SANDNet Weekly Update, July 26, 2000

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CONTENTS
July 26, 2000

Nuclear Issues

1. Pakistan’s Nuclear Policy
2. Japanese Sanctions
3. US National Missile Defense

India

1. Military Policy
2. US Sanctions
3. Arab Relations
4. Foreign Relations: PRC
5. Foreign Relations: Russia

Pakistan

1. Military Regime
2. ARF Membership
3. Foreign Relations: Kuwait, PRC, US

Kashmir

1. Military Actions
2. India-Pakistan Dialogue
3. Autonomy Issue
4. Trans-Pakistan Gas Pipeline

Sri Lanka

1. Draft Constitution Negotiations
2. Amnesty International Report


Nuclear Issues
    
1. Pakistan’s Nuclear Policy

Pakistan Deputy Foreign Minister Inam ul Haque told German media that Pakistan would consider first use of nuclear weapons if they were attacked by conventional forces. He said, “There is no way Pakistan can hold out any assurance that it will not use any nuclear weapons if its existence is threatened. There is no assurance on the part of India either.” He also pointed out that NATO maintained a first-use threat against the USSR during the Cold War because of the threat of an overwhelming conventional ground force. An Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said, “Pakistan does not subscribe to the policy of ‘no first-use’ which India does.” Indian spokesman said there is nothing new about Pakistan’s policy.

The Pakistan Ministry of Commerce announced that prospective exporters of nuclear materials would require a “no objection certificate” from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

2. Japanese Sanctions

Yutaka Iimura, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s economic cooperation bureau, told the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that India’s signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty remains a condition for resuming development assistant to India and Pakistan.

3. US National Missile Defense

A Dawn editorial by Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa-Agha argued that until the US-proposed National Missile Defense (NMD) system came to be an issue, there was at least an inclination by India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. India would be forced to resume testing should it choose to develop a sea-based nuclear force that could counter the PRC. Neither India not Pakistan can afford the comprehensive command-and-control systems necessary for an expanded nuclear program.


India
    
1. Military Policy

National Security Advisory Board leader K Subrahmanyam spoke at the Center for Advanced Strategic Studies and said that India should aim for self-reliance in defense hardware procurement by obtaining needed materiel through imports from outside the country.

The Indian Navy commissioned a Russian-made kilo-class submarine armed with Russian Klub anti-ship missiles and the latest sonar technology.

2. US Sanctions

US Congressmen urged President Clinton to remove all sanctions against India prior to the September visit of Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee. Representative Benjamin Gilman, Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said that the US should draw closer to India because of “China’s attempt at hegemony, spread of Islamic terrorism spilling out of Afghanistan and Pakistan and the dictatorship in Myanmar.” Representative Gary Ackerman said that continuing the sanctions is a short-sighted policy.

3. Arab Relations

Ambassadors and representatives of eighteen Arab state missions were briefed by KV Rajan, a secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, to explain that growing ties with Israel will not be at the expense of long-standing ties with the Islamic world. There was especially concerned about nuclear cooperation.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh said that while there must be consensus within the organization, Iran would support India’s entrance into the Organisation of Islamic Conference

4. Foreign Relations: PRC

PRC Assistant Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “China-Pakistan relations are not targeted at any third country. Likewise, we do not hope to see China-Pakistan relations affected by a third country.” He also denied that the PRC aided Pakistan’s weapons program and said, “We are a responsible country. As a neighbor of South Asia, we don’t want to see large-scale nuclear and missile proliferation in the region.” PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan arrived on Friday to meet with Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh.

While no progress was made on India-PRC relations in topics such as the border dispute or PRC aid to Pakistan, the PRC did not raise India’s nuclear program or the UN Security Council Resolution against India, which the PRC supports. Maps will be exchanged and an expert group will likely have the details of part of the border resolved within six months. Tang did not respond to Indian concerns that the PRC was aiding Pakistan’s weapons program except to say that it was not directed against India. Tang proposed a five-point agenda for future talks to include economic cooperation, exchange of military delegations, regional security, and border talks.
    
5. Foreign Relations: Russia

The five Latvians sentenced for the Purulia arms drop case had their sentences commuted and were handed over to Russian authorities after the Russian government made repeated appeals to India for their release. Afterwards, the British government announced it was following pressure tactics similar to Russia in order to gain the release of British arms dealer Peter Bleach.

Columnist C Raja Mohan argued that the Sino-Russian relationship has been crucial in shaping India’s security environment. India could be tempted to join the Sino-Russian common front against the US or to see this axis with concern and seek a countervailing political relationship with the US. India should, though, avoid entangling alliances and improve political and economic relations with all three states. India’s relationship with the US is currently too shallow and narrow to be a source of leverage when compared to US ties with Russia and the PRC, but the US will remain a source of technology, capital and regional stability.


Pakistan
    
1. Military Regime

Deposed Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif, currently serving two concurrent life terms on charges of hijacking and terrorism, was found guilty of tax-evasion and sentenced by an anti-corruption court to 14 years in jail, fined about US$370,000, and disqualified from politics for 21 years. He had purchased and maintained a helicopter, the expenses for which were beyond his income.

2. ARF Membership

Pakistan submitted a formal request to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) to be granted “full dialogue partner” status, an upgrade from its current “sectoral dialogue partner” status. ASEAN Secretary General Rodolfo Severino stated that topics for the upcoming talks included the US Theater Missile Defense program, the situation in Indonesia, and the question of territory in the South China Sea.

3. Foreign Relations: Kuwait, PRC, US

Kuwait declared Pakistan as the “most favored nation” with respect to oil supplies, and Kuwait will send a delegation to Pakistan to discuss privatization of the oil industry. Pakistan imports 1.25 million cubic meters of fuel oil and 4.25 million cubic meters of gas oil annually from Kuwait.

PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan arrived in Pakistan on Saturday to meet with Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf and to hold talks with Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar. He will discuss regional security issues and exchange views on common issues of international concern. Tang, speaking in Pakistan after leaving India, said that rapprochement between India and the PRC will not affect the PRC’s “all weather” relationship with Pakistan.

Pakistan Ambassador to the US Maleeha Lodhi cautioned the US against building a “strategic alliance” with India to counter the PRC or the Muslim world, which he said would be a strategic liability for the US and provoke needless hostility. He also spoke about relations with India, and said, “Pakistan has displayed self-restraint. We expect India to reciprocate such restraint. Yet, it must be realized that violence in Kashmir will end only once India agrees to desist from its brutal repression of the Kashmiri people.”


Kashmir
    
1. Military Actions

Indian security forces killed six militants in Jammu and Kashmir last week and recovered a cache of arms and ammunition. Security forces also found a militant hideout and recovered numerous explosives.

Indian soldiers repulsed an attacked by a Pakistani patrol of 25-30 soldiers in Jammu on Sunday, leaving three Pakistani soldiers and one Indian soldier dead. Indian military forces are in heightened alert in anticipation of problems for the coming Independence Day as there have been reports of increased infiltration of the border from Pakistan by militants. Director General of Police Gurbachan Jagat said that in Jammu and Kashmir it was not a proxy war, but an undeclared war, with Pakistan aiding and training militants.
    
2. India-Pakistan Dialogue

In a joint statement, the G-8 countries called on India and Pakistan to “resume a dialogue as soon as possible” and to “join international efforts to strengthen the non-proliferation and disarmament regime.”

Former Foreign Secretary SK Singh argued in a column in the Hindu that while Pakistan has publicly called for talks as long as the content is carefully prescribed, India has offered to talk on any subject as soon as Pakistan stops the export of cross-border terrorism. He argued that while Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf has been moderate with his authority, he has continued the policy of using the Inter-Services Intelligence to keep insurgency in the Kashmir going, and he is unable to control extremism or promote liberalism at home. He concludes by saying, “The General’s arguments and assumptions are specious and unacceptable.”

The founding of “South Asians for Human Rights” promotes informal, second-track approaches to regional thinking at a time when formal, governmental mechanisms have stalled.

Pakistan-administered Kashmir leader Khawaja Mushtaq Husain called for enforcing a ceasefire and starting a multi-channel dialogue on both sides of the line of control.

Pakistan refuted an Indian claim to approximately 1 million square kilometers of ocean in the Arabic Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Pakistan said that India misunderstood the international agreements regarding the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

3. Autonomy Issue

An editorial in the Times of India argued that recent actions by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and the central government were largely posturing, and have given way to talks which could yield a middle-course. While the Constitutional Review Commission can only discuss Jammu and Kashmir in the context of devolution, there is no danger that Jammu and Kashmir will be treated like other states because of its special status.

Indian Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani asked Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to submit new proposals for devolution of powers to Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “If you come to the government with a proposal that is how we would like a rearrangement of powers between the center and the states, whether it is formal or informal, the government would be willing to consider it.” Abdullah rejected the possibility of submitting a new proposal and asked that the central government form a group of ministers to decide how much autonomy was necessary for Jammu and Kashmir.

The central government did not respond to Abdullah’s request, and it appears it is unwilling to let the Autonomy Resolution stand as the basis for talks. Abdullah said that the resolution still stands, and that rather than rejecting the resolution without comment, “They should have told us where we went wrong.”

Former Prime Minister of India IK Gujral advocated negotiations, without Pakistan, to resolve the Kashmir issue. He said the Autonomy Resolution should not be branded as dissidence and similar approaches could be used with Kashmir as were used in Assam, Nagaland, and Punjab.

4. Trans-Pakistan Gas Pipeline

Pakistan has extended to Iran security guarantees for the proposed gas pipeline from Iran to India. India acknowledged that Pakistan should be involved in negotiations with Iran at some point, but that talks should remain bilateral at this point.


Sri Lanka
    
1. Draft Constitution Negotiations

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has called a tripartite meeting for July 25 between the government, the opposition United National Party (UNP), and the moderate Tamil parties, to discuss changes to the draft constitution. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe walked out of the talks on Saturday, charging that the government was attempting a smear campaign by reporting that he had secretly met with leaders of the LTTE. Monks of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters of Buddhism announced that they rejected the draft constitution and called on Parliament to reject it.

2. Amnesty International Report

Amnesty International, while acknowledging the national security crisis, criticized Sri Lanka for extending an imposition of a national emergency island-wide. The article reports that Amnesty International did not comment on human rights violations by the LTTE, such as the use of children for soldiers.


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