July 17, 2001
Volume 2, #29
Shivaji Mukherjee argues in an essay for the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi that, India and the PRC share other similarities in their nuclear doctrines besides both adopting a No-First-Use (NFU) policy. Mukherjee states that some analysts argue that the PRC has been moving from a minimum deterrent towards a limited deterrent force. Mukherjee argues the a NFU policy reflects strong internal norms and values regarding a nation’s strategy, despite a Western bias towards perceiving a NFU policy as unverifiable and easily reversible.
P.K. Gosh, a Research Fellow with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, criticizes Pakistan’s avowed goal of maintaining nuclear parity with India. Gosh argues that “nuclear parity is a multi-dimensional concept” that is “difficult to assess correctly” because of secrecy and a large number of relevant variables. Further, Gosh argues, seeking parity does not assist in reducing the level of deterrence or reducing tensions. Gosh concludes by arguing that it is in India’s interest to look beyond Pakistan and to slowly and quietly build a deterrent force against the PRC.
The Dawn published the first three days of the itinerary for Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf during his visit to India for the summit with Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee. Seema Guha writes in the Times of India that during his first day in India, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf made a number of courtesy calls and received a warm welcome in India.
The Dawn published the text of a statement made by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf upon his arrival in India. Outlook India published the full text of the statement by Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee at the outset of the summit. In his statement, Vajpayee spoke of the government’s intent to continue to resist cross-border terrorism, and that this issue must be addressed during discussions of the two countries’ differences on Jammu and Kashmir.
The Times of India reports that the mood in New Delhi was positive and remained hopeful for progress after the completion of two meetings between the Indian and Pakistani leaders. On Monday, July 16, Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf were to meet for a third time in an attempt to resolve the text of a joint declaration from the summit. They met for 105 minutes Sunday morning and for one hour Sunday evening. The Dawn reports that India is reluctant to “recognize the centrality of the Kashmir issue” and does not want to mention aspirations of Kashmiris in the declaration. Pakistan has also reportedly requested the inclusion of language that referred to the need to have the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference included in future talks on Kashmir. The Dawn also reported that a Pakistan government spokesperson stated that Musharraf made it clear to Vajpayee that there could be no normalization of relations between their countries until the Kashmir issue was resolved.
Pakistan and India could not agree on a joint statement as the summit came to a close and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf returned home. Spokespeople for both countries described the talks as “cordial, frank and constructive.” However, the two delegations reportedly stood by their core respective issues of Kashmir and cross-border terrorism. Musharraf delayed his departure as the two leaders met for a fourth time just before midnight on Monday. Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokeswoman Nirupama Rao confirmed that agreement on a joint statement was not reached by the conclusion of the India-Pakistan summit. Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee reiterated his intention to visit Pakistan later this year.
Indian Minister of External Affairs and of Defense Jaswant Singh expressed regret that the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference was invited to a tea party for Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in New Delhi. The constituent parties of the National Democratic Alliance, including convener George Fernandes, decided to boycott the tea for this reason.
During a 25-minute meeting with the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference on the sidelines of the tea party, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf promised continued support for Kashmiri militancy. All-Parties Hurriyat Conference leader Ali Shah Geelani described the talks as useful.
The All-Parties Hurriyat Conference held a one-day strike in Kashmir to commemorate Martyr’s Day on the day prior to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s arrival in New Delhi for the summit. Police in Kashmir placed APHC leader Abdul Gani Lone under house arrest to prevent him from leading a protest on Martyr’s Day, but he was allowed to later fly to New Delhi for the tea party with Musharraf.
In an interview prior to the summit, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf stated that Kashmir is the main issue to be discussed at the summit. He also stated that the Line of Control was a part of the problem and was not contributing to a solution in Kashmir.
‘LoC Is The Problem, Not The Solution’
Pakistan government spokesman Major General Rashid Qureshi denied reports that Pakistan held Indian prisoners of war. He said that 196 Indian fishermen had been released from custody recently, and that of 135 Indians detained in prisons, seventy-one had completed their sentences and were awaiting deportation.
“Musharraf says no bargain on Kashmir: Prince Abdullah,: Al Nahyan consulted”
The Indian Council for Social Science Research held a two-day conference at which participants stressed the need for the (now concluded) summit to agree on specific confidence building measures between India and Pakistan. They recommended specific contacts between civil society groups, easing of media reporting and an easing of visa regulations to facilitate exchanges and contacts. Pakistani delegates were reportedly critical of Pakistani legislators for their “scant regard for democratic process.”
An editorial in the Times of India by Ayesha Haroon argues that India’s high defense spending creates a regional problem by forcing India’s neighbors to also spend on defense, as evidenced by the arms inflow into Sri Lanka and the India-Bangladesh border skirmish. Haroon also argues that India’s pre-summit goodwill gestures, such as freeing Pakistani fishermen and offering scholarships, have no relevance to solving the essential issues in India-Pakistan bilateral relations. Haroon advocates the inclusion of Kashmiri groups in the talks.
Dileep Padgaonkar argues in the Times of India that, while the Pakistani press may believe that India was forced by gains by the militancy to invite Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, Musharraf will need to agree that Kashmir can be discussed only within the larger context of India-Pakistan relations. Padgoankar also argues India must address the alienation of Kashmiris.
Retired Major General Ashok Krishna, Deputy Director of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, provides a historical rationale for why Pakistan does not have a claim upon Kashmir. Krishna relates that Indian political leaders, rejecting independence for Kashmir, wanted the Kashmiris to decide to link their future to either Pakistan or India through a plebiscite, as had been done in other Princely states. Krishna states that it is with the Kashmiri Maharaja’s plea to India for assistance in repelling an armed invasion from Pakistan in 1947 that Kashmir acceded to India, permitting India to legally repel the Pakistani force. As a result, Kashmir is divided along the ceasefire Line of Control.
Seema Guha writes in the Times of India that both Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf seek to rewrite history on their own terms, with the positions of the countries they represent remaining fixed regarding Kashmir. Pakistan maintains that Kashmir is the primary issue while India argues that there are many other issues, including Pakistan’s sponsorship of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
Prem Shankar Jha writes in Outlook India that India’s pre-summit strategy of new concessions has led Pakistan to believe that India will focus on Kashmir last.
“The Moment Of Truth”
As Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf began his visit to India, Indian and Pakistani forces along the Line of Control traded fire, though no casualties were reported. The Dawn reported that an Indian spokesman blamed Pakistani troops for initiating the attack.
The Jammu and Kashmir state government, to counter allegations of excessive force by Indian security forces, released a statement which said 9,684 civilians had been killed by militants since 1989, including 585 women and 97 children.
Indian Home Minister L.K. Advani reportedly proposed to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf during a 25-minute meeting that the two countries sign an extradition treaty in order to cope with criminals who commit crimes and slip across the border, taking advantage of their strained relations.
In meetings with the leadership of his National Democratic Alliance party, Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee received support for engaging Pakistan. Vajpayee also sought several unilateral steps in advance of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s arrival in India, including the easing of travel for Pakistanis seeking to visit India, approval to send a military official to Pakistan to discuss reduction of tensions along the Line of Control, and the creation of an experts group meeting for nuclear risk reduction. Vajpayee also expressed an interest in the talks continuing after the now concluded summit.
Former Defense Minister George Fernandes stated that the idea of withdrawing troops from along the Line of Control in Siachen does not appeal to him. He also stated that there has been too much hype in anticipation of the summit and that even a roadmap to discussing bilateral issues would be a major summit achievement.
As Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf began his visit to India, Indian defense officials announced that India had begun the phased withdrawal of 20,000 troops from along the Line of Control. It was reported that 10,000 troops would be withdrawn within a week and the remaining 10,000 within the next month. Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar stated that Pakistan had not been informed of any troop withdrawals. India currently has 200,000 troops deployed along the border shared with Pakistan.
PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said, “We hope to further strengthen the cooperation with Russia and India,” apparently revising its previous inhibitions against forming a strategic triangle between the three countries.
P.A. Mathew, a Research Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, writes that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, formerly known as the Shanghai Five, will be an effective tool for promoting regional cooperation that will focus on coping with Islamic fundamentalism.
G.V.C. Naidu, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, writes in a new essay that the uncertainties created by a multipolar Asia means that a combination of balance of power and multilateral mechanisms must evolve in the Asia-Pacific, but that India can play a role as one of the poles of power.
Prior to traveling to India for the summit, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf stated that he was going with the intention of finding a resolution to the Kashmir issue. He said, “The entire world’s attention is focused on this dialogue. So I only hope that we achieve progress in the dialogue towards resolution of the core dispute of Kashmir.” He also stated that no one in Pakistan, including himself, could accept the Line of Control as permanent.
The US Senate confirmed the appointment of Wendy Chamberlain, formerly the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, as US Ambassador to Pakistan. Due to the lateness of her appointment, monitoring of the Vajpayee-Musharraf summit will be the responsibility of outgoing US Ambassador to Pakistan William Milam.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund completed a second review of Pakistan and approved a disbursement of $131 million from a $596 million loan.
Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga suspended the nation’s parliament and ordered a nationwide referendum for August 21 as part of a bid to seek a mandate to bring a new constitution. Her move is seen as a ploy to avoid a no-confidence vote by the opposition United National Party, which is considering an impeachment motion once parliament resumes. Kumaratunga stated that the presidency would lose certain powers under the new constitution, which she hopes will be in place by the end of the year.
Leadership of the opposition United National Party asked Speaker of the Parliament Anura Bandaranaike to ignore Kumaratunga’s order to suspend the parliament, though the move is constitutionally legal. The opposition also threatened a civil disobedience campaign to protest the move.