SANDNet Weekly Update, December 7, 2000

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SANDNet, "SANDNet Weekly Update, December 7, 2000", SANDNet, December 07, 2000, https://nautilus.org/sandnet/sandnet-weekly-update-december-7-2000/

CONTENTS
December 7, 2000

India

1. PRC Missile Technology Controls
2. India-PRC Relations
3. India-Israel Security Relations
4. Iraqi Sanctions Deal
5. Russian Military Materiel
6. Indian Security Policy
7. India-Southeast Asian Relations

Pakistan

1. Nuclear Policy
2. IMF Loan
3. PRC Military Materiel
4. US Fighter Plane Refund
5. Military Regime
6. Pakistan-India Trade

India Ceasefire

1. Overview on Indian Ceasefire
2. Indian Ceasefire Statements
3. Pakistan Response to Ceasefire
4. Jammu and Kashmir Group Responses
5. Other Responses to Ceasefire
6. India-Pakistan Dialogue
7. Commentary on Ceasefire

Kashmir

1. Pakistan-Administered Kashmir

Sri Lanka

1. LTTE Ceasefire Offer
2. LTTE Violence
3. Norwegian Peace Efforts
4. Editorial Commentary


India

1. PRC Missile Technology Controls

Sonika Gupta, a research officer at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, argues that the recent agreement by the PRC to better control missile technology exports is the result of US engagement oriented towards bringing the PRC into the political mainstream. Gupta also states that the deal may signal a weakening of the PRC-Pakistan defense relationship, but that India should focus the India-PRC relationship upon their border problems and military-to-military confidence building measures.

Arpit Rajain, a research officer at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, argues that despite the recent PRC assurances on missile technology exports, Pakistan will remain dependant on the PRC in this area, triggering new arms races and blocking international disarmament and nonproliferation efforts.

2. India-PRC Relations

PRC Foreign Minister Zhang Qiyue stated that the economic development of neither India nor the PRC was the threat to the other. He said, “China’s development does not constitute a threat to any country, including India. We are confident that India’s development, similarly, does not constitute a threat to China.”

Kenneth Totty, US Naval Reserve, was quoted in the US Joint Forces quarterly as stating that Pakistan was unnecessarily obsessed with India as a threat, but India’s security concern with the PRC is justified.

3. India-Israel Security Relations

Foreign ministry officials from India and Israel are discussing a mechanism for counter-terrorism activities as well as other areas of bilateral concern.

The Dawn reported that the visit of Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan was overshadowed by the Israeli announcement that it would deliver remote-controlled unmanned surveillance aircraft to India. The Dawn argued that this may represent an Israeli-Indian “collusion against Islam” and affects the prospects for the Kashmir ceasefire.

4. Iraqi Sanctions Deal

Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan visited India, and concluded an understanding involving oil exploration and supply contracts in exchange for support for lifting sanctions imposed on Iraq. Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh has called for lifting sanctions in tandem with Iraqi compliance with UN resolutions.

5. Russian Military Materiel

The Times of India quoted a Moscow radio report that stated that Russia will deliver 40 Su-30Mk1 fighter jets to India by 2004. The planes are already being tested and are in serial production.

6. Indian Security Policy

An editorial in the Times of India argues that while the history of the 1971 India-Pakistan War published by the Times of India on its website reveals a specific situation that is unlikely to repeat itself, it reveals certain failures by India in intelligence and preparation that should be avoided in the future.

7. India-Southeast Asian Relations

An article in The Hindu reported that while the ASEAN+3 grouping (the Association of South East Asian Nations, Japan, the PRC, and the ROK) is developing as an exclusive pan-East Asia caucus, the exclusion of India from the body is somewhat disheartening to India when taken as an indicator of it global significance.

Ravi Arvind Palat, a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University, argues that the exclusion of India from ASEAN+3 is comparable to India’s exclusion from the annual Asia-Europe meetings (ASEM). Palat argues that India’s significance has greater salience than that of ASEAN to the emerging definition of Asia.


Pakistan

1. Nuclear Policy

The Strategic Plans Division of Pakistan’s National Command Authority completed one of several reviews this year of various areas of Pakistani nuclear policy, including threat perceptions, strategic organization restructuring, and export control mechanisms.

2. IMF Loan

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a US$596 million loan to Pakistan, which needed the loan due to capital outflows and large debt servicing payments, after Pakistan committed itself to following an agreed economic program. The most recent IMF program in Pakistan was canceled in 1999 because of Pakistan’s failure to follow the requirements. The loan will help Pakistan qualify for assistance from other sources.

3. PRC Military Materiel

Pakistan is expected to sign a contract with the PRC to purchase 60 F-7 MG intercept fighters, three squadrons worth, to be used as a second line of defense. Pakistan had been expected to order only 40 planes, but increased the order to phase out aging F-16s.

4. US Fighter Plane Refund

Upon requesting that the US return US$140 million transferred to the US to pay for F-16 fighter jets, Pakistan found that US$60 million had been deducted to pay for 400,000 tons of wheat provided by the US in 1999 under an aid program. US Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth explained the deduction in a letter to Ambassador to the US Maleeha Lodhi. Pakistani foreign office officials had considered the wheat as “aid” and not as a “purchase,” but conceded this point after talks with US officials.

An editorial in The Dawn reported that Pakistan agreed to pay more than double the international shipping market rate for wheat and soy beans delivered to Pakistan, which therefore cost Pakistan US$80 million rather than a market rate US$32 million. Officials in the Pakistani government are attempting to place blame on the government of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, though it is not certain that this is the case. The Dawn also reported that there are criticisms that of the several ministries that knew of the deal, none informed Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf.

5. Military Regime

The Pakistan Muslim League and the Pakistan People’s Party-led Grand Democratic Alliance opposition parties are reported by the Times of India as coming together to oppose the military regime. These and other groups reportedly see contesting the upcoming local elections as a means to forcing larger participation at the national level. It was reported that the coalition will include sixteen other parties and that they will press for an end to the military regime and a return to democracy.

6. Pakistan-India Trade

India’s Lok Sabha lower house was informed by Food Minister Shanta Kumar that Pakistan had imported 100,000 tons of sugar this year, but that Pakistani traders were complaining of low quality.


India Ceasefire

1. Overview on Indian Ceasefire

The ceasefire in Kashmir began last Tuesday, and the Times of India reported that 16 people were killed and 25 injured in terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Army in Kashmir has suspended all combat operations in Jammu and Kashmir and has been restricted to passive and reactive actions, except in infiltration attempts and self-defense.

Indian security forces have attempted to make contact with militant groups in Kashmir to facilitate the resumption of talks.

A Times of India article by Law Kumar Mishra argued that though security forces in Kashmir are still frisking people and searching vehicles, they are “trying to earn the goodwill of the local people.”

2. Indian Ceasefire Statements

Indian Home Minister L.K. Advani said the ceasefire was a “calculated risk” and said that the peace initiative was addressed not only to militants in Jammu and Kashmir, but also to Pakistan. Advani called on Pakistan to resolve all disputes under the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration, but also stated the usual Indian preconditions to talks: Pakistan should end cross-border violence and stop supporting terrorist activities. Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee made statements similar to those made by Advani.

Shiv Sena party leader Bal Thackeray, after softening his stance last week, again called on the central government to reconsider the ceasefire.

Indian Chief of Army Staff General S. Padmanabhan stated that the unilateral ceasefire was not a sign of weakness. He also stated that the ceasefire does not make the army vulnerable or demoralized.

Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee stated that the ceasefire could be extended, provided that Pakistan responds in a substantial way. He said Pakistan’s offer of restraint along the Line of Control was “good, but not substantive.”

3. Pakistan Response to Ceasefire

At the request of the Indian Border Security Forces, Pakistan Ranger border patrol forces have agreed not to fire on civilians on the Indian side of the border.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Inamul Haq stated that Pakistan had ordered a ceasefire of its own along the line of control, and stated that troops “will observe maximum restraint.” Haq also invited the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to visit for consultations and asked that India also invite the APHC for consultations. B. Muralidhar Reddy, writing in The Hindu, argued that this was a response to pressure by the United States and others.

A Times of India essay by Dinesh Kumar and Seema Guha argued that the recent statement by Pakistan Foreign Secretary Inamul Haq was the “first positive sign out of Islamabad since Kargil.” An essay in The Hindu by C. Raja Mohan argued that a breakthrough depends more on what Pakistan does “on the ground” in Kashmir than what it says. The Times of India reported that Indian Army sources stated that the border has been relatively quiet, with few exchanges of fire.

Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes said that Pakistan’s offer of restraint along the Line of Control was insufficient for launching peace talks. He reiterated that Pakistan was stop supporting cross-border terrorism.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar stated that India should participate in three-party talks before the end of its announced ceasefire. Sattar said that “before India threatens to resume violence in the state,” it should permit a delegation of Kashmiris from the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference to travel to Pakistan for talks and then invite the delegation to talks with the Indian government; this should then be followed by tripartite talks.

4. Jammu and Kashmir Group Responses

Mohammed Mumtaz Khan, a leader of the Pakistan-administered Kashmir group Kashmir People’s National Party, stated that Pakistan should respond positively to the Indian ceasefire and should reign in militant groups acting from Pakistan. However, Khan also stated that because of the disaggregated structure of militancy in Pakistan, “a favorable response from Islamabad to the ceasefire in unlikely.”

Pro-Pakistan Kashmiri leader Sardar Abdul Qayyum was reported in the Times of India to have stated support for the Indian unilateral ceasefire and said, “We should not miss the opportunity.”

The Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for an attack on Indian soldiers and pledged attacks would continue despite the Indian ceasefire. The Hizbul wants India to acknowledge Kashmir as a disputed territory, the necessity of including Pakistan and Kashmiris in talks, and that Kashmiris themselves would ultimately decide their own future. Hizbul leader Masood later stated that the Hizbul had not completely rejected the ceasefire and was waiting for the Indian government to “show a reasonable and realistic attitude.”

Nazir ul Haq, founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and a senior Pakistan-administered Kashmir leader, stated support for the ceasefire and called for Pakistan to support the ceasefire “irrespective of risks.”

Khwaja Abdul Ghani Lone, an All-Parties Hurriyat Conference leader and head of the Jammu Kashmir People’s Conference, said that Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee needed to do more for the peace initiative, and suggested Vajpayee state that Kashmir is a disputed territory and that resolution would be through tripartite talks. All-Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Abdul Gani Bhat stated that the APHC had not withdrawn its support for the ceasefire.

5. Other Responses to Ceasefire

The Indian unilateral ceasefire received support from international leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and the PRC Foreign Ministry

US Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth stated that the Clinton administration views the ceasefire initiative as worthy of a response from Kashmiri militant groups. Inderfurth also stated that, because of the Kargil incident, “A demonstration by Pakistan of its sincerity that it wants to resume the dialogue and go back to the Lahore process would be an appropriate step to take.” Iraq also called on Pakistan to reciprocate India’s ceasefire.

6. India-Pakistan Dialogue

Indian Junior Minister of Industry and Commerce Omar Abdullah stated that the Indian government was willing to talk with the Hizbul Mujahideen and the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference but would not engage in tripartite talks with Pakistan until “they create conditions conducive for a dialogue.”

Jammu and Kashmir state chief minister Farooq Abdullah, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Karl Inderfurth, and Pakistani-American negotiator Mansoor Ijaz stated their belief that the ceasefire could lead to talks between India and Pakistan over a resolution of the Kashmir debate.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Inamul Haque dismissed as speculative reports that Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf was to meet with Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee in New Delhi.

7. Commentary on Ceasefire

An editorial in the Times of India argued that the ceasefire creates an opportunity for Pakistan to persuade militant groups to suspend cross-border violence, but that the ceasefire is also in India’s inherent interest because it improves its credibility with local Kashmiris.

An editorial in The Dawn argued that, since Pakistan has always voiced support for Kashmiri self-determination, if Kashmiris want to engage in talks under the ceasefire, then Pakistan should not stand in the way.


Kashmir

1. Pakistan-Administered Kashmir

Mohammed Mumtaz Khan, a leader in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir area of Rawalakote, stated that conditions in Pakistan-administered Kashmir were worse than that in India-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Khan stated that the region is significantly under-developed compared to the Indian side and is a training ground for militants.


Sri Lanka

1. LTTE Ceasefire Offer

Liberation Tiger Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran stated that the LTTE was prepared for unconditional talks, and proposed a cessation of violence before beginning talks. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake stated that there would be no ceasefire until the LTTE “enters the democratic process.”

The opposition United National Party and the Tamil United Liberation Front urged the Sri Lankan government to quickly accept the LTTE offer of unconditional talks.

2. LTTE Violence

The LTTE broke a two-day ceasefire and fired mortars at Sri Lankan troops. The LTTE had agreed to the ceasefire so that aid workers could immunize children against polio.

3. Norwegian Peace Efforts

Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim has released a schedule he created for de-escalation of violence between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government. The schedule outlines a step-by-step, reciprocal process.

4. Editorial Commentary

An editorial in The Dawn pointed to the real possibility for peace in Sri Lanka, but also pointed to obstacles that still remain.


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