SANDNet Weekly Update, November 9, 2000

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SANDNet, "SANDNet Weekly Update, November 9, 2000", SANDNet, November 09, 2000, https://nautilus.org/sandnet/sandnet-weekly-update-november-9-2000/

CONTENTS
November 9, 2000

Nuclear Issues

1. Pakistan Nuclear Program
2. Pakistan Nuclear Energy
3. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
4. UN First Committee

India

1. India Military
2. India Security Policy
3. India-PRC-Russia Axis
4. India-US Relations

Pakistan

1. Pakistan Military
2. Terrorism in Pakistan
3. US Role in South Asia

Kashmir

1. Overview
2. US Pushes India-Pakistan Talks
3. Military Actions
4. Militant Groups

Sri Lanka

1. Norwegian Peace Envoy


Nuclear Issues

1. Pakistan Nuclear Program

The Hindu reported that Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf said that he did not know how many nuclear weapons Pakistan possessed. He also said that he didn’t know how many missiles Pakistan needed for an effective deterrent and did not know if Osama Bin Laden was a terrorist. He made these statements in response to questions from a Russian reporter.

The government of Pakistan has indicated that it is set to establish a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA), which will enforce safety and trade procedures in nuclear related activities. The NRA is unrelated to international nuclear regimes.

2. Pakistan Nuclear Energy

An editorial in Pakistan’s News International by Zia Mian argued that while the international trend is clearly moving away from the use of nuclear power because of its dangers, Pakistan is proceeding with the building of the Chashma nuclear power plant.

3. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

An editorial in The Dawn urged the government of Pakistan to take a clear stance on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, saying that signing the CTBT would put Pakistan on the moral high-ground compared to India and would help forestall an arms race.

AN Prasad, former director of India’s Bhabha Atomic Research Center, said that India should not sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Prasad said that India “should retain its option to carry out more nuclear tests if needed and not tie its hands by signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.”

An article in the Times of India reported that US presidential candidate George W Bush’s policies would be more favorable to India because Bush would be unlikely to push India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

4. UN First Committee

India regained international support for its resolution before the UN First Committee. The resolution calls for nuclear weapons states to review their nuclear doctrines and reduce the danger of their unintentional use.


India

1. India Military

India will receive from Russia the first of its ordered Sukhoi SU-30MKI multi-role fighter jets late in 2001, with complete delivery of all 40 by the end of 2003. The Indian Defense Ministry and Russia’s Rosvoorouzhenie State Export Company are expected to conclude an agreement that will allow India to produce up to 150 SU-20MKI jets indigenously.

India’s air reconnaissance unmanned vehicle was successfully test-launched. It has been successfully tested in the past.

2. India Security Policy

A task force on defense headed by Minister of State for Defense Arun Singh proposed that India’s strategic forces, and all tri-service institutions that currently exist, should be subordinated to a Chief of Defense Staff (CDS). The Hindu also reported that most UN Security Council countries have created a CDS post.

Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Indian Council for Social Science Research jointly launched the Center for the Study of National Security to provide long-term thinking on security issues that incorporates a comprehensive view of security and the role of culture and technology.

3. India-PRC-Russia Axis

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov told reporters during his visit to the PRC that Russia would support the development of a Russia-PRC-India axis.

4. India-US Relations

At a meeting of the US-India Joint Working Group on UN Peacekeeping Operations, the US and India agreed to increase cooperation on peacekeeping activities.


Pakistan

1. Pakistan Military

Pakistan is ready to begin serial production of the Al-Khalid battle tank. The tank began to be designed in the 1980s and will replace older tanks in use.

Air Vice Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir was named Air Chief of Staff following the retirement of Air Chief Marshal Pervaiz Mehdi Qureshi.

2. Terrorism in Pakistan

The Times of India reported that Pakistani media are reporting that the Pakistani government has arrested a group carrying out terrorist activities and linked to India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

3. US Role in South Asia

An editorial by MS Jillani in Pakistan’s News International argues that while the US seems to be edging towards military intervention of some kind in the region, Pakistan has no need to worry about this threat.


Kashmir

1. Overview

A curfew intended to prevent communal violence was extended into its second day in areas of Kashmir after a Shiite leader and five others were killed by a landmine.

Pran Chopra, writing in The Hindu, argues that there is a fundamental change underway in Kashmir towards a peaceful settlement of the issue, catalyzed partly by Pakistan’s failure in the Kargil incident and partly by the relief felt during the Hizbul Mujahideen ceasefire.

2. US Pushes India-Pakistan Talks

US Undersecretary of State for International Security and Arms Control John Holum stated that the US would like to see India and Pakistan engage in bilateral discussions on security issues. Short-term stabilizing steps, Holum said, could include Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ratification, an end to fissile material production, support for the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, and restraining nuclear weapons and missile development.

3. Military Actions

The Hindu reported that the Pakistani Foreign Office stated that India has been escalating violence along the Line of Control. A Foreign Office spokesman said that India had fired 64,000 mortar shells onto civilians in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, killing 175 civilians this year. Both India and Pakistan accuse the other of attacking civilians across the border.

The Indian Army estimates that Pakistan has carried out 13 raids along the Line of Control and lost 43 soldiers this way in the last seven months. The Army would like to upgrade its surveillance technology. The Indian Army is reportedly using new electronic surveillance measures to monitor the Line of Control in several places in Jammu and Kashmir.

4. Militant Groups

The Pakistani Army is believed by the local media to have passed on to militant groups the Estrela Surface to Air Missile (SAM). Militants may use the missiles against Indian helicopters, but may also fear that their use could lead to an escalation of violence.

The Times of India reported that new activities by the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) indicate that Pakistan is seeking to revive the Sikh militant group. An Indian Army analysis of Pakistan’s proxy war indicates that the Pakistani ISI received over US$2.5 billion in earnings from drug trafficking, and that 5-10 percent of this is spent to support insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir.

The All-Hurriyat Party Conference (AHPC) and the Hizbul Mujahideen demanded a probe into every massacre of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir purportedly caused by militants.


Sri Lanka

1. Norwegian Peace Envoy

The Norwegian envoy for peace talks, Eric Solheim, stated that he met with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran and told him that the international community would like to see a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Sri Lankan officials said that while the Norwegian successes are important, it was also important to have India participate in solving the conflict.

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga discussed recent developments over the phone with Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar were pessimistic about Solheim’s meeting with the LTTE.


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