SANDNet Weekly Update, September 14, 2000

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SANDNet, "SANDNet Weekly Update, September 14, 2000", SANDNet, September 14, 2000, https://nautilus.org/sandnet/sandnet-weekly-update-september-14-2000/

CONTENTS
September 14, 2000

India

1. Military Hardware
2. Nuclear Program
3. India-PRC Relations
4. India-US Relations

Pakistan

1. Military Hardware
2. Militant Groups
3. India-Iran Gas Pipeline
4. Foreign Relations: US, Russia

Kashmir

1. 1965 Indo-Pakistan War
2. India-Pakistan Track-II Diplomacy
3. India-Pakistan Dialogue
4. PRC Role in Kashmir
5. Recent Violence


India

1. Military Hardware

The US-based Defense News published a report that Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes had approved full production of 300 short-range Prithvi missiles for all three branches of the Indian defense forces. The report stated that this was in response to Pakistan’s test-firing of it intermediate range Ghauri-III ballistic missile. The Indian Defense Ministry issued a statement denying that approval had been given for Prithvi production.

Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes said that once its design is completed, India’s air defense ship, a small version of an aircraft carrier, will take seven years to complete.

2. Nuclear Program

Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee said that while India wanted a peaceful world without nuclear weapons, India has also learned that it had to be strong to protect freedom.

3. India-PRC Relations

Bhartendu Kumar Singh, in an article published by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (New Delhi), argued that Muslim insurgents based in Pakistan and Afghanistan are a threat to both India and the PRC, leading India to seek the PRC’s support in combating international terrorism.

PRC Assistant Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticized India for expecting the PRC to be accommodating on the border issue while India itself is unwilling to take into account the PRC’s position.

4. India-US Relations

Siddharth Varadarajan argued that the Indian government’s US focus is a product of its primary concern for Pakistan and cross-border terrorism. Varadarajan also argued that despite India’s belief that the US has the greatest clout in South Asia, the India’s regional neighbors are better potential allies.

In talks this week, US President Clinton and Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee are expected to discuss extremist forces in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Kashmir, partly as the US-India Working Group on counter-terrorism has been their major dialogue forum. This is a broadening of dialogue that has previously focused on nuclear proliferation, India-Pakistan relations, and the Kashmir dispute.

India rejected a suggestion by the US government that it consider a voluntary cap on fissile material for nuclear weapons, and therefore an inevitable moratorium on its production, because of India’s fear that Pakistan would cheat on a unilateral moratorium. The US is looking for progress on non-proliferation in the absence of accession to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The Indian government did commit itself to join negotiations on a Fissile Materials Cut-Off treaty at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament.

The Hindu covered a report produced by the US-based CATO institute’s Victor Gobarev that said if the US does not take India seriously as a world power, the US risks causing an anti-US alliance of India, Russia, and the PRC. The report argued that the US could elevate the relationship with India by accepting India’s entry into the nuclear club and supporting its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Sonika Gupta, in an article published by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (New Delhi), argued that policy makers should not underestimate the role of popular literature in providing the space for the US to expand its power endlessly. Gupta also noted that it is a problem that US policies are institutionalized to the extent that the interests and participation of non-western states are excluded.


Pakistan

1. Military Hardware

After completing a 6-month long series of air war games, the Pakistani government decided to upgrade weapons systems and bring its early warning and control systems into real-time.

2. Militant Groups

Mohammad Ismail a leader of the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami and member of the party’s central council, was killed in Arifwala.

An article in The Hindu argued that Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf’s statement that local council elections would be on a non-party basis is a setback for democracy and will give further support to feudal-tribal groups and Sunni Muslim organizations such as the Jamaat-e-Islami and Deoband.

The Hizbul Mujahideen dismissed reports that it had been taken over by Jammat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain.

The Times of India cited an Indian security agency statement reporting that Pakistan had created a new militant group in Jammu and Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Army. The JKLA was created to disperse the center of militant power in the Kashmir and to create a cross-pattern of the militant movement to confuse security forces.

3. India-Iran Gas Pipeline

Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf expressed a willingness to permit the construction of a gas pipeline between India and Iran, which will provide Pakistan about $700 million per year in combined earnings and savings. Pakistan Petroleum Minister Unsman Aminuddin said there were no obstructions on the Pakistan side to construction of the pipeline, and said Pakistan was prepared to address all India’s security concerns for the pipeline.

4. Foreign Relations: US, Russia

Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf said that he was satisfied with the role of US President Clinton in Kashmir, but said recent US priorities in South Asia had shifted away from Pakistan.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Riaz Mohammed Khan said that Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf and Russian President Vladimir Putin met by coincidence at the UN. The meeting was described as a significant step towards allaying Putin’s fears regarding Pakistan’s involvement in militancy in Chechnya, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in Central Asia.


Kashmir

1. 1965 Indo-Pakistan War

The Times of India published extensive coverage of the 1965 India-Pakistan War after obtaining a copy of the Indian government’s official history of the war. The official history was finalized by the defence ministry in 1992, but was suppressed. The link below is to the Times of India web site with analyses of the official Indian government history of the war, as well as links to Acrobat files of the official history.

An article in the Times of India argued that it was counterproductive to suppress the official history of the 1965 Indo-Pak war because the army at the time was inexperienced and needed the input on their performance. In an editorial in the Times of India, K Subrahmanyam argued that had the researchers been given better access, a better account of the war could have provided additional lessons. Manoj Joshi argued that Pakistan has developed a sense of history that ignores or exaggerates particular facts.

2. India-Pakistan Track-II Diplomacy

A Pakistan delegation led by former Foreign Secretary Niaz A Naik will travel to India to participate in the 19th meeting of the Neemrana Peace Process. This follows the visit to Pakistan by former Indian Air Force Chief SK Kaul as part of the US-based Belusa group.

3. India-Pakistan Dialogue

Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf criticized Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee’s statements at the UN Millennium Summit, and accused the Indian government of hypocrisy.

An editorial in the Times of India argued that both India and Pakistan went to the UN Millennium Summit “to complain about each other.” The editorial argued that while Pakistan Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf may be insincere in his offer of talks, the Indian government must move beyond the demand of an end to cross-border violence and instead evaluate whether Musharraf respects the Line of Control.

Indian General Ved Prakash Malik, head of the Army, said there could be only a political solution to the “revolt” in Kashmir.

4. PRC Role in Kashmir

PRC Assistant Foreign Minister Wang Yi said India should include Pakistan in talks over the Kashmir issue, but ruled out PRC participation as a mediator.

5. Recent Violence

Suba Chandran, in an article published by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (New Delhi), argued that because militant groups other than the Hizbul Mujahideen need the support of local militants and people in Jammu and Kashmir, there is likely to be a decrease in violence by these groups in the wake of the ceasefire offer. The ceasefire also provides an opportunity for the Indian government to enter into dialogue with the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference without the threat of militancy. Both the ceasefire and a dialogue with the APHC undermine the role of Pakistan in Kashmir.


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