sic], Pakistan will be obliged to respond.”

Mori emphasized South Asia’s strategic importance as the impetus behind his visit, and while India’s information technology industry was central to his visit, the Japanese government promised to assist in promoting confidence among South Asian states. Indian Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh said that the Indian government will not appeal to the Japanese government for a repeal of sanctions because Japan “knows our views on this.” Mansingh also said India does not accept any linkage between sanctions and the signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Indian newspapers reported that the visit is an attempt to move India-Japan relations beyond nuclear proliferation.

2. India Nuclear Policy

India’s Congress Party called for a revival of Rajiv Ghandi’s global initiative for eliminating the entire nuclear stockpile. Mani Shankar Aiyer, of the Congress Party, suggested that India use the upcoming UN Millennium Summit to regroup old allies in the push for global disarmament.

An editorial by former Indian Atomic Energy Commission chairman PK Iyegnar argued that if India has decided on nuclear deterrence as a policy, nuclear weaponization will require further testing. Iyegnar argued that the device tested in May 1998 was inefficient, and for India to have credible weaponization, it must demonstrate a technical proficiency in the design of thermonuclear weapons and delivery systems. [Ed. note: A previous SANDNet Weekly Update mistakenly identified Iyegnar as being from Pakistan.]

3. Pakistan Nuclear Waste Management

Pakistan Federal Minister for Environment and Local Government Omar Asghar Khan reported that the Pakistani government was creating a nuclear regulatory board, which would oversee the transportation, storage, and geological disposal of nuclear waste.


India

1. Overview

Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee had previously stated that the Indian government would deal with any government in Pakistan, but may have shifted his position towards first seeking domestic consensus on dealing with the military government in Pakistan.

The annual meeting of the SAARC Foreign Ministers, which occurs on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, was blocked at the political level by India because it objects to lending credibility to the Musharraf regime by permitting it to participate. It continued at lower, technical levels.

2. Military Hardware

Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes announced that the longer-range Agni-2 intermediate range ballistic missile has reached the stage of operationalization. The Indian military successfully test-fired the Trishul, its most advanced short-range surface-to-air missile.

The Indian Navy, responding to the recent Russian Kursk submarine accident, reported that of India’s eighteen submarines, the four, German-built HDW submarines have a “rescue sphere” which could detach in shallow waters and permit rescue. The Indian Navy had proposed contracting with the US Navy for emergency rescue operations as many countries do, until the US imposed sanctions after the Pokhran missile test.

Union Human Resources Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi stated that India would launch two satellites this year to aid communications and weather tracking capabilities. He said India will also soon send its scientists to the moon and is setting up a bio-technology research center with Russian assistance.

An Israeli newspaper reported that the US is opposing the sale of an Israeli Phalcon Airborne Early Warning System (AEWS) to India. This issue arises as the US and Israel negotiate an agreement covering US supervision of Israeli arms sales, in which the US is requesting that exports to India, Pakistan, Russia, and the PRC be covered. The US had earlier this year also blocked the sale of the Phalcon system to the PRC.

The Indian Air Force is upgrading its Jaguar ground-attack jet fighter. The Indian Army is investigating the purchase of 200 field artillery targeting systems.

3. Military Doctrine

The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, India, published several essays on Indian security issues. In one essay, Vinod Anand argued that whatever of the outcome of the Kargil Review Committee Report, which is likely to show flaws in the national security decision making process, there is the capability of developing integration and joint interoperability among India’s military services. Ad hoc solutions would be disastrous compared to practiced joint precepts in a limited war environment.

A second IDSA essay, by Jyotsna Bakshi, argued that Russia provides better weapons deals to the PRC than to India, and Russian conventional weapons were being re-exported through the PRC or former Soviet republics to Pakistan. A third essay, by Farah Naaz, argued that India resumed relations with Israel in 1992 primarily for geopolitical reasons. Israel also provides India with the opportunity to diversify its arms purchases away from Russia without strings attached. India-Israeli relations have improved slowly, careful not to antagonize Muslim states, but it was not until India’s nuclear tests that the US began to oppose Israeli arms exports. The goal of indigenous production has not yet been realized, however.

4. Policy on Terrorism

Analysts in India argued that the Indian government cannot continue to ignore Afghanistan, particularly the role of Kashmiri militant camps and the Taliban. Pakistan has been recruiting militant groups in Afghanistan that remained after the Soviets pulled out. The members of the UN Security Council expressed concern that “There is a real danger that the Afghan territory is being used as a base to destabilize other countries in the region.”

An article in The Hindu by V Jayanth argued that India has made itself a “soft target” because it has released terrorists and criminals in order to trade for hostages or improve bilateral relations.

Several articles appeared in response to the BJP’s call to give the military free reign to pursue militants across the border. An army officer said that planning operations across the Line of Control are risky, and if the army began following militants across the border they could easily be led into a trap. Rather, India needs to do more to win over the Kashmiris rather than expanding opportunities for their victimization. An editorial in the Times of India pointed out that the hot pursuit of militants is practicable only in a situation where there is preponderance of force, which there is not with Pakistan and India both heavily guarding their borders, and even in the case of the Israeli army’s pursuit of the Hezbollah guerrillas there was little success. Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes ruled out pursuit of terrorists across the Line of Control because terrorist camps “are located in civilian enclaves.”

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, speaking about Turkey’s raids in Iraqi territory, stated that cross-border raids against terrorists were justified as long as they were limited in scope and are careful to protect civilians rights in the area.

5. Japan PM Visit

According to reports in the Japanese press, the governments of India and Japan have already agreed to create two joint panels, one consisting of business leaders and the other of government officials at the deputy or vice-ministerial level.

Japanese officials stated that Mori would announce an information technology initiative for India, and would suggest to the Indian government that the two countries institutionalize bilateral meetings between officials from the foreign and defense ministries in order to combat sea piracy in Southeast Asia. Japan’s relations with India have not been consistent over recent years, with movements largely dependent on the current government’s preference.

The PRC was likely to have one of the major topics of discussion between Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and Japanese PM Yoshiro Mori because the Japanese government is formulating its thinking on the PRC-India-Japan strategic triangle, argued Harvey Stockwin in the Times of India. He reported that Japan has been critical of the PRC recently, particularly regarding intrusions into Japan’s exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and the privatization of an airport built using Japanese loans.

The Hindu reported on statements by intelligence sources, which reported that Bangladesh is harboring camps for the ULFA, NDFB, and some Tripura militant groups. The sources also reported that the PRC and Bangladesh are providing arms to militant groups in Assam and the North-East.

6. Foreign Relations: Oman, Myanmar, Maldives

A 1,200 km pipeline planned as a US$2 billion joint venture between Oman Oil Corporation and the state-run Gas Authority of India was scrapped because of low reserves and because the underwater pipeline was not viable.

Indian Home secretary Kamal Pande will lead an Indian delegation to Myanmar to discuss border management issues.

The Maldives agreed to support India’s draft convention in terrorism, which will be taken up by the next session of the UN. India agreed to extend financial and technical assistance to the Maldives, including the continued provision of defense-related equipment and training.


Pakistan

1. Military Government

The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses published an essay by Smruti S. Pattanaik, who argued that the political history and the role of the armed forces in Pakistan make it apparent that decision making on foreign policy and security issues are the prerogative of the military and will remain so for some time. Pattanaik argued that the Kargil incident reinforced the primacy of the military in these areas and any future attempt to significantly reduce the military’s decision making influence will lead to a reassertion of military rule.

Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf reconstituted the National Security Council, with the former civilian members removed and replaced by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Interior, and Commerce for a total of seven members. Musharraf said that the NSC would oversee the general direction of the government on national issues and advise the cabinet on strategic issues. The cabinet was expanded by four members to sixteen.

The cabinet discussed implementation of the plan to devolve power to local governments. As part of his “pledge to restore real democracy, not sham democracy,” Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf offered more specifics regarding the devolution of power to local assemblies. Retired general Syed Tanvir Hussain Naqvi, Chairman of the National Reconstruction Bureau, announced that Musharraf would amend the constitution, reportedly in the context of the devolution plan.

2. Japan PM Visit

In addition to discussing the resumption of an India-Pakistan dialogue, signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, areas for new economic collaboration, and terrorism, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori was expected to express an interest in Pakistan’s upgrading of their small- and medium-sized enterprises, including value-added textile products.

It was reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori did not rule out a resumption of aid for either Pakistan or India if the other opposed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Mori said that the Japanese government would consider limited funding for select projects, but not the wide resumption of aid.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said that he emphasized to Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf, “the need to take steps for an early return to democracy, to control terrorism, and to create an environment conducive to the resumption of dialogue with India.”

3. Foreign Relations: PRC, Oman

Philip Saunders and Jing-dong Yuan argued that the PRC exports missile technology to Pakistan because it sees Pakistan as the underdog in need of support, and because doing so provides China with a bargaining chip to preclude the US from transferring Theater Missile Defense capabilities to Taiwan.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar met with Man Foreign Minister Yousef bin Alawi bin Abdullah and discussed issues of mutual interest, including Kashmir, Pakistan-India relations, Israel/Palestine, and bilateral economic cooperation.

4. World Bank

Pakistan’s The Dawn reported that the World Bank told Pakistan that it could not extend US$6 billion in loans for dam construction, because of the large debt Pakistan already owes, but that it supported the governments plan for devolution of power to local institutions. The World Bank clarified this report, saying that its official position on the dam project had not been requested, and that the World Bank reports generally support devolution of power, but does not speak specifically to the situation in Pakistan.

5. Missile Test

A Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman said that, contrary to reports, Pakistan did not test missiles over Baluchistan. The US-based Stratfor issued a report which said the streaks seen over Baluchistan could have been Ghauri-III missiles, which are based on the DPRK’s Taepo-dong I missile, which has a range of 1,800 miles and a payload-capacity of 200 pounds.


Kashmir

1. Hizbul Mujahideen Ceasefire

An article in the Times of India reported that intelligence officials believe that the conditions which led the Hizbul Mujahideen to offer a ceasefire would lead the Hizbul back to the negotiating table again. The intelligence officials also believe that a split in the Hizbul would be counterproductive. A senior security officer reported that Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin was upset at the greater level of support the Jaish-e-Mohammed had been receiving from Pakistan and sent commander Abdul Majid Dar to recuperate the Kashmiri-side of the Hizbul. Dar later declared the ceasefire.

Fazal Haq Qureshi, appointed by the Hizbul Mujahideen to be their principal negotiator with India, stated that Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin called him and said that he was willing to resume the dialogue with India and would be willing to include other militant groups in the talks. Pakistan must be involved in the talks, but it “is not practicable for Pakistan to be involved in the process initially.” He said that Salahuddin withdrew the ceasefire offer because the Indian government had no clear agenda.

Salahuddin later denied the statements by Qureshi and said there could be progress only if India accepted that the issue concerned the Kashmiris, India, and Pakistan. Salahuddin said that the Hizbul would cease operations against Indian troops if the government of India admitted that the Kashmir is a disputed territory and agreed to talks with Pakistan. He also said the earlier ceasefire offer had strengthened the position of Pakistan.

Abdul Majid Dar, the Jammu and Kashmir local Hizbul Mujahideen commander, said that a ceasefire would again be in force in two months. This statement is an apparent break from the Pakistan-based section of the group, though Dar did state that Pakistan would have to be involved with the talks. Dar said talks were being held with other militant groups to make the proposed ceasefire effective. He denied a break within the Hizbul.

Hizbul supreme commander Syed Salahuddin said Abdul Majid Dar had been misquoted and that Dar meant the “situation would be clear within two months.” Former All-Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that Dar had not consulted with Salahuddin prior to his recent statement and indicated there were differences within the Hizbul.

After a meeting in Pakistan-administered Kashmir chaired by supreme commander Syed Salahuddin, the Hizbul Mujahideen threatened to extend its armed struggle throughout India until the Indian government agreed to include Pakistan in talks over the Kashmir issue.

2. All-Parties Hurriyat Conference

All-Parties Hurriyat Conference Chief Abdul Ghani Bhatt proposed dividing the seven-member executive committee into two groups to hold talks separately with India and Pakistan in pursuit of a solution to the Kashmir issue.

Sources in the Indian government stated that the government views APHC Chief Abdul Ghani Bhatt’s offer as nothing new, and see it as a means to regain support after interfering in the Hizbul Mujahideen ceasefire offer. The author argued that fallout from the ceasefire incident has created confusion in Kashmir and that time is needed to sort things out before the peace process can move forward.

After the meeting of its executive council, the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference restated that only three-way talks between Pakistan, India, and Kashmiris can solve the Kashmir problem. The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman, Amanullah Khan, said that the APHC could not mediate the dispute between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir because it is not impartial.

3. Militant Groups

The Harkat-ul-Mujahideen said that talks with the Indian government were meaningless, and warned militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir from trying to supercede each other “in the race for talks” because only jehad could solve the issue.

All-Parties Hurriyat Conference chief Abdul Ghani Bhat and his predecessor, Syed ali Shah Geelani, met with Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yaseen Malik, in what the Indian government sees as a prelude to a second track of negotiations. The APHC is trying to regain its central position on the Kashmir issue, lost after the Hizbul Mujahideen ceasefire offer. However, Bhat and Geelani are reportedly at odds over the ceasefire issue, with Bhat regretting its withdrawal and Geelani regretting that a ceasefire was offered at all. The Hizbul is trying to capitalize on differences within the APHC.

Syed ali Shah Geelani stated that the ceasefire decision by the Hizbul Mujahideen was not made by the Hibul’s command council. This was disputed by Masood, a Hizbul commander and spokesman.

4. Commentary on Dialogue

India-administered Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah stated that the groundwork has been completed for talks between the government of India and the Hizbul Mujahideen.

An article by Harish Khare in The Hindu argued that while there were a number of missteps related to the Hizbul Mujahideen ceasefire offer, actors in India, Pakistan, and Jammu and Kashmir are so overwhelmed with the language of conflict that there had been no discussion of what resources to devote to peace talks should the opportunity arise. Khare argued that fundamentally different skills are needed for this role.

The Hizbul Mujahideen must find ways to deprive factions within the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference of their veto over peace, and with enough pressure the Hizbul can force the APHC “to fall in line with the popular mood.”

An article in Outlook India reported that despite the recent killings and other stumbling blocks, India and the Hizbul could soon resume talks. According to a JKLF leader, attacks against the APHC by the Hizbul are designed to restart such talks. Indications are that the Hizbul has not increased its militant activities as promised when it ended the ceasefire, and Indian security forces are careful to not antagonize Hizbul cadres.

Stanford University hosted a seminar on “Nuclear safety and security in South Asia” in Thailand on August 11-12, with participation by US, Indian, and Pakistani academics and government officials. They discussed their perspectives on nuclear decision-making and deterrence in South Asia, nuclear weapons safety, arms control verification technologies, confidence building measures, and future courses of action.

5. India-Iran Gas Pipeline

Iran had received assurances from Pakistan on the security of the proposed India-Iran gas pipeline after it had offered Pakistan increased transit fees if it issued a clear-cut guarantee for the pipeline’s security. India and Iran agreed to comprehensively address security concerns to ensure a continuous supply of gas through the proposed pipeline.

Pakistan recently caused some doubt about its position when it queried Iran on what kind of guarantee India was seeking. Pakistan created a special panel to pursue the project, which could go through Pakistan or be moved offshore.

6. India-Pakistan Diplomacy

Pakistan and India exchanged an expulsion of diplomats, with one expelled on each side. The Dawn stated that India was in violation of international and bilateral conventions on the treatment of diplomats.

The expulsions have reduced the chances for contact between Indian and Pakistani officials at the UN Millennium Conference.

A seven-member Pakistani team, led by retired Brigadier General Shaukat Qadir, traveled to India to meet with researchers at various research institutes. The trip would focus on “Nuclear Restraint and Risk Reduction: Measures in South Asia.”

7. Military Issues

Chief of the Indian Army General VP Malik stated that Pakistan was exploiting India’s internal differences, and that because of the proxy war Pakistan is engaging in, war between India and Pakistan is more likely than in the recent past.

New deployments by both India and Pakistan in the Dras region of the Kashmir may have violated post-Kargil agreements but do not materially alter either’s strategic advantage.

The Indian government is considering a plan to return to Kashmir about 58,000 Kashmiri Pandit migrants, currently in migrant camps in Delhi and Jammu. The Hizbul Mujahideen said that the plan to provide grants and compensation to rehabilitate settlements will not guarantee the migrants safety and that the Hizbul panned to use force to prevent implementation of the plan.

8. Recent Violence

As Jammu and Kashmir celebrated Independence Day, Pakistani troops shelled Indian positions, but events mostly passed peacefully due to tight security and there were no casualties. Pakistan-administered Kashmir observed a “black day” by militant groups to mark Indian Independence Day.

Three were killed in a clash between the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Hizbul Mujahideen militant groups. The Times of India reported that this incident demonstrated the rift between the local militants and foreign mercenaries that had been brought to the forefront by the Hizbul’s recent ceasefire offer.

The lull in cross-border firings and shelling by Pakistan and India, begun five weeks ago with the Hizbul Mujahideen ceasefire offer, has ended as both countries accused the other of violating the ceasefire. Pakistan and India traded accusations that forces attacked across the Line of Control.

Ongoing violence in Jammu and Kashmir left Indian security force soldiers and several militants dead. Militants destroyed several power transmission towers.


Sri Lanka

1. Parliamentary Elections

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved parliament six days early, giving the government an advantage in gearing up for the October 10 elections, which had been expected to take place in November.

The opposition United National Party argued against President Kumaratunga’s plan to make the next Parliament a “constituent assembly,” which would allow her to pass the draft constitution with a simple, rather than a two-thirds majority.

Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga said she would quit politics once the draft constitution was implemented and ethnic conflict with the Tamils was resolved. Her People’s Alliance party faced setbacks in local councils, threatening the upcoming elections.

2. LTTE

After receiving information that the Tamil Tigers were regrouping to retake the Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lankan Air Force aircraft intensified strikes on LTTE bases. Analysts reported that the LTTE may try to retake control of the Jaffna Peninsula in order to cast a larger shadow over the upcoming elections; in 1994 they prevented all but 3 percent of eligible voters from going to the polls in areas they controlled.


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