SANDNet Weekly Update, October 09, 2002

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CONTENTS
October 09, 2002
Volume 3, #33

Nuclear Issues

1. Related News and Analysis

Afghanistan

1. Current News
2. Analysis

India-Pakistan Tensions

1. News
2. Analysis
3. Pre-emption and South Asia

Pakistan

1. Campaign Against Jihadis
2. US – Pakistan Relations
3. Other News

India

1. India: Domestic Situation

Kashmir

1. Elections
2. India, Pakistan, US

Regional News

1. Philippines
2. Nepal


Nuclear Issues
     
1. Related News and Analysis

Pakistan conducted two tests of its medium range surface-to-surface missile while India test fired Akash, its medium range surface-to-air missile. A Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman has stated that Pakistan has been “forced [by Indian actions] to carry out certain tests.” A Daily Times editorial criticizes missile testing by the two countries and argues that “military preparedness by one or the other cannot resolve anything.”
“Pak. tests Hatf-IV missile”
“Akash test-fired”

According to Brigadier General Simon P. Worden’s statement before the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee on Near Earth Object Threat, the impact of a small asteroid on the earth’s atmosphere could have potentially triggered a nuclear war between India and Pakistan during their standoff in June of this year.

Lieutenant General Pankaj Joshi, India’s chief of the integrated defense staff, has stated that India is developing a special unit, comprising of personnel from the army, navy, and air force to handle India’s nuclear arsenal.

M.V. Ramana’s essay argues that “India and Pakistan do not seem to be following [Kenneth] Waltz’s predictions or his advice.” Waltz is a prominent international relations theorist and a strong proponent of nuclear deterrence.


Afghanistan
     
1. Current News

A report in the daily Frontier Post describes US military operations in southeastern Afghanistan. The US army has reportedly uncovered large weapons and ammunition. Gunshots were reportedly fired at a small US base in a remote region of southeastern Afghanistan. Another report indicates that the blast that injured four people near the US embassy in Kabul came from a homemade explosive device.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai believes that the Taliban leader Mulla Mohammad Omar is alive while Osama bin Laden is “probably dead.”

At least 17 people were killed and 23 wounded in a fresh outbreak of fighting between forces of rival commanders in northern Afghanistan. Nine people were killed in fighting between two pro-government commanders in the eastern Afghan province of Paktia. Pro-government forces have reportedly attacked the base of warlord Padshah Khan Zadran.
“17 die as rival Afghan commanders clash”
“Afghan infighting claims 9 lives”

2. Analysis

Author and journalist Ahmed Rashid writes that there are “mounting fears in Afghanistan that President George W. Bush’s war against Iraq will seriously compromise further attempts by the US-led Western alliance to stabilize Afghanistan.” Ashfak Bokhari’s essay in the daily Dawn argues that Afghanistan “appears to be entering a dangerous phase of its troubled existence.”


India-Pakistan Tensions

1. News

In an effort to increase surveillance on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, India has signed a deal with Israel for importing portable radars that can detect human targets ten km away. A report in the daily News (Pakistan) raises the possibility that Indian intelligence agency’s might be inciting violence in Pakistan.
“India gets radars to check infiltration”

2. Analysis

Brahma Chellaney’s essay it the daily Hindustan Times warns Pakistan “to heed the famous John Dryden saying: ‘Beware of the fury of the patient man.”’ J.N. Dixit (Indian Express) argues that “ultimately the solution to the Indo-Pakistani dimensions of the Kashmir issue will have to be on the basis of the LoC getting converted into the international border.” H.M. Askari’s essay in the daily Dawn (Pakistan) criticizes India for its “unwillingness” to sit “across the negotiating table” with Pakistan and “sort out all problems and differences with it.”
“More of sabre-rattling”

3. Pre-emption and South Asia

India’s former Foreign Minister and current Finance Minister Jaswant Singh has stated that “pre-emption is the right of any nation to prevent injury to itself.” A daily Hindu editorial criticizes Jaswant Singh for minimizing “the ill-effects of a doctrine that has ominous portents irrespective of the circumstances and context in which it is to be applied.” A daily Indian Express editorial urges the US to be cautious in applying the principle of preemption and notes that for “India, which has been the victim of cross-border terrorism for 18 years, terrorist camps, and sanctuaries would appear to be legitimate targets for pre-emptive attacks.” According to a daily News (Pakistan) report, the Pakistani government is taking the possibility of an Indian pre-emptive strike “seriously”.
“Every country has the right to pre-emption: Jaswant”
“Pre-emption premonitions”


Pakistan
     
1. Campaign Against Jihadis

Rauf Klasra (News, Pakistan) reports that Pakistani government is considering introducing a surveillance program modeled on the US terrorism information and prevention program (TIP). According to another report in the same newspaper, the Pakistani government has hired the services of experts from the private sector to assist in arrest and investigation of alleged terrorists. According to Interior Minister Lt-Gen Moinuddin Haider the US will extend a grant of $124 million to Pakistan to “control terrorist activities” in the country. Tim Kennedy, a defense specialist, believes that it is unlikely that US law enforcement personnel based in Karachi will leave the city soon.

2. US – Pakistan Relations

According to a Jane’s Defence Weekly report, Pakistan is looking to buy the RQ-1A Predator or other Unmanned Air Vehicles from the US. Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz has stated that Pakistan is seeking more “budgetary support, market access and security (internal) assistance” from the US. The US has reportedly agreed to help enhance Pakistan’s conventional defense capability. A daily Dawn editorial believes that the “resumption of American military sales should .. serve to plug the gaps that have developed in Pakistan’s defence systems.” In his essay for the daily News, Farrukh Saleem argues that “democracy or a prosperous, progressive Pakistan is not the primary issue with the US. War on terrorism is.”
“US to help raise conventional arms capability”
“Arms sales resumption”

3. Other News

Nadeem Iqbal (Asia Times) reports that Pakistan is seeking to increase its arms export. President Musharraf has appointed Vice-Admiral Shahid Karimullah as the new Chief of the Naval Staff. Pakistan will undergo a detailed inspection of its five big industrial chemical plants for the first time since becoming a signatory state of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
“Pakistan’s arms industry aims high”
“New navy chief named”


India

1. India: Domestic Situation

The president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticized some recent statements by the leaders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) as intolerant and extreme. VHP, however, reiterated that it is ”an ardent supporter of the BJP” while, at the same time, adding that India needs a “leader like Ariel Sharon, George W Bush or Shivaji to combat terrorism.”
“BJP chief sends VHP a stinker”
“Bitten by BJP, VHP not shy; takes another dig”

Five alleged militants were reportedly killed in an encounter with the police in Bangalore.

P. Chidambaram’s essay notes increasing communalism and violence in India and wonders “if each one of us gangs up with those who share the same hates and prejudices, and together unleash violence upon others, can the nation survive?” T J S George (Indian Express) writes that “the folly of the Modis and the VHPs and the hawks of this world is that they think they can defeat terror through terror.”
“At stake, India as a civilised society”
“Indians vs Indians, third eye watching”

Premvir Das’ essay reviews developments in India’s higher defense management.
“R-word needs to apply to defence too”


Kashmir
     
1. Elections

The fourth and final phase of elections to the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Assembly in Doda district ended with a reported 52 percent voter turnout amid fear of violence. The third round of voting was marked by widespread violence. Muzamil Jaleel report for Indian Express describes the environment of fear in J&K. Many incidents of violence were reported in the state. Some candidates, running as ‘proxy’ for pro-independence parties, have also alleged harassment and intimidation by police.
“52 p.c. turnout in Doda district”
“Guns send reminders in Doda”
“Tension as Doda goes to the polls”
“Fear shadows night before”
“Eight killed in Kashmir”
“15 killed in Kashmir violence”
“16 killed as violence mars J&K polls”
“J&K bus attackers killed in gunbattle”
“Lolab cops NC’s unofficial ally: People’s Conference”

Shabir Shah, leader of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, believes that the elections were a “golden opportunity [to] talk on all options, but the government of India did not encash it.” Omar Abdullah, the chief of the ruling National Conference Party believes that India has to initiate discussions with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute. Anjna Modi (Hindu) believes that the election has “created possibilities. Not of peace and a lasting settlement, but of a new political leadership.”
“Omar at 11th hr: polls no solution, I’ll quit the NDA”
“Kashmir: a map without roads”

2. India, Pakistan, US

Ajay Darshan Behera’s two-part essay in the daily Hindu examines the positions of Tamil nationalist LTTE and the Kashmiri All-Party Hurriyat Conference, a conglomerate of separatist parties, to argue that “the LTTE has made a positive first move and rekindled hopes; the Hurriyat, if it still wishes to remain relevant, should start thinking of a non-secessionist right to self-determination.
“LTTE, Hurriyat & self-determination – I”
“LTTE, Hurriyat & self-determination – II”


Regional News
     
1. Philippines

Luis Tedor argues that the use of force against rebellion and “those forms of banditry that rely on the poor for recruits as well as support is not enough to put an end to them.” Rather, the Filipino government needs to negotiate with “armed social movements” and initiate economic and social reform. Security in Zamboanga city was tightened following a bomb explosion – allegedly conducted by the Abu-Sayyaf group – that killed an American. FBI agents have been dispatched to the area to help investigate the blast.

2. Nepal

Nepal’s King Gyanendra has dismissed the Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, and his Cabinet, and declared himself the interim executive head of the kingdom. Ousted Prime Minister Deuba termed his dismissal by the king as unconstitutional and undemocratic.
“Nepal King sacks PM”


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