SANDNet Weekly Update, January 26, 2000

Hello! The below report is written in English. To translate the full report, please use the translator in the top right corner of the page. Do not show me this notice in the future.

Recommended Citation

SANDNet, "SANDNet Weekly Update, January 26, 2000", SANDNet, January 26, 2000, https://nautilus.org/sandnet/sandnet-weekly-update-january-26-2000/

CONTENTS
January 26, 2000

Pakistan

1. Nuclear and Security Policies
2. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
3. Pakistan-U.S. Relations
4. Pakistan-China Relations

India

5. CTBT
6. India-U.S. Relations
7. India-China Relations
8. Foreign Relations
9. Military Technology
10. Security Planning

Kashmir

11. Military Interactions
12. Political Statements
13. Mutual Diplomatic Expulsions
14. International Diplomatic Comments
15. Indian Domestic Politics and Kashmir

Bangladesh

16. Security Planning
17. Bangladesh-India Relations

Sri Lanka

18. Constitutional Negotiations
19. Foreign Relations


Pakistan

1. Nuclear and Security Policies

Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf clarified Pakistan’s nuclear policy following meetings with China’s President, Jiang Zemin. Musharraf said that “any sane person would not like to see nuclear bombs being used … it would be used only as an absolutely last resort, when the security and integrity of Pakistan is at stake.”

Chief Executive Musharraf put South Asian terrorism in both a global and Kashmir-specific context saying that, just as terrorism in Ireland and Palestine declined after the “core issue had been tackled, … I am sure that we will be attacking the root of terrorism [in South Asia] if we address this core issue [of Kashmir] with sincerity.” A Dawn (Lahore) news analysis suggested that Pakistan might be affected by a new United Nations convention on terrorists. Unnamed experts said that nearly every clause in the convention would be applicable because “Pakistan officially provides moral, diplomatic, and political support to Kashmiri freedom fighters.”

2. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

The Pakistani Cabinet has decided to initiate a three-phase program to devise Pakistan’s position regarding CTBT signature. According to Javed Jabbar, advisor to the chief executive, Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar would first place the CTBT’s pros and cons before the nation. The government would then initiate a debate on Pakistani television and radio by inviting opinion leaders and representatives of a cross-section of society to express their views. Finally, the government would take a decision in the best national interest.

3. Pakistan-U.S. Relations

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, Karl Inderfurth, met Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf, Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, and Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan in Islamabad. Without giving details, Inderfurth insisted that Musharraf provide a timetable for the restoration of democracy, “take steps against extremists,” and “use [his] influence with the Taliban to have Bin Laden expelled.” Abdul Sattar responded, in part, that South Asia would remain “mired in conflict” as long as the Kashmir dispute remained unresolved.

Four U.S. Senators, led by Tom Dasche, completed their trip to Pakistan with a statement that emphasized “five key principles that must be addressed by the current Pakistani leadership:” the threat of terrorism; a timetable for restoration of democracy; economic reforms; CTBT signature; and political, religious, and economic freedoms.

A Times of India (New Delhi) editorial argued that Pakistan is using nuclear blackmail to hold the U.S. hostage to Pakistan’s “irrational behavior.”

4. Pakistan-China Relations

Following his two-day visit to Beijing, Chinese Parliament president Li Peng said that “the friendship between China and Pakistan is one that can stand the test of history.” Li added that China is “very concerned” about events in South Asia, and Premier Zhu Rongji expected that the two countries’ “comprehensive partnership” would continue to evolve.


India

5. CTBT

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth stated in Islamabad that Washington is not negotiating “any secret deal” with New Delhi in exchange for India’s signature on the CTBT.

6. India-U.S. Relations

A widely-reported New York Times “Week in Review” story argues that nuclear weapons appear to have raised the risk of limited wars that might spiral out of control.

In anticipation of his visit to India in March and on the occasion of an Indian Republic Day banquet, U.S. President Bill Clinton said that “our partnership will be even more important in the years ahead … [Republic Day] is also a powerful reminder of our shared values and reverence for freedom and belief in democracy and a conviction that, working together, we can make the world a safer and better place for our children.” An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson reiterated that India’s talks with the United States were guided by New Delhi’s stand on possessing a minimum nuclear deterrent. This statement was in response to last week’s statement by John Holum, a U.S. advisor on nuclear proliferation, that India would never enter into the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty as a nuclear weapons state.

7. India-China Relations

Chinese Ambassador to India Zhou Gang accused the United States of trying to upset the “international strategic equilibrium.” He called for stronger ties between India and China. China’s muted response to the Karampa Monk issue is analyzed by Yukteshwar Kumar in an extended Outlook article.

8. Foreign Relations

Russia’s deputy prime minister Viktor Khristenko announced that “whoever is elected president at the March 26 polls will visit India in the summer of 2000 for the purpose of signing a bilateral strategic partnership declaration.”

9. Military Technology

Statements of India’s military strength are a traditional aspect of Republic Day festivities on January 26. Assistant Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral S.C.S. Bangara, reported that a stealth frigate will be completed in four or five years and an air defense ship will be inducted into the navy in eight years. Principal Scientific Advisor, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, predicted that “unmanned air vehicles” would replace fighter jets within a decade. He also urged Indian scientists to continue to push the research envelope, saying that “low aim is a crime.” A. Sivathanu Pillai, chief controller of Research and Development at the Defence Research and Development Organization, announced the successful test of a “fire and forget” anti-tank missile guided by imaging infra-red seeker and millimetric wave seeker technologies.

A deal to provide 60 British Hawk advanced jet trainers to India has been slowed by the British Government, which has subjected the deal to a full review.

10. Security Planning

India’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Savitri Kunadi, opposed Pakistan’s stand that regional and sub-regional disarmament must be pursued simultaneously with international disarmament governed by the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

In a continuation of Indian charges of Pakistani support of terrorism, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee charged Pakistan with backing insurgents in northeast India. Subrata Nagchoudhury illustrates the impact on individual citizens of generalized anti-terrorist vigilance.


Kashmir

11. Military Interactions

By all accounts, a serious border skirmish occurred near the Line of Control on January 22-23. Pakistan and India each claim that the other staged the attack and crossed the Line of Control. Chief Executive Musharraf issued a stern warning to India; Prime Minister Vajpayee responded that India is “ready for war.”

12. Political Statements

Pakistan Chief Executive Musharraf said that India and Pakistan should solve the Kashmir issue as a necessary first step toward addressing South Asian terrorism more generally. Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh reiterated that dialogue would be impossible until Islamabad “created a proper environment by abjuring violence, giving up encouragement to cross-border terrorism, and ending the daily cry of jihad against India.” A Manoj Joshi analysis in the Times of India argues that India will not effectively address the insurgency problem unless it “enhances the quality, not quantity, of force deployed” in Kashmir. The Frontline weekly devotes seven articles to an analysis of the recent Kashmir tensions.

13. Mutual Diplomatic Expulsions

Pakistan expelled Indian High Commission staff member P. Moses, alleging that he possessed 50,000 rupees and a bomb. India claimed that Moses was framed and expelled a Pakistan High Commission staff member, Akbar Zeb, for “indulging in activities incompatible with his official status.”

14. International Diplomatic Comments

China’s diplomatic comments regarding Kashmir were sufficiently vague that Four South Asian newspapers interpreted the same set of Chinese diplomatic statements, made on the occasion of Chief Executive Musharraf’s visit to Beijing, in very different ways.

Peter Hain, British Minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said that “Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism is proving to be an enormous threat to the stability of Kashmir … We particularly look to General Musharraf, who is widely seen as the author of the Kargil incident last year, to ensure that nothing like that ever happens again.” According to the Hindustan Times (Delhi), this was “the most unequivocal charge against Islamabad” to date in the House of Commons.

Chief Executive Musharraf said that the U.S. can make a serious contribution to South Asia by expediting a just and fair settlement of the core issue of Kashmir. Four U.S. senators, led by Tom Dasche, issued a statement that “the United States must continue to become increasingly involved in resolving the Kashmir dispute.” (For a more complete analysis of the Dasche statement, see item #3 above).

15. Indian Domestic Politics and Kashmir

Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, endorsed a report that recommends full restoration of the 1952 autonomous status to the State (the Indian central government would retain responsibility for defense, communications, and external affairs). Consultations with the central government regarding the report are scheduled to begin this week. Another autonomy demand, this time for a centrally administered state for Hindu pandits in the Kashmir Valley, was presented by the Indian American Kashmir Forum.


Bangladesh

16. Security Planning

In response to a question in Parliament, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that her government has no plan to reduce its defense budget. The government approved a new law to curb domestic terrorist activities. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party expressed concern that the law would be used to stifle legitimate activities by opposition parties.

17. Bangladesh-India Relations

Bangladesh and India agreed to increase agricultural, bus service, and railway cooperation.


Sri Lanka

18. Constitutional Negotiations

Recently elected President Chandrika Kumaratunga has set a three-month deadline for finalizing Sri Lanka’s new Constitution. Consultations with constitutional experts, opposition parties, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will begin immediately.

19. Foreign Relations

The London-based human rights organization, Article 19, has called on the Sri Lankan government to stop pressuring and harassing media institutes and media personnel. Last week the government, through the official media, accused two journalists of involvement in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Chandrika and install a military regime. No evidence was provided to support the allegation.

The Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionary Liberation Front said that New Delhi has a “moral right and obligation” to participate in the search for a just political solution to the problem of Tamil-Sinhala ethnic difficulties in Sri Lanka.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.