January 3, 2002
Volume 3, #1
Pakistan and India exchanged lists of their nuclear installations and facilities. Under a bilateral agreement the two countries are required to exchange updated lists of nuclear their facilities on January 1st of every year.
“Islamabad, Delhi exchange lists on N-facilities”
According to a Reuters’ report, US air strikes killed more than 100 civilians in Eastern Afghanistan. The chairman of Afghanistan’s interim government, Hamid Karzai, expressed his support of the continuing US air strikes. At the same time, however, he also voiced his concerns about civilian casualties.
“100 die as US bombs Paktia”
An advance party of senior officials from 17 countries contributing to a peacekeeping force in Afghanistan has arrived in Kabul. Former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani believes that there is no further need for US forces to remain in Afghanistan.
According to unconfirmed reports, about 150 arrested bin Laden followers will be shifted from a Pakistani jail to a US prison camp in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar for more intensive interrogation. A report in al Ahram Weekly, Egypt, examines the situation of thousands of prisoners in Afghanistan who are being kept in prisons that are not subject to outside supervision.
Afghan officials in Kandahar are reportedly negotiating a peaceful capture of Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar.
According to UNHCR Spokesperson Fatoumata Kaba, 4,000 to 5,000 Afghans are stranded in no-man’s land at the Pakistan-Afghan border. The number of refugees trying to cross into Pakistan has increased recently.
Pakistan authorities have arrested about 100 officials and activists of two Kashmiri militant groups accused of involvement in last month’s attack on the Indian parliament. In a related development, Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf has ordered the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to cut off backing for Islamic militant groups fighting in the disputed territory of Kashmir. Pakistan’s major religious parties have announced the formation of an alliance to contest general elections scheduled to be held in October 2002.
“100 LT, Jaish men held”
Jassim Taui’s essay in the Frontier Post, a Pakistan daily, examines multiple domestic and external pressures on Pakistan and offers some suggestions for President Musharraf.
In the aftermath of December 13th attack on the Indian Parliament, Pakistan and India have moved their armed forces to the frontlines. Pakistan has, reportedly, also shifted some of its troop from its Afghan border to the eastern front with India. All travel links between the two countries has also been suspended.
“Deployment completed, says Delhi”
“Air, train travel comes to an end”
Both India and Pakistan down played the apparent easing of tensions between the two countries. Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has stated that “whatever weapons we get, we will use it fully for our self -defence, and if the attacker dies in the process, it is his problem, not ours.” He also ruled out talks with Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf in Katmandu, Nepal, where the leaders of South Asian countries are gathered for a summit meeting. Pakistan has rejected India’s demand that Pakistani individuals allegedly involved in the attack on Indian Parliament should be handed over to India.
“Border with India still explosive, says Pakistan”
Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf made a short visit to China on his way to seven-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting in Katmandu, Nepal. China has urged Pakistan and India to show “utmost restraint.” Over 150 journalists from South Asian countries attending the SAARC conference have urged India and Pakistan to resolve the current crisis peacefully.
“China urges utmost restraint”
“Musharraf leaves for Beijing tomorrow”
A report in Frontline, an Indian magazine, gives background information on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), one of the two groups accused of carrying the attack on Indian Parliament. Meanwhile, JeM has announced that it is moving its offices to Indian Kashmir to escape a crackdown by Pakistani authorities.
“Jaish moving offices to held Kashmir”
The Far Eastern Economic Review interviewed Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes about the current crisis in South Asia.
Writing for the Asia Times, Sultan Shahin suggests that “there is a growing feeling among ruling Hindu fundamentalist circles that an opportunity such as the present one to strike against Pakistan may not come again.”
“Too good an opportunity to miss”
Journalists Ahmed Rashid and Joanna Slater believe that if India and Pakistan could resolve the current conflict then there may be a possibility of “real progress on long standing issues” between the two countries.
In his essay for the Asia Times, Nadeem Malik argues that too much softening of his stance vis-a-vis India could cost President Prevez Musharraf dearly.
“Moving the goalposts for peace”
Writing for the daily News, Pakistan, M. B. Naqvi argues that the immediate political costs of the current conflict are “borne by secular democratic parties and forces in India.” Sukumar Muralidharan’s essay in Frontline, an Indian magazine, suggests that “India’s response to December 13, and its growing association with the U.S.-Israel strategic nexus, poses a serious threat to its credentials as a democratic polity.”
A policeman was killed when militants set off grenade explosions in the vicinity of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly building. Many more people died as violence continued in the Valley. An account in the Frontline magazine of a trek to Wadwan, a “liberated zone” in the heights of Jammu and Kashmir describes the political condition in a remote part of Kashmir.
“11 killed in Kashmir violence”
“15 killed in Kashmir violence”