I salute the Arms Control Association … for its keen vision of the goals ahead and for its many efforts to identify and to promote practical measures that are so vitally needed to achieve them. -

– Amb. Nobuyasu Abe
Former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs
January 28, 2004

Joint Statement Between President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

July 18, 2005

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush today declare their resolve to transform the relationship between their countries and establish a global partnership. As leaders of nations committed to the values of human freedom, democracy and rule of law, the new relationship between India and the United States will promote stability, democracy, prosperity and peace throughout the world. It will enhance our ability to work together to provide global leadership in areas of mutual concern and interest.

Building on their common values and interests, the two leaders resolve:

* To create an international environment conducive to promotion of democratic values, and to strengthen democratic practices in societies which wish to become more open and pluralistic.

* To combat terrorism relentlessly. They applaud the active and vigorous counterterrorism cooperation between the two countries and support more international efforts in this direction. Terrorism is a global scourge and the one we will fight everywhere. The two leaders strongly affirm their commitment to the conclusion by September of a UN comprehensive convention against international terrorism.

The Prime Minister's visit coincides with the completion of the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) initiative, launched in January 2004. The two leaders agree that this provides the basis for expanding bilateral activities and commerce in space, civil nuclear energy and dual-use technology.

Drawing on their mutual vision for the U.S.-India relationship, and our joint objectives as strong long-standing democracies, the two leaders agree on the following:


* Revitalize the U.S.-India Economic Dialogue and launch a CEO Forum to harness private sector energy and ideas to deepen the bilateral economic relationship.

* Support and accelerate economic growth in both countries through greater trade, investment, and technology collaboration.

* Promote modernization of India's infrastructure as a prerequisite for the continued growth of the Indian economy. As India enhances its investment climate, opportunities for investment will increase.

* Launch a U.S.-India Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture focused on promoting teaching, research, service and commercial linkages.


* Strengthen energy security and promote the development of stable and efficient energy markets in India with a view to ensuring adequate, affordable energy supplies and conscious of the need for sustainable development. These issues will be addressed through the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue.

* Agree on the need to promote the imperatives of development and safeguarding the environment, commit to developing and deploying cleaner, more efficient, affordable, and diversified energy technologies.


* Develop and support, through the new U.S.-India Global Democracy Initiative in countries that seek such assistance, institutions and resources that strengthen the foundations that make democracies credible and effective. India and the U.S. will work together to strengthen democratic practices and capacities and contribute to the new U.N. Democracy Fund.

* Commit to strengthen cooperation and combat HIV/AIDs at a global level through an initiative that mobilizes private sector and government resources, knowledge, and expertise.


* Express satisfaction at the New Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship as a basis for future cooperation, including in the field of defense technology.

* Commit to play a leading role in international efforts to prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The U.S. welcomed the adoption by India of legislation on WMD (Prevention of Unlawful Activities Bill).

* Launch a new U.S.-India Disaster Relief Initiative that builds on the experience of the Tsunami Core Group, to strengthen cooperation to prepare for and conduct disaster relief operations.


* Sign a Science and Technology Framework Agreement, building on the U.S.-India High-Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG), to provide for joint research and training, and the establishment of public-private partnerships.

* Build closer ties in space exploration, satellite navigation and launch, and in the commercial space arena through mechanisms such as the U.S.-India Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation.

* Building on the strengthened nonproliferation commitments undertaken in the NSSP, to remove certain Indian organizations from the Department of Commerce's Entity List.

Recognizing the significance of civilian nuclear energy for meeting growing global energy demands in a cleaner and more efficient manner, the two leaders discussed India's plans to develop its civilian nuclear energy program.

President Bush conveyed his appreciation to the Prime Minister over India's strong commitment to preventing WMD proliferation and stated that as a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology, India should acquire the same benefits and advantages as other such states. The President told the Prime Minister that he will work to achieve full civil nuclear energy cooperation with India as it realizes its goals of promoting nuclear power and achieving energy security. The President would also seek agreement from Congress to adjust U.S. laws and policies, and the United States will work with friends and allies to adjust international regimes to enable full civil nuclear energy cooperation and trade with India, including but not limited to expeditious consideration of fuel supplies for safeguarded nuclear reactors at Tarapur. In the meantime, the United States will encourage its partners to also consider this request expeditiously. India has expressed its interest in ITER and a willingness to contribute. The United States will consult with its partners considering India's participation. The United States will consult with the other participants in the Generation IV International Forum with a view toward India's inclusion.

The Prime Minister conveyed that for his part, India would reciprocally agree that it would be ready to assume the same responsibilities and practices and acquire the same benefits and advantages as other leading countries with advanced nuclear technology, such as the United States. These responsibilities and practices consist of identifying and separating civilian and military nuclear facilities and programs in a phased manner and filing a declaration regarding its civilians facilities with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); taking a decision to place voluntarily its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards; signing and adhering to an Additional Protocol with respect to civilian nuclear facilities; continuing India's unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing; working with the United States for the conclusion of a multilateral Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty; refraining from transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to states that do not have them and supporting international efforts to limit their spread; and ensuring that the necessary steps have been taken to secure nuclear materials and technology through comprehensive export control legislation and through harmonization and adherence to Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines.

The President welcomed the Prime Minister's assurance. The two leaders agreed to establish a working group to undertake on a phased basis in the months ahead the necessary actions mentioned above to fulfill these commitments. The President and Prime Minister also agreed that they would review this progress when the President visits India in 2006.

The two leaders also reiterated their commitment that their countries would play a leading role in international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons.

In light of this closer relationship, and the recognition of India's growing role in enhancing regional and global security, the Prime Minister and the President agree that international institutions must fully reflect changes in the global scenario that have taken place since 1945. The President reiterated his view that international institutions are going to have to adapt to reflect India's central and growing role. The two leaders state their expectations that India and the United States will strengthen their cooperation in global forums.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thanks President Bush for the warmth of his reception and the generosity of his hospitality. He extends an invitation to President Bush to visit India at his convenience and the President accepts that invitation.

Country Resources:

India Passes Nonproliferation Legislation

Paul Kerr

Both houses of India’s parliament have passed legislation designed to strengthen the country’s export controls over items related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related delivery systems. Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam is expected to sign the bill shortly.

The action comes in response to global and U.S. pressures and is particularly significant given India’s position as a nuclear-armed state that does not belong to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Pakistan and Israel are the two other nonsignatories to the treaty, and both are also assumed to possess nuclear weapons.

A spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs emphasized May 13 that the law “does not indicate any change in our nuclear [weapons] policy.”

Rather, official statements indicated that the legislation is designed to demonstrate that India is a responsible nuclear power.

An Indian embassy official told Arms Control Today May 20 that India has long had a variety of laws regulating WMD-related activities. However, the new bill integrates this legal patchwork and facilitates effective regulations.

According to the official, the legislation gives government agencies with enforcement authority enhanced powers to regulate controlled materials under their jurisdictions by, for example, providing precise definitions of controlled technologies.

The law also provides for specific civil and criminal penalties designed in part to close any “loopholes” in existing legislation that could be exploited by states or terrorists seeking weapons of mass destruction and related materials, the official added.

A Department of State official told Arms Control Today May 23 that the “law looks like it might be useful,” but proper implementation and enforcement will be critical.

Signal to the World
India adopted the measure partly to fulfill its obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1540, which was adopted in April 2004. The resolution requires that all states adopt and enforce “appropriate, effective” laws and measures, such as export controls, to prevent nonstate actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and related delivery vehicles. States are also required to impose controls and safeguards on sensitive materials that could be used to develop such weapons.

The ministry spokesperson suggested that the legislation would also improve India’s chances of receiving civilian nuclear technology from the United States and other countries, calling it “a major statement to the world.”

Washington and New Delhi agreed in January 2004 to expand bilateral cooperation in the areas of civilian nuclear power, civilian space programs, and “high-technology trade.”

The United States announced last September that it had eased controls on the export of some dual-use items to India’s nuclear and space facilities. Washington took this step, which concluded the first phase of the initiative, partly because India had already committed to implement some “measures to address proliferation concerns.” (See ACT, October 2004.)

According to the State Department official, the United States has pushed India to implement such measures because some Indian private entities have exported proliferation-sensitive items in the past. The official would not provide details, however. Additionally, India’s advanced technology sector has raised concerns that the country could prove a “potential” proliferation problem in the future, the official said.

The United States has sanctioned several Indian entities for proliferation activity. For example, Washington imposed penalties last September on two Indian individuals for transferring unspecified items to Iran that could contribute to the development of weapons of mass destruction or missiles. (See ACT, November 2004.) Additionally, the United States sanctioned an Indian corporation and its president in February 2003 for “materially contributing” to Iraq’s suspected chemical and biological weapons programs. (See ACT, March 2003.)

The United States has indicated that additional Indian nonproliferation measures would further the initiative. Acting Undersecretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Peter Lichtenbaum stated during an April 28 meeting concerning export controls that Washington will “take steps” to cooperate in the areas covered by the initiative as “India takes additional steps to implement credible and effective nonproliferation policies.” He did not elaborate.

As a result of the U.S. export regulation changes announced in September, India’s two nuclear facilities subject to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards are eligible to import dual-use U.S. nuclear-related equipment not restricted by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an informal group of 44 states that seeks to control nuclear exports. U.S. nuclear exports, however, are only permitted to the part of India’s nuclear plants used for power generation, such as turbines, controllers, or power distribution, rather than the nuclear reactor itself.

NSG guidelines prohibit the transfer of certain dual-use nuclear materials and items to countries without fullscope IAEA safeguards, such as India. IAEA safeguards allow the agency to monitor declared nuclear facilities for possible diversion to military uses.

The State Department official said that, as India “puts its house in order,” Washington will ease additional U.S. export controls more stringent than the NSG guidelines.



Pakistan, India Get Green Light to Buy U.S. Fighter Jets

May 2005

By Wade Boese

The Bush administration March 25 announced its willingness to sell advanced fighter aircraft to India and Pakistan, reversing 15 years of U.S. policy to deny Islamabad such arms because of its nuclear weapons ambitions. The decision came shortly after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited South Asia in a bid to further cultivate the two countries.

Asserting that U.S. arms sales to the nuclear rivals would not upset the regional military balance, administration officials said March 25 that they would negotiate with Pakistan about its long-standing request for F-16 fighters, which can be modified to deliver nuclear weapons. The officials also said U.S. manufacturers of the F-16 and F/A-18E/F combat aircraft would be permitted to compete for India’s tender for 125 new fighters.

Islamabad has not officially disclosed how many jets it is looking to buy, but it is thought to be seeking about two dozen. An administration official told reporters that “there is no set limit on what the [United States] is going to be willing to sell Pakistan.” When it worked with the United States to oust Soviet forces from Afghanistan in the 1980s, Pakistan acquired 40 F-16A/Bs.

The United States halted additional F-16 deliveries to Pakistan in 1990 after President George H. W. Bush could not certify to Congress under U.S. law that Islamabad did not possess a nuclear explosive device. Pakistan responded to Indian nuclear tests in May 1998 with tests of its own, leading to U.S. economic and military sanctions on both governments.

Most of these sanctions were lifted in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks as the Bush administration moved to secure Indian and Pakistani support for its war on terrorism. (See ACT, October 2001.) Yet, Washington remained reluctant to resume F-16 sales to Pakistan because of regional tensions and the risk of upsetting India.

The Bush administration contends conditions have now changed. Rice said April 5 that there has been a “significant improvement in relations between the two” since they almost came to blows in June 2002. Claiming that the administration has successfully “de-hyphenated the relationship” so Washington can pursue relations with both on “independent tracks,” Rice maintained that “we are creating a new set of circumstances in which the balance will be more stable by an American defense relationship with both of them.”

The budding U.S. relationship with India in the military sector, as well as in the civilian space and nuclear fields, appears to have tempered Indian reactions to the proposed U.S. sale of fighter jets to its neighbor, which New Delhi has vigorously opposed in the past. Indian officials made clear they still have reservations about the deal but have muffled their complaints. During Rice’s visit to the region, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh noted March 16 that U.S.-Indian relations have reached a point where disagreements can be discussed “freely and frankly” and that India had made its position on U.S. F-16 sales to Pakistan well known.

A major arms client of Russia, India is increasingly eyeing U.S. weaponry. In addition to the potential fighter aircraft sale, the United States and India are discussing missile defenses. The two sides held a March 3-4 meeting on the subject in Hyderabad, India, and the U.S. government permitted Raytheon Corp., a U.S. company, to brief Indian officials for the first time on its Patriot system, which is designed to provide a defense against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

Major U.S. arms companies also participated in force for the first time, according to an Indian government spokesperson, at an Indian aerospace exposition in February. Lockheed Martin Corp., which builds the F-16, and Boeing Corp., which manufactures the F/A-18E/F, exhibited at the event.

Although India may have stifled its objections to the United States selling F-16s to Pakistan, some U.S. lawmakers, many of whom describe themselves as friends of India, are expressing their concern.

A bipartisan group of 20 legislators from the House of Representatives sent a March 23 letter to President George W. Bush opposing such a transaction on the grounds it “would undermine our long-term strategic interests.” They argued that Pakistan intends to use the planes against India and not in fighting terrorism, as the administration contends.

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), one of the letter’s signers, also introduced bipartisan legislation April 12 that would condition military assistance to Pakistan. A key provision would first require a certification that Islamabad had cooperated fully in shutting down the nuclear black market network run by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan and had granted the United States “unrestricted opportunities to interview” Khan. Pakistan has not given any outside officials access to Khan, but Rice asserted March 17 that the United States has “good cooperation with Pakistan” regarding the Khan network.

Two congressional staffers told Arms Control Today in April that the Ackerman-backed legislation, the Pakistan Proliferation Accountability Act of 2005, faces an uphill fight despite general congressional unease over Pakistan’s proliferation record. Most lawmakers view Islamabad as an essential ally in the war on terrorism.

Regardless of the bill’s fate, Congress possesses the authority to pass a joint resolution to block a proposed arms sale once an administration issues a formal notification of a completed contract. Still, Congress has never successfully done so. Sometimes, arms sales are amended or abandoned before a formal notification due to strong congressional pressure. A formal notification on the proposed Pakistani deal has yet to be made and could take months, depending on the pace of contract negotiations.

Lockheed Martin, which has delivered more than 4,400 F-16s to the United States and 23 other countries, wants to wrap up the deal quickly. Currently, the final F-16 is scheduled to roll off the assembly line in 2008, and the manufacturer wants to solidify the Pakistani deal to extend production longer.

Similarly, Boeing is eager to make India its first foreign customer for the F/A-18E/F. Company spokesperson Patricia Frost told Arms Control Today March 15 that the firm is “very excited about this opportunity.”

The Bush administration March 25 announced its willingness to sell advanced fighter aircraft to India and Pakistan...

India and Pakistan Set Missile Talks

Ianitza T. Ianachkova

India and Pakistan are moving forward in their plan to build on recent diplomatic exchanges conducted between the two Southeast Asian rivals since the new Indian government assumed power in May.

Experts from both countries will meet Dec. 14-15 in Islamabad to discuss a draft agreement for early notification of missile tests, among other confidence-building measures.

The December agreements are expected to build on previous commitments between the two nations, such as the establishment of a hotline between the two chains of command as well as a continuation of the 1998 bilateral moratorium on further nuclear tests. (See ACT, July/August 2004.)

In the meantime, the countries have hardly paused in showing off their military prowess. India reportedly tested its nuclear-capable Prithvi missile Oct. 27 on the heels of Pakistan’s Oct. 12 test of its nuclear-capable medium-range Ghauri missile. The test follows a series of missile tests conducted by each country since May. (See ACT, September 2004.)

Both countries said they were notified of the tests.

India, Pakistan Seek Missile Test Pact

Gabrielle Kohlmeier

India and Pakistan have agreed to develop a formal system for early notification of missile tests after a summer of high-level diplomacy between the long-standing South Asian rivals.

The measure was the most concrete achievement of a series of talks since the election of a new Indian government in May. (See ACT, July/August 2004.) Those talks culminated in a 90-minute meeting July 23 between Indian Foreign Minister K. Natwar Singh and Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf at Musharraf’s official Army House residence in Islamabad. Other talks have included an informal meeting of Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, and discussions between the two countries’ top career diplomats.

Despite the diplomatic progress, both countries have continued to jockey for strategic advantage. Musharraf announced June 30 that Islamabad will soon undertake an “extremely important, substantive [missile] test.” No specifics were released. The announcement followed a series of missile tests undertaken by India and Pakistan since the new Indian government took power. Both countries, however, asserted that they do not view these tests as threats and are committed to continuing to build on their improved relations with one another. (See ACT, July/August 2004.)

In early July, India released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2005, which includes a 27-percent increase in military spending from the previous year to $16.8 billion. India has been discussing enhancing various defense capabilities, including the development of a unit armed with nuclear-capable missiles. Pakistan expressed concern about India’s proposed military budget hike. The increase could “wittingly or unwittingly accelerate the arms race between the countries, which we could have avoided,” said Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Masood Khan July 12.

Still, Singh characterized his late July meetings as constructive and positive, asserting that he left Pakistan with “renewed determination to work with Pakistan to normalize our relations and resolve our differences.”

A formal meeting between the foreign ministers of each country will be held in New Delhi Sept. 5-6 to review the progress of their bilateral dialogue.

Engaging India

Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb. By Strobe Talbott, Brookings Institution Press, August 2004, 268 pp.

Michael Krepon

Strobe Talbott’s memoir, Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy and the Bomb, offers readers an insider’s account of U.S. relations with India and Pakistan during the tenuous period after both countries openly tested nuclear weapons in May 1998. Talbott, the deputy secretary of state, was then chosen to be the Clinton administration’s point person and crisis manager for South Asia.

His diplomatic skills were never more important or adept than during the 1999 Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan, which posed the risk of nuclear escalation. At the same time, Talbott was repeatedly frustrated in trying to convince New Delhi and Islamabad to formalize nuclear restraints. In a narrative rich with irony and insight, the author recounts how stalemated nuclear talks ended up broadening U.S.-Indian relations.

Talbott was handpicked for this high-stakes mission after President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright considered, and then rejected the possibility of appointing former President Jimmy Carter or former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) to the job. Their prospects faded because a high-profile special envoy might further complicate matters on the subcontinent. Albright, already busy with the Balkans and other crises, had enough “problems from hell” on her plate, so the crisis in the subcontinent became Talbott’s challenge—and his story to tell.

It is a story woven around extended talks with his primary Indian interlocutor, Jaswant Singh, the confidant of former Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee and subsequently New Delhi’s minister of external affairs. The story’s crucial pivot is a bold and ill-considered initiative hatched by a small group of senior Pakistani officers to seize the heights above the Indian town of Kargil. In doing so, the plotters, led by Army Chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf, unwittingly undercut their hopes to change the status quo in the disputed area of Kashmir and paved the way for a triumphant Clinton visit to New Delhi. The Kargil conflict and the rejection by Senate Republicans of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) derailed the author’s primary mission. Nevertheless, as Talbott notes, “[s]ometimes a negotiation that fails to resolve a specific dispute can have general and lasting benefits, especially if it is a dialogue in fact as well as in name.”

Talbott tells this narrative with self-deprecating candor and a deep respect for Singh. He readily acknowledges that Indian nuclear objectives prevailed over U.S. nonproliferation imperatives. This outcome was not surprising given the lousy cards that the Clinton administration had to play. After the nuclear tests, U.S. diplomacy sought to convince India and Pakistan to sign and ratify the CTBT; to halt production of fissile material for weapons; to exercise strategic restraint, particularly to stop flight-testing ballistic missiles; and to enact stricter export controls. None of these “benchmarks” were achieved on Talbott’s watch. India and Pakistan were not about to allow Washington to define the extent of their strategic requirements, particularly when they themselves were unable to quantify them. Nor did it help that Republicans on Capitol Hill were intent to liberate U.S. nuclear programs from the shackles of arms control.

In pursuit of these benchmarks, the Clinton administration had one big stick in the form of sanctions, which initially received strong support from an angry Congress. It had one carrot: the prospect of a presidential visit to the region in return for progress toward the benchmarks.

New Delhi correctly anticipated that sanctions would not last. The anger directed against India and Pakistan for testing nuclear weapons faded quickly on Capitol Hill, replaced by the impulse to push wheat and other home-state exports. When the Republican-led Senate voted against the test ban treaty in October 1999, they also cut the legs out from under the administration’s efforts to formalize verbal commitments by India and Pakistan not to resume testing. Bereft of leverage, Clinton saw no further value in putting off a trip and went in March 2000, the first presidential visit to India in 22 years. He felt a strong pull toward the subcontinent and besides, as part of a July 4, 1999, deal struck with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to defuse the Kargil crisis, Clinton promised to take a personal interest in Indo-Pakistani relations.

Talbott’s account of Sharif’s desperate trip to Washington adds important brush strokes to a picture of astute crisis management by the White House. Talbott’s portrayal of Sharif and the Pakistani government is far from flattering. During Clinton’s first term, the administration tried hard to improve ties with Pakistan, without much success. Talbott notes the strong aversion within the administration to tackle the Kashmir issue and depicts Sharif as a pathetic figure. During the second term, the administration switched to an “India first” approach to South Asia, hoping to end estrangement and reflecting profound frustration with Pakistan, which was viewed as deeply mired in damaging policies and dysfunctional governance.

Washington’s “tilt” toward India during the Kargil crisis came as a surprise to New Delhi and Islamabad and sealed the outcome that Indian troops had been fighting uphill to secure. The trust built by the administration’s efforts to force the withdrawal of Pakistani troops and to endorse the “sanctity” of the Kashmir divide was central to the transformation of U.S.-Indian ties.

Did the extended and unprecedented Talbott-Singh dialogue also contribute to the sea change from bilateral estrangement to engagement? Talbott believes this to be the case, but his narrative on this score may not be convincing to some readers. There can be no doubt about the value of this unprecedented dialogue, which became even more meaningful for the participants because of their genuine personal rapport. But as Talbott readily acknowledges, nations make critical decisions based on national interest, and his interlocutor was a staunch defender of Indian security imperatives. Moreover, Singh was a beleaguered figure in New Delhi. These circumstances suggest that the considerable rapport and understanding that Singh and Talbott developed did not significantly alter New Delhi’s calculations.

The U.S. national interest during these talks, as recounted by Talbott, was to “limit the extent to which the Indian bomb was an obstacle to better relations if India would, by explicit agreement, limit the development and deployment of its nuclear arsenal.” India’s national interest was to remove the bomb as an obstacle to better relations with the United States without constraining its nuclear options. Events as well as patient diplomacy reinforced the Indian position. Kargil and the actions of treaty-bashers in Washington conspired to improve bilateral ties but at the expense of U.S. nonproliferation objectives.

One question that readers will struggle with, as does Talbott, is whether the Indian government was ever serious about meeting the Clinton administration’s benchmarks. A cutoff in fissile material production for weapons and constraints on missile programs were unachievable as long as India could not be sure about its requirements for deterrence against China as well as Pakistan. Vajpayee’s governing coalition responded to the Clinton administration’s ill-advised request to clarify the meaning of “credible, minimal deterrence” with a draft nuclear doctrine endorsing open-ended and ambitious requirements. Singh reassuringly advised Talbott not to attach too much importance to this document, but his government subsequently endorsed it with only modest revisions.

This left India’s signature on the CTBT as a prime target of opportunity for the Clinton administration. Singh made a number of encouraging statements in this regard, before and even after Senate Republicans torpedoed the treaty. Talbott believes that Singh was acting in good faith but was stymied by resistance and political turbulence back in India. This generous assessment might be true. Alternatively, if India could not rule out nuclear options or if its underground tests in 1998 were less successful than advertised, a staunch defender of Indian national security like Singh might have been under instructions to tempt but temporize. Indian diplomacy specializes in wearing down and waiting out the opposition.

The Bush administration has not said very much about reducing nuclear dangers in South Asia, talking instead about raising U.S.-Indian ties to a new level, although not one befitting a state visit by the president. The dilemma of how to cohere South Asian nuclear realities to global nonproliferation imperatives remains an agenda item for the future. Talbott raises the possibility of a “5 + 2” arrangement for the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but without much conviction. The benefits of conferring a special status to India and Pakistan might be appealing to other nuclear aspirants and unwelcome to China, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, South Africa, and others.

This book is essential for South Asia experts and easy reading for the curious. Talbott has come a long way since translating Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs. The old Russia hand has become a South Asia hand as well.

Michael Krepon, president emeritus of the Henry L. Stimson Center, is author of Cooperative Threat Reduction, Missile Defense, and the Nuclear Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) and editor of Nuclear Risk Reduction in South Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming). He served as an outside reviewer to the Brookings Institution for an earlier draft of Engaging India.


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A Review of Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bombby Strobe Talbott

India, Pakistan Hold Nuclear Talks

July/August 2004

By Gabrielle Kohlmeier

Efforts to ease tensions between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan continued in June, despite a change in government in New Delhi. In nuclear confidence-building talks June 19-20, the two South Asian nations agreed to continue a 1998 bilateral moratorium on further nuclear tests and establish a hotline between each country’s foreign ministry.

The communications link is designed to “prevent misunderstandings and reduce risks relevant to nuclear issues,” according to the countries’ joint statement.

A hotline between their senior commands has already been used to ease tensions after violence on the Kashmir border, but the new link will be upgraded, dedicated, and secured, and will connect the foreign ministries, reducing the likelihood of an accidental nuclear war caused by a lack of communication. India and Pakistan also agreed to renew a nuclear test ban, except in “extraordinary circumstances.”

These talks marked the first discussions on mechanisms to prevent the use of nuclear weapons, and the first movement on the Lahore Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of February 1999, designed to reduce the risks of a nuclear exchange due to an accident or misunderstanding. (See ACT, January/February 1999).

In their joint statement June 20, India and Pakistan vowed to “continue bilateral discussions and hold further meetings towards the implementation of the Lahore MoU of 1999.”

The talks came after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) unexpected defeat in May’s Indian national elections. The BJP, led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had shocked the world and Pakistan in 1998 by carrying out nuclear tests soon after coming to power. Pakistan matched India’s move soon thereafter, raising the prospect of a nuclear exchange when both countries came to the verge of full-scale war in 1999 and 2002. (See ACT, March 2004).

Tensions had begun to ease, however, in 2003 after Vajpayee and Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharaff took steps to improve relations. Vajpayee’s defeat raised concerns that this progress might be undone. Concerns grew more pronounced when the talks, initially scheduled for May 25-26, were postponed indefinitely at the request of the new Indian government.

Those concerns were dispelled on May 27 when the Congress party and its coalition partners, which comprise the governing United Progressive Alliance, put forth their policy agenda. The Common Minimum Programme stated that “[t]he UPA government is committed to maintaining a credible nuclear weapons programme while at the same time it will evolve demonstrable and verifiable confidence-building measures with its nuclear neighbours.”

More pointedly, it reiterated new Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurances that close ties are a priority, stating that “ [t]he UPA will give the highest priority to building closer … ties with its neighbors in South Asia…Dialogue with Pakistan on all issues will be pursued systematically and on a sustained basis.”

Still, challenges remain in easing nuclear tensions, particularly as the talks have not yet slowed either country’s missile or military modernization programs.

On May 28, Pakistan initiated the first of two missile tests within less than a week, test-firing it’s Ghauri V, which is believed to be based on North Korea’s Nodong missile. It has a range of 1,500 kilometers enabling it to reach most cities in northern India.

On June 4, Pakistan test fired a Hatf missile. Musharraf insisted the tests were not meant as a hostile sign to India, but were undertaken to ensure the reliability of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Pakistani officials did emphasize, however, that the tests ought to clear up any false impressions that Pakistan will roll back its nuclear program.

Some countries reacted with disapproval to the missile tests. Japan’s foreign ministry issued a statement June 4 expressing “deep regret” over the missile tests, calling on Pakistan to “respond sincerely to the efforts of the international community to promote the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.”

Some of India’s governing Congress party also expressed dismay, accusing Pakistan of starting an arms race. But the official response was more measured. Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Shiv Shankar Menon said India had received prior notice from Islamabad, and was unconcerned about the two tests. He also rejected the notion that these tests carried any sort of message.

This tempered response may be related to the recent advances of India’s own nuclear initiatives. In May, New Delhi released a new Maritime Doctrine calling for the construction of a two-dozen-ship ballistic missile submarine fleet by 2030. In the interim, India plans to deploy a submarine by the end of next year, two years ahead of its originally scheduled deployment date.

And on June 13, India test-fired a Brahmos supersonic cruise missile, which, until then, had been in its experimental phase.





Efforts to ease tensions between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan continued in June, despite a change in government in New Delhi.

India, Pakistan Set Confidence-Building Talks

Gabrielle Kohlmeier

Indian and Pakistani officials are scheduled to meet later this month in the Indian capital New Delhi for formal discussions on nuclear confidence-building measures. The talks come in the wake of groundbreaking peace talks between the two bitter South Asian nuclear rivals earlier this year. (See ACT, January/February 2004.)

The May 25-26 meeting will include discussions on a possible agreement on annual exchanges of information regarding the location of nuclear installations and facilities. Another expected topic for discussion will be Pakistani nuclear weapons scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan’s admission that he passed nuclear secrets to Libya, North Korea, and Iran. Pakistani government officials have insisted that Khan acted without their support or acquiescence. While visiting Pakistan’s major nuclear facility in Rawalpindi April 21, Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf contended that no Pakistani government “had ever been involved in any kind of proliferation activities.”

In addition, Indian officials have expressed fears that Pakistani nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of extremists and have said that they will want a briefing on Pakistan’s nuclear security safeguards measures.

The talks will be led by Pakistan’s Acting Foreign Secretary Tariq Osman Hyder and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Additional Secretary Sheel Kant Sharma. Further talks are scheduled for June 15-16 in Pakistan to discuss prevention of drug trafficking and smuggling. After the expert level meetings in May and June, the countries are planning another meeting in June that will bring together the countries’ foreign secretaries. Ministerial-level meetings will then assemble the foreign ministers at some time in August, according to the schedule outlined by India and Pakistan in February.

The talks mark the latest sign of progress in easing tensions between the two countries, which have come close to war on several occasions in the past five years. The most recent crises in 1999 and 2002 followed the two states’ nuclear-weapon test explosions of 1998 and raised concerns that the countries would resort to using their nuclear weapons. (See ACT, March 2004.)

Relations have been on an upswing since Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Musharraf took the opportunity at a Jan. 6 regional summit in Islamabad to discuss renewing attempts at negotiation. In February the two countries charted a map for discussing the divisive issues plaguing Indo-Pakistani relations. Key issues involved confidence building, terrorism and drugs, trade and economic cooperation, travel restrictions, and disputed territory, including Jammu and Kashmir. (See ACT, March 2004.)

Both sides have maintained their commitment to the talks. “The ethos of the moment is genuine,” former Pakistani Foreign Secretary Tanvir Ahmed Khan told the BBC News Online earlier this year. “There is sufficient political will on both sides to continue talks.”

In Pakistan, Musharraf has reaffirmed his commitment to the talks although no progress has yet been reported on the bitter divisions over the disputed province of Kashmir, a long-standing Pakistani grievance.

Further, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Shivshankar Menon has said that his country’s national elections are unlikely to impede progress in Indo-Pakistani relations. Menon maintained that all of India’s major parties support dialogue with Pakistan and peaceful resolution of all issues.





Indian and Pakistani officials are scheduled to meet later this month in the Indian capital New Delhi for formal discussions on nuclear confidence-building measures...

Israel, India Sign Major Arms Deal

Wade Boese

With tacit U.S. blessing, Israel has finalized a $1.1 billion sale of three advanced airborne early-warning aircraft to India. Washington had previously urged the two countries to postpone the deal due to concerns that it might incite Pakistan.

Under the contract inked March 5, Israel will install its Phalcon system on three Russian-supplied aircraft for future delivery to India. The Phalcon is an advanced communications, electronic intelligence, and radar system able to provide simultaneous long-range tracking of multiple air and surface targets. The first of the three aircraft will be transferred to India within three to four years.

Israel has been marketing the Phalcon system overseas for several years but has met stiff U.S. resistance. In July 2000, Israel cancelled the proposed sale of four Phalcon systems to China under extreme pressure from Washington, which worried that the system might tilt the military edge in the Taiwan Strait away from Taipei and too much in Beijing’s favor. The United States further called upon Israel to delay a possible deal with India but dropped its objections in 2002 as relations improved between India and Pakistan.

Pakistani government officials expressed their displeasure with the new deal but did so in more reserved tones than usual. One Pakistani diplomatic source told Arms Control Today March 22 that the sale would exacerbate the already asymmetrical conventional-force balance between India and Pakistan and would compel Islamabad to look at ways to lessen the deal’s impact. It is too early to know what those measures might be, the source said.








With tacit U.S. blessing, Israel has finalized a $1.1 billion sale of three advanced airborne early-warning aircraft to India. Washington had previously urged the two countries to postpone the deal due to concerns that it might incite Pakistan.

Tensions Between India and Pakistan Ease

Relations on the subcontinent appeared to thaw some in December, with Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf suggesting early in the month that he would order Pakistani troops away from the line of control separating the disputed province of Kashmir if India were to do the same. Hopes were high at month’s end that Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee might meet on the sidelines of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in Islamabad during the first week of 2004. The offers came as two assassination attempts were made on Musharraf within 11 days. Pakistani authorities detained three men in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir in connection with the second attempt, which occurred on Christmas Day.


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