3 of 14 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1999 Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse
August 31, 1999 13:08 GMT
SECTION: International news
LENGTH: 559 words
HEADLINE: Pakistan must cease backing terrorism to resume talks: India
DATELINE: NEW DELHI, Aug 31
Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh said Tuesday that Pakistan must stop backing “terrorism” if it wanted to resume stalled talks with New Delhi.
Singh told reporters that a resumption of dialogue with Pakistan “is made difficult by its aid and abetment of terrorism and continued hostility” towards India.
“For reasonable and meaningful talks to take place, Pakistan has to stop encouraging cross-border terrorism” in the disputed Himalayan state of Kashmir, he said.
Singh, however, said India’s Hindu nationalist-led coalition government was making efforts to find “a meeting ground” with Islamabad.
“We are making constant efforts for that.”
New Delhi and Islamabad almost went to war during the May-July border clashes in Kashmir after hundreds of Islamic guerrillas from Pakistan intruded into Indian Kashmir and occupied key hills along the frontier.
Since then, relations between them have deteriorated sharply. India and Pakistan dispute the ownership of Kashmir and have waged two of their three wars during the past 50 years over the Himalayan state.
Earlier this month India shot down a Pakistani naval patrol plane with 16 crew on board when it allegedly entered Indian airspace.
On Tuesday Singh justified the bringing down of the plane. “It was a combat aircraft,” he said. “It was on a military mission. It was violating India’s airspace and territorial integrity.”
Singh, whose coalition is expected to win elections that start Sunday, also accused Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban of promoting terrorism in the sub-continent.
He said developments in Afghanistan affected “India, its law and order and harmony” and blamed Kabul’s rulers for the spread of small arms and narcotics in South Asia.
“What India is experiencing is the Afghanistan disorder syndrome. Developments in Afghanistan, we take with utmost seriousness.”
Singh also said previous Indian governments had not “paid timely and effective attention” to Afghanistan.
India had enjoyed close ties with the earlier pro-Soviet communist government of Najibullah in Kabul and now recognises the ousted regime of Burhanuddin Rabbani. Pakistan is one of only three countries to recognise the Taliban.
Later a foreign ministry spokesman said India and the United States would hold two days of talks on Afghanistan, beginning Thursday in Washington.
The spokesman said the discussion would be part of continuing consultations India has been having with France, Russia and Central Asian countries on the Afghan question.
Singh, meanwhile, refused to say if India, which conducted a series of nuclear tests in May 1998, would sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. New Delhi has previously opposed the treaty, saying it was biased in favour of the major nuclear powers.
“This will have to be addressed by the new parliament after achieving as much of a national consensus as possible,” he said.
Earlier, in a separate statement, Singh said Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s 17-month-old government had brought about a new respect for the country in the international arena.
“India’s voice is now heard with much greater respect. India’s views are treated with seriousness. India’s voice is now treated as a voice of great power,” he said.
“This has been a major foreign policy achievement of the Vajpayee government.”
LOAD-DATE: August 31, 1999
4 of 14 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1999 Inter Press Service
Inter Press Service
July 21, 1999, Wednesday
LENGTH: 749 words
HEADLINE: LIBERIA-DISARMAMENT: U.N. TO OVERSEE MAJOR DESTRUCTION OF ARMS
BYLINE: By Thalif Deen
DATELINE: UNITED NATIONS, Jul. 21
A massive stockpile of firearms collected by U.N. peacekeepers after the end of the 7-year civil war in Liberia, will be destroyed next week.
“This represents the largest weapon destruction in Africa in recent years,” a U.N. spokesman said yesterday.
The weapons, which will be set ablaze at a public ceremony in Liberia July 26, include close to 8,000 serviceable and about 1,800 unserviceable firearms, along with more than 1.2 million rounds of ammunition.
All of the weapons were turned in by more than 20,000 fighters — including some 4,000 child soldiers and 250 adult female fighters — who were engaged in a bitter civil war in Liberia which ended in late 1996.
Since then, the U.N. Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) and the Military Observer Group of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOMOG) have been disarming and demobilizing the fighters.
The bonfire will be witnessed by several African heads of state, including President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, President Lansana Conteh of Guinea, and President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Liberia.
The United Nations, which is supervising and funding the destruction of the weapons, will be represented by K.Y. Amoako, Executive Secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa and Felix Downes-Thomas, the Representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Liberia.
The process of destroying surplus small arms is being carried out following a decision by the Liberian government as part of a nationwide disarmament exercise.
Last year, Annan sent a team of four military small-arms experts to advise the Liberian government on the modalities for the destruction of the weapons.
Based on a technical assessment, and taking into account safety and environmental considerations, it was finally decided that all arms would be burned and all ammunition detonated.
The entire exercise is being financed out of a U.N. special trust fund and is estimated to cost about $ 200,000.
Last year a 16-member Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms said the United Nations should support “all appropriate post-conflict initiatives,” including the disposal and destruction of weapons.
The experts cited the example of Mali where thousands of small arms handed over by ex-combatants were destroyed in a public ceremony in March 1997.
Annan has expressed the hope that the process started in Mali will contribute towards the elimination of all illicit traffic in small arms throughout the region.
The United Nations has also been marginally involved in some of the other weapons collection programs in countries such as Angola, Albania, Cambodia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Somalia.
Last year, the United Nations launched its first full-scale project to disarm a country’s civilian population in Albania.
The pilot project was set up in Gramsh, Albania where the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) was expected to spend about $ 500,000 to provide incentives for villagers to surrender their weapons.
Mitsuro Donowaki of Japan, chairman of the expert group, said that U.N. member states should consider destroying their surplus weapons to prevent them from falling into the hands of criminal elements or from being transferred to other conflict zones.
“Africa, Central America and South Asia are three regions with an excessive accumulation and circulation of small arms,” he said.
In a 44-page study, the experts said that “in one way or another, virtually every part of the U.N. system is dealing with the direct and indirect consequences of recent armed conflicts fought mostly with small arms and light weapons.”
The expert panel identified small arms to include assault rifles, pistols, sub-machine guns, light machine guns, mortars, portable anti-aircraft guns, grenade launchers, anti-tank missile and rocket systems, hand grenades and anti-personnel land mines.
“While small arms and light weapons are designed for use by armed forces, they have unique characteristics that are also of particular advantage for irregular warfare or terrorist and criminal action,” the study pointed out.
A proposal for a regional register of small arms has been shelved for practical reasons because the weapons number in the millions.
In Central America alone, there were two million such arms. In Afghanistan, there were 10 million, while in West Africa there were more than seven million.
LOAD-DATE: July 22, 1999
7 of 14 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1996 SOFTLINE INFORMATION, INC.
The Ethnic NewsWatch
November 8, 1996
SECTION: Vol. XXVII; No. 6; Pg. 20
LENGTH: 536 words
HEADLINE: Worrying Over Illicit Small-Arms Traffic
BYLINE: Mozumder, Suman Guha
Worrying Over Illicit Small-Arms Traffic.
India has expressed concern at the illicit traffic in small arms and the excessive production, development and transfer of conventional weapons beyond a country’s legitimate security needs.
“We are particularly concerned at the continued transfer of small arms and light weapons, especially where illicit trade in such weapons leads to their diversion to non-state entities,” Arundhati Ghose, permanent representative to the U.N. office in Geneva, said in addressing the First Committee of the General Assembly here.
Such illicit traffic in arms, she warned, can have a “disproportionately large negative impact, particularly for the internal security and socio-economic development of the affected states.”
She called for efforts to curb production and transfers, saying that restraint and greater transparency could lead to increased confidence and should be encouraged.
“The setting up of the U.N. Arms Register, to which India has contributed regularly, marks an important step in this direction,” she emphasized. “This has to be further consolidated so that its full potential as a genuine confidence-building measures can be realized.”
During a recent discussion at the Asia Society here, South Asian academics voiced concern over what they called the proliferation of small arms in the region. Imtiaz Ahmed, an associate professor at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, said that the use of small arms in South Asia had “killed more people than nuclear bombs did in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as such, their proliferation should be a mater of concern.”
Then he added, “There is a politics of silence as far as small arms are concerned.”
At the First Committee meeting, Ghose emphasized that international cooperation in curbing and condemning illicit arms traffic could be an important factor in combating this threat. In that regard, she said India endorsed the paper entitled, “Guidelines for International Arms Transfer in the Context of the General Assembly Resolution of December 1991,” which was adopted by the U.N. Disarmament Commission this year, but has not yet been endorsed by the General Assembly.
“Endorsement of these guidelines by the General Assembly would be a valuable first step, on which further work could be built,” she added.
Referring to the conference in Geneva this year to review the 1980 Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons, she said the conference had conducted its work “against the backdrop of the tragic landmine crisis created by irresponsible exports and the indiscriminate use of this weapon.”
Although the conference adopted a revised protocol on land mines, she said, “it is clear that despite the strengthened protocol, there remain grave areas of concern.”
“The transfer of land mines has not been banned, the use of remotely delivered mines does not attract strict regulations and the production, use and transfer of ‘smart’ mines may actually have been encouraged by the process,” she pointed out.
India, she added, supports the move for a complete ban on anti-personnel land mines, “a ban which we feel should be universal and nondiscriminatory.”
ETHNIC-GROUP: Asian/Pacific Island
LOAD-DATE: January 21, 1997
10 of 14 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1995 Federal Information Systems Corporation
Federal News Service
SEPTEMBER 14, 1995, THURSDAY
SECTION: IN THE NEWS
LENGTH: 1175 words
HEADLINE: PREPARED REMARKS OF
HENRY L. STIMSON CENTER
BEFORE THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
NEAR EASTERN AND SOUTH ASIAN AFFAIRS SUBCOMMITTEE
“CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS AND FOREIGN POLICY IN SOUTH ASIA”
Thank you for inviting me to testify today. I promise to be brief and to the point.
Conventional arms transfers to this troubled region should not be undertaken lightly. Nor should they be reflexively opposed or viewed within constructs developed for other regions. For some, any conventional arms transfers to states of proliferation concern are bad arms transfers. But what if blocking these transfers makes proliferation problems worse?
Conventional arms transfers to this region roughly comparable to those now under consideration by the Congress have not previously been a source of instability or arms racing in South Asia. Far greater problems have arisen or are likely to arise over the transfer or acquisition of light weapons, such as rifles and semi-automatic weapons. Greater problems are also posed by easily acquired explosives used in acts of politically driven violence and insurgency.
At the other end of the spectrum, prospective deployments of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles also pose far greater problems for arms racing and instability in this troubled region. Arms racing could well be magnified if the introduction of new missiles fuels requirements for the production of more weapongrade fissionable material. Greater instability could easily result because new missiles will require new kinds of training and new deployment practices which can be misinterpreted. There could be tragic results if new missile deployment practices cause misunderstandings during this region’s next crisis.
The conventional “arms race” between India and Pakistan is an unequal competition, as one would expect given the far greater size of India’s military forces, economy, and regional interests. This leads one astute chronicler of the South Asian arms trade, Dr. Christopher Smith of King’s College, London, to conclude that Pakistan is destined to live with a conventional imbalance visa vis India, and that the imbalance might well grow, despite Pakistan’s recent arms purchases.
The U.S. arms supply relationship with Pakistan has been a checkered one, characterized by fits and starts. Few in either country expect that the large arms transfers during the Afghan war will ever be repeated, although this remains a concern insome Indian circles. U.S. deliveries during the Afghan war provided part of the rationale for India’s significant conventional defense build-up during the 1980s. Those in India who now call for more arms to counter the release of items controlled by the Pressler Amendment are therefore engaged in an exercise of double-billing.
With or without the release of the items now under consideration by the Congress, India will proceed to upgrade or replace obsolescent military equipment. Pakistan will, as well. It appears that the United States will not be a major contributor to either country’s military modernization plans. Nonetheless, many concerned observers here, including good friends on Capitol Hill, oppose the modest military package proposed for Pakistan.
The hard question facing Congress is not, as I have tried to explain, whether the items now under consideration for Pakistan upset the military balance or generate conventional arms racing. Instead, I believe the crux of the matter is whether the release of these items will exacerbate very real problems posed by small arms and proliferation in this region.
One end of this spectrum–small arms–appears to operate largely on a separate plane. The ongoing bloodshed in Kashmir and Karachi, to take the two most painful cases, are widely perceived within the region to be supported by “hidden hands.” Outside involvement in the tragic situation in Kashmir is of particular and growing concern. Nevertheless, both problems, as most Indians and Pakistanis privately concede, are “home grown.” Both will continue until national and local leaders can summon the courage and wisdom required for reconciliation. It is hard for me to see a connection between the military items under Congressional review and South Asia’s small arms problem.
The other end of the spectrum–proliferation concerns surrounding ballistic missiles and fissile material production-is a different matter. Changes to the Pressler Amendment invariably have an impact on U.S. proliferation policies. Here, the Clinton Administration and the Congress cannot avoid tough choices, especially since both countries continue to insist on measuring U.S. ties in zero-sum terms.
If the Congress denies the transfer of a modest package of conventional arms to Pakistan, as proposed by the Administration, Pakistan will likely reconsider its ongoing restraint regarding fissile material production. According to the public accounts of former high-ranking Pakistani military officers, production of weapon- grade material was “frozen” in January, 1989. The United States has not disputed this assertion.
In the intervening years, India has continued to produce and stockpile weapon-grade fissile material. Influential Pakistanis wonder what benefits their unilateral restraint has produced, either in New Delhi or Washington. Most of the individuals I -recently interviewed believe that Pakistan’s national security has been adversely affected as a result of their continued restraint in this area, India’s continued production, and Washington’s unyielding imposition of the Pressler Amendment.
If, on the other hand, Congress agrees to release these modest items of military equipment previously purchased by Pakistan but not delivered due to Pressler, India will likely reconsider its restraint over new missile deployments. Counter deployments by Pakistan of Chinese-supplied missiles that run afoul of the Missile Technology and Control Regime will have a chilling effect on U.S. relations with both Pakistan and China-India’s most worrisome neighbors.
This Hobson’s choice for the Congress and for the Clinton Administration has become the Pressler Amendment’s legacy. It is also a perversion of the Pressler Amendment’s intent. The rationale behind the Pressler Amendment, as I understand it, was not simply to punish Pakistan for crossing proliferation “red lines,” but to encourage restraint in this region and elsewhere. In the short-term the Pressler Amendment may well have served these purposes, but this is no longer the case.
Damage to U.S. non-proliferation policy objectives may well accrue no matter what Congress decides regarding the military package to Pakistan now on the table. On balance, I believe that more harm is likely to result from congressional disapproval. President Clinton has made a commitment to Pakistan, and much damage will come from failing to follow through on this commitment in good faith. A relaxation of Pressler must, however, be followed up by quiet efforts to sensitize national leaders to the potential dangers of new fissile material production and missile deployments.
Adverse initiatives in either area by either country will surely damage even modest steps to improve military ties with the United States.
LOAD-DATE: September 15, 1995
11 of 14 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1990 The Christian Science Publishing Society
The Christian Science Monitor
April 10, 1990, Tuesday
SECTION: THE WORLD; Pg. 3
LENGTH: 908 words
HEADLINE: King Lifts Ban on Political Parties
BYLINE: Sheila Tefft, Special to The Christian Science Monitor
DATELINE: NEW DELHI
Euphoric pro-democracy leaders take on sensitive task of negotiating future role of monarch. NEPAL
NEPAL’S surging pro-democracy movement has forced reforms from one of the world’s oldest governing monarchies.
After a violent two-month long agitation, King Birendra, considered a god by many Nepalis, gave in late Sunday to his opponents and pledged to lift a constitutional ban on political parties in the Himalayan kingdom.
Following the announcement, opposition leaders suspended protests in which scores of people died during the last week in confrontations with security forces. The king’s turnabout, which was celebrated by huge crowds in the streets of Katmandu, came after day-long meetings with pro-democracy politicians, some of whom met the ruler for the first time.
The opposition alliance, which includes leftists, students, and members of the previously banned Nepalese Congress Party, wants to end the king’s 30 years of absolute rule by dissolving the National Panchayat or parliament, setting up an interim government, and holding elections that would establish a multiparty democracy.
”This is a euphoric victory for the pro-democracy leaders,” a Western diplomat here says. ”Now they will have to negotiate some touchy matters, including the future role of the king and his powerful political advisers in the new order.”
The dramatic concession came as Nepal reeled from mounting domestic turmoil fed in part by the wave of political change that has shaken or brought down authoritarian governments around the world.
The agitation exploded with new fury and frustration last weekend after the king dismissed his hard-line government, promised talks with his allied political opponents, and released opposition leaders.
When the opposition rejected the king’s offer as inadequate, police fired Saturday on thousands of demonstrators marching on the Royal Palace in Katmandu. An indefinite curfew was imposed as trouble spread to other towns.
The opposition victory was marred by tragedy when six people celebrating the king’s announcement were shot by police enforcing the curfew. Sunday night restrictions were lifted and the Army withdrew from Katmandu streets.
The political unrest has shattered Nepal, a tranquil Hindu country of 17 million people often idealized as a Himalayan Shangri-La but actually one of the world’s poorest nations.
Until recently, widespread political turmoil was unheard of in Nepal, where traditionally people have been reluctant to speak against the United States-educated king who lives largely in isolation and is revered by many as a reincarnation of the Hindu god, Vishnu.
The protests are aimed at ending the king’s apolitical system of governing councils, or panchayats, which has been widely discredited because of election rigging and corruption, observers here say. The next elections to the National Panchayat are slated for 1991.
The nonpartisan system was established by King Mahendra, father of the present king, when he took power in 1960.
Nepal has been criticized for human-rights abuses by the US State Department, Western organizations such as Asia Watch, and most recently by the newly established Human Rights Organization of Nepal.
The political unrest is also rooted in the economic crisis triggered by a trade dispute with India, analysts here say. The economy of landlocked Nepal has long been dependent upon India for aid, special trade concessions, its east coast seaport of Calcutta, and employment for about 3 million Nepalis, including 100,000 Gurkhas in the Indian Army.
Last year, after a dispute over how to renegotiate lapsed trade and transit treaties, New Delhi closed 19 of 21 border crossings with the Himalayan kingdom.
Although trade friction was the reason given for the breakdown, New Delhi also was angry at Nepal’s courtship of China, its giant northern neighbor and a long-time Indian rival. Especially galling to India was Nepal’s purchase of Chinese small arms and antiair-craftguns after India’s intervention in another South Asia nation, Sri Lanka.
Determined to wean itself from Indian cultural and economic dominance, Nepal fought back by banning the use of Indian currency and some goods and restricting the work rights of Indians in Nepal.
The trade dispute, however, has taken a toll on the tiny country which for a year has struggled with high prices, fuel rationing, and inadequate supplies of medicine and other goods. The disagreement has stymied industry, put people out of work, and stalled big foreign-aid projects.
Observers say the two countries were working toward a settlement when the political unrest erupted. Indian Prime Minister V.P. Singh insisted he would not interfere in Nepalese politics. In some quarters, however, Nepalis blamed India for stirring up the trouble, especially since the visit of prominent Indian politicians to an opposition congress in January.
1950 – Revolt ousts oligarchical clan of prime ministers and restores monarchy.
1959 – Democratic Constitution paves way for election and government by Nepali Congress Party.
1960 – King suspends Constitution, jails government leaders, and bans political parties.
December 1980 – Constitutional changes call for direct election to nonpartisan National Assembly.
Feb. 19, 1990 – Pro-democracy rallies result in clashes between police and protesters.
April 6 – Nepalese Army and police open fire on pro-democracy demonstrators. April 8 – King decrees multiparty system, legalizes political parties.
GRAPHIC: Map, Nepal and surrounding area, highlighting Nepal, SHIRLEY HORN – STAFF
12 of 14 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1989 Kyodo News Service
Japan Economic Newswire
DECEMBER 20, 1989, WEDNESDAY
LENGTH: 108 words
HEADLINE: ASIAN NEWS;
PAKISTAN-CHINA AGREE ON JOINT ARMS PRODUCTION
DATELINE: ISLAMABAD DEC. 19
PAKISTAN AND CHINA ON TUESDAY SIGNED A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING HERE FOR CO-PRODUCTION OF ARMAMENTS, MAINLY FOR EXPORT TO THIRD COUNTRIES.
A PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT SAID THAT THE UNDERSTANDING REACHED BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES IS VALID FOR 10 YEARS.
CHINA HAS HELPED PAKISTAN IN THE SETTING UP OF MANY DEFENSE INDUSTRIES, INCLUDING THE MANUFACTURE OF SMALL ARMS AND AMMUNITION, THAT PAKISTAN HAS BEEN EXPORTING TO MANY MUSLIM COUNTRIES AND COUNTRIES IN SOUTH ASIA LIKE SRI LANKA AND NEPAL.
PAKISTAN’S EXPORT CAPACITY WAS CONSTRAINED, HOWEVER, BY LIMITED PRODUCTION AND A SIZEABLE DEMAND FOR ITS OWN 500,000-STRONG ARMY.
LOAD-DATE: Load-Date=DECEMBER 20, 1989