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Inter/Intrastate Conflicts in South Asia Large sections of the people of South Asia had to suffer the worst havoc of history, caused by the tsunami, due to the absence of a proper warning system since human security has never topped the agenda of the policy makers in a region embroiled with conflicts. South Asia, has, so far, failed to resolve inter/intrastate disputes that threaten its peace and impede the prospects of regional cooperation. There are perennial disputes that continue to fuel hostility which, in turn, give birth to ancillary conflicts that further complicate the prospects of conflict management and prohibit progress on the economic agenda envisaged by South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The past, and the current, mutually exclusive approaches to either dominate the region, ignoring the concerns of immediate small neighbours, or look beyond it to counterbalance the immediate 'hegemon' did not help forge understanding in the region, nor will they in the future. The governments and the parties to the conflict are under tremendous domestic and international pressure to find amicable solutions to their conflicts, especially in a changing regional, ecological and global environment. The states of South Asia need to jointly face the challenges, such as low river-water discharges, natural disasters, such as by the recent tsunami, and global trade disparities, in order to prevent the birth of a new inward-looking era in which each state fends for itself in the face of problems that can essentially be handled collectively in a dynamic regional setting. A new regional understanding of the riparian issues is essential to resolve Indo-Nepal, IndoBangladesh and Indo-Pakistan water disputes since regional riparian statutes are obligatory under RRR statute model respecting Helsinki Convention that envisages 8K upstream and downstream rights. All reconciliation processes and negotiations have to be even-handed, attuned to the priorities of the parties to the conflict, balanced, productive and mutually beneficial, and need to be framed and phased in a manner that the interlocutors continue to benefit from the process and are able to move forward. The slow pace of negotiations between India and Pakistan, suspension of the negotiation process between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), failure to initiate reconciliation with the Maoists in Nepal and inability of New Delhi and Dhaka in putting together a comprehensive negotiation framework to iron out their differences is causing despair among the people who have suffered too long due to these conflicts. However, it is a matter of satisfaction that the governments and the parties to the conflict increasingly realise the futility of conflict and have seen so much of it that they should find little reason in not taking the course of peacefully negotiated settlement of the disputes. Quite encouragingly, the composite dialogue process between India and Pakistan has entered its second round and both the governments have reiterated not to let the reconciliation process get derailed. Being nuclear powers, India and Pakistan must respect the desire for peace of their peoples and not let them down by slipping back into their frozen rigid positions. The respective nationalist ideologies of enmity need to be replaced with a paradigm of peace and harmony that views bilateralism as mutually reinforcing and equally rewarding. This would require approaching the outstanding

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issues with flexibility of approach and innovation, especially with regard to Jammu & Kashmir. The lesser differences should be quickly resolved to create an environment favourable to a process that may essentially result in the resolution of the main issue. The joint statements of January 6 and September 24, 2004, ask for stopping crossborder infiltration, and repression by respective states, exploring all possible options on Kashmir to find a solution to the satisfaction of the parties to the conflict -- above all the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir. They, simultaneously, call for normalisation of relations, taking confidence-building measures and expanding areas of possible cooperation. Indo-Bangladesh relations are passing through yet another uneasy phase of tension. It seems that New Delhi's complaints of Dhaka's alleged 'help' to militants from India's north-east and Bangladesh's concern over India's 'refusal' to correct the trade imbalance and differences over the river-linking project by New Delhi have strained their relations. While India should do more to remove tariff barriers on exports from Bangladesh and take Dhaka into confidence over the river-linking project, both the countries must take each other's security concerns more seriously and prevent cross-border hostilities. The political conflict in Sri Lanka, that has assumed an ethnic form due to the marginalisation and exclusion of ethnic minorities, cannot be resolved with a mindset of an already defined majoritarian state. Nor can a distinct Tamil political identity in the north-eastern region be recognised, without ensuring equality to other ethnic and religious minorities, territorial integrity of the state and stopping human rights violation from all sides and guaranteeing the rights of minorities. In the interim, the Ceasefire Agreement of 2002 needs to be strengthened and the urgent needs of the people of the war zone, including the minorities, necessitate the establishment of an interim administrative structure without further delay. The current havoc caused by the tsunami demands joint efforts by the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government. Given a very serious crisis in Nepal, it is time to review the Indo-Nepal Treaty of 1950 and the Letters exchanged in 1950 and 1965 and the constitution of the country. There is a need to effectively regulate Nepal-India border to stop cross-border activities that are detrimental to peace and security of the two countries. However, the Maoist conflict cannot be solved militarily and, therefore, calls for a negotiated settlement that can happen only if the parliamentary forces reach a consensus to bring the constitutional process back on the rail and the Maoists are brought on board to settle the conflict on a democratic basis. There is an urgent need to stop violence and violations of human rights by the security forces and the Maoists. It is a matter of serious concern that the pretext of inter/intrastate conflicts or 'war against terrorism' is being used to clip civil liberties, introduce draconian laws and suppress democratic aspirations of the people. While appreciating the voices of sanity for peaceful resolution of conflicts from the civil societies and the media, it is disappointing that certain sections of establishments, media and societies are still embedded to the so-called 'national consensus' that are one-sided and exclusionary. This is the time for South Asia to focus on its real issues of poverty, development and human security to save the people from the bloody waves of tsunami and get rid of inter/intrastate conflicts.

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Indo-Pak Relations: Present and Future

In This Issue (The views expressed in this journal are solely those of the authors)

Najmuddin Shaikh, former foreign secretary of Pakistan, analyses the factors that have brought India and Pakistan on the path of negotiated settlement of disputes. Taking a detached position, but obviously from Pakistan’s perspective, he argues not to re-invent the whole wheel in favour of every issue but to agree on what had been agreed earlier or what is possible and suitable to both sides in the longer term. The author’s do’s and dont’s are worth consideration by the interlocutors.

Bangladesh-India Relations South Asia’s Unresolved Disputes Khaled Ahmed, Consulting Editor of Daily Times, Pakistan, takes a historical and empirical view of unresolved disputes among the states of South Asia and says that while perennial disputes continue to keep the gulf, ancillary issues have also become 'core issues' and difficult to resolve. Focusing on India's relations with all its neighbours, he narrates multiple differences between New Delhi and all other countries that prohibit India's smaller neighbours to embrace the regional big brother.

South Asian Economic Powerhouse Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Shaukat Aziz, comes out very emphatically in favour of making South Asia an economically vibrant region with a pledge to make regional cooperation a dynamic enterprise. Mindful of Pakistan’s strategic position between South, East and Western Asia, Mr. Aziz assures of a very contributory role and that, he underlines, is possible if India and Pakistan join hands to do it together by thinking ‘out of the box’.

I. P. Khosla, former secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs of India, in his remarkable study of Indo-Bangladesh relations unveils the political dynamics of a bumpy relationship that suffers the ups and downs of political and divisive pulls. While he blames the political leadership of the countries for the difficult relations, he, despite sympathetically entertaining Bangladesh's concerns, makes a rational case on different issues that in the end may not be of satisfaction to the Bangladeshis.

Nepal-India Relations Krishna V. Rajan, former Indian Ambassador to Nepal, traces the five decades of an uneasy relationship between India and Nepal from, of course, New Delhi's perspective. He shows how India feels uneasy over Nepal's tendency to pursue equidistance or forge relations with other countries, especially China, and the way the Himalayan kingdom feels insecure due to India's attitude, despite striving to benefit from New Delhi's support. He concludes by saying that the 1950 Treaty is outdated and unfair to Nepal and needs to be reviewed, even as both agree to counter the Maoist challenge together.

Indo-Pak Conflict and Possibilities of Peace Salman Khurshid, senior leader of the Congress Party and former Indian diplomat, develops a context that makes no sense of the conflict between India and Pakistan. Challenging Pakistan's case over Jammu & Kashmir, while questioning the genesis of Pakistan's creation on the basis of religion - the hallmark of a contestable secular position - he, however, suggests a solution to the conflict on the lines of the Good Friday Agreement in the broader context of South Asian union.

Legal Purview: Wullar Barrage, Siachen and Sir Creek Ahmer Bilal Soofi, a prominent lawyer from Pakistan, places the disputes between India and Pakistan over Siachen, Sir Creek and Wullar Barrage in legal and technical perspectives. Suggesting that these issues be resolved on legal and technical bases, he cautions against mishandling of these issues by those who are not experts in the field and calls for political backing to legalistic solutions.

Tulbul, Sir Creek and Siachen: Competitive Methodologies

Nuclear Stabilisation in South Asia Moeed Yusuf, Consultant at Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad, provides a broader perspective on nuclear stabilisation in South Asia, while evaluating dangers inherent to nuclearisation of the subcontinent. Setting parameters that ensure nuclear safety in an otherwise volatile region, the author sets out necessary measures to ensure nuclear stability while discarding notions of prevention or pre-emption and calling to keep nuclear threshold at a manageable level.

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Bharat Bhushan, Editor of Telegraph, surveys the troublesome path of not resolving issues, such as Tulbul, Sir Creek and Siachen, between India and Pakistan and focuses on the shifting interpretations and methodologies experts and bureaucracies from the two sides use to defer their resolution. Although mainly representing the Indian standpoint, the author rightly observes that the resolution of these ancillary issues has got caught up in the heat of the perennial dispute over Kashmir and favours finding middle-of-the-road solutions.

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Regionalism Debate: Re-positioning SAFTA Dr Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka and Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director of SAWTEE, Kathmandu, review the debate on regionalism and make a comparative evaluation of the for and against schools of regionalism in the context of multilateral liberalisation. Supportive of regional trade arrangements and open regionalism, both Kelegama and Adhikari argue in favour of SAFTA while concluding that it needs to be repositioned in a pan-Asian context as a building-block for an Asian Economic Community.

India’s River Linking Plans Syed Shahid Husain, former Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Power, Pakistan, critically evaluates the ambitious river linking plan being envisaged by India that arouses serious apprehensions in Bangladesh, the lower riparian country. Besides politically and technically questioning the project, the author warns against the negative impact of the project over ecological equilibrium.

Nepal: A Tragedy of Triple Betrayal Dr Bishnu Raj Upreti, Director of Friends for Peace, Kathmandu, analyses the ‘people’s war’ started by the CPN-M (Maoist) Party in Nepal. Tracing the structural and ideological causes behind the Maoist insurgency and the three-way conflict between the Maoists, the palace and the parliamentary parties, the author identifies catalysts which have fueled the conflict in the Himalayan kingdom. The author concludes on the note that the Maoist conflict is not the reason behind the failure of democracy in Nepal, rather a reaction to it; and calls on all parties to the conflict to settle their differences through purposeful dialogue.

Absurdity of Nuclear Deterrence Achin Vanaik, a prominent Indian political commentator, contrasts the assumptions propounded by the bomb lobby with subsequent shift in their position to show the absurdity of the stability argument woven around nuclear deterrence. Questioning the very notions and assumptions, he argues complete disarmament while proposing some basic measures to make the threat from nuclear weapons less menacing.

South Asia's Unresolved Disputes Khaled Ahmed

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tates located in South Asia have taken longer than expected in overcoming their mutual suspicion and relating to one another as a bloc. Interstate hostility has lingered in the region, while in Southeast Asia the states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have overcome far more complex hurdles to successfully activate a regional trading bloc. On the other hand, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has not taken off because of bilateral impediments. Politicians are often heard saying that regional disputes should be resolved first. Outside observers and a growing community of intellectuals in South Asia recommend that regional disputes should be isolated to pave the way for a regionally active SAARC. The negative jurisprudence of old and simmering disputes has shaped national politics in the region; and its inhabitants are too deeply indoctrinated in it to allow their governments to move to a new paradigm of relations. The recent official dialogue between India and Pakistan has aroused familiar misgivings1. Democracy may indeed be a complicating factor in the most important triangle of the region: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh. Physical imperatives of the region place India at the centre of the problem. It abuts on almost all the South Asian states while these states are separated from one another by natural features or Indian territory. India has a complex and troubled relationship with Pakistan, giving rise to the development of country-specific nationalisms on both sides. It began with the single territorial dispute of Kashmir in 1948, but after half a century and three wars, more disputes have emerged in a cumulative negative process. The pattern constantly anticipates further proliferation of disputes in the future rather than their isolation in favour of resolution. So far the tendency to gestate and produce new disputes has been more prominent than the effort to settle them. Because India is the upper riparian state, bilateral tensions are beginning to focus more urgently on water than on territory. The current movement towards normalisation of relations between the two states is underpinned by efforts to resolve the bilateral disputes. The process highlights the tension between the instinct to settle the disputes in accordance with the nationalist interpretation placed on their evolution, on the one hand, and the international persuasion to bring about a new cooperative mode of state behaviour, on the other. India's relations with Bangladesh tend to fluctuate while the bilateral disputes remain un-tackled. As the upper riparian state, India is increasingly seen in Bangladesh as the enemy that wants to squeeze its traditional water resources. Hundreds of border enclaves left over from the 1947 boundary demarcation have not been streamlined and continue to give bilateral trouble. Bangladesh has problems

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with India in the Bay of Bengal, much exacerbated by a disputed silt island in the Bay. This dispute, impacting on maritime delineations of territorial waters and economic zones, is remarkably similar to the Sir Creek dispute India has with Pakistan. Bangladesh's nationalism has become bifurcated between the traditional 'painful birth' syndrome, which makes it anti-Pakistan; and the constitutional Islamisation of the state, which makes it anti-India2. A two-party system, which should normally stabilise the electoral system in a democracy, actually weakens the state because of the violently polarised Bengali and Bangladeshi nationalisms espoused by the Awami League (AL) and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). After a much disputed effort made in the 1990s by upper-riparian India to resolve the river water disputes with Bangladesh, the new millennium has seen new tensions rather than cooperation between the two neighbours. Sri Lanka has feared India because of its 'minority complex' vis-Ă -vis the 65 million Tamils that live in the Indian state of India. It began by seeking settled maritime boundaries with India in the Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar, then put its diplomatic pressure behind the creation of a UN-backed Zone of Peace in the Indian Ocean as an instrument of national security. Sri Lanka tried to avoid linkages within the region as a means of achieving security. It was lukewarm about its membership of SAARC and sought extra-regional relations with the ASEAN states. Yet out of all the states in the region, Sri Lanka has behaved more like a state of the future. It has rationalised its relations with 'hegemonic' India and moved more successfully in the direction of bilateral free trade with it than states have within the SAARC framework. It looked at the 1987 Indian military intervention with suspicion but then saw the withdrawal of the Indian troops from its territory in 1989. In the eyes of many Sri Lankans, after having failed to negotiate an independent position for itself, Sri Lanka implicitly acknowledged India's predominance before signing the 1987 agreement that brought the Indian troops to Sri Lanka. Together with Sri Lanka, Nepal has a history of interacting with India before 1947 as an independent state. It has accepted the suzerainty of the 'Indian empire' in the past, which it continues to do subliminally today in a bilateral framework that it seeks also to challenge. Economically dominated and much weakened by cross-border movement of populations, it has sought to balance its relations with India by reaching out to China, which India has looked at with suspicion. Nepal views its 1950 security treaty with India with dissatisfaction and would like to renegotiate it. India's own unspoken security doctrine hinges on its strategy of preventing its neighbours from communicating with extra-regional powers. To secure this objective it has signed treaties with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, binding the neighbours to 'consult' India as a first resort to counter external security threats rather than allow non-regional 'protectors' to intervene. Some critics have called it the 'India Doctrine' serving as a legal prop to India's hegemony in South Asia. India is the status quo power in South Asia in most discussions relating to the resolution of disputes in the region. India's perception of security compels it to perceive extra-regional threats through the instrumentality of the states situated on

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its periphery. During the Cold War, when its security perceptions were formed, it acted to prevent the peripheral states from joining up with the wrong ideological camp at the global level. If seen transgressing, it used its status quo advantage as a punitive tool to bring them to heel. As it increasingly perceived threat from China and Pakistan, it used the punitive tool effectively to encourage a certain pattern of behaviour among the peripheral states. From this mode of behaviour emerged more disputes between it and the neighbouring states while the old ones were not resolved as a matter of security policy. However, India's attitude began to change in the 1990s when the Cold War came to an end and India's over-all Nehruvian orientation began to decline. It saw rapid economic growth and was forced to look at the peripheral states more as entities that may assist in the rapid expansion of its economy rather than as rivals. More and more intellectuals in India are trying to persuade the strategic elite in New Delhi to move in the direction of resolution of disputes with the peripheral states in order to attain the global status India deserves as a nuclear and economic power. There could be unspoken doctrines behind policies that resulted in the nonresolution of disputes. As the upper riparian state, India threatened the lower-riparian Pakistan (East and West Pakistan till 1971) with economic damage through control of waters. As time passed, lesser disputes served as disincentives to the pursuit of the large disputes. One can say that in the Indo-Pak equation, smaller disputes were linked by India to the politics of preventing Pakistan from asserting its rights on the Kashmir dispute. The proliferation of disputes after 1947 seems to flow from a policy of actual creation of smaller disputes. Today, Kashmir has come to be labelled as a 'core' dispute by Pakistan in order to prevent it from being enumerated as one of the 'non-core' issues. The 'non-core' disputes have become linked to conditions placed by India on Pakistan's conduct. For instance, disputes can be discussed meaningfully if Pakistan stops its 'cross-border' infiltration of terrorists. In this formulation, the existence of 'non-core' issues can lessen the compulsion of discussing Kashmir as the irreducible quid pro quo for Pakistan's stopping its 'cross-border terrorism'. Today as India and Pakistan once again engage in a 'composite' dialogue, the two sides actually betray their real positions by insisting on two different approaches. Pakistan wants the 'core issue' discussed on priority; India wants it to be a 'basket' among other noncore 'baskets'. The peripheral states (Bangladesh added after 1971) have sought to persuade India to resolve the bilateral disputes through a variety of policies. In all cases, the various strategies of compelling India to come to the negotiating table in a meaningful way have failed. This has, in turn, resulted in the weakening of the peripheral states, mostly accompanied by instability and internal division3. Pakistan took the most dangerous course. It embraced the doctrine of low intensity warfare after 1989 and sought to bring India under pressure as the stronger status quo power through deniable privatised jihad. After a decade of inflicting considerable damage on India, this jihad has subsided amid global condemnation. Pakistan, not able to see the connection of Kashmir jihad with global terrorism, is now a state threatened by the forces it once unleashed while in possession of nuclear weapons. If Bangladesh

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thought that India's policy over the Ganges waters emanated from its conflict with Pakistan and that the Farakka Dam dispute would be resolved amicably after the creation of Bangladesh under a pro-India government, it was gravely mistaken. India's unwillingness to discuss the dam with Bangladesh before commissioning it has created a great schism in Bangladesh, represented by two violently opposed political parties. The instability of Bangladesh has pushed hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis into India illegally. The non-resolution of disputes between India and its neighbours appears to be creating a domain of disorder in India's periphery. In the long run this disorder will hinder India's progression towards the status of the big power it wants to be at the global level.

I. India, Pakistan and Kashmir The India-Pakistan rivalry is mostly understood in the context of the challenge Pakistan has posed to India on the issue of Kashmir. India annexed Kashmir after the ruler of Kashmir acceded to India in 1947. This is contested by Pakistan and by some scholars in the West4. The first war over Kashmir ended in 1948 after India went to the UN Security Council. The Security Council recommended plebiscite in Kashmir which could not be held because of the changed position of India. There were other ‘solutions' floating around too but none was accepted seriously5. In 1971, Pakistan experienced civil war in East Pakistan. India responded to the uprising there and intervened. Pakistan army was defeated by India and Pakistan was dismembered. One of the reasons behind the uprising was West Pakistan's security doctrine that posited defence of East Pakistan through enhanced military capacity in West Pakistan. In 1972 the two countries signed the Simla Agreement, binding themselves to a resolution of the Kashmir issue through bilateral talks. The issue went into cold storage after 1972, only to re-emerge in 1989 after an uprising in Kashmir which was caused by India's misrule in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan decided to start a low intensity conflict in Kashmir based on the experience gained from the deniable war in Afghanistan it had pursued in the 1980s together with the United States against the Soviet Union. General Zia-ul-Haq, who died in 1988, had transformed Pakistan under his strategy of Islamisation. Unwittingly, he undermined Pakistan's Kashmir cause by introducing laws in Pakistan that reduced the citizenship of all non-Muslims. It is moot whether he could have done so in the midst of an uprising in Kashmir with chances of it falling to Pakistan along with its 3 million non-Muslims. In the eyes of the international community it was no longer acceptable to give to Pakistan the whole or a part of Kashmir inhabited by non-Muslims. The world, therefore, started thinking more in terms of compelling India to award more genuine autonomy to the unhappy Kashmiris in return for a tacit conversion of the Line of Control (LoC) into an international border6. India stood firm against all international pressure and hunkered down to confronting the unofficial Pakistani jihad in Kashmir under an all-parties consensus of 1993. What followed has been described as a reign of atrocities over the Muslim Kashmiri civilians. By the end of the decade India became an offender of human rights in Kashmir and Pakistan was identified as a patron of terrorism in the name of jihad.

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By the end of the 1990s, Kashmir jihad was increasingly seen by the world as terrorism or cross-border terrorism, as labelled by India. Pakistan-based militias began to be declared terrorists by the United States as it began to bear the brunt of Al Qaeda attacks in different parts of the world. India increased its military drive against the uprising, its troops committing human rights violations that the world noticed but could do nothing about. The Indian point of view, barring a few knowledgeable personalities, remained supportive of the Indian military action. On the Pakistani side, the popular view remained supportive of the proxy war and no criticism of the jihadi militias could be made public without the fear of being physically attacked. Inside Kashmir, the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) represented the popular rebellion against India. Most of the parties comprising the APHC demanded 'Azadi' or an independent Kashmir instead of a plebiscite that would make it possible for Pakistan to annex Kashmir. APHC was also internally divided, which seemed to replicate the Pakistani experience with the jihadi militias in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. In 1998 the Kashmir dispute attained an extra dimension when India and Pakistan tested their nuclear devices and became overt nuclear powers. By the time Pakistan embarked on the Kargil Operation in 1999, the low-intensity conflict in Kashmir was yielding mostly negative results for Pakistan in terms of international support. The Kargil Operation, ostensibly meant to 'highlight' the Kashmir cause, collapsed to make Pakistan realise that it had become too isolated internationally for the policy of 'highlighting' to work. Kargil was another incident that woke the world to the possibility of a major war in South Asia. In 1987, the Indian exercise ‘Brasstacks’ triggered fears in Pakistan of an Indian invasion; in 1990 India's military exercise ‘Mahajan’ in Rajasthan is said to have brought the two 'recessed' nuclear powers to the brink of a nuclear conflict7. By 1999, the world believed that the theory of nuclear deterrence was not understood in South Asia the same way as had been in the West and that India and Pakistan could actually go at each other with nuclear bombs. Kargil caused the elected government in Pakistan to collapse; it strengthened the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under an upsurge of nationalism in the country. The architect of Kargil, General (now President) Pervez Musharraf went to a summit with the then Prime Minister Vajpayee at Agra in July 2001, but failed to get a 'flexible' response from him. The chastening of Islamabad at Kargil was not in equal measure with the moral boost the operation had yielded to New Delhi. The next trauma to Pakistan was not late in coming. On 11 September 2001, Pakistan suffered a blow to its over-all independence of policy when the United States challenged it to join the global drive against terrorism and ban all the jihadi militias operating in Kashmir. To compound Pakistan's problems with the world, the jihadi militias would not go away. Jaish-eMuhammad struck in December 2001 in New Delhi, this time in the very heart of India's democracy -- the parliament building. India moved its forces to the border where they remained for over a year.8 The world doesn't care for Pakistan's stand any more, that is, it thinks that the position on plebiscite is passé and now the two states must sit down and evolve a new solution encompassing the rights of the Kashmiris within or without India. (The

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influential view outside is for a solution within India.) The world is also conscious of India's ability to withstand all kinds of pressures for the alteration of the status quo9. It is more or less reconciled to the Line of Control (LoC) as a permanent frontier. But it wants to use the freezing of the LoC as a lure for India to give genuine autonomy to the Kashmiris. However, to keep the Pakistanis within the loop, a variety of new solutions involving Jammu & Kashmir with soft borders between the two occupied territories have been offered, only to be rebuffed -- mostly by India, while Pakistan plays its cards close to the chest, benefiting from India's quick rejectionism as a status quo power. In 2000, Farooq Kathwari, head of a New York-based Kashmir Study Group, floated his paper Kashmir: a way forward. The report contained five proposals for the creation of one or two new states which would together constitute a 'sovereign entity but one without international personality'. An Indian journalist cited the Kathwari paper as saying: 'The new entity would have its own secular, democratic constitution as well as its own citizenship, flag and legislature, which would legislate on all matters other than defence and foreign affairs... India and Pakistan would be responsible for the defence of the Kashmir entity, which would itself maintain police and gendarme forces for internal law and order purposes. India and Pakistan would be expected to work out financial arrangements for the Kashmir entity, which include a currency of its own'10. The Kashmir Study Group came under attack in India. It had been drawing upon the various Kashmir-related proposals made by independent Indian and Pakistani personalities. While Pakistan has been insisting on 'third party mediation' (read the U.S.) in Indo-Pak talks, it is common knowledge in Pakistan that the U.S. think-tanks favour a solution based on the conversion of the Line of Control (LoC) into an international border and a special status in Indo-Pak talks for the Kashmiri leaders. Indian diplomat and journalist Kuldip Nayar has been discussing the Trieste Model which he claims was personally supported by former Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. In 1993, Indian journalist Khushwant Singh stated that India should give serious consideration to allowing the Vale (excluding Ladakh and Jammu) 'to become an autonomous entity whose existence is guaranteed jointly by its neighbours -- India and Pakistan'11. In the 1960s, Indian statesman Jayaprakash Narayan and Indian President Rajagopalachari favoured the aspirations of the Kashmiris which could then be described as 'autonomy short of independence'. Alastair Lamb studied these various proposals and thought they all pointed to the solution of the Kashmir problem on the 'Andorra' model. His 'Andorra Approach' refers to the French-Spanish 'co-principality' in the Pyrenees which achieved limited independence through a constitution in 199312. Finland has been keen that Pakistan and India study the League of Nations case of Aland Islands between it and Norway and draw lessons from it. The case of South Tyrol between Italy and Austria has also been held up as a model if India and Pakistan decide to resolve the dispute by becoming flexible in their approach13. Senior Congress leader Mr Salman Khurshid, speaking at the SAFMA Conference on 'Interstate Conflicts in South Asia' in New Delhi on 10 October, 2004, referred to the relevance of the 'Irish Formula' to the Kashmir issue. He thought that India and Pakistan could benefit from the Good

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Friday Agreement of 1998 while discussing the dispute14. Earlier in September 2004, head of the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, Ms. Shireen Mazari had also favoured the Irish Formula.

II. Siachen, Wullar, Sir Creek ‘Lesser' disputes have cropped up between India and Pakistan while the two countries were being persuaded by the international community to resolve the big issue of Kashmir. The dispute over Siachen surfaced in 1984 when the two faced each other over the glacier approximately 150 miles northwest of Srinagar. Technically a part of Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen is located in a territory not clearly defined by the Simla Agreement. The Line of Control (LoC) established by the Agreement relied on the 1949 UN-mediated Ceasefire Line which was demarcated up to NJ9842 on the map. Beyond this point the document mentioned only the glaciers in general because of their inaccessibility. Both sides claimed that the other had provoked it into highaltitude deployment. India claimed that it wanted to secure the glacier because it formed a kind of gateway to Ladakh which was a part of the Indian-administered Kashmir. It is accepted on all hands that India had made the first move on Siachen15. The officers who had planned the operation tended to relate it to Chinese occupation of Aksai Chin, leading to the India-China war of 1962. Their position was that New Delhi had not allowed reconnaissance of the high mountains in the 1950s, thus making it possible for the Chinese to build the secret Xinjiang-Tibet road. Pakistan mobilised claiming that the Indian move to Siachen would interdict Pakistan's communication with its Northern Areas. The Indian and Pakistani pickets on the Siachen glacier have fired upon each other for the last 20 years. Siachen seems to have become a permanent dispute because of (rather than in spite of) the Simla Agreement provision that all disputes would be resolved through bilateral discussion for which there is no enduring mechanism. The Agreement has thus become a kind of useful docket in which to regularly insert new disputes. The irony is that the Siachen dispute was first created by violating the Simla Agreement; then Simla Agreement was used as a peg to make it permanent. In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President Zia-ul-Haq agreed to solve the dispute through talks, then in 1987 Siachen saw one of its worst incidents of fighting on the glacier. In 1989, foreign secretaries from both sides came close to clinching an accord on calling the troops back to pre-1984 positions, but India backtracked, saying the accord had not been conclusive. Some Indian experts say that the Siachen issue is now as permanent as the Kashmir dispute16. Outside observers think that Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi backtracked on Siachen because electorally a climb-down from the Siachen would have been seen by the Indian masses as a confession of defeat at the hands of Pakistan. By 1993, six foreign secretary-level talks had taken place without any result while much vitriol was expended on both sides on partisan presentations of the issue. While the world categorises the war on Siachen as one of the most absurd undertakings of the 20th century it also looks at Siachen as a crisis 'successfully managed' by New Delhi and Pakistan. This is the minimalist view allowing the two

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countries to be seen as reasonably competent to isolate their disputes and not let them escalate into bigger crises. Since they are accompanied by flights of nationalist imagination on both sides, the truth may be that the accumulation of the secondary disputes is developing national psyches against any final resolution. A number of issues have come to surface in consequence of India's status of an upper riparian state. Here too India has been inclined to using the status to compel Pakistan to modify its conduct on the Kashmir dispute17. Another issue which falls in the category of 'successfully managed' crises is the Wullar Barrage-Tulbul Navigation Project. The dispute arose in 1985 after India started work on a barrage on the Jhelum River at the mouth of the Wullar Lake near Srinagar. India claimed that the dam was meant to regulate navigation on the river in certain months of low flow. Pakistan accused India of violating the 1960 Indus Water Treaty of 1960. Predictably the two could not resolve the issue through negotiations under the Simla Agreement in the decades that followed. The escalation represented by Wullar is the transformation of an otherwise well-performing Indus Treaty into a disputed one. While avoiding the option of arbitration under the Treaty, the two sides have peculiarly conflicting views on the status of the Wullar Barrage dispute after suspension of work on the barrage. India thinks that the dispute has been resolved to the satisfaction of both sides while Pakistan thinks that the dispute is pending18. An official Pakistani website posits the dispute(s) like this: 'Over the years India has tried to start projects on the western rivers in Indian-Occupied Kashmir that violate the provisions of the Treaty. Some of the important projects among these are: a) The Baglihar Hydroelectric Project on River Chenab. b) The Wullar barrage Project on River Jhelum. c) The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Project on River Kishanganga (River Neelum). d) The Dul-Hasti Hydroelectric Project on River Chenab. e) The Sawalkot Dam on River Chenab. Apart from above-mentioned controversial projects, India has recently started avoiding holding of special meetings of the Pakistan India Commission (PIC) and conducting tours. During the last year (2002) no general tour of inspection could be carried out due to Indian reluctance. Similarly, India refused to entertain Pakistan's request of carrying out a special inspection tour of the Baglihar hydroelectric project on river Chenab and also refused to hold a special meeting of the PIC on the same issue. These are all blatant violations of the Indus Water Treaty'19. It appears that, instead of 'managing' the crises, the two countries are busy creating new disputes. The Pakistani view of the Baglihar Hydroelectric Project on River Chenab is summarised as follows: The 450-MW Baglihar power-project, which India is building on the Chenab River in Indian-administered Kashmir, is at present a major water issue between the two countries. Under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), India is entitled to use the three Western rivers, allocated to Pakistan for unrestricted use, for purposes such as generation of hydroelectric power. The present controversy arose as a result of the provision of submerged gated spillways in the Baglihar project-design that Pakistan says violates the IWT. The design would increase the dam's waterstorage capacity. Pakistani experts say the project, on completion, would deprive Pakistan of about 7000 cusecs of water per day, in addition to completely disrupting

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supplies for an uninterrupted period of 26 days during the critical DecemberFebruary period. India claims to have made changes in the design taking into consideration Pakistan's objections, but Pakistan remains unsatisfied. Following the failure of talks on the issue during the special meeting of the Indus Commission in February 2003 (which was held after much dilly-dallying by India), Pakistan asked for the appointment of a neutral expert in accordance with article IX of the IWT. India has not responded positively so far to Pakistan's demand'20. However, bilateral talks on Baglihar have been publicised as friendly and promising without an indication of a breakthrough in 2004. In August 2004, an Indo-Pak discussion of the Sir Creek dispute has also not yielded anything positive. The two sides decided to stick to their conflicting positions on Sir Creek, a 60-mile estuary in the marshes of the Rann of Kutch forming the southern border (Gujrat-Sindh) between the two countries. In 1968, an arbitration tribunal had decided that India was right in claiming that the Rann belonged entirely to it. The two countries had fought a war in the Rann in 1965, disputing the boundary north of Sir Creek. The tribunal did not go into the matter of where the frontier was in the Creek but that, in itself, became a dispute later on. By 1992, the two countries had talked about Sir Creek six times without a result. Where was the line separating India and Pakistan on the waters of the creek? International law would incline to the Indian view that the line should pass in the middle of the stream. Pakistan contends on the basis of earlier agreements that it should pass on the eastern shore of the creek, thus practically giving the creek to Pakistan. Since India had relied on an earlier map giving the boundary on the eastern bank it was supposed to have yielded the point. The truth, however, is that the determination of the boundary will also decide the beginning of the maritime boundaries of India and Pakistan. If India gets the line to fall in the middle of the stream on the principle of thalweg, then Pakistan tends to get less of the territorial waters zone and economic zone in the Indian Ocean. Both countries already routinely arrest each other's fishermen on the maritime boundary drawn notionally from Sir Creek21. Sir Creek is similar to the Delta Island dispute between India and Bangladesh as in that case too the drawing of the maritime boundary is an underlying issue. The above 'lesser' disputes between India and Pakistan have often been consigned to a domain of discussion devoted to confidence building measures (CBMs). Despite the fact that these disputes have become perennial, a number of publications have listed them as possible CBMs serving to soften the two sides before they approach the 'core issue' of Kashmir. The idea tacitly yields the position that the lesser issues are not real and may have been created to strengthen bilateral positions on the issue of Kashmir: that somehow India and Pakistan have dug a moat of obstacles to safeguard the castle of the main dispute. It has been presumed that since these obstacles are not really substantive, they can be removed to improve the atmospherics between the two rival states. In this thinking, Kashmir indeed is tacitly viewed as the core issue. Pakistan too designates Kashmir as the core issue and looks at these lesser issues as distractions that can be sorted out easily once Kashmir is resolved. On the other hand, India does not recognise the designation of a 'core issue';

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it does not want to discuss Kashmir on any priority. At the internal political level Kashmir is actually non-negotiable. This puts a different complexion on the 'non-core' issues discussed above. The two sides are not actually agreed on the status of the issues other than Kashmir. Are they peripheral to the Kashmir dispute? Can they be treated as CBMs? Their importance and seriousness lie in the fact that they threaten to become 'core issues' if India and Pakistan do not make up their minds about the post-nuclear status quo in the region.

Instead it proposed a diversion from Brahmaputra through a large canal to augment the Ganges waters. This was not acceptable to Bangladesh, which feared ecological damage from the canal. India and Bangladesh signed a 30-year agreement on water sharing from Farakka in December 1996. The agreement has not satisfied the opposition parties in Bangladesh. One fear that drives the anti-India feeling in Bangladesh comes from any future measures that India might take to divert the 54 rivers that flow into Bangladesh from its territory24.

III. Bangladesh-India Disputes

The issue of demarcating territorial waters between the countries has resulted in serious differences. Both lay claim to a new-born island in the estuary of Haribhanga River on the border of the two countries has simmered since the 1970s. This island, known as South Talpatty to Bangladesh, and New Moore/Purbasha to India, first appeared on a satellite picture in 1975. Both immediately laid claims to it. Bangladesh proposed that a joint Indo-Bangladesh team go to the spot to determine the flow of channels of the river in accordance with international law. India instead sent out troops and stationed its naval force on the island in 1981. However, India withdrew its forces after protest from Dhaka and agreed to negotiations. There was tension over the issue in 1998 after the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) established a base on the island and the Indian navy started visiting the island regularly. In 2001, the quarrel over the island was compounded when border skirmishes occurred in Meghalaya state of India and the Sylhet district in Bangladesh. Dhaka accused India of holding territory in the area illegally since 1971. An operation by the Bangladesh troops against the Indian army resulted in the death of 16 Indian and three Bangladeshi soldiers. An estimated 10,000 people on Bangladesh side and 1,000 people on Indian side were forced to flee from the disputed area as a result of the on-going tension. This brought to the fore the much tortured question of the unresolved 'enclaves' that exist along the border. The border drawn between India and Pakistan by Sir Cyril Radcliffe resulted in India's control over 112 enclaves and Bangladesh's control over 32 enclaves based on the religious identities of the inhabitants of those areas. To avoid trouble the two countries signed an agreement in 1972 to resolve the enclaves issue, but India did not ratify it. Bangladesh immediately ratified the treaty and returned the disputed Berubari to India, while India gave Bangladesh the permission to use the Tin Bigha corridor, a gateway to Bangladeshi enclaves inside India, in 199225.

Bangladesh is geographically surrounded by India, except for a stretch of 283 km border with Myanmar (Burma). Its relations with India were hostile when it was a part of Pakistan. India's policy was punitive in response to Pakistan's pursuit of a change in the territorial status quo in the region. The 1965 war was fought to a stalemate in West Pakistan but it exposed East Pakistan to new fears of security. Inter-wing political contradictions created an opposition in East Pakistan that was pro-India. Internal strife separated Pakistan's Eastern wing in 1971, after what looked like a pro-India revolution seeking national liberation. Many observers expected Bangladesh-India relations to improve as partners in South Asia. It was thought that the disputes relating to territory and waters that bedevilled India's relations with Pakistan would be resolved in short order. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Today, instead of clearing the backlog of bilateral troubles, the two countries have entered a phase of bitterness unseen before. The old Farakka Dam issue that simmered between India and Pakistan was resolved in the 1990s, but not completely22. Other issues have snowballed meanwhile to heighten mutual hatred at the popular level. River Ganges flows through China, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. It receives 80 per cent of its rainfall during the June-September monsoon period till the volume of water at Farakka becomes 2.5 million cubic feet. In 1951 India first thought of building a dam at Farakka -- 18 miles upstream from Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) designed to divert the Ganges' flow during the dry season into Baghirathi-Hoogli River to flush out the silt at the port of Calcutta. Concern for the future of East Pakistan's agriculture was aroused by the planned barrage. As time passed the Farakka Dam became a dispute between India and Pakistan -- second in bitterness only to the Kashmir dispute. The Dam was commissioned after the independence of Bangladesh. It was expected that, given the cordial relations between India and the newly created state, the Farakka Dam issue would be dealt with amicably, but it was not23. India did not consult with Dhaka before operationalising the barrage. In the years that have followed, Bangladesh has suffered adverse effect on its agriculture, fishery, navigation and forestry due to the reduced flow in the dry season when it most needs the Ganges water. (Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers sustain 86 per cent of the total land area in Bangladesh.) Anti-India sentiment was fuelled by the dispute over the Farakka Dam. In contrast, when India, as the upper riparian state, interfered with rivers flowing into Pakistan the dispute was resolved through the Indus Water Treaty in 1960. India and Bangladesh have failed since 1974 to agree on a strategy of water flows during the dry season. When Bangladesh proposed several storage dams on the tributaries of the Ganges up river in Nepal, India objected to it.

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Bangladesh has refugee problems with both Burma and India. In the first case, it is Burmese Muslims (Arakanese) who flee into Bangladesh; in the second case, it is the Bangladeshis fleeing into India mostly for economic reasons. Bangladesh also has 260,000 'Pakistanis' who have not been expatriated to Pakistan. India has become sensitive to the stream of migration from Bangladesh; and because of it the bilateral equation dips dangerously when the Bangladesh Nationalist Party of Khaleda Zia is in power. In January 2003, the former Deputy Prime Minister of India, L. K. Advani, announced the deportation of some three million 'illegal' Bangladeshis from India. The government of West Bengal state contested the criterion on which the Bangladeshis were designated as illegal but New Delhi remained adamant and finally deported some 213 Bengali-speaking people from West Bengal. Bangladesh disagreed

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with the principle on which India sought to resolve the 'illegal Bangladeshis' issue. This issue took India-Bangladesh relations to their lowest point in 2003. According to Bangladeshi sources, that year India is alleged to have made 60 attempts to push thousands of people into Bangladesh from various points on the border.

Nadu. So strong was the Sri Lankan fear of being absorbed by the Big Brother in the north that it sought in the beginning to turn away from the subcontinent and establish relations with the states of Southeast Asia within ASEAN. It was lukewarm towards SAARC and its regional framework27.

Indo-Bangladesh trade has been another bilateral irritant. Bangladesh has to accept India as its biggest trade partner because of geographic proximity but has a trade deficit of a billion dollars it doesn't like at all. It imported goods worth US$ 1,022 million in 2001-02 and exported to it goods worth only US$ 50.28 million. In the last ten years the trade deficit has grown three times over because of the economic disparity and India's comparative economic advantage. Borders being porous and rendered vulnerable by enclaves lead to massive smuggling that undermines Bangladeshi economy. The unhappiness over the unequal trade relationship spills over into the entire area of economic cooperation. Political bitterness has fostered the habit in Bangladesh of subjecting the issue of economic adjustment with India to electoral pressures. The question of exporting Bangladeshi gas to an energy-starved India could become a counter in the Bangladeshi leverage on India to resolve some of the outstanding disputes, but it was politicised between the anti-India BNP and supposedly pro-India Awami League. One of the issues highlighted in the 2001 elections was Dhaka's agreement to exporting gas to India. Awami League's Hasina Wajid was warned that if she agreed she would lose the elections. However, the popular sentiment was so intensely anti-Indian that she lost the elections anyway and the gas project was shelved26. On the other hand, India has alleged that BNP allows Pakistan to pursue its hostile anti-Indian agenda from the soil of Bangladesh. Exchanges have been bitter over statements made in India that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been operating out of Bangladesh. There is a counter-allegation that under the Awami League government India extends its influence in Bangladesh through Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). A free trade treaty between India and Bangladesh is under discussion but, given the state of bilateral relations, it is expected to take a long time in materialising.

If the past is a bitter memory it should fade away in the coming economic era. India's policy towards Sri Lanka was directed at preventing it from looking outwards from the subcontinent and thus attracting external interests into the region. 'Broadly speaking, two major considerations underlay India's Sri Lanka policy when Indira Gandhi was prime minister. First, there were geo-strategic concerns, and a desire to insulate Sri Lanka from external forces that would have a destabilising effect on India's security and strategic environment. The second consideration was to prevent geographical proximity and ethnic affinities from leading to a resurgence of secessionist demands in Tamil Nadu. While proclaiming India's commitment to the unity of Sri Lanka, New Delhi also helped Tamils wrest concessions from an unwilling Sinhalese-dominated government. The cumulative effect was the pursuance of a twopronged but contradictory strategy -- mediatory and militant-supportive'28. It was Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who in 1985 decided to stop all training and assistance to Sri Lankan Tamil groups to ensure the success of the mediatory efforts he had initiated. However, some sources in India maintain that the LTTE received massive assistance when Rajiv Gandhi was in power. It received more arms than all the other militant groups put together; the quality of the arms the organisation received was also higher than that of what the other organisations received29. This assistance continued till July 1987. In 1987 an Indo-Sri Lanka treaty made it possible for the two countries to start a new relationship. India initiated a new perception of the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka looked at India as a balancing factor against its own Sinhala nationalism of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). New Delhi withheld its support to the Tamil Tigers to give Colombo the breathing space to confront the JVP violence. Under the treaty an Indian 'peace-keeping' force entered Sri Lanka but failed to achieve its objectives. India was not able by this policy to make the Sri Lankan government reach an equitable solution to the problem of separatism. The Sri Lankan nationalists campaigned to paint the Indian intervention as a violation of Sri Lanka's sovereignty while on the LTTE's side India was unable to persuade the Tamil leaders to accommodate the Sri Lankan point of view.

IV. Indo-Sri Lanka Relations Sri Lanka and Nepal fall in the category of states with which India has an 'asymmetric' relationship. The unresolved issues basically relate to this permanent factor. India's neighbours began in 1947 to think of national security as a part of their relations with India. The threats were perceived as being external, mostly tied to unsettled disputes with India. Over the years, the direction of threat has become internal rather than external. Like Bangladesh and Pakistan, Sri Lanka too has started positing national security as related to internal threat. As they stand today, the Sri Lanka-India relations could be described as South Asian model for the future. Sri Lanka began by maximising its security against India. Its perception of India was dominated by its concern to secure its territorial integrity. Top priority was given by Colombo to the resolution of the disputes over Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Up to the 1980s Sri Lanka sought to neutralise India by getting the UN to declare the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace. It feared Indian intervention on behalf of the Tamil community in the north of the country as they represented the 65 million strong Indian state of Tamil

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The two countries moved forward to a free trade treaty in 1998 -- the only bilateral one in the region -- which is said to be operating satisfactorily. Under the agreement, India will eliminate tariffs on 1,000 Sri Lankan products over a period of three years and Sri Lanka will do away with tariffs on 900 Indian products within eight years. The list of products whose tariffs will be eliminated or reduced and the 'negative list' of products will be negotiated as the bilateral trade (now at a billion dollars) takes off. A Sri Lankan economist, however, takes a cautious view of the agreement: 'There is a fear among the smaller countries that the main beneficiary from tariff liberalisation would be the larger countries. Irrespective of the theoretical viewpoint, the perception of smaller countries needs to be recognised, and it was this realisation that led to the “Gujral Doctrine� to be introduced by India in 1997/98.

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However, there is some dilution of the doctrine in recent years and, giving vent to this, an editorial of the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) stated: ‘It is for India to ensure that smaller members of the region have a growing stake in regionalism. This responsibility India has not taken seriously’. (EPW, January 10-16, 2004: 119)30 The 'unresolved dispute' of Tamil separatism has forced the two states to become aware of their limitations. India has come to realise that there is a limit to how far it can go to offer assurances to Colombo at the risk of alienating the state of Tamil Nadu; and Colombo has realised that the people of Sri Lanka simply cannot suppress their fear of India because it contains the state of Tamil Nadu where people are generally in sympathy with the LTTE. The Indo-Sri Lanka model of cooperation emerges from this mutual realisation. It is also based on the tacit acceptance by Sri Lanka of India's regional vision. The two Muslim states of the region -- Pakistan and Bangladesh -- are strongly resisting this regional vision, but their rebellion is fast giving way to the realisation that they are both weak from within and that their security needs to be strengthened against internal threats. This phenomenon of internal threat is in line with the Sri Lankan experience.

V. Indo-Nepal Relations Relations between India and Nepal are close yet fraught with difficulties stemming from geography, economics, the problems inherent in big power-small neighbour relations, and common ethnic and linguistic identities that overlap the two countries' borders. In 1950 New Delhi and Kathmandu initiated their relationship with the Treaty of Peace and Friendship and accompanying letters that defined security relations between the two countries, and an agreement governing both bilateral trade and trade transiting Indian soil. The 1950 Treaty and letters stated that 'neither government shall tolerate any threat to the security of the other by a foreign aggressor' and obligated both sides 'to inform each other of any serious friction or misunderstanding with any neighbouring state likely to cause any breach in the friendly relations subsisting between the two governments'. These accords cemented a 'special relationship' between India and Nepal that granted Nepal preferential economic treatment and provided Nepalese in India the same economic and educational opportunities as Indian citizens. In the 1950s, Nepal welcomed close relations with India, but as the number of Nepalese living and working in India increased and the involvement of India in Nepal's economy deepened in the 1960s and after, so too did Nepalese discomfort with the special relationship. Tensions came to a head in the mid-1970s, when Nepal pressed for substantial amendments in its favour in the trade and transit treaty and openly criticised India's 1975 annexation of Sikkim as an Indian state. In 1975, when King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev proposed that Nepal be recognised internationally as a zone of peace, he received support from China and Pakistan. In New Delhi's view, if the king's proposal did not contradict the 1950 Treaty and was merely an extension of non-alignment, it was unnecessary; if it was a repudiation of the special relationship, it represented a possible threat to India's security and could not be endorsed. In 1984 Nepal repeated the proposal, but there was no reaction from

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India. Nepal continually promoted the proposal in international forums, with Chinese support; by 1990 it had won the support of 112 countries. In 1978 India agreed to separate trade and transit treaties, satisfying a longterm Nepalese demand. In 1988, when the two treaties were up for renewal, Nepal's refusal to accommodate India's wishes on the transit treaty caused India to call for a single trade and transit treaty. Thereafter, Nepal took a hard-line position that led to a serious crisis in India-Nepal relations. After two extensions, the two treaties expired on 23 March 1989, resulting in a virtual Indian economic blockade of Nepal that lasted until late April 1990. Although economic issues were a major factor in the two countries' confrontation, Indian dissatisfaction with Nepal's 1988 acquisition of Chinese weaponry played an important role. New Delhi perceived the arms purchase as an indication of Kathmandu's intent to build a military relationship with Beijing, in violation of the 1950 Treaty and letters exchanged in 1959 and 1965, which included Nepal in India's security zone and precluded arms purchases without India's approval. India linked security with economic relations and insisted on reviewing India-Nepal relations as a whole. Nepal had to back down after worsening economic conditions led to a change in Nepal's political system, in which the king was forced to institute a parliamentary democracy. The new government sought quick restoration of amicable relations with India. Nepal too has followed the pattern of the other peripheral states challenging the subcontinental status quo against Indian interests. The special security relationship between New Delhi and Kathmandu was reestablished during the June 1990 New Delhi meeting of Nepal's Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Indian Prime Minister V. P. Singh. During the December 1991 visit to India by Nepalese Prime Minister Girijad Prasad Koirala, the two countries signed new, separate trade and transit treaties and other economic agreements designed to accord Nepal additional economic benefits. Indo-Nepal relations appeared to be undergoing still more reassessment when Nepal's Prime Minister Manmohan Adhikari visited New Delhi in April 1995 and insisted on a major review of the 1950 peace and friendship treaty. In the face of benign statements by his Indian hosts relating to the treaty, Adhikari sought greater economic independence for his landlocked nation while simultaneously striving to improve ties with China. In India, most men of opinion are agreed that an asymmetry of relations between the two countries is inevitable. The leaders in India stressed India's special relationship with Nepal. In 1990, Indian external affairs minister I. K. Gujral stated that the size and levels of economic growth of Nepal and India were such that reciprocity in the strict sense of the word was neither feasible nor possible in their relationship, that was the reason why he had often said that the relation between the two countries was bound to be asymmetrical and the only point was how to make that asymmetry more beneficial to both sides (The Rising Nepal, 1 June 1990). A Nepali scholar emphasised that India's unwillingness to accept Nepal's equidistance approach in its relations with its immediate neighbours -- India and China -- was expressed by the then Indian Ambassador to Nepal, S. K. Sinha who, addressing a function organised by the Rotary Club of Biratnagar, stated that it was not practical for Nepal that it would maintain relations based upon equidistance with which India had special relations in all fields.

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Nepal could not have relations with China, which were similar to those with India. He had made similar other remarks in other places as well. Indian scholars and academicians like Bhabani Sen Gupta also openly emphasised India's special relations with Nepal (Spotlight March 32, 1991).31 Dr Bishnu Hari describes India-Nepal relationship as 'constraint zones' that need to be addressed to improve bilateral ties32. The first 'constraint' relates to what he calls the 'regular problematic paradigm' of inundation, particularly due to Laxmanpur Barrage affecting the Banke districts of Nepal. After discussions, India agreed to manage the sluice gates of the Bund but rejected the demand that it avoid inundating Lumbini, the famous birthplace of Lord Buddha. In fact there were 17 places where inundation occurred from projects located inside India, 300 metres from the Nepali border. What Dr Hari describes as a 'tragedy zone' are the agreements signed between India and Nepal on irrigation. They are a 'tragedy' because they are widely rejected by the Nepali population. One example is the Tanakpur Agreement signed by Prime Minister Koirala in 1991, which has had to be replaced by another by the name of Mahakali Agreement which too has not been implemented. Nepal is busy on six major irrigation projects on rivers that mostly flow towards the Ganges Basin in India, becoming a part of the great 'River-linking Project' which upsets Bangladesh a great deal. It was thought that after BJP, the controversial project would be laid aside, but on 6 October, 2004, the president of India reportedly revived it33. There are also problems related to the 1781 km long border that Nepal has with India. A large part of the no-man's land on the border has been encroached upon by projects inside India. Yet, there is hope if India and Nepal finally recognise the need they have of each other. Nepal contributes 71 per cent of the Ganges dry season flows and 41 per cent of the total annual flows. Recently Indian writer Raja Mohan clarified the following aspects of the Indo-Nepal relationship: 'India's current Nepal policy has three components. First is military assistance to Kathmandu in enhancing the capabilities of the Royal Nepal Army to counter the violence of the Maoists. India sees the rise of Maoists as a threat not merely to Nepal but also itself. India has a unique relationship with Nepal and is obliged under a 1950 treaty to offer protection to the state in Kathmandu. For New Delhi, Nepal's war against Maoists was intimately linked to its campaign against the terror of the left wing extremist groups within India. Second, New Delhi called for a restoration of the balance between Constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy to strengthen the ability of the Nepali state to deal with the grave crisis. Third, New Delhi impressed upon Kathmandu that there can be no military victory against the Maoists and a political dialogue is necessary to address the genuine grievances of the people that the movement has articulated. As the Maoists gain ground, this three-fold policy of India has come under stress‌India's own ardour for military intervention in its neighbourhood has cooled considerably since its last disastrous experience in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. India has also traditionally been opposed to letting the United Nations have a say in managing the regional conflicts within its neighbourhood. As the crisis in Nepal unfolds, India will have to choose between many unpleasant and probably ineffective options. But the first step in New

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Delhi must be to devote urgent political attention to potential state failure in Nepal'.34 (Khaled Ahmed is Consulting Editor of Daily Times, Pakistan)

End Notes 1

2.

3.

4.

5.

Inayatullah, 'India's new gameplan', The News (14 September, 2004). 'In Pakistan, much fear India is simply stinging them along, and has no intention of ever seriously discussing Kashmir. To them, the list of 72 "confidence-building measures" India has proposed is a list of 72 excuses to change the subject. The fact of the matter is that India had already queered the pitch against Musharraf. Not only Natwar Singh but Manmohan Singh himself had upped the ante, putting Pakistan in the dock only days before Kasuri set foot in New Delhi. Add to this the utterings of Pranab Mukherjee, India's defence minister on the Line of Control.' Jeremy Seabrook, Freedom unfinished: Fundamentalism and Popular Resistance in Bangladesh Today, (Zed Books, 2000). The author thinks that the state is swaying between those who favour the Bengali nationalism and those who propagate Bangladeshi nationalism, the two poles being represented by Sheikh Hasina's Awami League (AL) and Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). The BNP leans on a third phenomenon, the fundamentalists and Jamaat Islami. Over this confusion presides the sinister subcontinental politics of India and Pakistan, India supporting Awami League and Pakistan supporting BNP and the fundamentalists. The author favours Proshika, an old NGO advocating a plural Bangladesh, but seeing both AL and BNP as totally corrupt parties that agree on everything exploitative of the masses but not on each other's existence. BNP ruled Bangladesh from 1991 to 1996; AL ruled from 1996 to 2000. BNP enforced crippling strikes against the AL government 60 times; AL enforced strikes against the BNP 140 times. Abdullah Malik, Ahmad Salim and Fauzia Javed, Masood Khaddar Posh (Sang-e-Meel, 2004). The book examines the memoir of General Ayub Khan, Friends not Masters (1965) for his confession that the Indus Water Treaty 1960 was an unequal treaty that he had to conclude with upper riparian India or face water embargo by India possibly leading to war in which Pakistan would be defeated because of India's superior arms. Ayub admits to using coercion and threat to beat down domestic opposition to the 1960 Treaty. Today in 2004, Sindh refuses to accept the Treaty, which it associates with the perfidy of the upper riparian province Punjab. Alastair Lamb, Incomplete Partition (OUP, 1998) comes to the conclusion that the instrument of accession was not signed on the date claimed by the Indian government to legitimise its sending of troops into Kashmir. American scholar Stanley Wolpert relates the accession story in his 1996 book, Nehru: A tryst with Destiny, basing it on the lack of concordance between versions of the accession. Wolpert writes that Menon returned from Srinagar on 26 October 'with no Instrument of Accession' to report on the perilous condition in Kashmir to the Defence Committee. Only after Mountbatten had allowed the airlift of Indian troops on 27 October, did Menon and Mahajan set out for Jammu 'to get the Instrument of Accession'. The Maharaja signed the Instrument after the Indian troops had assumed control of the state of Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar. If Wolpert's version is accepted then the 'conspiracy' of legalising the airlift becomes acceptable. Lamb thinks that it is possible that 'certainly Menon, perhaps Mountbatten, perhaps Nehru and perhaps Patel' were involved in this conspiracy. Lamb also claims that the document of accession does not exist. Alastair Lamb, Kashmir: A Disputed Legacy 1946-1990 (OUP, 1991) rates Owen Dixon very highly as an investigator and regards his reports to the UN Security Council as most

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elegantly framed and insightful. After a number of attempts, Dixon failed to convince India to accept new modalities of demilitarisation of the State before holding the plebiscite. He also suggested holding regional plebiscites which would have divided Jammu & Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Josef Korbel, commenting on Dixon's effort in his book Danger in Kashmir (OUP reprint 2002), noted that Dixon 'appeared sceptical of the ability of the United Nations to force upon India any just solution'. 6. Mansur Ijaz, 'Kashmir: Defining the Road to Peace', Washington Post, (22 September, 2004): 'One bold step: adjusting the Line of Control. Kashmir's final solution lies in territorial adjustments that reflect India's desire for geographical unity while respecting Pakistan's yearning to reunite with disputed Kashmir's people. Therefore, modifications of the Line of Control that give Pakistan even a sliver of the coveted Kashmir valley by moving it a few miles east in the southern part near Srinagar, while moving it westward in the northern part at Siachen, where only glaciers hold fort, would give Pakistan's army generals enough cover to claim victory to their partisan domestic audience while allowing India its right to geographical unity. Accentuating such territorial adjustments by making the border more porous so Kashmiris within the princely state can be reunited and demilitarisation can occur would heal the scars of five decades of conflict'. (Mansoor Ijaz, chairman of Crescent Investment Management in New York City, jointly authored the blueprint for a cease-fire of hostilities in Kashmir in 2000.) 7. P. R. Chari, Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Stephen Philip Cohen, Perception Politics and Policy in South Asia: The Compound Crisis of 1990, (Routledge/Curzon, 2003). The authors have examined the Mahajan exercise after their earlier analysis of Brasstacks. 8. Daily Times, Lahore, 11 March, 2004: 'Senator Lt General (r) Javed Ashraf Qazi said on Friday that banned outfit Jaish Muhammad was involved in the attempts on General Pervez Musharraf's life. “We must not be afraid of admitting that Jaish was involved in the deaths of thousands of innocent Kashmiris, bombing the Indian Parliament, Daniel Pearl's murder and attempts on President Musharraf's life,” said Senator Qazi, who is also former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general.' 9. George Perkovich, vice president of studies at the Carnegie Endowment and MIT, who wrote the seminal book on India's nuclear programme India's Nuclear Bomb: the Impact on Global Proliferation (OUP, 1999), has meditated on the theme in his article 'Is India a Major Power?', The Washington Quarterly, (Winter, 2003-04). He quotes the great probomb political scientist Kenneth Waltz of the realist school to establish the baseline of his discussion: 'a useful colloquial definition of power is the extent that one affects others more than they affect oneself'. He then elaborates the definition further by saying: 'A state's power can thus be understood as a combination of its capacity to influence others to behave as it wants them to and, conversely, to resist the unwelcome influence of others'. He thinks that India has achieved the second quality but not the first: it has attained the ability to fend off external coercive pressure but cannot compel others to do its bidding. However, one has to watch India's growing ability to exercise compellance in its periphery. 10. Praveen Swami, The Hindu (1 April, 2000). 11. Telegraph (23 November, 1993) 12. Unfinished Partition (OUP, 1997) 13. Shireen M. Mazari, 'Conflict resolution Models and Pakistan', The News, (15 September, 2004), rejected all the models except the Good Friday model of Ireland: 'The Good Friday Agreement (Northern Ireland), which resolved the problem of Northern Ireland, has a direct relevance to the case of Kashmir because it is premised on two interrelated principles. One, it recognises "the legitimacy of whatever choice is freely exercised by a majority of the people of Northern Ireland with regard to its status, whether they prefer to continue to support the Union with Great Britain or a sovereign united Ireland" (that is going with the Republic of Ireland). There is also a provision for a periodic holding (every seven years) of a referendum in case the people of Northern Ireland appear to change their

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minds. Two, that de-weaponisation will follow the implementation of the settlement. Through this agreement the government of Ireland Act of 1920 was repealed. The principles underlying this settlement are extremely relevant to Kashmir and need to be the basis of any substantive solution relating to this dispute. In fact, out of all the conflict resolution models, this is the only one that is premised on the right of self-determination and not on territorial control. As such it is a good starting point for concrete moves forward in resolving the Kashmir dispute. The time has come for India to stop seeking refuge behind empty rhetoric and other evasive measures intended to prevent any serious discourse on the resolution of the Kashmir conflict. There is too much at stake for the people of South Asia'. Hindustan Times, (New Delhi: 11 October, 2004): ‘Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday suggested that India should study the Irish peace agreement so that it can try to replicate it to resolve the Kashmir issue, arguing that the "all or nothing" approach by either side was impractical. Former foreign minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha supported this suggestion. Addressing the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) Conference on inter-state conflicts in the region, Khurshid, while enumerating several contemporary models of successful reconciliation, suggested that "the most rewarding exercise would be to examine the IRA peace agreement". Elaborating on the Irish model, Khurshid expressed the view that the softening of borders, as in the case of Ireland, could make nationalist concerns less dominant, and the feeling that the Kashmir issue was a fight for territory irrelevant. ‘The Irish model has not been studied...For India-Pakistan, the particular aspect of boundaries becoming progressively irrelevant is most interesting," he said. Khurshid sniffed a possible solution in the gradual erosion and consequent irrelevance of territorial boundaries. He also drew on the example of the European Union (EU). "The growth of the EU as a supra-national identity with the attendant practical conveniences, the common market, easy travel across frontiers, etc. had a psychological impact that made ethnic/nationalist concerns less dominant. The traditional sense of nationalism and territorial sovereignty can be "tempered with a sense of participation in a greater enterprise’, Khurshid said.’ P. R. Chari, Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Stephen Philip Cohen, Perception, Politics and Policy in South Asia (Routledge/Curzon, 2003): 'Ambassador Robert Wirsing notes that ample evidence points to the Indian armed forces as being the first to establish permanent posts on the glacier and that they had prepared themselves long and well for the task'. p.54 Lt Gen V. R. Raghavan, Siachen: Conflict without End (Viking India, 2000) thinks that the Siachen conflict will go on forever and he links it to 'Pakistan's cross-border terrorism'. General Raghavan was India's Director General Military Operations (DGMO) till 1992, and was Commanding General in the Siachen and Kargil sectors of Jammu & Kashmir and was involved in negotiations with Pakistan over Siachen. Professor Stephen Cohen in his foreword to Raghavan's book says an Indian soldier dies every fifth day and quotes Auchinlek as saying that neither India nor Pakistan had produced the kind of leadership that could have prevented the worst consequences of Partition. Bharat Karnad, Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: the Realist Foundations of Strategy (MacMillan, 2002) refers to one article written by ex-Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, G. Parthasarathy ('Price for Supporting Terrorism' in Hindustan Times, 23 December, 2001) and another by Indian ex-ambassador to Italy K. P. Fabian ('Water from India Terrorism from Pakistan' in The Indian Express, 23 January 2002) proposing that India renege on the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan and divert its waters as a punitive measure. Kashmiri journalist and activist Ved Bhasin in September 2004 told the writer that the Wullar project had been affected more realistically by the ecological degradation of Wullar Lake which no longer gave India the volume of water needed for the barrage.

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19. An official website in Pakistan describes the Baglihar Dam issue from the Pakistani perspective (http://www.infopak.gov.pk/public/Indus-Water-Treaty.htm) 20. Ijaz Hussain, 'Baglihar must be depoliticised', Daily Times, (Lahore: 11 June, 2003). 21. Michael Krepon and Amit Sevak (eds.), Crisis Prevention, Confidence Building and Reconciliation between India and Pakistan, (Lahore: Vanguard Books, 1996). A. G. Noorani's legal consideration of the Sir Creek dispute remains standard authority and is frequently rephrased by other books. He faults the positions of both sides on various points indicating a wilful queering of the pitch for each other in the process of creating more 'noncore' issues. 22. A. G. Noorani, Frontline (10-23 May, 2003), reviewing India Bangladesh Documents by Avatar Singh Bhasin: 'That shows an unfortunate streak in Gujral and puts a question mark on the Gujral Doctrine. The Treaty with Bangladesh on the sharing of the waters of the Ganga, signed on December 12, 1996 owed little to him. It was accomplished thanks only to the decisive intervention of West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu. Even so, it is less favourable to Bangladesh than the Agreement of 1977, which, unlike the Treaty, contained a binding minimum guarantee clause in favour of Bangladesh. He publicly complained on January 1, 1997: "We saw from the figures that some people are talking things which are not correct." Jyoti Basu was given incorrect statistics by New Delhi'. 23. Iftekheruzzaman, 'Bangladesh a Weak State and Power', in Asian Security Practice (Stanford University Press, 1998). The author discusses Bangladesh's security problems vis-à-vis India. p.327 24. Lailufar Yasmin, 'India-Bangladesh Tussles', South Asian Journal (July-Sept 2004): 'This mega project of river linking and water diversion has its roots in a nineteenth century's proposal to build links for the purpose of promoting inland navigation for better transportation. Though the proposal did not materialise during that time, it was later revived twice in the 1970s in different forms, keeping the basic idea of river linking intact. However, the Indian Central Water Commission (CWC), in its feasibility survey, rejected these two plans as well. The Indian Ministry of Water Resources later established the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) that undertook studies on the optimum utilisation of peninsular and Himalayan rivers. The proposal contained a plan of linking the water flows almost all over India through connecting the Himalayan and Peninsular components by creating a total of 31 links among 36 rivers of the country. It will involve digging 600 canals, which could flood 3000 square miles of land, displacing 3 million people from their ancestral land. This project started gaining importance in the public domain after the Supreme Court of India passed an order on 31 October, 2002, to complete the river linking project within 12 years.' 25. Lailufar Yasmin, 'Bangladesh-India Tussles', South Asian Journal, (July-September, 2004). 26. Jeremy Seabrook, 'Bangladesh: Enigma of Nationhood', South Asian Journal (JulySeptember, 2004): 'The US is bringing pressure upon Bangladesh to export its (modest) reserves of natural gas to India, via the intermediary of Unocal, an energy company of which Hamid Karzai, and the ubiquitous Zalmay Khalilzad (involved at one time in negotiations between the US government and the Taliban for a pipeline through Afghanistan, subsequently representative to the Iraqi Opposition) were former advisors. It is rumoured that Sheikh Hasina was warned before the elections of 2001 that if she did not agree to the deal with Unocal, she would lose. She did. But Khaleda, as the embodiment of Bangladeshi nationalism, can scarcely bring herself to sign away a resource which Bangladesh will need for its own development. The elections of October 2001 were bitterly fought; not only on the issue of further liberalisation, including the export of gas, but more significantly on the deteriorating law and order situation in the country, the criminalisation of politics and the politicising of crime.'

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27. Nira Wickramasinghe, 'Sri Lanka: the Many Faces of Security', in Asian Security Practice (Stanford University Press, 1998). The main features of Sri Lanka's perception of India are drawn from this essay. p.367 28. V. Suryanarayan in 'Chronicle of a Failed Policy', reviewing J. N. Dixit's book Assignment Colombo, in Frontline (21 March-3 April, 1998). 29. Ibid. The author challenges Dixit's claim that Rajiv Gandhi actually switched off aid to LTTE. 30. Dr Saman Kelegama, 'Safta: A Critique', South Asian Journal, (April-June, 2004). 31. Dr Ram Gopal Dahal, 'Special Relations or Equi-Distance Concept', The Daily Telegraph, (Kathmandu, 6 March, 2002. 32. ‘Review of Nepal-India Relations: Time for New Thrust for New Vision’, read at SAFMA Regional Conference: Interstate Conflicts in South Asia, The Ashok Hotel, New Delhi, India: October 9-10, 2004. 33. 'President prod for river link', The Telegraph, (7 October, 2004),: 'President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today asked the Centre to send him updates on the previous NDA regime's ambitious river-linking project and has prodded the UPA government into reviving the grandiose scheme to transfer water from surplus regions to deficit areas. The NDA's constitution of a task force on the river-linking project at former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's behest had threatened to widen inter-state political chasms and provoked a public debate involving hydrologists, politicians and environmentalists. Union water resources minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi today briefed Kalam. His briefing followed the President's query to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the progress of the project. Das Munshi is understood to have presented the steps being taken by his ministry to link the perennial snow-fed rivers of the north with seasonal rivers in the Deccan plateau.' 34. Reproduced in Daily Times (Lahore: 28 August, 2004).

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improvement in atmospherics between India and Pakistan helped propel the process of regional cooperation in South Asia. Under SAARC we are coming together in trade with SAFTA, a very attractive arrangement for all of us. We are also working towards Customs cooperation; setting up an Arbitration Council; working instrument on Avoidance of Double Taxation; and on promotion and protection of Investments.

South Asian Economic Powerhouse Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Shaukat Aziz

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he world's economic centre of gravity is fast shifting to Asia. Our continent is seeing important processes of regional and sub-regional economic cooperation. North East and South East Asia are forging cooperation in trade, investment and technology. China, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN are major success stories in terms of economic and technological advancement. These countries have been able to benefit from the processes of globalisation and have positioned themselves to optimise gains. The resource rich regions of Central and West Asia are also embarked on important cooperative ventures indicated by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Economic Cooperation Organization and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Pakistan is situated in South Asia, Central Asia and the Gulf regions simultaneously. Our strategic location makes it possible for us to play a critical role in advancing cooperation in these regions and we are determined to contribute to their peace, stability and prosperity. We look at Pakistan as an anchor of stability at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia and the Gulf region. We are forging close cooperative links with all these regions. We want to build positive links with the process of globalisation and believe that regional cooperation is a necessary ingredient in maximising dividends in an increasingly inter-dependent world. Pakistan has worked towards the creation of South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and major progress was made at the 12th SAARC Summit in Islamabad. We have also started consultations to enter into preferential tariff and even free trade arrangements with several important economies of the Asia Pacific region. Pakistan will host the Ministerial Meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue in Islamabad in April, 2005. A major theme at the Islamabad ACD meeting is Economic Cooperation in Asia. As Chairman of SAARC, Pakistan has made efforts towards the realisation of its goals. Enormous challenges confront South Asia. It has the largest number of poor in the world; FDIs are at a low level, but a vast unrealised potential exists. South Asia, home to one-sixth of humanity, cannot remain indefinitely mired in poverty and affliction. We have resources, talent, skills and industrious peoples. We have a great capital -- our human resource. It is second to none. We have the ability to turn South Asia into an economic powerhouse of the world. Central to SAARC's functioning is the Pakistan-India equation. The recent

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SAARCFINANCE enables the heads of our Central Banks to develop closer understanding and cooperation. There is also the overarching objective of poverty alleviation as well as mechanisms for technical cooperation. Social Charter sets the regional markers for lifting the quality of life in the region. In SAARC we should share best practices and create mutual dependencies and linkages. All this would create South Asian dynamics for growth and development. On the India-Pakistan bilateral plane there is a lot that can be done. To begin with the Gas Pipeline Project could be a huge and successful CBM. We envisage this as a stand-alone project of great significance, where India and Pakistan and gas suppliers can benefit. We believe that both Pakistan and India can gain a lot by cooperating in the field of energy. We can offer India an energy corridor, if it so wants. We could promote tourism and trade and many other areas of cooperation. Bilaterally, India has a huge advantage in terms of balance of trade. It is important to identify reasons that make it difficult for Pakistan to get access to the Indian market. We hope the study group set up in Islamabad in November last year would assist us to do so. We hope that the Economic Experts Committee would be able to deal with these issues effectively. It is important to create a level playing field and facilitate private sector interaction. Investments and joint ventures could take-off in a big way if we are able to create an enabling political environment of peace, stability, trust and confidence. We should work towards attaining these objectives and I don't think they are difficult to achieve. I discern distinct warmth in sentiments in Pakistan and India to engage constructively. Constructive engagement requires vision, sagacity and sense of purpose. There is a huge area of convergence. Divergences can be minimised. The parameters of engagement as far as Pakistan is concerned are simple and straightforward. Let me share them with you: We must cultivate good neighbourly relations. We must respect each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and base our relations on sovereign equality. We should respect the principles of non-intervention and non-interference. We must endeavor to win each other's trust and confidence. Respect for these basic principles of inter-state conduct is the safe and sure foundation on which Pakistan-India relations will thrive and prosper. Pakistan looks forward with confidence to engaging India on the whole range of issues. Pakistan and India must lead South Asia to new horizons of economic development. Our basic economic indicators are impressive. India's growth rate has been very healthy. We expect ours to grow.

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The macro-economic indicators for Pakistan are all positive. The investment climate is attractive; the Stock Exchange is buoyant and interest rates are down. The exports and foreign exchange reserves are healthy. Fiscal deficit is contained at 3.3 per cent of GDP. Per capita income has risen to US$ 650 and is destined to go higher. This year the GDP was 6 per cent. We have undertaken across the board reforms in our financial and banking sectors and many foreign banks are operating in the private sector. Pakistan is now out of the IMF-PRGF and in fact returned -- with thanks -- two tranches offered by the IMF recently. Pakistan is accessing global capital market. Last year Pakistan floated its first Euro bond. And Pakistan's rating has improved since to B plus. Our privatisation program has progressed well. Major banks have been privatised. The telecom sector is being de-regulated. Mobile telephony has seen a quantum jump. A new paradigm has been introduced to encourage the private sector to leverage the opportunities for commercial and economic activity. The government's role is now only confined to that of a policymaker. We have left the entire business activity with the private sector. The government is also paying greater attention to the social sector. Education is high priority as is agriculture. Major infrastructure projects are taking shape in the form of electricity generating powerhouses, ports, and road and rail networks. Pakistan is well positioned geographically to emerge as a commercial hub for landlocked Central Asia and beyond. Our experience in Afghanistan has been very encouraging. Our trade with Afghanistan has reached US$ 1 billion mark and is growing. Our banks have opened branches in Afghanistan recently. This has further generated economic and commercial activity between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Karakoram highway links us overland across the Himalayas to China. Our seaports are equidistant from Europe and the Far East. We are, therefore, paying special attention to becoming an important trans-shipment point for flow of goods and resources especially energy. The port of Gwadar has created history. From the beginning to the end it would be completed within three years. We are conscious of our geo-strategic and geo-economic significance. We are equally conscious of our credentials as a progressive, moderate Islamic state, which can be a model to other countries. We are committed to pursuing the policy of enlightened moderation at home and abroad, a policy discussed and introduced to the world, and particularly the Muslim world by the President of Pakistan, Mr. Pervez Musharraf. We believe that at this critical juncture of contemporary history, it is important to debunk the theory about clash of civilisations. I have no disagreement with Huntington but I disagree with his concept of clash of civilisations.

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adjoining regions. A vision of peaceful cooperation must imbue our efforts to leverage the full potential of South Asia for progress and development. As Chairman of SAARC, Pakistan has been pro-active in promoting regional cooperation. There is a clear recognition all around that SAARC's success is a function of Pakistan-India relations. When Pakistan-India relations seem to be on the mend, SAARC moves up. Whenever Pakistan-India relations get cool, SAARC becomes inactive. Both regional and bilateral processes are mutually reinforcing. On the bilateral track, the CBMs and Composite Dialogue process with India have been sustained and should be made more substantive and purposeful. Pakistan is prepared to make its earnest contribution to the success of these endeavors. We need to move from tactical to strategic discussions. This is a process that has already started. Pakistan-India relations are not ordained to remain adversarial perpetually. A sense of confidence in our common destiny coupled with the courage to take bold decisions to turn the corner is required. It is time for a strategic re-think. It is time to move away from rigid mindset. We must be realistic and pragmatic. The time has come to bridge the trust deficit. Both sides must move away from conditioned reflexes to open new avenues and cover fresh ground in our bilateral relations. We must learn from history and experience of other nations in managing our region and our relations. We need to seek just and durable solutions of all outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir. It is time to accommodate in full the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. This is an imperative of justice, history and democracy. My visit to New Delhi last November has been useful. The dialogue we have had with Indian leadership has been very constructive. I have conveyed to the Indian leadership that Pakistan sincerely desires peace. We want good neighbourly relations based on sovereign equality. We have the courage to take bold decisions to move the relations forward. We must think 'out of the box'. By adhering to old mindsets the present opportunities could easily be lost. If India takes a step forward, Pakistan will respond by two. We will demonstrate flexibility, if India chooses to show the same. In short, we are sincere and serious and expect this to be reciprocated. Let us both prove the pundits of gloom and doom wrong. A new beginning, a new dawn awaits the peoples of South Asia. Let's work together for a promising tomorrow.

Pakistan, today, is engaged simultaneously at home and abroad on defending basic human values and to avert conflicts and crises. Our role in countering terrorism is well acknowledged and appreciated. We are committed to promoting peace in our

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Asia by India and Pakistan. It is nothing to do with Pakistan and a matter of concern only of people of Jammu and Kashmir who aspire to an independent existence based on Kashmiriyat. 6. Pakistan has got involved on the basis of ‘my enemy's enemy is my friend’. An independent country of Jammu & Kashmir as a Muslim majority state would be a good ally of Pakistan. 7. It is a territorial dispute and merely needs appropriate adjudication for making boundary adjustments between the two countries. 8. It is a definitional issue for India, and attempt by Pakistan to change the definition and idea of India. 9. It is for Pakistan a cause of revenge for India's role in breaking up East Pakistan. 10. Jammu & Kashmir was strategically required by Pakistan as a U.S. ally against the USSR and China, and later as a friend of China against India. 5.

Indo-Pak Conflict and Possibilities of Peace Salman Khurshid

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he history of our attempts to resolve the Indo-Pak conflict can, at best, be summed up as a combination of wishful thinking, self-righteousness, hypocrisy and acute myopia, on both sides. Unfortunately, Pakistan has added another ingredient of coercion through overt or covert acts of violence and disruption. Now the cycle has come full circle, once again, from confrontation to conciliation. We must all hope that the progression will be positive, but it is yet too early to base that hope on firm factors. However, in order to make tangible progress we need to be clear about what it is that we are trying to address and whether the cause of the conflict is something India and Pakistan can agree about. In a sense we should be speaking about the shape and size of the table (as in Vietnam peace talks), then proceed to talk about talks, then talk (perhaps for a long time, with expected and unexpected fluctuation in temperature), and finally arrive at a solution that can be sold to the people of the two countries and the people of Jammu & Kashmir, some will promptly add. What are political conflicts about, particularly between two countries? They are usually about economic matters , ‘papi pet’ as they say. If someone else has an economic asset -- mines, petroleum, or productive land, and you have less and need or want more, there is a good case for conflict. It may appear to be a blind urge to dominate for the sake of domination, but we should not be misled by appearances. The protagonists might talk of ideology, but we should not be credulous and believe that. Ultimately, it is really a matter of trying to get the largest piece of the cake. All wars have been fought for that. The world wars were no exception. In civil wars and secessionist movements the ingredient mix might vary and ideological battle may seem a little more sincere, but the basic cause of conflict is seldom different. Applied to the Indo-Pak conflict that thesis holds good, but only up to a point. However, it will be argued here that the original cause of Indo-Pak conflict may have been lost sight of over the five decades since Partition and, therefore, the thesis may have become redundant in this case. Let us examine the various descriptions of the Indo-Pak conflict: 1. 2. 3. 4.

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It is the unfinished agenda of 1947 or an incomplete or imperfect Partition of India. It is incomplete and imperfect because Jammu & Kashmir, as a Muslim majority part of India, must be transferred to Pakistan. There is an inherent ideological conflict between the people of India and Pakistan, and Jammu & Kashmir is only one way of getting at each other. There is a clash of civilisation between Islam and Hinduism, represented in South

Even if one or more of these propositions were true at a given time in the past they are certainly not true anymore. So, more likely than not, both sides have forgotten what the conflict is all about. But somehow in the absence of a convenient or visible exit the conflict continues with fluctuating intensity. External developments and events, as well as internal expectations and circumstances, continue to influence the mood of the parties to the conflict. Kashmir's separatists take offence at our referring to the conflict as two-sided, but it makes little sense even from their point of view to call it a three-sided dispute. It would be better to see it as two separate conflicts -- first, between India and Pakistan; and second, between nationalists and separatists (using those terms entirely for convenience). The most powerful argument from Pakistan's point of view is obviously their claim of being an Islamic State. But of course that might not have been enough because there are other Islamic states in the neighbourhood, or to say the least, states with Muslim majority populations. The Central Asian countries are the latest to join the club although in terms of governmental institutions they aspire to be secular. But Pakistan could have argued that the issue was not about any Islamic country, but of the Islamic country carved out of British India and that the carving out was incomplete. But who made the ground rules anyway? There was no referendum amongst Muslims of undivided India whether they wanted partition, and whether they would want it if they had known that it would involve having to move from where they lived traditionally. Was the Partition about people or was it actually about property? Actually it was about a mix of the two and the mix was not always the same everywhere. Most importantly, a large number of Muslims chose to stay on, forming 10 per cent of the remnant population after Partition. It may not be a large percentage of India's total population, but it is the second largest Muslim population in the world. For Pakistan, to continue the conflict with India is also to battle with the very people it professes to represent -- Muslims of the subcontinent. This has been poignantly underscored several times -- by martyrs like Brig. Usman, Havildar Abdul Hameed, Lt. Haniffuddin; by cricket stars like Nawab Pataudi, Saleem Durrani, Abbas Ali Baig. Azharuddin, Mohd. Kaif and Irfan Pathan; hockey players like Aslam Sher Khan, and

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Zafar Iqbal; scientists like President Kalam etc. It is a long story with an impressive list of distinguished Indians. So how will Pakistan pick and choose? Why only wish to represent Kashmiri Muslims? What about the Hindu and Buddhist populations of Jammu and Ladakh, respectively? Why not Uttar Pradesh or Assam, both states with large Muslim populations? The most powerful argument available to India is the definitional argument. India defined itself to include all religions, unlike Pakistan that defined itself to exclude non-Muslims. Conceding Jammu & Kashmir to Pakistan on grounds of religion would amount to our willingness to redefine ourselves. This is the reason why India cannot accept even friendly mediation to resolve the dispute. Mediation could be possible for purely territorial disputes. Of course we may not even need mediation if the Indo-China peace process model can be used on the Pakistan front as well, provided of course it can be restricted to territorial adjustment. Some people believe that every conflict has a particular context. Major conflicts, including the one that led to the two world wars and the awful tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, may have ended because victory and defeat was then possible, although at great cost. The conflict between U.S. and the USSR during the Cold War may have ended because victory or defeat, even if theoretically possible, had become meaningless because of the size of their nuclear arsenals. But more than that, the entire context changed as well with the break up of the Soviet Union. If the change of context and its contribution to the resolution of long standing conflicts is something to go by, for Pakistan the context has changed several times over Bangladesh; the failure of insurgency in Punjab; India's slow but steady rapprochement with China; the breakup of Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War; the several wars that we fought without any real gain to either side; holding of two successive and successful elections in Jammu & Kashmir; Kargil and finally 9/11 should have changed it. The last three years have been interesting tight rope walk years for the Pakistani establishment. This involves a curious dilemma: There is great reward in pursuing an anti-fundamentalist agenda and yet without fundamentalism there is no case for Jammu & Kashmir. The picture is not very clear because the 'West' and 'East' flanks of Pakistan have separate considerations and motivation. There is no direct quid pro quo for Pakistan on the Western flank, although there might be something in it for U.S. support to the government. But the Eastern flank is quite different. There must be an incumbent expectation of U.S. delivery on the Jammu and Kashmir front. Strategy that fits with that would be to reduce the profile of cross border terrorism but continue to utilise the period for stocking up for the contingency of failure. For India, therefore, the good news about the end of terrorism may come with peacetime pressures. For India too the context has changed several times, usually in tandem with the change for Pakistan, though not quite as dramatically. The last time we thought it might have changed so dramatically so as to end the problem itself was in the

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aftermath of 9/11. But that did not materialise, as it could not have, given the complexity of the problem. In a sense the worst is over, but the problem remains. From Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in January, 2004 to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in September, 2004, we appear to be breaking new grounds. President Musharraf too seems more confident of being able to break new ground, or at least to give up old ground. Yet it is too early to bet on conspicuous movement forward. In medical jargon we are beginning to talk about the dreaded disease as well as beginning to treat its symptoms seriously. In the past we merely disagreed on the nature of the disease and ignored the symptoms repeatedly. The search for a solution has acquired a new meaningful context and urgency because of the convergence of changing contexts for both countries. But distressingly, despite the BJP's stated commitment to peace in the 6th January 2004 joint statement about a composite dialogue on ‘all issues including Jammu and Kashmir’, their response to the September 24th, 2004 Manmohan Singh-Musharraf Joint Statement was curiously negative. Their objections may well be the usual party political damage control unrelated to real positions on bilateral issues. But they do indicate a naivetté on the Jammu & Kashmir matter. Whether we say it or not, we know it and so does the world that it is Jammu & Kashmir that has soured relations between India and Pakistan. We all would, of course, be very happy if Pakistan just forgot about Jammu and Kashmir and cut off the oxygen to the terrorist outfits that continue to cause casualties in Jammu & Kashmir. Some people actually believe this is what the talks are about with Pakistan. In other words it is not about 'what', it is only about 'when' and 'how'. But what is there in it for Pakistan? They would certainly want to know why did they had to fight so long and so disastrously, if this is all that could be achieved? Similarly, for Pakistan it would be misplaced optimism to assume that the changed context in the world and U.S. policy planners' perception of Pakistan -having acquired fresh strategic significance in the global war against terrorism -would inevitably lead to a ‘territory for terrorism’ swap on the lines of ‘land for peace’ in Palestine. Yet India too has to watch out for a unique dilemma so long as terrorist activity continues, whether we say it in joint statements or we don't, no Indian government can talk peace or show any concession; but if terrorism stops there will be an expectation on the Pakistan side of a ‘peace dividend’. Something like that happened in the aftermath of 9/11 when the U.S. sought a partnership with both Pakistan and India in the war against terrorism and disappointed India. And to top it, circumstances made Pakistan more critical to that war. So where does all this take us? There is too much at stake for India to allow our relations with Pakistan to keep us from seizing the opportunities. Pakistan, after 57 years of traumatic existence, cannot afford not to find a national objective and an aspiration other than a myth from the past. For both sides to cling on to a hope, indeed a shortsighted expectation of an ‘all or nothing’ solution is detrimental to their own interests. If President Musharraf has to rein in and persuade his own fundamentalists, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too has to carry the separatists in

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Jammu & Kashmir and at least silence the saffron fringe. Neither of them has an easy task. Nor do our two countries. Common people do usually prefer peace over violence provided the latter is not given the colours of romance (ideology). But the romance fades quickly as violence draws closer to home. Ironically peace efforts have the greatest chance of success when one side figures out that it has lost on when a stalemate of continuing violence begins to tire the common folk. In the India-Pakistan relationship, the former is now virtually impossible and the latter is only beginning to happen. But it seems that the world is in a hurry and in no mood to wait. That can be an advantage for both of us but we both need some understanding and a lot of courage. It seems that India has toyed with some ideas for solution that depart from the formally stated position. Similarly, Pakistan has lately suggested a methodology that in turn is indicative of their preference. The past practice of suspecting everything said by the other side and, therefore, saying 'no' will take its own time to fade away. There are several contemporary models of successful reconciliation and transformations, leading from hostility to peace -- South Africa, Berlin, Vietnam, Palestine, etc. One can pick out interesting pointers from each one of those. However, the most rewarding exercise would be to examine the IRA peace agreement. There are obviously many layers and dimensions to the resolution of that long and bloody conflict but for India and Pakistan the particular aspect of boundaries becoming progressively irrelevant is most interesting. The growth of EU as a supra-national identity with the attendant practical conveniences, the common market, easy travel across frontiers etc., had a psychological impact that made the ethnic/nationalist concerns less dominant. The opportunity that came with the union in a sense blunted the complaints of past injustice. It thus became possible to talk about and embrace a solution, if the traditional or artificial sense of nationalism and territorial sovereignty can be tempered with a sense of participation in a greater enterprise. Since all the imagined or real reasons of the conflict have largely disappeared, it remains for us to overcome established mind-sets. If Pakistan can play India in cricket and hockey as equals, talk to India as a nuclear country to another, why cannot we sit as equals in the pursuit of peace? If Pakistani leadership shows statesmanship in working towards a futuristic concept that binds Pakistan, rather than a genetically flawed concept of a state for Muslims of the subcontinent and Indian leadership can achieve statesmanlike rapprochement with our estranged compatriots in Jammu & Kashmir, we can come to the table with the ability to secure sustainable peace. The mention of the gas pipeline in the Musharraf-Manmohan Singh Joint Statement may be the beginning of a model of coexistence or cooperation that has eluded us for half a century. (Salman Khurshid is a former Indian diplomat and currently the President of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee)

Nuclear Stabilisation in South Asia Moeed Yusuf

T

he May, 1998 nuclear tests by Pakistan and India led to a fundamental change in the Indo-Pak relationship. The nuclear explosions ended more than a decade long period of covert nuclearisation during which the two sides had exercised 'existential deterrence'. Overt nuclearisation established a new nuclear equation raising hopes that it would bring stability to the conflict prone region. Whether events on ground in the past five years have actually led to stable deterrence, is an ongoing debate. One thing that is obvious is that the euphoria of nuclear optimists has been dented by recurring crises and the seeming indifference of both sides to flirt with each others' nuclear threshold. This paper analyses the existing level of stability in the South Asian nuclear regime and suggest ways in which nuclear stability may be enhanced. The paper begins by providing a brief history of conflicts and crises between Pakistan and India. Following that, nuclear stability is defined to establish benchmarks against which the stability of the current regime is to be assessed. The benchmarks are then applied to evaluate the level of existing stability, differentiating stability during peace time and periods of high tensions. Finally, ways to stabilise the South Asian nuclear regime are highlighted.

I. Indo-Pak's Troubled Past The hostile relationship between Pakistan and India needs no reiteration. The two adversaries have been involved in several crises and at least three full-fledged conventional wars in the past. The first active conflict was initiated in Kashmir just a year after they gained independence1. In 1965, the two clashed again on the Western Front (West Pakistan), and in 1971 yet another conventional war led to the separation of East Pakistan, leaving a permanent scar on Indo-Pak relations2. Although there remain numerous contentious issues between Pakistan and India, undeniably at the core of their hostility lies the dispute over Kashmir. The bottom line is that Pakistanis and Indians perceive Kashmir to have been responsible for their troubled relationship. Before we move on to the task of defining stability, it is important to highlight the essentials of Indo-Pak crises in which the aspect of nuclear deterrence featured in one way or another. Four crises fit this criterion; two took place in the period of covert nuclearisation and two after the nuclear capabilities had become overt. The first such crisis took place in 1986-87. It developed when India conducted an extensive military exercise, the 'Brasstacks', 20 miles from the Pakistani border3. The ultimate aim of the exercise that involved quarter of a million Indian

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troops has been widely debated. Opinions vary greatly, some labeling it as an attempt to put pressure on Pakistan to cease support to Sikh infiltrators in Eastern Punjab, while others suggesting that India had planned a full-fledged war to split Pakistani territory4. In any case, given the sheer magnitude and apparent hostile nature of the exercise, Pakistan mobilised its forces leading to an eyeball-to-eyeball deployment. For the first time during any Indo-Pak crisis, covert nuclear threats emanated from Islamabad. Dr. A. Q. Khan, the 'father of Pakistan's bomb' professed Pakistan's nuclear capability in an interview with an Indian journalist stating, 'nobody can undo Pakistan‌.We are here to stay and let it be clear that we shall use the bomb if our existence is threatened.'5 The statement was carried in all leading newspapers, thus achieving the aim of communicating the existence of the capability. Next, in 1990, following an upsurge in violence in Indian-administered Kashmir and subsequent Indian allegations of Pakistani support to the insurgents, tensions between Pakistan and India heightened. A crisis developed as Pakistan conducted 'Zarb-e-Momin', a major military exercise that India responded to by its own 'precautionary' reinforcements6. Both forces were put on high alert and the crisis seemed to be escalating towards an active conflict. Here again, nuclear overtones were present, and there is a wider consensus that the nuclear deterrent featured to keep the crisis from escalating. Some reports even suggest that Pakistan had placed its delivery aircraft on full alert and technicians in its main nuclear facility had been ordered to assemble nuclear weapons in preparation of a launch7. While later studies have discounted such reports, they all seem to agree that some nuclear preparations were underway from the Pakistani side8. What exact role the deterrent played in Indian calculations is hard to determine. The third crisis, which escalated to a limited conflict, took place a year after both counties had declared their nuclear capabilities. In the spring of 1999, about 2000 infiltrators from Pakistan crossed the Line of Control and captured Indian army's posts in the Kargil-Drass area of Kashmir9. This led to Indian retaliation. However, the conflict remained limited as the Indian military was under strict orders not to carry the retaliation across the Line of Control10. American involvement made way for the eventual withdrawal of Pakistani troops11. There is no doubt that the nuclear deterrent featured prominently in calculations on both sides during the crisis. Nuclear threats were exchanged openly12. One report even suggests that India had maintained its nuclear forces at a high state of readiness in preparation for retaliation13. The Kargil crisis is of consequence for any analysis of nuclear stability in the region. It demonstrated the existence of the 'stability-instability paradox' in a nuclear South Asia, i.e. it made limited conflict (instability at lower levels of conflict) more likely while inducing stability at the higher end of the spectrum14. The latest crisis erupted after a terrorist attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001 and subsequent allegations of Pakistan's involvement led to a massive troop mobilisation from the Indian side15. With the killing of families of Indian military personnel in Kaluchak in May 2002, escalation to a conventional war seemed inevitable16. The crisis caused Pakistani counter-mobilisation, leading to the largest

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military deployment in South Asian history. Nearly a million troops were deployed at the international border17. As in the 1999 crisis, both countries exchanged several nuclear threats that were to be employed in case of escalation18. The nuclear equation remained at the forefront and deterrence optimists believe that in the end existence of stable nuclear deterrence forced the two sides to withdraw their forces19. There are a few lessons from these four nuclear-related crises which have a bearing on any discussion of strategic stability in South Asia. First, is the fact that, despite the initial euphoria after the 1998 tests, the existence of nuclear weapons has not eliminated crises or conflicts altogether. Second, although crisis situations have developed, in the end all crises under the nuclear umbrella have either not escalated to conflicts (1986-87, 1990, 2001-02), or in the case of Kargil, have remained extremely limited in nature. Third, the reason for successful escalation control in these crises varies from crisis to crisis and cannot be attributed to successful deterrence in all cases. As mentioned, in the first two crises even the fact that the nuclear deterrent featured in official calculations is debated. One common element which assisted in escalation control in each crisis, however, was the crucial role played by the U.S20. Finally, these crises, especially the ones that took place during the overt nuclearisation phase bring us to the sombre realisation that crises carry with them the threat of escalation to a full-scale conventional war, which in turn raises tremendously the risk of a nuclear exchange. In other words, moving along the escalation ladder to the highest end of the spectrum is a realistic possibility in South Asia.

II. Concept of Stability The Oxford English dictionary defines stability as 'permanence of arrangement, power of resisting change of structure' and 'immunity from destruction or essential change'.21 Within the military context then, this implies maintaining a situation where no development disrupts the existing equilibrium in a way that it results in active conflict. For a conflict implies an essential change and a lack of power of resisting change of structure. In the nuclear context, stability points to the concept of nuclear deterrence, or the ability to deter an adversary from taking an offensive for fear of punishment. There is voluminous literature that deals with the concept of nuclear deterrence. Experts have attempted to determine the necessary prerequisites for establishing deterrence stability between two adversaries. Broadly, there are three prerequisites according to the rationalist deterrence theory22: (i) Both countries should have a deliverable first strike capability and an ability to sustain an adversary's first strike and conduct a successful retaliatory strike. This refers to the concept of survivability of ones nuclear arsenal. The idea is to ensure that a retaliatory strike capability remains intact under any circumstances. While the emphasis rightly remains on developing a first and retaliatory strike capability, it must also be pointed out that establishing nuclear deterrence is a game of perceptions as much as it is of possessing the capability itself. The deterrent effect remains incomplete until and unless the credibility of this

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capability and the resolve to implement it is communicated to the adversary. As Bernard Brodie wrote during the Cold War, 'deterrence depends on the subjective feeling compounded of respect and fear‌.'.23 Therefore, while analysing the stability regime, the perceptions in the minds of the involved parties must also be judged in addition to the survivability of the force itself. (ii) Neither of the two sides should consider a preventive or pre-emptive strike as a viable option and should not undertake any action to this effect. Prevention reflects an attempt at decimating an adversary's nuclear facilities before they are fully developed. Pre-emption, on the other hand, refers to an attempt to neutralise an existing capability, before the enemy can launch a strike. If either of these two were exercised, whether successfully or otherwise, the deterrent effect of one's arsenal would of course have failed. (iii) Arsenals of both countries should be secure against accidental or unauthorised use, or accidents involving nuclear weapons. This subsumes both the concept of safety and security of the nuclear arsenal. By safety, one implies that nuclear weapons function only as and when intended. Security refers to establishing adequate controls over the nuclear arsenal and sensitive material to guard against accidents. To ensure that nuclear weapons are not employed unless intended by the legitimate authorities and are well protected is a prerequisite to maintaining strategic stability. In this context, the above benchmarks for strategic stability would be used to evaluate the existence or lack thereof, of strategic stability between Pakistan and India. Specifically, we look to answer the following questions: (i) Are the nuclear arsenals of Pakistan and India survivable? (ii) Is the credibility and resolve to employ the nuclear option communicated to the adversary? (iii) What is the likelihood of either of the two sides contemplating pre-emption of the other's nuclear forces? (iv) To what extent are South Asian nuclear arsenals safe? In other words, is there a likelihood of unauthorised or inadvertent use? (v) To what extent are South Asian nuclear arsenals secure against accidents involving nuclear material? Since answers to some of these questions are likely to vary significantly during peace time - as compared to crisis situations, their bearing on stability of the nuclear regime will be highlighted in both conditions. In the following section each of the above listed aspect of deterrence is dealt with individually.

III. Applying the Concept of Stability to South Asia (i)

Survivability of Indo-Pak nuclear weapons As mentioned, survivability implies that a nuclear force is functional and is capable of withstanding an initial strike and launching a retaliatory strike. Nuclear optimists point out that the mere existence of a second strike capability is enough to deter an adversary from contemplating a first strike24. In the South Asian case, survivability seems to be more or less guaranteed. Both Pakistan and India demonstrated their nuclear capabilities through the 1998 nuclear tests. Although the

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size of Pakistan and India's nuclear arsenal is miniscule compared to that of the Cold War adversaries, it is sufficient to ensure that a first strike could be absorbed while retaining the retaliatory capability. Estimates for nuclear weapon equivalents (NWEs) in terms of fissile material for India range from 60 to 110, depending on which estimate one goes by25. For Pakistan the range runs from 30 to 90 NWEs.26 Furthermore, both countries continue to aggressively upgrade their nuclear delivery systems. Both have aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons, the F-16 and Mirage-5 in case of Pakistan, and the SU-30, Mirage-2000, and MiG-27 in case of India.27 In addition, both have well developed ground-based missile delivery systems that can be launched from mobile launchers, virtually ensuring an operational delivery capability28. The provision of adequate dispersal of missile batteries combined with an adequate number of nuclear warheads ensures that a launching capability would remain intact, even if the adversary managed to conduct a first strike. (ii)

Credibility and resolve to employ the nuclear option Communicating credibility and resolve to employ nuclear weapons is referred to as nuclear signalling. For deterrence to function, a capability to inflict nuclear damage must be perceived as real by the enemy. Otherwise it is unlikely to have any significant impact on its calculations. Nuclear signalling can be undertaken in various forms. Three major ways to communicate nuclear signals can be highlighted. First, resolve to employ nuclear weapons could be communicated tacitly -- by actual demonstration of a capability or through an official policy pronouncement. A demonstration could entail testing of nuclear weapons as Pakistan did in response to India's tests in 1998. Another way to show seriousness is by testing nuclear capable missiles. Both Pakistan and India have done so regularly since 1998. Furthermore, credibility of the nuclear deterrent could also be demonstrated by deploying operational nuclear forces and communicating such a move to the adversary. Finally, resolve could be signalled through official policy pronouncements. For example, Pakistan's rejection of a 'no-first use policy' demonstrates its resolve to employ strategic forces were it threatened in any conflict. While demonstration of a capability does signal resolve, it can also have quite the opposite impact -- that of diluting deterrence by leading to inadvertent escalation. There is only a thin line between communicating resolve and creating fear of an imminent danger in the adversary's mind by pursuing overly aggressive signalling. As Bernard Brodie has put it, 'it is possible to make him (the adversary) fear us too much, especially if what we make him fear is our over-readiness to react, whether or not he translates it into clear evidence of our aggressive intent.'29 If a perception of imminent danger develops in the adversary's camp, it could transform a period of calm into a crisis situation. On the other hand, if such a perception develops in the midst of an ongoing crisis, it could cause the crisis to move rapidly along the escalation ladder. For Pakistan and India, credibility of an operational nuclear force and the resolve to employ it is well established. In fact, their active signalling during past

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crises reflects their desire to show resolve to respond even if conflicts remain limited.30 Pakistan and India have conducted missile tests even in times of crisis in the past. During the 2001-02 standoff, India tested its Agni ballistic missile followed by a quick response from Pakistan with three tests of its Ghauri, Ghaznavi, and Abdali missiles.31 In the Indo-Pak context, what is more worrying is the overly aggressive signalling. Although the 2001-02 missile tests were pre-notified, concerns were raised in the media labelling the tests as provocative and irresponsible. As for signalling by deploying nuclear forces, such a risk does not exist in peace time. Neither Pakistan nor India have their nuclear forces deployed and are not likely to do so in the near future. In a crisis situation, however, any hint of either side initiating even limited deployment could cause a reciprocal reaction bringing the two forces to a high level of readiness and underscoring all dangers associated with such a development. Second, nuclear signalling could be undertaken through direct communication between two adversaries. This would entail official contact between the two governments during which a nuclear threat, or an absence of it, is communicated. The advantage of such signalling is that a message is unambiguous and allows ones intentions to be clearly revealed to the adversary. More than their utility in communicating resolve, official communication channels are extremely useful when convincing the adversary of the reverse -- lack of any intention to use nuclear forces. For example, if certain tacit or indirect signals have been misunderstood, or if false intelligence or rumours in the press have led one to believe that employment of nuclear weapons by the adversary is being contemplated, an official contact could help clarify the absence of any such threat. While official Indo-Pak communication channels have remained open during peace time, their actual utility is during periods of crises. Here, history paints a dismal picture. Lack of official communication can arguably be blamed for initiation and the limited escalation of recent Indo-Pak crises. Out of the four nuclear relevant crises, it was only during the 1986-87 crisis that official contact was utilised to diffuse tensions.32 In the last three crises, official communication was non-existent with the result that both parties relied on indirect communication, sending unintended and confusing signals and adding to the risk of escalation. One alternate to direct communication that both Pakistan and India have successfully employed in crises is conducting such communication through an intermediary. The intermediary has been the U.S. The U.S.' role was present in diffusing all four nuclear relevant crises.33 In the 1999 crisis, Washington's involvement was so proactive that many believe it to be the single most important factor in diffusing tensions. However, depending on the U.S. to mediate in every crisis is dangerous for two reasons. For one, the U.S. could find comfort in the fact that it has been successful in bringing an end to all past crises and might decide to leave Pakistan and India to their own crisis prevention mechanisms till the next crisis erupts.34 Paradoxically, Pakistan and India, believing that they could tap the U.S. in times of crises, might be more willing to undertake risky behaviour.35 Were the U.S. to

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fail in its mediating efforts in any future crisis, the risk of escalation would increase tremendously. In short, banking on the U.S. as the sole means of transmitting official signals is no alternate to direct communication. The third way to transmit nuclear signals is through indirect means. An example of this would be making press statements addressed to a general audience but meant to send a message to the adversary. This sort of signalling is extremely risky and ends up sending unclear and confusing signals. The actual signal transmitted solely depends on the perception of the recipient. The danger of misperception is much greater in times of crises than in peace time, as in a heightened state of tensions an adversary's calculation is bound to be conservative. Due to the lack of direct communication during crises, Pakistan and India have had to rely on indirect signalling, which has frequently led to misunderstandings. In fact, allegations of sending provocative and threatening signals followed by official clarifications by the initial message transmitter are a common occurrence in Indo-Pak crises. This was witnessed on numerous occasions during the 2001-02 stand-off.36 Furthermore, since indirect communication is also the principal way to satisfy domestic political interests and since pacifying hard line elements has always been an important political concern for governments on both sides, most indirect signalling tends to be provocative in nature. During the 2001-02 crisis this was clearly the case. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf stated: 'even an inch (of Indian incursion) will unleash a storm that will sweep the enemy……inflicting unbearable damage to the enemy'.37 Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, an ex-Army General, in response to war rhetoric emanating from New Delhi at the time categorically stated: '…what is the damned nuclear option for. If Indians will destroy most of us, we too will annihilate parts of the adversary.'38 The Indian Defense Minister was quick to counter Pakistani signalling with India's own. In a press conference he stated: '….if the deterrent is not adequate and Pakistan uses the bomb, we will suffer a little but there will be no Pakistan left later.….Pakistan should know its strengths and vulnerability and stop making these stupid statements.39 As the resolve to match provocative signalling from the adversary seems to have paid off to Pakistan and India in past crises, it would probably incentivise a repeat of such behaviour in the future as well.40 This pattern would virtually ensure instability in future crises. To sum up, signalling credibility and resolve of employing nuclear weapons is well established for Pakistan and India. The concern in this case seems to be the opposite -- predominance of overly aggressive and provocative signalling. The problem is compounded by the lack of direct communication channels to clarify any misinterpreted signals. The issue becomes much more serious in times of heightened tensions as previous Indo-Pak crises have shown. To ensure that signals are not misinterpreted and do not lead to escalation in crisis situations, direct communication channels must remain open regardless of the state bilateral relations are in. (iii)

Pre-emption of the other's nuclear forces The second condition of nuclear deterrence necessitates absence of a

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preventive or pre-emptive strike. While no attempt at either pre-emption or prevention has been executed in South Asia, they have been contemplated previously. In 1984-85, India planned to conduct a preventive strike against Pakistan's main nuclear facility at Kahuta.41 As for pre-emption, Pakistani intelligence claims to have received credible reports of an Indian plan to attack Kahuta immediately after India conducted its nuclear tests.42 However, these reports have never been confirmed. While such actions might have been possible in the past, the current status of Pakistani and Indian nuclear arsenals makes any thought of pre-emption a virtual impossibility. Given the sheer size of India makes Pakistani pre-emption impossible. However, some fears of the reverse -- India pre-empting Pakistani nuclear forces -have been raised citing prior knowledge of each other's nuclear facilities, the short missile flight times, and a lack of early warning capabilities as elements that make pre-emption attractive.43 However, it must be realised that pre-emption of nuclear forces can never be carried out unless one is guaranteed of eliminating the retaliatory capacity of the opponent in its entirety. Proliferation optimists believe that the mere repercussions of an unsuccessful attempt ought to lay any qualms about pre-emption to rest.44 With displaced mobile delivery systems and a reasonable number of warheads, there is no way India could guarantee success in such a mission. This is especially true since Pakistani nuclear forces remain unmated. Having the warheads stored separately from their delivery systems makes the task of pre-emption even more difficult. Theoretically, were the forces mated and deployed, pre-emption would be more viable. However, in such a scenario the short time required for Pakistan to launch retaliation would deter any such plans. Finally, it must be pointed out that despite the agreement under which both sides exchange coordinates of their nuclear facilities, the information shared is only partial and cannot be banked upon to choose the targets to strike when attempting pre-emption.45 One word of caution. Although the above stands true for both peace time and crisis situations, in a crisis a conventional attack targeting Pakistani aircraft and missile batteries could be perceived as an attempt at pre-emption. Chances of such a development are realistic, given that India's new war doctrine 'Cold Start' hints at targeted punitive strikes inside Pakistani territory.46 Here, the lack of early warning systems would be a major handicap and faulty intelligence could rush Pakistan into preparing for a necessary response to the perceived pre-emption. However, Pakistan's nuclear force structure is large enough for it not to worry about the 'use 'em or lose 'em' dilemma even if an attack has been initiated. It could afford to order dispersal of its forces to safe locations and weigh its options before responding. (iv)

Safety of South Asian nuclear arsenals The risk of unauthorised or inadvertent use of nuclear weapons in South Asia has concerned all experts. An unauthorised or inadvertent launch is believed to be one of the most likely reasons behind a nuclear exchange. While command and control redundancy is essential at all times, a lack of it becomes much more dangerous during

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crises and conflicts. This is especially so for South Asia as forces remain un-deployed in peace time and much of the following applies only when forces are deployed in the field. Although both Pakistan and India claim to be cognizant of the need for a robust command and control system, most inferential analysis points out that developing such a system is likely to pose significant challenges to the two sides.47 However, no empirical evidence is available on this count, as specific command and control procedures for both countries remain classified.48 Pessimism on the South Asian command and control protocol flows as follows: With visible emphasis from both sides on developing mobile delivery systems, it seems certain that they have opted for wide dispersal of their strategic forces in order to make them more survivable.49 This is especially true for Pakistan as India's overwhelming conventional superiority and Pakistan's consequent insistence on its ‘first use policy’ necessitates wider dispersal. Theoretically, India, having conventional superiority and a ‘no first use policy’ can afford assertive, centralised control as reflected by its ex-Army chief General Sundarji, '…very strong centralised negative controls can be exercised, if you are looking at nuclear weapons purely as a deterrent…….if you see it purely as deterrence, there is no harm done if it is totally centralised, tightly held, because the response time is no longer central.'50 However, as mentioned above, development of mobile missiles such as the Agni suggest that even India plans to disperse its forces. With dispersal comes what Peter Feaver calls the 'always/never dilemma'. It reflects the condition where 'leaders want a high assurance that weapons will always work when directed and similar assurance the weapons will never be used in the absence of authorised directions.'51 While nuclear forces will be dispersed to ensure survivability, it will also mean running the risk of a loss of control of the weapon systems. This problem is especially acute in the case of South Asia. Pakistan and India lack adequate communication infrastructures and in times of conflict, disruption of communication networks is extremely likely. In order to satisfy the 'always' part of the dilemma, decision makers are likely to pre-delegate authority to senior field commanders52. Pre-delegation inherently increases the risk of unauthorised use. For instance, if a field commander can see that a loss for his forces is imminent, he could order to launch a nuclear strike in desperation53. This might even take place if communication systems are intact and the leadership has not ordered a strike. Fears of unauthorised use are exacerbated due to the fact that Pakistan and India do not posses sophisticated coding and authentication systems required to enhance negative controls to strengthen the never aspect of the always-never dilemma. Reportedly, neither country possesses systems such as Permissive Action Links (PALs).54 Similarly, since advanced circuitry techniques are also believed to be absent, risk of an accidental launch of ready-to-launch forces also remains. Related to unauthorised use and inadvertence is the possibility of a miscalculation. The absence of advanced early warning capabilities, coupled with

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extremely short flight times for delivery systems, heighten the risk of a miscalculation. In a quantitative analysis conducted by M.V. Ramana et al., they determined the response times that India's Green Pine Radar system would provide its decision makers with. Authors concluded that to travel between Sargodha and New Delhi a ballistic missile would take 5 minutes.55 For the Green Pine Radar to detect an incoming missile and for it to be confirmed would take 110 seconds, leaving only 190 seconds for decision makers to react.56 Given that it is impossible to make any informed decision in such a time-frame, decision makers would be left with no choice but to either retaliate immediately or absorb a strike. With Pakistan lacking even a capability equivalent to the Green Pine, its decision would be based on even less credible information. Furthermore, early warning radars are inherently faulty and have a high error probability.57 Therefore, the chances of a false alarm leading to a miscalculation cannot be discounted either. Such a possibility is not farfetched as false alarms were regularly detected by U.S. and Soviet radars during the Cold War.58To overcome the minimal response time, some experts worry that in due course, Pakistan and India might choose to adopt a fully deployed Launch on Warning (LOW) posture.59 However, technical and financial constraints will guard against such a development in the near term.60 At least in peace time, nuclear forces are likely to remain unmated with delivery systems. The above poses a grave threat to the stability of the South Asian nuclear regime. In any conflict that escalates to a full-fledged war, both sides are almost certain to prefer reinforcing the always while neglecting the never aspect of the always-never dilemma. (v)

Are South Asian nuclear arsenals secure against accidents? Accidents involving nuclear material are another worry for South Asian nuclear experts. South Asia has witnessed nuclear accidents in the past. Just last year India's Kalpakkam Reprocessing Plant (KARP) had a nuclear accident described as 'the worst accident in radiation exposure in the history of India.'61 Similar incidents during the Cold War also took place despite the elaborate and technically sophisticated systems set up to avoid such incidents.62 The principal danger of a nuclear accident remains on one's own territory. However, an accidental detonation could also have adverse implications for strategic stability. Here a scenario is outlined which several nuclear experts believe is realistic within the South Asian context.63 This situation would involve an accidental nuclear detonation during a limited or full-fledged conventional conflict. The reason could be a transportation or handling incident, sabotage, or even a conventional strike from the adversary on a target, which it believed was not a nuclear storage facility. In such a scenario, it would be difficult to determine the cause of the detonation and the affected side would be forced to make a hasty decision. Experts believe that in all likelihood the detonation would be taken as intentional rather than due to an accident, especially if the incident generated a mushroom cloud.64 In such circumstances escalation control would become extremely difficult.

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IV. Evaluating Strategic Stability An analysis of stability of the strategic deterrence in South Asia presents a mixed picture. One glaring fact that comes out from this exercise is that crises, even those that do not escalate, induce instability into the strategic equation. An absence of direct communication channels and resorting to provocative indirect or tacit signalling could heighten tensions during crises. Even tacit signalling such as deployment of strategic forces could provoke escalation in crisis situations. Similarly, while pre-emption is not realistic, fog of war could lead one to mistake conventional strikes for an attempt at pre-emption and thus to a subsequent preparation for retaliation. While command and control is likely to be a problem for South Asia at any time, forces are deployed on widely dispersed operational posts. Realistically in the near future, such a scenario would only be realised in times when crisis escalation is imminent, or if a conflict has already been initiated. In a conflict, the likelihood of unauthorised use or a miscalculation remains high as well. What this prognosis highlights is that as the South Asian nuclear regime stands today, it is fairly stable in times of peace but extremely unstable in crisis situations. Clearly, the key to strategic stability is crisis prevention. Unfortunately, as discussed earlier, previous conduct of both countries provides little reason for optimism in this regard. The probability of crises erupting in a nuclear South Asia remains extremely high. In fact, experts believe that since victory in a major war is no longer possible, the two sides now try to exhibit their strength during crises65. This is likely to become the norm in the future, which is worrisome since crises inherently bring with them the risk of escalation. During the two crises experienced in the overt nuclearisation phase, both sides pursued nuclear brinkmanship with seeming disregard for each others' nuclear threshold. Pakistan's connection to the Kashmir insurgency remained intact after the nuclear tests, as the Kargil crisis exhibited.66 If this connection persists in the future, crisis prevention will be impossible. India, on the other hand, still continues to toy with the extremely dangerous notion of limited war under the nuclear umbrella67, which led the two sides to the 2001-02 military standoff. The concept of limited war is also enshrined in India's new war fighting doctrine, 'Cold Start'. The thrust of this Pakistan-specific offensive plan is to conduct hard strikes, presumably inside Pakistani territory68. Were India to employ this plan, a fresh crisis would surely engulf South Asia. Moreover, while India calculates that such an action would remain below Pakistan's nuclear threshold, predicting the adversary's response in war is impossible. Flirting with an adversary's nuclear threshold, especially when nuclear red lines are undefined, is extremely dangerous. India's growing conventional disparity vis-Ă -vis Pakistan is also a matter of concern. India already commands a 2.22:1 superiority in terms of strength of the Army and 3.22:1 superiority in terms of strength of the Air Force69. Moreover, India continues to induct state of the art technology in its arsenal, which has a bearing on strategic stability. For one, systems such as the Arrow-2 ballistic missile defence that India is trying to acquire could lead it to pursue aggressive military policies with

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relative comfort70. More importantly, as Indian conventional disparity vis-Ă -vis Pakistan increases, Pakistan's nuclear threshold would continue to be lowered. In such a scenario, even targeted strikes that result in limited crisis escalation could end up tampering with Pakistan's red lines. Unlike the period when Pakistan and India fought conventional wars in a non-nuclear environment, any crisis now carries with it the inherent risk of escalation to the nuclear level. What is more, the advent of nuclear weapons seems to have exacerbated the chances of a crisis erupting between the two sides. Therefore, there remains an urgent need to address the issue of crisis prevention and introduce specific measures that would enhance the stability of the nuclear regime.

V. Stabilisation of the Nuclear Regime Before forwarding specific recommendations to enhance stability of South Asia's nuclear regime, three generic points need to be made. First, that any risk reduction or confidence building measure (CBM) is inherently based on trust. To generate trust, a broader confidence building process (involving non-military as well as military CBMs) is required. Second, in the absence of a trustworthy environment, specific stability enhancing measures must be legally binding. A non-binding agreement is unlikely to deliver. Finally, any agreements that do not carry with them assurances of continued implementation during crises end up being ineffective. The biggest shortcoming of past Indo-Pak CBMs has been that they have tended to become inoperative during crises. Pakistan and India have several military CBMs in place. These include the communication hotline between Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs), agreement of non-attack on nuclear facilities and installations, agreement on prior notification of military exercises, agreement on air space violations, etc71. A host of new official proposals have surfaced during the course of the ongoing composite dialogue process. Examples of these are extending the DGMOs hotline to the foreign secretaries, agreement on pre-notification of the technical parameters of missile flight tests, and agreement on observing a moratorium on nuclear tests72. A voluminous body of proposals has also been contributed by experts in the field. Certain measures are suggested below. An attempt is also made to point out complexities in some of the previously suggested measures. (i)

Negotiation on the Kashmir Issue Whether or not Kashmir is acknowledged as a core issue by India, the fact is that it lies at the heart of hostilities between the two neighbours. Developing trust between Pakistan and India is a virtual impossibility till this issue remains in the forefront. Moreover, it will continue to precipitate future conflicts and to undermine the potential of specific stability enhancing measures. Although other stability enhancing measures ought not be held hostage to a resolution of Kashmir, since such a prospect seems nowhere on the horizon, continuous efforts to resolve this issue are an imperative. The key is to continue talks on this issue with a genuine intent to move towards resolution. Discontinuing a dialogue on Kashmir by itself could disrupt the

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current peace initiative. In all likelihood, absence of the broader confidence building process would automatically reduce the chances of success of specific measures. (ii) Crisis prevention mechanism As mentioned, the focus of any specific measures to enhance strategic stability in South Asia ought to be on crisis prevention. What is proposed here is just a way to ensure that diplomacy is put to the task of diffusing tensions before an actual crisis erupts. Pakistan and India could consider entering into a binding bilateral agreement under which they make it necessary for prime ministers of both sides to establish contact if a crisis seems to be developing. They should be mandated to hold at least three telephonic conversations over a period of one week in an attempt to diffuse an imminent crisis. A clause in the agreement could necessitate such interaction before either side could order conventional force deployments. Such an arrangement would guard against two pitfalls. First, it will ensure that official communication channels remain open at the highest level. Second, Indo-Pak crises tend to erupt and escalate suddenly. A provision for three telephonic conversations spread over a week would give time to both sides for informed decision making. At the very least, these interactions would ensure that troop deployment plans are put on hold until all avenues for rapprochement are exhausted. For example, if India planned to mobilise in response to a terrorist attack on its territory, Pakistan could provide proof of its innocence or agree to specific measures to rectify the situation within a set timeframe. The utility of such a mechanism would be tremendously enhanced if the two sides agreed to involve a neutral mediator in their conversations through a conference call. The mediator could be an individual of international repute or a representative of the U.N. or from a third country. Although, the two sides might be averse to such direct outside involvement, the fact is that both inevitably end up depending on outside forces to subdue their crises in any case73. A more direct role for a mediator would perhaps be able to help in crisis prevention rather than escalation control. To expand the initiative, the two sides could allow designated officials from each side plus the mediator (or his appointed team) to observe troop movements on ground. While tele-diplomacy is continuing, these observers could confirm the absence of wartime deployment. It must be ensured that telephonic conversations are only restricted to discussion about crisis prevention. They should not be used as a means to transmit nuclear signals, lest they generate further mistrust. Involvement of a neutral mediator could help ensure this as well. (iii)

The signalling conundrum The issue of nuclear signalling creates a conundrum. Absence of official communication channels during crises leaves tacit and indirect communication as the only options for nuclear signalling. However, both induce strategic instability in times of crises. On the other hand, signalling resolve remains a necessary aspect of

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deterrence. By the same token, removing misperceptions by signalling is also imperative for stability. The only way out of this conundrum is to ensure that official communication channels remain open during crises. These channels could be the hotline between DGMOs or the one proposed for foreign secretaries. A binding agreement stating that these channels would remain open during crises has been floated but needs to be formalised. The prime ministers’ telephonic interaction cannot substitute for this direct communication, which will need to occur on a frequent basis. Although both Pakistan and India are likely to transmit some signals through indirect and tacit channels regardless of the availability of direct channels, misperception could be sufficiently reduced by concurrently maintaining contact through the official route. (iv)

Non-deployment agreement From the analysis of strategic stability, it is clear that nuclear force deployment on semi-operational or operational status increases the risk of a nuclear holocaust. In fact, much of the current peace time stability should also be attributed to a non-deployed posture. While operational deployments during peace time are not likely any time soon, what is needed is a binding agreement on non-deployment during times of crises or conflict. Pakistan has previously offered to formalise an agreement guaranteeing ‘non-deployed deterrence’ with India.74 However, the latter rejected it. Pakistan still maintains that it will not initiate deployment.75 Given that India has a ‘no first use’ policy, it could afford to maintain non-deployed forces. The two sides should work towards formalising such an agreement. To verify implementation of the agreement in the absence of sophisticated intelligence gathering capabilities would be problematic. The most obvious alternate to satellite based intelligence would be limited verification conducted by a designated joint team of military personnel. Lack of trust necessitates that inspectors of the inspecting country be allowed to pick sites at random. Otherwise the process will lack credibility. Furthermore, if avenues for satellite-based intelligence open up for Pakistan and India, verification would become simple and the true stabilising potential of the agreement would be realised. (v)

Agreement not to attempt pre-emption What is envisaged here is a binding agreement between the two sides not to attempt pre-emption of the other's nuclear forces, both in peace time and crises. It has already been argued that the likelihood of pre-emption is almost non-existent. However, formally agreeing to this would guard against the possibility of punitive strikes being misinterpreted as pre-emptive ones during periods of high tension. Notionally, the agreement could be implemented by negotiating the maximum number of nuclear delivery systems (aircrafts on ground and missile batteries) that can be successfully hit in a conventional strike without qualifying as an attempt at pre-emption. The maximum number should be low to ensure that majority of delivery systems remain functional. Any offensive that strikes more than the agreed number of delivery systems would be perceived as pre-emption. The agreement would have several benefits. First, it will act as a strong

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deterrent for the attacker against targeting more than the agreed number of delivery systems. The very rationale for the agreement implies that if the limit were exceeded, the defender's 'red lines' would have been tampered with. Possibility of nuclear retaliation is thus implicit. Furthermore, limiting the number of strikes means that the defender would not have to face the 'use em or lose em' dilemma. In other words, the nuclear threshold of the defender would be raised. A recommendation for an agreement not to strike airfields in conflicts has been floated previously for much the same reason.76 This agreement would be more comprehensive, as it would cover missile delivery systems as well. The proposal does not necessitate sharing of information regarding positions of delivery systems. The attacker would base its calculations on its own intelligence. Although not all strikes will be 'successful' (the agreement will be based on successful strikes not attempted strikes), the attacker would have no way of confirming the outcome of each intended strike on delivery systems. Given the consequences of crossing the agreed upon limit, in all likelihood the attacker will choose to play safe and base its calculations on number targeted, and not number hit. This ought to reduce the defender's losses further, thus leaving more delivery systems functional and consequently keeping the nuclear threshold from lowering. One potential problem could be a lack of verification on the part of the defender if it claims that the agreed limit has been crossed. However, this need not be stipulated as the defender would have no incentive to launch a nuclear strike before it is convinced that pre-emption is being attempted. The underlying goal of this agreement would be to deter the aggressor from targeting a significant number of delivery systems and consequently lowering the nuclear threshold. (vi)

Nuclear Risk Reduction Centres (NRRCs) Proposals for setting up NRRCs on the Cold War model are present. Although technically, NRRCs could be of help in both crisis prevention as well as escalation control, the often-suggested benefits of NRRCs in the Pakistan-India context are exaggerated. While they may be of much use during peace time, their utility is likely to remain limited during periods of crisis. Most information NCCRs would transmit will not be verifiable. Given the mistrust between the two sides, information from an adversary's NCCRs is likely to be discounted during periods of high tension. This is so since NCCRs could be used to provide misinformation during crises. On the other hand, in peace time NCCRs could be useful for maintaining an instantaneous channel for communication between technical experts on both sides. It could assist in developing a common vocabulary regarding doctrines and nuclear red lines for experts.77 Furthermore, it could also serve as a Centre to assist in implementing existing CBMs (for example, by pre-notifying missile tests), clear misperceptions developed due to faulty intelligence, and notify about nuclear accidents, which could be perceived otherwise78. To begin with, NCCRs could act as a confidence building measure. Continuous exchange of accurate information during

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peace time could gradually build trust which might be kept intact during crises as well. However, this is a long-term prospect. (vii)

Cooperative Ariel Observation Another proposed risk reduction measure in South Asia is Cooperative Ariel Observation (CAO). It is essentially a verification mechanism, which theoretically could help in crisis prevention as well as escalation control. However, operationally CAO would be of limited use. The underlying principle behind CAO is that by aerial monitoring both sides could access reliable information about each other directly79. However, given that it is not realistic to conduct observation missions on an adversary's entire territory, such missions would not be able to provide current, up-todate information. Especially in times of crises, force deployments could well be underway in areas not being monitored. Furthermore, if the frequency of observation missions is too low, deployments could be initiated and completed within the time interval between two successive missions. On the other hand, an extremely high frequency of missions covering a large portion of ones territory would raise concerns of rendering the entire force structure naked. Neither side is likely to accept that. What CAO can be most effective in is to monitor arms control or non-deployment agreements in specific areas, which does not apply to the Indo-Pak context at present80. In terms of enhancing strategic stability in South Asia, CAO has limited near-term utility. It would have to start with largely symbolic missions and gradually move towards gaining real time information, if trust is generated. Adequate command and control Both countries need to ensure that a fail-safe command and control system is operational. A clear chain of command on paper does not necessarily mean that it will hold during conflicts. Safeguards must be built to ensure that the chain of command is fully respected under all conditions. Furthermore, even when conflict necessitates dispersal, pre-delegation should be avoided. A necessary prerequisite for this is hardened communication facilities, which are currently lacking in South Asia. Personnel reliability measures should also be pursued to make potential decision makers in the field comprehend with the level of responsibility entrusted in them. Psychological training to retain informed decision-making skills under stress of war could also help81. To ensure safeguards against inadvertence, warheads should be removed from their cores and at the very least nuclear and non-nuclear explosives must be separated82. Even when forces are deployed, warheads should not be mated with delivery systems83.

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share its Cold War experiences regarding problems with command and control and safety of the arsenal. Perhaps, its Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTRP) could be expanded to include South Asia.85 This ought to assist in enhancing the safety and security of South Asia's nuclear arsenal. Lack of trust between Pakistan and India is likely to restrict the benefit any stability enhancing measure could have. One must be cautioned against expecting the potential of such measures to be realised in its entirety. For the time being, most stability enhancing measures will merely end up being confidence builders. As an atmosphere of trust is generated, impact of such measures on strategic stability could increase. Till then it would be sensible to focus on targeted agreements that aim at preventing crises and enhancing stability. Progress even on these is likely to be sluggish. The key, however, is not to allow the process to stall.

VI. Conclusion The nuclear regime in South Asia exhibits stability during periods of calm. However, in crisis situations the nuclear equation becomes highly unstable. This raises serious concerns as Indo-Pak relations have been prone to crises and overt nuclearisation seems to have increased the propensity of the two sides to be involved in crises. Both tend to believe that room for limited escalation below the nuclear threshold is present. Pakistan's past connection with the Kashmiri insurgency, and the Indian limited war doctrine combined with its growing conventional disparity vis-Ă -vis Pakistan is worrisome in this regard.

(viii)

These are precautionary measures that Pakistan and India should undertake immediately, if they are not already in place. However, to provide greater assurance of the 'safety' of nuclear forces, advanced technology is required. The U.S. could be a potential source of such cooperation. Technological cooperation could include sharing portal command equipment, access doors, PALs, sophisticated vaults, and the like.84 Realistically, such cooperation is not likely any time soon since the U.S. is curbed by its export controls and even Pakistan and India might not be willing to share sensitive information with the U.S. However, the U.S. could assist on other counts. It could

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Any measures designed to enhance strategic stability must be part of a broader confidence building process which seeks resolution of outstanding disputes and looks to create an overall environment of trust. The thrust of stability enhancing measures should be on crisis prevention, with escalation control as the second best option. The key is to ensure that all agreements are legally binding and are guaranteed to work during periods of heightened tensions. Diplomacy at the highest level must be given a fair chance to diffuse imminent crises. By the same token, official communication channels must remain open regardless of the situation on ground. A non-deployment agreement and an agreement not to attempt pre-emption would also enhance stability. Other previously suggested measures such as NRRCs and CAO, while promising, are only likely to realise their potential in the long run. Pakistan and India must also take unilateral measures to enhance safety and security of their nuclear arsenals. Realistically, until an atmosphere of trust develops, progress on stability enhancing measures is likely to be sluggish. However, perseverance is the only way forward!

(Moeed Yusuf is a consultant on Economic Policy at SDPI, Islamabad and also a regular columnist for The Friday Times and Daily Times, Pakistan. Mr. Yusuf can be contacted at moeed@sdpi.org)

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End Notes 1. 2.

3. 4.

5.

6. 7. 8.

9.

10. 11.

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13. 14.

15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 20.

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Devin T. Hagerty, The Consequences of Nuclear Proliferation: Lessons from South Asia (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1998) p.67. Hagerty, pp.69-70. Richard Sisson and Leo E. Rose, War and Secession: Pakistan, India, and the Creation of Bangladesh (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1990) pp.221-234. For an account of the Brasstacks crisis, see Hagerty pp.96-99. Zafar Iqbal Cheema, 'Conflict, Crisis and Nuclear Stability in South Asia,' paper presented at a workshop on New Challenges to Strategic Stability in South Asia, Univeristy of Bardford, July 2004, <http://www.bradford.ac.uk/acad/sassu/publications/Cheema.pdf>, p.4. Raj Chengappa, Weapons of Peace: The Secret Story of India's Quest to be a Nuclear Power (New Delhi: Harper Collins, 2000) pp.322-23. ‘Brasstacks and Beyond: Perception and Management of Crisis in South Asia,’ ACDIS Research Report, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995, p.30. Quoted in Cheema. p.5. P.R. Chari, Nuclear Crisis, Escalation Control, and Deterrence in South Asia, The Henry L. Stimson Center, August 2003. p.16. Seymour H. Hersh, ‘On the Nuclear Edge,’ The New Yorker (March 29, 1993), p.65. Quoted in Chari, ‘Nuclear Crisis,’ p.17. For an analysis of the nuclear dimension in the 1990 crisis, see Stephen P. Cohen, P.R. Chari and Parvaiz Iqbal Cheema, ‘The Compound Crisis of 1990: Perception, Politics and Insecurity,’ ACDIS Research Report, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000. Hilary Synnott, ‘The Causes and Consequences of South Asia's Nuclear Tests’, Adelphi Paper 332, The International Institute for Strategic Studies (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990) p.35. Chari, ‘Nuclear Crisis,’ p.19. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew to Washington to secure an agreement with U.S. President William Clinton. Troop withdrawal took place shortly afterwards. ‘U.S.Pakistan Deal Calls for Withdrawal of Kashmir Fighters,’ CNN, July 5, 1999, <http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/asiapcf/9907/05/kashmir.01/>. According to one estimate 13 nuclear threats were conveyed within a period of 35 days during the Kargil crisis. See Timothy Hoyt, ‘Kargil: The Nuclear Dimension’ in a forthcoming book on Kargil, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. Quoted in Cheema. p.9. Raj Chengappa, Weapons of Peace. p.9. The concept of ‘stability-instability paradox’ was originally formulated by Glenn Snyder. See Glenn Snyder, ‘The Balance of Power and the Balance of Terror’ in Paul Seabury (ed.), The Balance of Power (San Francisco: Chandler, 1965), pp.194-201. For a discussion of the concept in the Indo-Pak context see, Michael Krepon and Chris Gagne (eds.), The StabilityInstability Paradox: Nuclear Weapons and Brinkmanship in South Asia, The Henry L. Stimson Center, June 2001. ‘Indian Parliament Attack Kills 12,’ BBC News, December 13, 2001, <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1707865.stm>. Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, ‘Nuclear Doctrine, Declaratory Policy, and Escalation Control,’ Occasional Paper, The Henry L. Stimson Center, April 2004, <http://www.stimson.org/southasia/pubs.cfm?ID=105>, p.4. ‘Pakistan Moves Troops to Border,’ CNN, May 31, 2002, <http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/south/05/31/kashmir.attack/>. For a detailed analysis of nuclear signaling during the 2001-02 crisis, see Chaudhury, ‘Nuclear Doctrine.’ Feroz Hassan Khan, ‘Challenges to Nuclear Stability in South Asia,’ The Nonproliferation Review (Spring 2003) p.66. Chari, Nuclear Crisis, p.25.

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21. The Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, Vol. XVI, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), pp.429-430. 22. Scott D. Sagan and Kenneth N. Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1995), p.51. 23. Bernard Brodie, Strategy in the Missile Age (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1959), p.397. Quoted in Peter R. Lavoy, ‘Managing South Asia's Nuclear Rivalry: New Policy Challenges for the United States,’ paper presented at an international conference on Prospects of Peace, Stability and Prosperity in South Asia, Institute for Regional Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan, June 7-9,2004, p.4. 24. This is the crux of the argument extended by proliferation optimist, Kenneth Waltz. Sagan and Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons, pp.26-30. 25. These estimates are taken from two quantitative analyses that attempt to approximate Indian and Pakistan NWEs. One has been conducted by David Albright and the other by Rodney Jones. See ‘India and Pakistan Fissile Material and Nuclear Weapons Inventory, end of 1998, <http://www.isis-online.org/publications/southasia/stocks1099.html>. Also see, Rodney W. Jones, ‘Minimum Nuclear Deterrence Posture in South Asia: An Overview,’ Final Report, Defense Threat Reduction Agency Advanced Systems and Concepts Office, Policy Architects International, October 1, 2001, pp.8-10. 26. Ibid. 27. Lavoy, pp.8-9. 28. Ibid. 29. Brodie, p.397. Quoted in Lavoy, p.4. 30. Lavoy, p.12. 31. Chaudhury, pp.4-6. 32. Official Pakistani and Indian delegations met during the crisis to negotiate withdrawal of troops. Chari, Nuclear Crisis, p.15. 33. See Chari, Nuclear Crisis, pp. 15-20, 25. Also see, Uttara Sahasrabuddhe, ‘The US and Evolving India-Pakistan Relations’ paper presented at an international conference on Prospects of Peace, Stability and Prosperity in South Asia, Institute for Regional Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan, June 7-9, 2004, pp.5, 7-8. 34. Khan, p.64. 35. Ibid. 36. Chaudhury cites examples of official statements being made and then retracted throughout his paper. Chaudhury, ‘Nuclear Doctrine.’ 37. ‘Musharraf Rallies Pakistan Troops,’ BBC News, May 29, 2002, <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2015198.stm>. 38. Chaudhury, p.5. 39. Pak N-Blackmail No Worry: Fernandes,’ The Hindu, January 8, 2003, <http://www.google.com.pk/search?q=cache:VB8pxb9bveQJ:www.meadev.nic.in/news/cl ippings/20030108/hin3.htm+Pakistan+should+know+its+strengths+and+vulnerability+a nd+stop+making+these+stupid+statements&hl=en&ie=UTF-8>. 40. Lavoy, p.14. 41. Chari, Nuclear Crisis, pp.13-14. 42. See Moeed Yusuf, ‘Pakistan's Nuclear Policy: Need for a New Direction?’ Master's diss., Boston University, November 15, 2003, p.6. 43. Some of these elements have been listed by Chari in Nuclear Crisis, p.24. 44. This has been argued by Kenneth Waltz and other proliferation optimists. 45. Officially, the agreement shares coordinates of all nuclear facilities. However, since there is no verification mechanism in the agreement, concealing some information is almost a given. Both sides have regularly questioned the completeness of the other's list. See ‘IndiaPakistan Non-Attack Agreement,’ available at <http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/inven/pdfs/indpak.pdf>. 46. See Shaukat Qadir, ‘India's 'Cold Start' Strategy',’ Daily Times, May 8, 2004, <http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_8-5-2004_pg3_3>. 47. Proliferation pessimists believe that lack of resources and sophisticated technology is likely

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48. 49.

50. 51. 52. 53. 54.

55. 56. 57. 58. 59.

60.

61. 62. 63.

64. 65. 66. 67. 68.

69. 70.

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to keep a robust command and control from emerging. Clayton P. Bowen and Daniel Wolven, ‘Command and Control Challenges in South Asia,’ The Nonproliferation Review (Spring-Summer, 1999) p.29. Gurmeet Kanwal, ‘Command and Control of Nuclear Weapons in India,’ Strategic Analysis, Vol. XXIII, No.10 (January 2000) p.1718. Pakistan's Ghauri and Shaheen and India's Agni ballistic missile systems are mobile. In addition to road mobility, both countries have also attempted to make their missiles railmobile. This is largely in order to overcome the poor road infrastructure in South Asia. For a detailed account of both country's missile systems, see L. J. Ryabikhin, ‘Missile Developments in South Asia: An Outsider's View,’ paper presented in an international seminar on Arms Race and Nuclear Developments in South Asia, Islamabad Policy Research Institute and Hanns Seidel Foundation, Islamabad, April 20-21, 2004. Bowen and Wolven, p.26. Peter Feaver, ‘Command and Control in Emerging Nuclear Nations,’ International Security 17 (Winter 1992-93) p.163. Bowen and Wolven, p.27. Khan, pp.67-68. Samina Ahmed and David Cortright, ‘Going Nuclear: The Weaponization Option’ in Samina Ahmed and David Cortright (eds.), Pakistan and the Bomb: Public Opinion and Nuclear Options (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998), pp.94-95. M. V. Ramana, R. Rajaraman, and Zia Mian, ‘Nuclear Early Warning in South Asia: Problems and Issues,’ Economic and Political Weekly, January 17, 2004, p.4. Ibid., pp.5-6. Ibid. Bruce Kennedy, ‘Nuclear Close Calls,’ CNN Interactive, <http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/12/spotlight/>. For a detailed discussion on LOW and its potential repercussions for Pakistan and India, see M. V. Ramana, ‘Risks of a LOW Doctrine,’ Economic and Political Weekly, March 1, 2003. In terms of cost, deployment is by far the most expensive component of maintaining a nuclear force. In the case of the U.S., deployment costs were 55 percent of the overall expenditure on maintaining U.S.' nuclear arsenal during the Cold War. Ejaz Haider, ‘Managing Nuclear Weapons in South Asia: In Search of a Model’ in M. V. Ramana and C. Rammanohar Reddy (eds.), India's Nuclear Fantasies: Costs and Ethics (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2003) p.142. Danger of Nuclear Accidents in S. Asia,’ editorial in Daily Times, July 22, 2003, <http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_22-7-2003_pg3_1>. R. Rajaraman, M. V. Ramana, and Zia Mian, ‘Possession and Deployment of Nuclear Weapons in South Asia,’ Economic and Political Weekly, June 22, 2002. This scenario was discussed at the “Escalation Control Workshop” organised by the Henry L. Stimson Center on November 14-18, 2002 in Surrey. It brought together experts on South Asia who seemed to form a consensus that such a scenario was realistic. See, Michael Krepon and Ziad Haider, ‘Reducing Nuclear Dangers in South Asia,’ Report 50, The Henry L. Stimson Center, pp.4-6. Ibid., p.5. Ibid., p.13. Khan, p.64. Ibid. See Qadir, ‘India's 'Cold Start'.’ Also see Shaukat Qadir, ‘Cold Start: The Nuclear Side,’ Daily Times, May 16, 2004, <http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_165-2004_pg3_4> Zawar Haider Abidi, Threat Reduction in South Asia, The Henry L. Stimson Center, November 2003, <http://www.stimson.org//southasia/pdf/zawarabidi.pdf>, pp.2-3. For example, India could conduct punitive strikes on militant camps or Pakistani missile

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batteries believing that the impact of Pakistani retaliation could be minimized by the missile defense shield. See Moeed Yusuf, ‘Arrow-2 in the Indian Quiver,’ The Friday Times, September 17-23, 2004. For a discussion on Indo-Pak CBMs, see P. R. Chari, ‘Conventional CBMs and Arms Control,’ paper presented in the international seminar on Arms Race and Nuclear Developments in South Asia, Islamabad Policy Research Institute and Hanns Seidel Foundation, Islamabad, April 20-21, 2004. ‘India and Pakistan will Maintain Ban on N-tests,’ Daily Times, June 21, 2004, <http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_21-6-2004_pg1_1>. Ejaz Haider, ‘First-use and Nuclear Risk-reduction,’ Daily Times, June 22, 2004, <http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_22-6-2004_pg3_5>. As mentioned, the U.S. has played a proactive role in bringing Indo-Pak crises to an end. On all occasions the U.S. brought pressure to bear on both sides. Khan, p.71. Jaya Tiwari, ‘Nuclear Confidence Building Measures in South Asia,’ Reaching Critical Will, <http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/legal/nwc/mon3/tiwari.html> (accessed on September 25, 2004). This was one of the recommendations of the Henry L. Stimson Center's ‘Escalation Control Workshop.’ Krepon and Haider, p.7. This was also recommended at the ‘Escalation Control Workshop’. Ibid., p.6. For a detailed analysis of roles NRRCs could play, see Colonel Rafi uz Zaman Khan, ‘Pakistan and India: Can NRRCs Help Strengthen Peace?’ Occasional Paper 49, The Henry L. Stimson Center, December 2002. John H. Hawes and Teresita C. Schaffer, ‘Risk Reduction in South Asia: A Role for Cooperative Aerial Observation?’ The Henry L. Stimson Center, <http://www.stimson.org/southasia/pdf/saaerial.pdf > (accessed on September 20, 2004), p.77. Were a non-deployment agreement inked, CAO could be utilised to monitor it. However, again, it would only be able to monitor specific areas. Khan, p.72. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid., pp.72-73. The U.S. has mainly helped Russia and former Soviet Republics through this program. For details of how this could be applied to the Indo-Pak context, see Rose Gottemoeller with Rebecca Longsworth, ‘Enhancing Nuclear Security in the Counter-Terrorism Struggle: India and Pakistan as a New Region for Cooperation,’ Working Paper 29, Global Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, August 2002.

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the new strategic environment nuclear blackmail would not work; a limited war was not a viable proposition and, most importantly, all-out war was not an option.

Indo-Pak Relations: Present and Future Najmuddin A. Shaikh

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his paper was originally designed to focus on the possibility of a future conflict between Pakistan and India in the larger setting of the prospects of interstate conflicts in South Asia. It is, of course, true that in any consideration of Indo-Pakistan relations and their future direction, analysts and observers -- guided by the troubled relationship of the past -- have invariably to contend with the fact that, whatever the discerned positive developments, the possibility of a deterioration of relations and the outbreak of armed conflict cannot be ruled out. It is also true that, since the early 1980s, security officials in both India and Pakistan were forced by perceived ground realities to include in their strategic calculus the existence of nuclear weapons in the arsenal of the other side. The nuclear dimension of any future conflict was, of course, underlined by the demonstration of this capability by both India and Pakistan in quick succession in May 1998. It is my contention, however, that the acquisition and subsequent public demonstration of nuclear capability provided a spur to efforts towards peace and to ruling out military conflict as a means of resolving Indo-Pak disputes. The Lahore Summit and other positive developments in Indo-Pak relations should be viewed in this context. Some analysts have argued that, following the public demonstration of nuclear capability, leaders in both countries were anxious to take steps that would assuage the concerns of the international community, and secure lifting of the sanctions that had been imposed on both countries. According to these analysts, this consideration played a major part in bringing about the Lahore Summit. But this author would like to believe that, very largely, it was a direct consequence of the realisation that any future Indo-Pak conflict was fraught with such danger that it behoved visionary or even pragmatic leaders on both sides to intensify negotiations to arrive at a peaceful settlement of outstanding disputes. This is why the Agra Summit took place, despite the bitter after-taste of the Kargil episode. This is also why the door to future negotiations was kept ajar despite the ostensible failure of that summit. Similarly there are many analysts who, in writing about the Kargil conflict or in dissecting the causes and consequences of the mobilisation of forces of December 2001 -- in the aftermath of the attack on the Indian Parliament, tended to argue that the above situations were defused by the active intervention of the international community. There is no doubt that the loudly expressed concerns of the international community and the diplomatic efforts of the international community had a great deal to do with the dampening of the prospects of war but the ultimate decision to avoid war came because leaders on both sides were responsible enough to recognise that in

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In the light of what many of us remember of the grim days in 2002, of the stridency of statements from both sides, of the apprehensions of the international community which led to the departure from both countries of sorely needed foreign experts and the learned commentaries of regional and international analysts, this may appear to be an overly optimistic assessment but justified, nonetheless. I will deal later with developments that may call this assessment, into question in the future but for the moment this is the thesis on which the rest of this presentation will rest. Looking at the question of Pakistan's alleged sense of insecurity and the relationship this bears to its perception of the unresolved issues -- primarily Kashmir -- that have bedevilled its relations with India, one comes to a few conclusions. There is no doubt that for the first 50 years of its existence Pakistan's foreign policy had one objective: ensuring its security and territorial integrity against the perceived threat from a much larger India. With military conflict being ruled out, what are the impelling forces or incentives that can drive the two sides, or hinder such efforts, to arrive at a peaceful resolution of their disputes, particularly the dispute over Kashmir, to which Pakistan attaches the greatest importance and which, for India, represents the greatest challenge in terms of its democratic domestic polity and its international standing? There are many. For the older generation in both countries the mass migration and bloodshed that followed independence is a painful memory. It will never fade entirely but for many this is offset by a recollection of what the two (Pakistan and India) had in common. This was underlined when President Musharraf, addressing a press conference at the UN before his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, 'After all, he (Manmohan Singh) was born in Pakistan and I was born in India. So there is a good ground for this understanding'. Because of the strained relationship of the past, few in the younger generation know their counterparts on the other side. Curiosity, more than any other emotion, seems to characterise the attitude of the new generation of the two countries towards each other. Surprisingly, the stream of government and other vested interest sponsored propaganda on both sides over the last 57 years has not created among them (the youth) a hatred of their counterparts. Communal discord and evidence of intolerance in either country revives the pain of the past for the older generation and may drive the younger generation towards hatred, but currently it seems that there is a desire to establish the sort of relationship which would enable them to get to know each better and to prosper together. Economic planners and businessmen in both countries are becoming acutely aware of the drag on economic development that the tension in the region has caused. Leaders have acknowledged and repeatedly paid lip service to the notion that the common enemy both countries have to fight is the scourge of poverty. This

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identification first appeared in Prime Minister Vajpayee's letter of invitation to President Musharraf for the Agra Summit and was endorsed in Musharraf's reply. Now it appears that there is a readiness to go beyond mere lip service. In the press conference referred to above, President Musharraf said, 'We are like two elephants in South Asia, trampling the grass in our fight…. Look where it has taken us. South Asia is one of the poorest regions and our economy refuses to take off because of our preoccupation with this dispute'. At another time and in another ambience, President Musharraf would have spoken proudly of the fact that Pakistan achieved 6.4 per cent growth in 2003-04 and that in 2004-05 growth was expected at 6.6 per cent, despite the water shortage1 and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would have riposted with the fact that in the first quarter of 04-05 India's growth rate was 7.2 per cent and would be about 6.6 per cent for the year. The fact of the matter is that without the constraints and the expenditure the tensions between the two engender, the growth rate of each could top or at least come close to 10 per cent annually. The proposed pipeline from Iran to supply gas to India provides a simple illustration. By one estimate, transit fees from the pipeline would add US$ 500 million or close to 1 per cent to Pakistan's GDP while, in the case of India, the lower costs of gas and its transportation costs would give India an equal percentage boost in its much larger GDP. This, of course, is without taking account of the added economic activity and employment opportunities the pipeline would generate in the areas through which it would pass. Even more importantly there is a realisation that the concept of global interdependence has one of its best illustrations in South Asia. If Pakistan is to realise the benefits of its geo-strategic location and act as a bridge between Central Asia and South Asia, the Middle East and Central Asia and the Middle East and South Asia, it can only happen when it is prepared to grant transit facilities to its neighbour. If India is to secure economic access to the energy it will so desperately need as its economy takes off and if it is to trade profitably with Central Asia and the Middle East by the cheaper overland route, it needs to use this transit facility. If a genuinely viable Asian highway and other communication networks linking the highly populated and economically significant areas of Asia and the Middle East are to be constructed India and Pakistan must cooperate. If the other South Asian countries are to benefit from the economic activity; that will be generated by the US$ 750 billion plan visualised for the development of the western regions of China, India and Pakistan must cooperate. If SAARC is ever to rival ASEAN as a regional organisation or provide incentives for ECO and ASEAN to seek cooperation with South Asia through the SAARC mechanism, the present political barriers to the development of SAARC must be done away with and methodologies must be designed to ensure that all SAARC members benefit, in more or less equal measure, from this organisation. If there is to be genuine free trade in the region, it must be ensured that such trade promotes a division of labour that will enable all members to benefit equally.

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All this can only happen if Pakistan and India work together. This, in turn, can only happen if they resolve their political disputes or make visible progress towards their resolution. There are the usual clichés used in making suggestions on how these problems could be resolved or visible progress could be made towards resolution: l Don't cut your nose to spite your face. l Don't try to beggar your neighbour. l Don't block proposals that ease human suffering. l Don't try and use temporary solutions for humanitarian problems to promote

political objectives. l Don't believe that democracy and repression can long remain compatible. l Look upon the Composite dialogue process as a kitchen range on which all

burners are in use. All the dishes must be ready for the banquet. They may cook at different rates but there cannot be, if the Chefs are to be complimented on a magnificent repast, too long an interval between the serving of the appetizer and the dessert. In fact all preparatory steps may need to be taken to prepare the dessert before the cooking of the entrée starts. While the above mentioned are clichés, they are also statements of the obvious, particularly as applied to Indo-Pak relations. To include in the list: l The resolution of each of the issues that the two sides needed to discuss could yield a win-win result if the two sides agreed to so interpret it. l Even where such interpretation became difficult the long term benefit would far outweigh the cost of the short-term concession. l The benefits of rapprochement would flow not only to the two countries and the region but would also affect a sea change internationally. So how can this be done? What are the mechanisms that can be devised which would allow matters to be advanced without providing opportunities to the nay-sayers in both countries to sabotage the process? The moment seems propitious. At no time in recent years have the statements of leaders from the two sides been so positive. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke of his meeting with President Musharraf as an 'essay in mutual comprehension' and called it 'a historic day'. The Joint Statement which President Musharraf read out and which he termed an agreement, stated: 'They also addressed the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and agreed that possible options for a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the issue should be explored in a sincere spirit and purposeful manner'. It also said that, 'They [the two principals] agreed that confidence-building measures [CBMs] of all categories under discussion between the two governments should be implemented keeping in mind practical possibilities'. 2 It appears to be an open secret that the groundwork for this meeting had been done in meetings between Mr. Dixit, the Indian National Security Adviser and Mr. Tariq Aziz, the Secretary of the National Security Council in Pakistan3. It also seems to be an accepted conjecture that, even while working from a draft already

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prepared by the two advisers, the two principals made their own contribution to the final wording. This is important since it signifies a personal commitment on the part of the two leaders to the content and to its implementation. It would be reasonable to presume from the manner in which the statement is worded that the two leaders have agreed that the possible options for a negotiated settlement on Kashmir will not be negotiated in the fora set up for the 'composite dialogue' but will be entrusted to the two advisers. Many in this day of open diplomacy may find this difficult to swallow. But when 'options' are being considered and when these options will entail the abandonment of long-held positions it is best that these discussions be held outside the glare of media attention that invariably focuses on the meetings planned for the 'composite dialogue'. Sensitive issues demand secret diplomacy and in Indo-Pak relations this subject is easily the most important and the most sensitive. The Pakistani president has said that he is not insisting on a time frame for the solution of the problems but he is insistent that this is not a process that should be entirely open-ended. If an early solution is to be found then there is all the more reason that it be found and agreed upon in private negotiations before being presented to the people of the two countries and above all to the Kashmiri people for their approval. Such secret diplomacy must of course include consultations with the Kashmiri people. Their leaders are, for the most part, pragmatic. They will not necessarily stick out for the unattainable. Assuming that the Joint Statement heralds the beginning of a serious and sincere effort in secret negotiations to settle the Kashmir issue, where does one anticipate the other elements of the 'composite dialogue' going in the more public series of meetings that have been planned? An American observer of the South Asian scene has said, 'India and Pakistan are both masters of the defensive game and could go on for years in talks characterised by more activity than movement'4. Pakistanis and Indians are not alone in having mastered the diplomatic technique of many meetings and no progress. The Americans spent many months arguing with the Vietnamese during their prolonged negotiations on the size and shape of the table at which the negotiations would be conducted. It is a useful tool when the governing principle is 'talk talk, fight fight' and to let the situation on the battlefield determine what is said in the negotiations. It would be a pity, however, if this cynical observation were to be borne out in the Indo-Pak context where the purpose is to put behind the prospect of conflict and to give durability to the peaceful situation that prevails on the ground. It is perhaps presumptuous to propose that the axioms and analogies suggested earlier -- dismissed as clichĂŠs -- could be used to ensure some results. In Siachen, if both sides agree not to cut their nose to spite their face (we will continue to pay Rs. 500 for every Chappati (bread) the Jawan eats while stationed in Siachen so long as the Pakistanis have to pay Rs.100 for every Chappati fed to their Jawans stationed in the same frosty wastes), the agreement reached in 1989 can be signed and implemented quickly. One can only hope that when Defence Minister Mr.

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Mukherjee, in announcing the resumption of the talks between the military officials of both sides, referred to the history of past negotiations this was the direction in which he was pointing. Similarly, the settlement of the Sir Creek boundary along the lines indicated in all the maps accepted by both sides would enable both countries to demarcate not only the land border but also the maritime boundary in an area in which there are rumoured to be substantial undersea gas and oil deposits. Whether one side gets less and another more should be seen as less important than the fact that both would benefit. The same applies to Tulbul; if it is indeed no more than a navigational project and does not involve any obstruction to the full flow of water downstream or if the obstruction is of minor nature, an agreement should be reached. If there is a substantial difference, it should, as provided in the Indus Water Treaty be referred to international arbitration. The same position should hold with regard to Baglihar. Such Kashmir-related matters as the Indian allegation of cross-LoC infiltration would probably form part of the secret diplomacy but other humanitarian measures such as the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service will form part of public diplomacy. It does seem rather difficult to accept that the use of domicile certificates rather than passports for travel on this service will, in any way, erode India's position. After all, this document is issued by officials of the government in Srinagar5. On the other hand, travel on Indian and Pakistani passports would, undoubtedly, be used to establish Pakistan's acceptance of the LoC as an international border. The humanitarian problem -- the problem of divided families needs to be resolved first, without seeking a political advantage. The Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is another example of what can be called short-sighted diplomacy. India has reason, given the past record of distrust, to feel concerned about the security of supplies from a pipeline that flows through Pakistan. A solution to this problem can be found, either through some form of international guarantees or through an arrangement for storage capacity to meet requirements during a temporary stoppage. The focus of the public debate in India is, however, shifting. It is being argued that India can, in any case, meet its needs by importing LPG for which it has entered into deals with Iran and possibly Qatar. An effort is being made to suggest that the pipeline -- if it is to be built -- will be a huge favour by India and that Pakistan should reciprocate by allowing India transit facilities to Afghanistan and Iran by the overland route. The truth of the matter is that Pakistan will benefit from the royalties paid for the transit of the pipeline. It will also benefit from the ancillary economic activity that will be generated along the path the pipeline follows. The major beneficiary will, however, be India. The transportation cost of piped gas is about 30 per cent of the cost incurred on importing LPG and the distribution of LPG is far more expensive than that of piped gas. No advances in gas liquefaction technology can, in the foreseeable future, change this economic reality.

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With its burgeoning energy needs, India needs piped gas not only from Iran but also perhaps from the two other pipeline projects that have been mooted -- the Qatar and the Turkmen. For all three suppliers, for various reasons, the overland South Asian market is far more attractive than any other. India, with Pakistan's cooperation, is in a favourable negotiating position. The Turkmen pipeline has the added advantage that as and when it is completed it will give Afghanistan sorely needed revenues through royalty payments and added security because of the special force that would be created to guard the pipeline. While limitations of space make it impossible to deal with all the other issues that form part of the cluster for the composite dialogue, it is important to touch upon security. It seems that agreement will be reached on a formal pact providing for advance notification of missile launches. This will be a good start even though it will only formalise what is already being done in practice. It is hoped that the two will also reach an agreement on the non-deployment of short-range missiles in the border areas. Since both countries have tested medium range missiles the effect of this agreement will be more symbolic than real but it will be an important political signal and an indicator of the intent of both sides to minimise the chances of an accidental or inadvertent incident triggering the wrong sort of alarms in the other country. These measures, as also the creation of better communication facilities between the strategic forces of the two countries, are important but even more important if we are genuinely seeking to jointly wage a war against poverty. We have to find ways to reduce our conventional defence expenditure and to ensure that our nuclear deterrent is maintained at the minimum level. A sense of security has been engendered in Pakistan by the acquisition of a minimum nuclear deterrent. Were the value of the deterrent to be called into question by the Indian acquisition of ABM weapon systems, Pakistan would have no choice but to expend its limited resources on further strengthening its deterrent. As the example of the Soviet Union and the United States has shown, once the two countries step on top of this slippery slope there will be no stopping. The U.S. and the Soviet Union spent US$ 5.5 trillion on building and maintaining their nuclear arsenals. More importantly they built powerful lobbies within their respective countries. As a result, the United States is budgeting for research on new nuclear weapons. It has wasted more than US$ 70 billion on the quest for a missile defence system, which the United States needs as much as it needs a hole in the head. All it has to show for it is the socalled deployment of a system that, according to experts, cannot possibly tackle the nonexistent threat that it is deployed against.

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discussion. This paper began with from the premise that war is no longer an option. It is hoped that, given sincerity and a genuine recognition of the interests of the teeming masses of South Asia, the assumption will hold true. It may sound overly optimistic but the present leadership will take steps, with the full support of the people of both countries, to resolve existing problems and to realise in full the advantages that a cooperative relationship between the two countries can bring. (Najmuddin A. Shaikh is former foreign secretary of Pakistan) Author’s Note: This paper is based largely on a presentation made by the author at the SAFMA conference on ‘Interstate Conflicts in South Asia’ in New Delhi (8th-10th October 2004).

End Notes 1.

2. 3.

4. 5.

The government has set a GDP growth target of 6.6 per cent for 2004-05 against 6.4 per cent of the last financial year. ( Dawn, ‘Shaukat wants eight per cent GDP growth rate achieved: Directive to Finance Ministry’, 4 July, 2004 ) The Hindu, ‘India, Pakistan to explore possible options on Kashmir issue’, 25 September, 2004 The Hindu, ‘Dixit-Aziz meetings generate hope’, (14 September, 2004), ‘After last Friday's meeting between the National Security Adviser, J. N. Dixit, and his Pakistan counterpart, Tariq Aziz, in a third country, the Government hopes that the Manmohan Singh-Pervez Musharraf interaction in New York next week will produce a clutch of workable "options" on Kashmir. ……If Mr. Dixit and Mr. Aziz find the time and place to get together for a quiet chat before the Manmohan-Musharraf meeting, they could possibly shortlist a number of "options," mutually acceptable to India and Pakistan, on Kashmir. Gen. Musharraf is on record as having said that the two sides will have to look at options other that what is proposed by India and rejected by Pakistan as well as what is proposed by Pakistan and rejected by India. The onus has been put on Pakistan to come up with concrete suggestions as to these new options, ideas that Dr. Singh and Gen. Musharraf can look at in New York. Terisita C. Schaffer in South Asia Monitor, Center for Strategic and International Studies Washington, No: 75 (1st October 2004). Prior to 1953, travel across the then Ceasefire Line in Jammu and Kashmir was permitted on such domicile certificates. The same domicile certificate was also at that time used for travel across the International border between India and Pakistan. It can be argued that since the domicile certificate is no longer valid for travel across the International border it cannot be accepted for travel in Kashmir without undermining the Indian stance that Kashmir is an integral part of India but that is to deny the need for creative thinking to resolve humanitarian problems.

So do we want to step on to this path? Or should we be sagacious enough to agree on a restraint regime in both the conventional and nuclear field that addresses the differing security concerns of the two countries but without exaggerating the threat? The answer is obvious. Pakistan has proposed a restraint regime. Clearly it is of greater benefit to Pakistan, which has a much smaller resource base. But no one should doubt that it is of benefit also to India. If we are not playing 'beggar thy neighbour' the Pakistan proposal deserves serious consideration and substantive

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Bangladesh-India Relations I. P. Khosla

I. Introduction: The Basic Elements The basic elements in the bilateral relationship between India and Bangladesh may be outlined by examining the evolution of the foreign policies of the two countries and the way in which each has figured in the changing foreign policy framework of the other. In India's case, these elements are common to India's relations with some other South Asian neighbours too, though not all. In order to illustrate this point a few examples will be given in what follows. The first element is the Nehruvian policy of India playing a role on the world stage -- meaning the neighbours get less attention. This is what attracts the comment that 'good neighbourliness as such is not an Indian foreign policy goal ... the tendency is to take things for granted with the neighbours so that it can pursue the broader foreign policy goals.1' It was not until 1958, when the security threat from China loomed on the horizon, that Nehru began to focus on South Asia. In this respect, and of relevance to Bangladesh, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's eyes were turned to broader global issues like world disarmament, and wished to bestow benign or benevolent neglect on the South Asian neighbourhood, including Bangladesh. The second element is more closely associated with the prime ministership of Indira Gandhi who expected the neighbours to accept the reality of the power differential, that they will not and cannot be equals in their dealings with India and there is, therefore, no harm in India showing its teeth from time to time, if needed. In the matter of security interests, particularly, there are policy makers who believe that to compromise even in a local and seemingly unimportant matter, like a minor border incident with Nepal or Bangladesh, is to jeopardise national security. This parallels the neighbour's image of the bully. India is, of course, larger than any of its neighbours. Putting all the South Asian countries together, India accounts for 75 per cent of the area, of the population and of the GNP. In the size of armed forces the gap is not so wide, but India is still bigger than all its smaller neighbours put together. In industry and technology the gap is really wide; the neighbours have very little and India is among the world's leading players. If trade is thrown open, the Indian economy seems likely to overwhelm the region. The large difference in size and power does lead to the view, held by the neighbours, reinforced by others, and seemingly validated by Indira Gandhi' policy, that India aspires to be a regional hegemon, a dominating power which will bully its way on whichever issue. That policy was seen 'to become a hegemonic power in South

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Asia by playing a much more assertive role that she had ever done before'2. A corollary to this is that India would like to keep the region as an exclusive sphere of influence in its own version of the Monroe doctrine3. One Bangladeshi commentator writes that after 1971 Indian strategists evolved 'the South Asian version of the Monroe doctrine, wherein India views the entire region as a single strategic unit and herself as the sole custodian of security and stability in the region.4' Another Bangladeshi puts the same thought in somewhat different, and Marxist, terms, that the 'Indian ruling class successfully organised hegemony over the nationalist struggle in Bangladesh'; and 'hegemony among the Indian population with respect to the nationalist struggle in Bangladesh'; and in the third place 'organised international consent to back India's role', a sort of hegemony over the international sphere, making a triple hegemony5. Or put another way and more simply, after Nehru there was a 'new Indian determination to dominate South Asian politics'6. The third element, which first appeared with the government of Morarji Desai in 1977, and was later developed in larger theoretical terms, can be encapsulated in the Gujral doctrine, which has been interpreted variously from, at one extreme, generosity confined to rhetoric, through unilateral accommodation, where possible, in neighbours interests without demanding reciprocity to, at the other extreme, giving away more than is reasonable. Gujral himself put it that with its smaller South Asian neighbours 'India does not ask for reciprocity but gives and accommodates what it can in good faith and trust.7' This goes parallel to the view among the neighbours that India must go the extra mile. In every issue India should give more than it gets in order to demonstrate that it is, indeed, not a bully out to dominate the region. This has been a consistent component of the price of friendship. The elements in Bangladesh's foreign policy include a global view. It is a member of the non-aligned movement, of the Commonwealth, and, more important, of the Organization of Islamic Conference. There is also an important regional parameter: SAARC is a Bangladesh initiative. Bilateral differences had been obstacles to South Asian cooperation in the past, but the letter written by President Ziaur Rahman to the other South Asian heads of state/government in 1980, and the successful examples of regional cooperation in other parts of the world produced, after much discussion, a Charter which could be a promise for substantial economic cooperation This would certainly have a positive impact on solving other problems. But India looms large. There is no dearth of commentators who have stressed that 'India's regional supremacy has played a central role in the development of Bangladesh's foreign relations. For each of the smaller South Asian states, India's intentions are of great concern, but particularly to Bangladesh because it is 'almost surrounded by India' and 'because it lacks the military strength and extra-regional alliances to withstand a serious challenge.8' Geography compounds the impression of size since India seems to surround that country. It is 'India-locked', as commentators from Bangladesh are fond of saying. Tabarak Hussain, a former Bangladesh foreign secretary, writes: 'Bangladesh's neighbourhood is dominated by India's presence. A sense of its pervasiveness seems to prevail. Heavy imbalance in the power equation between the two countries compounds the situation'9.

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One set of aspects which runs like a common thread in the practice of international relations in South Asia is the intimacy and intricacy with which domestic and foreign policies interact. There is a long-term sense in which this is true for foreign policy in general. The classic writings on international relations tell us that national power, national ideology, geography, economic strength are among a large number of factors that influence foreign policy decisions. For India the domestic environment has been identified, it has 'a major influence on the formulation of foreign policy. The five essential elements in the domestic environment of India are tradition and history, democracy, the economic factors, the pluralist nature of society in India, and Nehru's charismatic leadership.10' In the general field of international relations, however, the interaction with the domestic has assumed a new form since the end of the Cold War, and particularly in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The bipartisan nature of foreign policy has been eroded; outcomes of elections in Europe or the U.S. are seen to be, and could actually be, influenced by decisions taken on foreign policy. In South Asia this is true in the more immediate sense of a perceptible tuning of daily decisions to domestic needs, an intensity of foreign policy rhetoric directed for party political purposes towards a domestic audience, a sense in which this is not true of the foreign policies of South Asian countries towards other regions or countries. There are four aspects. First, every foreign policy initiative, peace with Pakistan, trade with Nepal, the sharing of Ganga waters with Bangladesh, can be used for election campaigns, as was evident even in the 2004 national election in India, and much more so in every Bangladesh election. This has continued ever since the birth of Bangladesh. The Awami League leadership and government from 1971-75 was seen as 'pro-Indian', among diverse sections of political opinion in Bangladesh which wanted to replace it. Indian opinion helped by agreeing to this, so that any understanding with that government was projected as a sell-out of national interests. This had a major consequence on the evolution of the domestic polity. Foreign policy decisions seem to influence the outcomes of electoral processes and the consequent formation of governments. The 'denial of any place of honour to the Awami League in the memory of the nationalist struggle ... became a major element of the radical political offensive against the regime. What is distinctly noteworthy in this regard is the constitution of India as a hostile object in the radical political discourse'11. This had a decisive influence on the self-identity that Bangladesh assumed over the years, particularly the period of military rule, since 'all the military regimes that have ruled Bangladesh after 1975 appear to have formulated their foreign policy ideologies in opposition to the possibilities opened up by the legacy of nationalism.12â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Second, as a perceptive former foreign minister of Bangladesh put it, 'domestic politics including party rivalry and regime perception of its political interests vis-a-vis national interests appeared to have played a significant role in impeding or facilitating the solution of bilateral problems between India and Bangladesh.13' Just as much as

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bilateral issues influence voting patterns and government formation, so does government formation influence the settlement of issues; a change in government, no matter how much consistency or bipartisanship is proclaimed, leads to change in policy, in India as much as in the neighbourhood. It was, for instance, a fact that 'a change of central government in the 1989 Indian elections also eased tensions with Bangladesh ... India's External Affairs Minister, Inder Kumar Gujral, emphasised his government's willingness to improve relations with Bangladesh.14' Third, bilateral issues with neighbours are such that in India ministries other than the foreign office, state governments, other authorities like the Border Security Force and the Bangladesh Rifles (in the case of Bangladesh), are inseparably involved in the decision making process on both sides, and the role of such ministries and other authorities is increasing; it is no longer possible for the Foreign Office to impose an agreement which these regard as damaging. Every neighbour shares a border with an Indian state; the hard political reality is that in India there has been a gradual shift of power from the centre to the states and the interests of the states as seen by their leaders are gaining greater weight in decision making. This is particularly the case with Bangladesh's borders, which have always been porous and often been troublesome. Fourth, the same is true of the neighbours, though somewhat less so. Thus democratic decentralisation, however laudable in general terms of the spread and consolidation of people's participation and empowerment, has the effect of localising foreign affairs in respect of neighbours too. Issues which should be settled in the reasoned atmosphere of conference rooms are dragged out, aired in public, cause demonstrations, lead to heated political debate, and are consequently difficult to settle.

II. Identity and Security There are two non-traditional threats that Bangladesh has perceived to its identity and security from India. The first is political. India has the widest spectrum of political opinion in the region and is clearly a successfully functioning democracy. Political parties and groups among the neighbours, especially opposition parties and dissident groups can and do find common ground with one political interest group or another in India, in terms of paths to socio-economic development, political emancipation, democratic pluralism and empowerment. There may be considerable admiration among the neighbours for India as a model of political stability in a democratic system. But their leaders, and this applies more so to Bangladesh, also think this could become the ground for subversive attack for their dissidents usually turn to India for support. And they always find it, if not in government circles then in the many others that abound. Comments by Indian leaders that India stands for 'progressive democracy' or secularism in other countries, that such and such development was a setback to democracy in a neighbouring country, as also a perceived reluctance on India's part to engage meaningfully with non-democratic governments in the neighbourhood, have fostered the impression that India prefers the neighbouring countries to take a certain political path. It is but one step from here

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to the conclusion that the path will be mapped out by India. In the case of Bangladesh this has a history. Among the earliest desires of the leaders of Muslim Bengal, as the movement for Indian independence began to gather pace over a hundred years ago, was for separate treatment from the Hindus. The desire was articulated by Urdu speaking, westernised, politically conservative Bengali Muslims, supporters of British rule, who had little respect for Bengali culture or language. And it was articulated through their support for Lord Curzon's 1905 partition of Bengal, despite antagonising the Hindus on this issue; in their demand, a year later, for separate electorates and representation for Muslims in the elective bodies; and the key role they played in the movement leading to the partition of India in 1947. The formation of the All India Muslim League in December 1906 in Dhaka was at the initiative of the Nawab Salimullah of that city, 'to protect and advance the political rights and interests of the Mussulmans of India'. A Bengali Muslim leader, A. K. Fazlul Haq, moved the resolution at the 1940 Lahore session of the Muslim League demanding 'independent states' in the areas in which the Muslims were numerically in majority, a resolution which is usually cited as the origin of the partition. The heart of the Two-Nation Theory beat strongest in Bangladesh. For India to expect a secular Bangladesh is to go against the trend of this entire history, and produces corresponding resentment there. The second threat is cultural. The cultural mosaic of India encompasses all the cultures of South Asia: its languages and literatures and music, its religions, its ethnic identities, its customs and traditions. There are more Muslims in India than in a Pakistan created as the homeland for the Muslims of South Asia (not correct, since there are more Muslims in Pakistan, according to the Indian Census 2001 - Ed.), half as many Bengali speakers as in a Bangladesh created so that the people could speak their own language the home of which is in India, many more Hindus than in Nepal, more Buddhists than in Bhutan. If globalisation can be defined in one version as the spread throughout the globe of a pervasive and homogenising culture and value system, then regionalisation is what seems to threaten India's neighbours. As a counter to the influence of socio-politics and culture there has developed among India's neighbours a strong proclivity to assert the separateness of their identity. This may find recourse in the adoption of an ideology that contrasts with that of India as when Bangladesh adopted Islam as the state religion and criticised India for what it called an attempt to foist an alien culture that obliterates the distinct culture of the Bengali Muslims. Or it may lead to demonstrative distancing, a refusal to settle issues on terms which seem reasonable. Indians often bewail this. Commentators from India continue today to bewail the passing of secularism but to do so is an anachronism15. They are of a mind with those who call Bangladesh 'an anachronism within an anachronism'. Such comments lead to further feelings of insecurity in Bangladesh.

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because it has been pushed first one way, then the other. Pakistan thought the promotion of the Bengali language was a plot devised by India to lure the Eastern wing away, so it tried to impose Urdu on the former East Pakistan, which led to the language movement and ultimately the movement for separation. Then the Awami League government in the years 1971-75 tried to impose a secular state (and India tried to integrate the two economies, making proposals to integrate the two transport systems and to link the power systems into one grid, which made things worse), and this swung the pendulum in the opposite direction. Then the military government which followed abolished secularism in an effort to take it back, a demonstrative assertion of separateness which India saw as unfriendly, even as the first step in reuniting Bangladesh with Pakistan. Thus Bangladesh swung between the two poles of secularism and Islam, Bengali and Bangladeshi; the so-called forces of 1971 and those of 1947, pro-India and anti-India. In fact the average Bangladeshi harmonises religion and culture, particularly language well; politics, helped by external forces, have pulled him first one way, then the other. It was left to democratic politics to re-establish at state level and in many of the institutional mechanisms of government and politics, some of the harmony, a development that is not yet complete. Another response was that Bangladesh denied any significant role to India in its independence, saying that instead of Bangladesh being grateful, India should be; it was a Bangladeshi liberation war which reduced the size of, and the security threat from, Pakistan. One refrain echoed by those who considered the matter of being grateful was that 'New Delhi failed to appreciate the fact that while India played a crucial role in the independence of Bangladesh, the latter also played, on its part, a crucial role in making India the unchallenged regional power in South Asia. Therefore, gratefulness should have been reciprocal ...'16 The Indian refrain is the opposite. 'Did they just forget that it was India which brought them independence when the entire Western world was against ..? How could they be so hostile?'17 Part of this defence mechanism is that domestic problems have, almost invariably, been seen (whether that is factual or not) to have some link with India. In conversation and sometimes in the press, there is no shortage of individuals and groups who are ready to blame India for any calamity that strikes: for riverine floods, for the cyclones that cause periodic havoc along the coast, and for drought (in the dry season), for the disappearance of fish from the rivers and coastal areas, for being secular and for being fundamentalist. Yet another response is the temptation to bring in outsiders for purposes of balance. Pakistan's alliance with the U.S. was an early step. Later, as India-China differences came out into the open some of the neighbours 'played the China card'. Pakistan was the first to do this, but Nepal and then Bangladesh were not far behind. Sri Lanka was tempted to give facilities to the U.S., and then tried to turn to ASEAN.

III. Terrorism The response in Bangladesh to India's all-encompassing cultural mosaic has been more vehemently self-assertive than that of the other neighbours. This is

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neighbourhood against Indian states have been planned and carried out by such groups; and that the government has, to say the least, done much less than it could have to control all this. Indeed, faced with repeated accusations on this score Bangladesh leaders sometimes go on the offensive, thus raising the level of rhetoric. When Bangladesh Foreign Minister Morshed Khan said to a group of journalists in Dhaka on 7th September, 2004 that India's Northeast was Bangladesh-locked and that Dhaka could easily end India's trade surplus by banning Indian goods, this was a piece. Bangladesh is less than helpful in the matter of terrorism because of the control of the armed forces over such operations. Every government after 1975, including post-1991 governments, has tried to ensure that the armed forces are kept reasonably well funded and equipped. But the justification for well-equipped forces can only be the threat from India. Military exercises in Bangladesh are traditionally conducted against a fictitious 'Wolfland', a thinly disguised name for India. Quite recently a retired senior military officer described India as Bangladesh's greatest enemy, while another said the claim of Bangladesh to India's northeast was greater than that of India; and there are serving officers who in published articles have recommended support for insurgents fighting in the Northeast. There was a time when this enemy image attached to India acquired political resonance, helping the armed forces to stay in power; and that was the time a variety of operations against India were put into the planning, some of which were initiated. As a party initiated by the armed forces, and which is still manned by a large number of retired officers -- the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) continued this thinking. However, Sanjit Deb Burman and Anup Chetia, who are wanted in India, for whose extradition repeated requests have unavailingly been made, and who are still living a comfortable life in Bangladesh, were also there during the Awami League government. The continued existence of training camps for insurgents who operate against Indian targets cannot reasonably be doubted; nor can the fact that specific organisations like Harkat-ulJihad-al-Islami, the Jamiatul Mujahideen and possibly even Al Qaeda, have been operating and have bases in Bangladesh. There can also be little doubt that the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is particularly active there, and probably responsible for most of the activities directed against India. The government there, of course, has completely denied this. In India there has been a temptation to link all this with the supposed rise of fundamentalism as seen in the role of the Jamaat-e-Islami and others which have been part of the democratic process like the Islamic Oikyo Jote, or in the actions of the BNP. Ever since the BNP government came to power in 2001, Indian commentators, especially those from West Bengal, have shackled that government with radical Islam, anti-Indian sentiments and actions, anti-secularism, anti-democracy, and pro-China policies. These shackles have become stronger with the years, regardless of the facts. An early comment, which started a flood of articles of similar nature, was by a Hong Kong based weekly, that a 'revolution is taking place in Bangladesh that threatens trouble for the region and beyond if left unchallenged. Islamic fundamentalism, religious intolerance, militant Muslim groups with links to international terrorist

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groups...are combining to transform the nation.'18 Another comment is: 'fundamentalism seems to have won the first round in Bangladesh'19. This is to push politically motivated dire warning well beyond credibility. Efforts have also been made by Indian commentators to see Bangladesh as a 'cocoon of terror'. The 'disrupted and dysfunctional state of Bangladesh is set to become a monolith Islamic state and a breeding ground of Islamic terror...will be incalculably disastrous for India and the rest of the South Asian region.'20 In line with the general tendency for closer interaction between foreign policy and domestic politics, this became a battleground between the two main Bangladeshi political parties, as Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina used the occasion to attack the performance of the BNP government, projecting it as government by violence and terror, and the BNP leadership said she was conspiring with the help from foreign countries to dislodge her government. This battle continues to occupy centre stage in domestic politics. Bangladesh officials and many others, however, decry such descriptions. After a series of articles in this tenor appeared in Indian newspapers early in 2004, the heads of 15 Chambers of Commerce and Industry from Bangladesh issued a statement saying their business community 'is deeply concerned over the deplorable propaganda by a section of the India media against Bangladesh'21. Others foretell that this kind of report could be self-serving, since they could affect the attitude of policy makers, especially aid donors and business, so promoting a siege mentality in which the promotion of a radical form of Islam is taken to be the easiest way to safeguard national interests. In South Asian diplomatic circles gloomy forecasts have often been taken to be self-serving. The fact of the matter is that there are many steps the BNP government could have taken to promote Islam legally, and since there is a 2/3 majority in Parliament, even the Constitution could have been amended, but no move has so far been made in this direction and none is likely. This is only one of the objective considerations showing there is no truth in the contention that fundamentalism is on the rise there.

IV. Sharing the Ganga Waters The sharing of the Ganga waters is no longer -- since the 30-year Treaty was signed in December 1996 -- as live an issue as it has been (though Bangladeshis do say that a permanent solution is still required). But the story of the way it was handled by the two sides before that offers an illustration of the basic elements cited above. The central question was simple: since there was not enough water in the Ganga for both countries, how would it be shared? In the lower Ganga basin two things have been happening over the decades. More and more water has been going east rather than south (towards Kolkata port) due to the accumulation of silt in particular patterns; and the port itself has become more and more silted, thus hindering shipping. So a scheme was devised that a barrage be constructed at Farakka to divert 40,000 cusecs south through the Hoogli towards the port, thus hopefully flushing it of the accumulated silt. In the driest

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period about 60,000 cusecs reached Farakka, so diverting 40,000 would leave only 20,000 for Bangladesh, which it considered too little for irrigation, the control of salinity, navigation, health, the ecological cycle and so on. Basically it wanted the historic flows to continue, meaning no diversion. India thought about 9,000 cusecs were enough for Bangladesh, meaning there was more than enough after diversion. Construction having been completed, the diversion into the Hoogli of Ganga waters at Farakka started on 21 April 1975. Three days before that India and Bangladesh agreed on the amounts of water which India could divert in April and May of that year, but the diversion canal was being tested and these amounts were small. By the end of that year a new government headed by General Ziaur Rahman was in power in Bangladesh -- a government which India mistrusted. So no agreement was reached on how the water was to be shared in 1976 or in 1977; the diversion of water by India continued at higher levels and what was left for Bangladesh was much less than in the 1977 or later agreements. Bilateral negotiations were held, but they were disjointed, since the mutual mistrust between the military government and the government of India continued. To summarise the later story, counting the dry seasons, after 1977 there were five years of agreement with a minimum guarantee clause (reached when a non-Congress government came to power in Delhi in early 1977); then two years (1983-84) -- Indira Gandhi was now back in power -- of a Memorandum of Understanding, not agreement, with no guarantee; then a year with nothing; then three years (1986-88 -Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister) of an MOU again with no minimum guarantee clause; another eight years (1989-96) with nothing; finally the thirty-year agreement of 1996, again with no guarantee clause. The actual quantum of water sharing was not very different in all these agreements, and even in the years without agreement India continued to release some water for Bangladesh, though less. The point is that the issue could have been settled, were it not for the desire of one side or the other to use it for domestic purposes, to show goodwill or ill-will, to bring in outsiders, anything other than the actual minimum needs of water. Thus the absence of agreement during the 1976 and 1977 dry seasons was used by Ziaur Rahman to consolidate his somewhat shaky position. A Bangladesh White Paper of 1976 asserted that the withdrawal of water by India threatened the survival of millions of people of Bangladesh; the media, with official encouragement, referred to it as a conspiracy against the independence and sovereignty of the country; it was taken to the UN with an official complaint to the General Assembly, and to China during an official visit of Zia with the complaint that Bangladesh faced a real threat to its security and sovereignty from Farakka; the leftist leader Maulana Bhashani started a long march to Farakka with thousands of his supporters. In August 1978, Bangladesh proposed formally that Nepal be included in the studies for the augmentation of the flows in the Ganga. The same thing happened during the long period of eight years without agreement. Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia raised the issue in the UN General Assembly in October 1993, saying this was an 'issue of life and death' for her country. Then there was an attempt to bring in China,

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to which Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, visiting Bangladesh at the time said in February 1994 that 'I believe this problem should be solved between Bangladesh and India bilaterally.'22 Passage of time helped. During the first three years after Farakka was commissioned three things became clear as a result of more careful measurement of the flows and more accurate assessment of the respective needs of the two countries, and these became even clearer as the years passed. First, that the real problem was confined to a month or, in the phraseology used in later agreements, three ten-day periods from April 11-May 10 each year and for the rest of the year there was enough for both sides. Second, that the needs of India were evolving. The flushing of Kolkata port, for which Farakka had been built, was effective, but it was never going to become a deep water port; indeed with the introduction of ever larger container ships for international trade, traffic would in any case have to be diverted no matter how effective the flushing. And upstream requirements were increasing. So India's needs were now for the people of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar (irrigation) and for the people of Kolkata (reduced salinity); the hydrological compulsions of having to put 40,000 cusecs into the feeder canal for purposes of flushing were not so strong. There would be no particular problem if the flushing did not happen for a few weeks. Third, that the real needs of Bangladesh were considerably smaller or at least more flexible, than had been projected. At one extreme there was the claim that the lower riparian has a right to all the water that has historically flowed; at the other extreme that if planned irrigation was only required, about 3000 cusecs would be enough; then one could add the conservation of fisheries, reduction of salinity, historical usage and so on until one reached a figure for entire flow. In other words, both sides could compromise, given adequate goodwill. In early 1977 Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister of India and was determined to show that Indira Gandhi's policies, especially towards neighbours, had been wrong. Bangladesh scaled down its requirements and agreement was reached within eight months. The interaction of foreign and domestic policy is well illustrated in this case. At his first meeting with Desai in April 1977, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Shamsul Huq called without appointment, to which Desai, signaling the change, replied that there 'should be no formality between neighbours'. Huq then said, 'Excellency, why have you stopped our rightful share of the waters of the Ganges?' Desai replied, 'I did not do it. That woman did'23. In general the change in government in Delhi made for a change in relations with Bangladesh. 'The Desai era was marked by a remarkable improvement in IndiaBangladesh relations and also satisfactory progress towards resolving the irritating bilateral problems.' And this led Bangladesh to conclude that 'by her sheer size and scientific and technological progress, India stands out as a rising Asian power. Her neighbours should accept this reality in good grace'24. Similarly, the final agreement of 1996 was signed when I. K. Gujral became foreign minister under a non-Congress government. In June 1996 Sheikh Hasina Wajid became Prime Minister of Bangladesh. So six months of negotiation were sufficient to arrive at agreement.

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India and Bangladesh have some 54 rivers in common, and though the large majority has not been a source of difficulty, there are those like the Teesta on which negotiations continue without any hope of an early agreement. Meanwhile the megaproject being thought about in India of linking the major rivers in the country has caused unease in Bangladesh. There is no doubt that the 1996 Ganga Waters Agreement 'has set an example for others to emulate'25. But both India and Bangladesh need to go beyond this towards a comprehensive agreement on principles that should prevail as the foundation for such agreements in the future.

V. Migration The migration of persons from East Pakistan and then Bangladesh into India has been substantial. The total number of Hindus there has, since 1951 -- and according to their census reports -- remained almost the same, meaning that the entire increase migrated to India. This means (assuming a moderate population increase of 2.5 per cent p.a.) that 250,000 Hindus moved each year. For the Muslims the figures are not so clear. At the border there has been a general impression of the Border Security Force and state police that more, or at least, as many Muslims are migrating; some journalists and even officials (off the record) put the figure much higher - as much as 4 Muslims to every Hindu. Assuming the low figure would mean a total of half a million migrants per year and when the then Home Minister of India, L. K. Advani, mentioned 20 million as the total of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh to be sent back this figure would account for forty years. This is of uncertain accuracy, for a previous home minister had referred in August 1998 to 8 million, and a West Bengal minister said in the same year there were none in his state. There are many other estimates, often conflicting with each other. The then Governor of Assam prepared a report in 1998 giving figures of 5.4 million for West Bengal, 4 million for Assam, 0.8 million for Tripura, and smaller figures for Bihar, Maharashtra, Delhi and even Rajasthan26. India repeatedly raised the issue with the Bangladesh government, which steadfastly denied that any such movement was taking place. The only time a Bangladeshi leader admitted it was during Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's visit to India in May 1992 when the two sides agreed that large scale illegal immigration was a problem that needed to be solved. Every other leader, and Khaleda Zia herself thereafter, has denied that any problem exists. Indeed their officials invariably replied that conditions being so good in their country, no one, least of all patriotic Bangladeshis, would wish to exchange those for the much worse ones in India. It is ironical, in view of the ridiculing expressions that this usually raised among their Indian interlocutors, that the latest human development figures indicate that this may indeed be true to some extent. The infant mortality rate is lower in Bangladesh (51 per thousand compared to 67); a higher percentage of infants is vaccinated against tuberculosis and measles - and more children go to primary school (87 per cent compared to 83 per cent in India); and of these a larger percentage comprises girls; more people have access to clean water; maternal mortality is lower. Even the population growth rate, a big success story, has fallen dramatically, to just

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1.5 per cent during the last five years, lower than that of India. And as a percentage of GNP spent on health Bangladesh has 1.6 compared to India's 0.9. Other indicators are there: the activity and success of NGO's, the high turnout of women voters. All this has happened in the last ten years. Most of the migration - among both Muslims and Hindus - is for economic reasons due to flood or drought or lack of employment opportunities, though some of the latter, sporadically and in small numbers, is due to violence against the minorities. More important, the perceived Islamisation of the country, the amendments to the Constitution brought in by Ziaur Rahman and General Ershad, the increasing salience of Islamic parties, have led the Hindus to leave. Now and again, when Islamic forces are reported or seen to gather strength, there was a sudden large exodus, as happened most recently after the 2001 elections there. There has also undeniably been some exodus among both Hindus and Muslims due to tacit encouragement from India, especially in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but it stopped thereafter. On balance, it seems a valid judgement that 'sustained and uninterrupted movement of population from Bangladesh to India has been taking place for reasons other than political, religious and ethnic'27 and that one of the major driving forces could be deteriorating economic conditions due to environmental degradation. The issue first became politically active when the All Assam Students Union started agitating in the mid-1970s against the Central government for what Assamese saw as a policy of liberally allowing and even encouraging Bangladeshis to enter India to increase the number of votes for the Congress party. Then it came to the fore when the 1981 census results showed that in West Bengal and Assam in particular, but also in Tripura, the overall population increase was three times the national average, and that the growth of the Muslim population in particular was too high to be explained by natural causes. So India not only took up the issue with the Bangladesh government but also decided to build a fence along the border in an effort to stop the 'infiltration'. Other measures were planned: roads along the fence for patrolling; better intelligence; and more effective forces along the border. Largely these measures were intended to assuage the feeling among political parties of the opposition that nothing was being done about this human invasion -- a response to a political problem. As regards the fence, work on this has been desultory. Started in the mid1980s, about a third of the 4096 km of border has been fenced. At one time it was thought to be a decision to be taken unilaterally by India, the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi said India should discuss it with Bangladesh, who of course opposed it vehemently. It was later declared that India had the right to build the fence and that Bangladesh had no locus standi in the matter. The riverine portions of the border, and many of the migrants enter by boat, cannot be fenced at all. Since border guidelines agreed with Bangladesh specify that no such structure will be constructed within 150 metres of the border, and the fence is that distance, a no-mans land, a wide swath of territory, has been created where criminals and smugglers run free, immune from the

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Indian authorities who do not cross the fence, immune from the Bangladesh authorities since they are in Indian territory. For India this cannot be a straightforward issue of sending back illegal immigrants/infiltrators and stopping any more from coming in. Since the figures were not unambiguous it was never known how many should or indeed could be sent back. The Hindus could not; they were regarded as refugees rather than immigrants. Of the Muslims many had settled in states far from the border; the population figures showed high increases in Bihar and even further away in Delhi. Most seemed to have documents proving that they were Indian citizens, given to them when they were being encouraged to vote. They had been there for two or even three generations. The policy of sending back resulted only in a few incidents in each of which some dozens were pushed back; this only led to border incidents, and those pushed back re-entered by another route. The solution to this problem is also not, as India has sometimes tried, to get Bangladesh to admit that it is happening, which they will not do, but to work out concrete measures for cooperation between the Border Security Force and the counter-part Bangladesh Rifles. Discussions have been held and there are some signs that they will lead to better security along the border, but the long-term solution lies in more jobs and better living conditions in Bangladesh.

VI. Trade and Economic Relations An issue which has caused resentment in Bangladesh, is its trade deficit with India. India's exports have risen steadily so that today Bangladesh is India's sixth largest customer, buying during the last year was US$ 1.8 billion of goods; selling less than US$ 100 million. Then there is the illegal or informal trade across the open border, which may account for a figure of exports and imports which is as much or higher, and equally unbalanced. Three general considerations are relevant here. First, the applicability of the basic elements of India's relations with her South Asian neighbours. Bangladesh has consistently used the trade deficit for political purposes, the usual accusation being made by either of the two main political parties that the other has 'sold out' the economy to India, or acquiesced in India converting Bangladesh into a 'captive market'. It is not clear how voters respond to such charges, but election campaigns see a heightening of the level of accusations. Second, given the diversity of India's productive capacity and the limits of that of Bangladesh, the trade deficit will continue, perhaps in abated form, even if India were to grant all tariff, non-tariff and para-tariff concessions asked for. 'The reason behind this situation (the soaring trade deficit) is that the country has not developed an efficient and dynamic manufacturing sector. Industrial activity is minimal if not stagnant'28. At present just three products account for the bulk of Bangladesh exports: jute, textiles and inorganic chemicals. This is reflective of the general limits of the country's global export basket: 75 per cent of this comprises textiles and garments. Third, this issue will disappear from the purely trade point of view in few years. The mandatory removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers under the WTO regime by 2008 will ensure that the grant of any special concessions such as Bangladesh is

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now asking will become redundant. The 12th SAARC Summit (Islamabad, January 2004) decision to launch a South Asian Free Trade Area by 2006 will achieve the same result, perhaps even earlier. Then there are the arguments used to counter Bangladesh's demands for restriction on free exports in certain items. One is that Bangladesh has an almost equally large trade deficit with China, and is not complaining. Bangladesh does not see the logic of this, since its demand is for specific concessions from India, not that its trade with every country should be balanced. Another is that if India is given transit facilities, the resulting transit fees, and Indian investment in the infrastructure required would ease the trade imbalance. On occasion India has linked trade with transit. This makes the issue even more political for a large cross-section of leaders in Bangladesh believe and proclaim that the grant of transit facilities would endanger independence and national sovereignty; that this will be an Indian corridor cutting Bangladesh in two; that India will transport arms as a result of grant of the facility leading to a military threat to Bangladesh. Behind this is the China angle. The closer integration of the Northeast into the rest of India, which the transit facility would promote, is something China does not want. This became particularly clear when in June 1987 Chinese Vice Premier Qiao Shi said in Dhaka that China had apprehensions about the proposal; President Ershad was in China the following month and assured his Chinese hosts that Bangladesh would not allow India to move military hardware across Bangladesh into the Northeast29. Here again, especially when alarm is expressed about the possibility of India moving arms across Bangladesh, is one way to play the China card. It is true that the relationship between India and China has changed profoundly in the period since then; developments during the last ten years also suggest that China's attitude towards the more intensive integration of the Northeast with the rest of India is less than positive. A third is the export of gas to India, which should reduce the trade deficit. However, after some hesitation, most leaders in Bangladesh have agreed that reserves of recoverable gas are too low and that these must be larger than 50 years domestic consumption for such exports to be considered. Probably, facing a similar situation, India would insist that as much value addition as possible to a domestic natural resource should be within the country, which is what Bangladesh is now trying to do. Finally, India argues that if Bangladesh liberalises the conditions for Indian investment then the industrial and export base of the latter could be expanded, enabling more exports. At present India accounts for about 7 per cent of the total number of foreign investment projects, 70 out of 1,000. For this a congenial atmosphere free of overt hostility and propaganda is needed. With so many arguments circulating it is difficult to foresee that the Bangladesh request for trade concessions will easily be accorded. There is little doubt, however, that at little cost to itself, India could grant all the concessions asked. It has been calculated that even if India gives totally customs free access to the exports of

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Bangladesh the loss of revenue would be less than 1 per cent of the total. And the result would be, given the high import intensity Bangladesh's exports, a further increase of India's exports to that country; higher incomes there which would further increase the market for India's products, given the high import elasticity for imports30, and in general a considerable boost to bilateral trade and to the goodwill that undoubtedly exists in Bangladesh, and create a strong support base among commercial circles there for the development of yet closer relations.

VII. Conclusion Given the present atmosphere between the two sides, one should not plan for too ambitious a programme in the way of improved relations. Some suggestions, however, would not be out of order, and the first is to lower the level of rhetoric, if not eliminate it altogether. This means that Delhi and Dhaka have to ensure that central as well as state/local leaders speak with one moderate voice on bilateral issues, avoid any sort of encouragement to forces that the other side regards as inimical and step up cooperation between local authorities at the border, especially the BSF and the BDR. When one considers the recent experience with Pakistan this should not be difficult to do; from an atmosphere just a year ago in which war was expected or at least the most talked about likely outcome of developments, in which even to mention peace or improved relations smacked of unreal idealism and even suggesting a cricket match was met with derision, we have today one in which peace, the promotion of every type of contact, open travel, the exchange of information, are being lauded. And this is despite the fact that there is no progress whatsoever on any difficult issue. With Bangladesh, since the issues are not so grave, this should be easier. It is necessary for the two sides to set up a monitoring body which could analyse the causes of deterioration in atmospherics and the level of rhetoric, and to suggest concrete remedial steps. This could create the ground for a high level visit, which unfortunately does not yet seem to be on the cards; indeed such a visit by itself does much to improve the atmosphere.

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Bangladesh, on its part, must take concrete measures against the insurgent camps that have been established in its territory. This need not be a publicised measure, but a flat denial that any camps exist has aroused suspicions in India, which need to be assuaged. And it has to take measures to reassure the minorities. After the initial post-election violence the situation has, to some extent, been brought under control, but regular measures of reassurance are still needed.

( I. P. Khosla is former secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs of India)

End Notes 1.

2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11.

Constructive cooperation needs to be carried forward. The Tatas took a commendable initiative to invest in Bangladesh and this is moving slowly ahead, but evidence suggests that on both sides the governments have not been helpful or encouraging; such initiatives need to be put onto a fast track. Other things are also moving forward: double entry visas; land route communication with Tripura; other investment proposals, to mention a few. But the pace is slow, and it is clear that official obstructions are the major reason. Water is an area in which India should take the initiative to formulate joint principles which could apply to rivers other than the Ganga. India needs to take certain types of steps and Bangladesh needs to take some others. If India accepts Bangladesh's request for export concessions, this would cost little and go a long way to show that it is prepared to go the extra mile. Then there are the land and maritime border problems, which are more difficult, but Bangladesh needs only assurance that India is serious in expediting settlement, not a specific deadline by which this will be done.

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12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23.

Imtiaz Ahmed and Abdur Rob Khan, 'India's Policy Fundamentals, Neighbors and PostIndira Developments', BIISS Papers, No 3, (Dhaka: Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies, July, 1985) p.41. Harish Kapur, India's Foreign Policy, 1947-92, Shadows and Substance, (New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1994) p.134. Sunanda K. Datta-Ray, 'South Asia: An Indian Version of the Monroe Doctrine', in International Herald Tribune, (12 April, 1989). A. K. M. Abdus Sabur, 'Bangladesh-India Relations, An Overview', in Bertram Bastiampillai, (ed.) India and her South Asian Neighbours, (Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, 1992) p.159 Imtiaz Ahmed, State and Foreign Policy: India's Role in South Asia, (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1993) p.265. Harish Kapur, note 2, p.29. I. K. Gujral, A Foreign Policy for India, (New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs, 1998) p.169. Kathryn Jacques, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, International Relations and Regional Tensions in South Asia, (Great Britain: Macmillan, 2000) p.24. Tabarak Hussain, 'Domestic inputs in Foreign Policy', in S. R. Chakravarty and Virendra Narain (eds.), Bangladesh, Global Politics (Jaipur: South Asia Studies Centre, University of Rajasthan, 1988). A. Appadorai, The Domestic Roots of India's Foreign Policy, 1947-1972, (Delhi: OUP, 1981) p.22. Jayadeva Uyangoda, 'Indo-Bangladesh Relations in the 1970's: Bangladeshi Perspectives', in Shelton U. Kodikara, (ed.) South Asian Strategic Issues, Sri Lankan Perspectives, (New Delhi: Sage, 1990) p.77. Jayadeva Uyangoda, note 11, p.81. Muhammad Shamsul Huq, Bangladesh in International Relations, The Dilemmas of the Weak States, (New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1993) p.102. Kathryn Jacques, note 8, p.139. Lawrence Ziring, Bangladesh, From Mujib to Ershad, An Interpretive Study, (Karachi: OUP, 1992) p.216 A. K. M.Abdus Sabur, note 4, p.159. Sanjay Bhardwaj, 'Bangladesh Foreign Policy vis-a-vis India', in Strategic Analysis, Vol.27, No.2, (Apr-Jun 2003) p.264. Bertil Lintner, 'A Cocoon of Terror', in Far Eastern Economic Review, (April 4, 2002). Jaideep Saikia, 'Islamic Resurgence in Bangladesh', in Aakrosh, October 2003, Vol.6, No.21, p.36. Bibhuti Bhusan Nandy, 'Bangladesh Terror, II', in The Statesman, (September 8, 2004). See The Hindu, (September 21, 2004). See the Introduction by Avtar Singh Bhasin, India-Bangladesh Relations, Documents 1971-2002, Volume I, (New Delhi: Geetika Publishers, 2003) p.liv. Muhammad Shamsul Huq, note 11, p.91.

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24. Muhammad Shamsul Huq, note 11, pp.97 and 124. 25. T.Ramakrishnan, 'Sharing Water Resources', in The Hindu, (8 October, 2004). 26. For more figures see Sreeradha Datta, 'Indo-Bangladesh Relations: An Overview of Limitations and Constraints', in Strategic Analysis, (Jul-Sep, 2002), Vol.26, No.3. p. 429. 27. Sarfaraz Alam, 'Environmentally Induced Migration from Bangladesh to India', in Strategic Analysis, Vol.27, No. 3, Jul-Sep 2003, p.423. 28. Delwar Hossain, ‘Bangladesh: Impact of Globalisation and Governance’, in South Asian Journal, (October-December 2004) p. 151. 29. Avtar Singh Bhasin, Introduction to India-Bangladesh Relations, Documents - 1971-2002, (Geetika Publishers, 2003) p.lxx. 30. see Indra Nath Mukherji, ‘Indo-Bangladesh Bilateral Trade, Issues and Concerns’, in Himalayan and Central Asian Studies, Vol.7, Nos.3-4, Jul-Dec 2003, p.54.

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Nepal-India Relations Krishna V. Rajan

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t is a truism that India and Nepal, despite their proximity and cultural affinities, have not been able to build up a relationship of mutual trust and confidence, or even partially succeeded in utilising their complementary economic potential for the benefit of their citizens. Since 1947, when India gained its independence, regimes have changed many times in Kathmandu, as have governments in New Delhi, little has changed in fundamental terms as far as the relationship is concerned. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose (the more things change, the more they remain the same) is a fair description of the story of bilateral relations so far. Nepal is currently experiencing a major, multifaceted crisis. The constitutional monarchy-multiparty democracy combine is beset with institutional difficulties, and there has been a dramatic erosion of central authority in the face of the eight-year long Maoist insurgency. The failure of governance and absence of leadership are painfully obvious, as is the breakdown in law and order and virtual collapse of the economy. There are serious questions about the capacity of its fragile Westminster-style democracy to survive not only challenges from the left and right, but popular disillusionment with the democratic experience of twelve years (19902002). The institution of monarchy has also been gravely damaged, first by the royal massacre of June 2001 and, since October, 2002, by the ill-advised and misjudged initiatives of King Gyanendra to assume full powers and sideline political parties as well as the Constitution. The Maoist insurgency is able to demonstrate at will through its tactics of terror and extortion, the impotence of government machinery and its own capacity to shut down factories and empty the roads, but it does not enjoy any real credibility as a democratic alternative to the present arrangement even if the latter is malfunctioning and discredited. The prospect of Nepal as a 'failing State' is a matter of deepest concern not only for the Himalayan kingdom but also for India and, indeed, for many other countries. In this grim crisis, India and Nepal need to introspect and see how their relationship could measure up to the existing challenges, rather than being held hostage to them. Political and security considerations have usually been the driving force in bilateral ties. Over nearly six decades, India has dealt with every kind of regime in Nepal, tried different tactics and strategies, gone the extra mile in winning friends and influencing leaders -- basically guided by its own security perceptions. Nepalese sensitivities whether at the personal, political level or relating to the Nepalese psyche have not always been fully anticipated or well-managed. Nepalese political elites, for their part, have often exaggerated India's interest or ability to manipulate internal competitions for power in Nepal, and tended to expect political quid pro quos for

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cooperation even on India's legitimate security concerns. An inevitable result of such approaches has been the corrosion and devaluation of a relationship whose natural assets and complementarities could well have led it in a very different direction. In the early 1950s, Nehru sought an understanding with the autocratic Rana regime a la British India, while encouraging an end to Nepal's international isolation and modification of its undemocratic polity. The 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship, was a robust imitation of the 1923 Treaty between British India and the Ranas -- it could not and did not go down too well with many Nepalese, who felt that the Treaty was unequal, non-credible and un-democratic, and who bristled openly at the suggestion that India's security perimeter legitimately extended up to the Himalayas. India, however, persisted with its efforts with the friendly constitutional monarch (King Tribhuvan) it had helped restore, and the democratic set-up (headed by the Nepali Congress) which it helped to install. Neither survived for long; but the resentment generated by the excessively visible Indian role in 'guiding' the country's affairs while promoting India's own security interests vis-Ă -vis China had a lasting impact. In the subsequent decades India switched on and off its active support for friendly democratic forces (especially the Nepali Congress) depending on India's leverage at the given moment and prospects of receiving minimum security-related cooperation from the absolutist monarchs (first King Mahendra, then his son Birendra). There were many visits and agreements; and much Indian aid which went into building roads, hospitals, communications, irrigation and power projects, and self defence for the Royal Nepalese Army. The result (from an Indian perspective) was only declining levels of gratitude and increased anti-Indian sentiment at the level of the common man in Nepal, and at the level of the government playing the China card, cosying up to Pakistan, systematic non-observance of Nepalese commitments under the 1950 Treaty and other agreements, the campaign to declare Nepal a Zone of Peace, protests on Sikkim's merger with India, much brinksmanship on India's security concerns. The nationalist Nepali perspective on all this was, of course, quite different and has traditionally been dismissed by the Indian establishment. It is only comparatively recently that Indian experts have, for example, started conceding that the Nepalese sense of grievance on the poor quality of design, inefficient implementation and bad maintenance of Indian executed projects like Kosi and Gandak may not be unjustified; or that if King Mahendra had been handled differently, he would have been as friendly and accommodative of Indian sensitivities as his father; that the misunderstandings between King Birendra and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi could have easily been avoided if there had been a little more transparency. By the end of the 1980s India was pitching in whole-heartedly with the democratic forces while maintaining a cold and formal relationship with the king, foreseeing a popular tide in favour of pro-India groups in any free and fair election. Poor personal chemistry between the monarchy and first Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and later Rajiv Gandhi, along with other factors, created and sustained mutual suspicions and antipathy ultimately translating into confrontational politics during the government of Rajiv Gandhi.

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When Rajiv Gandhi enforced a blockade against Nepal after King Birendra imported Chinese anti-aircraft missiles in contravention of the 1950 Treaty (and also incidentally permitted the Trade and Transit Treaty to lapse) tensions escalated. G. P. Koirala, leader of Nepali Congress, then in the vanguard of the pro-democracy and anti-King movement, is reported to have asked Indian Army ex-servicemen in Nepal's Gurkha districts as to what they would do if there was a war between India and Nepal. They are said to have insisted, 'India has given us our bread, we will never fight against India!' On the Indian side, the Army Chief of Staff is known to have protested to Rajiv Gandhi that the embargo must be immediately lifted, as it was causing great hardship to the families in Nepal of serving Gurkhas in the Indian Army who were willing to lay down their lives for India's national interests. This is mentioned simply to underline the fact that leaders are sometimes totally out of touch with the sentiments of the people they are supposed to be serving. When the Panchayat system was replaced by constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy, after a mass agitation enjoying cross-party political support, there were huge expectations of a new era in Indo-Nepal relations. Indeed, during the first few years, India and Nepal seemed to be making up for the lost time. Visits multiplied, agreements were signed and new vistas of cooperation in trade, economic development and water resources opened up. But the bold steps taken between the Nepali Congress Government and India in strengthening ties were to some extent undermined by the widespread (if largely unfair) perception that India was putting all its eggs in one 'pro-India' political basket in Nepal in order to promote its own interests. The monarchy was a passive spectator while the opposition (leftist as well as pro-Palace) exploited these sensitivities to create an anti-India vote-bank. Political infighting within the Nepali Congress brought its government down necessitating mid-term elections, and brought a minority communist (Communist Party of Nepal-UML) government to power (1994) after an election campaign marked by anti-Indian rhetoric. Much to the relief of India, however, the basic direction of bilateral relations was maintained by the communists. While rejecting the concept of a special relationship with India, and raising 'national' issues like the need for the 1950 Treaty to be updated, the Tanakpur Agreement to be renegotiated and need to solve the Bhutanese refugee problem with greater persistence than its predecessor government, the UML Government of Manmohan Adhikari gave sufficient indication during its brief nine-month tenure, of its serious desire to strengthen relations with India on a long term basis. For his part, Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao brought home to Adhikari that India would deal with Nepal as a country, irrespective of the political or ideological complexion of the party in power or the (alleged) pro or antiIndia leanings of the prime minister of the day. With somewhat uncharacteristic crispness, Narasimha Rao made it clear that while India did not expect reciprocity in an arithmetical sense, there had to be reciprocity at least in spirit, and certainly in core areas of the relationship. The Adhikari Government fell, after just nine months in office, and was replaced by a coalition of the Nepali Congress (NC), Rashtriya Prajatantra Party

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(RPP), and Terai-based National Sadbhavana Party (NSP) under Sher Bahadur Deuba. The following years saw political instability assume chronic dimensions. Prime ministers and governments changed with bewildering frequency. Every possible permutation and combination of political parties was forged through temporary alliances in their bid for power. The result of the general elections of 1999, held despite a threat of disruption by the Maoists, created hope for political stability since it restored a majority Nepali Congress government under K. P. Bhattarai. But history repeated itself; the Nepali Congress squandered away its advantage due to infighting between the Koirala and Bhattarai camps, and the musical chair game helped replace Bhattarai with Koirala and brought Deuba back in power. The Maoists took full advantage of the political instability. The tragic royal massacre of June 1, 2001, further boosted their prospects. In October 2002, the Constitution itself was derailed when King Gyanendra dismissed the Deuba government, and took one initiative after another, in an unsuccessful bid to find a solution to the Maoist insurgency while consolidating the position of the monarchy at the cost of the multiparty system. In India too, there was political uncertainty and change. Between 1996 and 2004, the office of the prime minister has seen six changes and there have been four general elections. Both countries have paid a big price for this political turbulence. Yet initially at least they succeeded in maintaining a certain stability, continuity and direction in bilateral ties, which appeared to vindicate India's long-held conviction that multiparty democracy was not only good for Nepal but offered the best hope for developing bilateral cooperation on a long term basis. This was partly due to the transparency and public awareness resulting from democratic functioning and a free press, but also due to a consistent approach on India's part not to play favourites in dealing with Nepalese political leaders. A refinement of the Narasimha Rao approach of 'non-arithmetical reciprocity' -- as a basis for Nepal-India relations -- came in Foreign Minister I. K. Gujral's Chatham House speech of 1996; the now famous 'Gujral Doctrine' of nonexpectation of reciprocity in India's dealings with its neighbours (except Pakistan). The 'doctrine' made a huge impact on Nepal, where it generated somewhat unrealistic expectations. The first test it was subjected to was when the Trade Treaty came up for renewal in December 1996. Commerce Secretary Tejendra Khanna negotiated a farreaching agreement under Gujral's personal instructions, providing for duty-free access to the Indian market for all goods manufactured in Nepal, irrespective of labour and material content. The idea was to stimulate Indian investment in exportoriented manufacturing activity in Nepal and thus expand the basket of exportable commodities from Nepal to India -- the only way to address Nepal's long-standing grievance of a huge trade deficit and the huge potential for Indian investment in Nepal, which had been largely untapped for decades. The treaty began to show results almost immediately. Over the following five years, Nepalese exports to India increased at the rate of 57 per cent per annum, India's at 14 per cent and a number of Indian companies including Hindustan Lever, Dabur and Colgate invested in joint ventures on the Nepalese side of the border for export to India and third countries. The Treaty

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has not had smooth sailing in subsequent years, but the principle of enabling manufacturing industry in Nepal to ride piggy-back on the vast Indian market for the good of both countries has been accepted. The 'Doctrine' came under further scrutiny when I. K. Gujral, on becoming prime minister, visited Nepal in 1997 at the invitation of his counterpart, Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand. Apart from other agreements signed, Gujral overruled objections from his bureaucrats and agreed to a long time Nepalese request for an alternative transit route to Bangladesh (the so-called Phulbari route). In order to address the special security concerns posed by the fact that the route passes through the sensitive 'Chicken's Neck' area of West Bengal, it was decided to provide Indian security escort for the Nepal-bound or Nepal-origin cargo -- perhaps the most striking example of going the extra mile in accommodating a landlocked neighbour's aspirations in the history of transit agreements. The fact that this exceptional gesture was being made with a coalition government led by individuals who did not have a particularly 'pro-India' complexion, did not go unnoticed. The message to Nepal that India's cooperation would not be influenced by the political orientation of the government in power in Nepal was further reinforced by the successor government of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, when the IndoNepal Transit Treaty came up for renewal. By now three governments had changed in Nepal and Koirala was heading a Congress-communist coalition. In what was possibly a unique concession to a landlocked neighbour, the Treaty was made automatically renewable every seven years, unless either country gave notice to the contrary before its expiry. In other words, Nepal's access to the sea was in principle granted in perpetuity, not something to be renegotiated and renewed every seven years. To his credit, while other leaders in the ruling party and coalition pulled in different directions on Nepal and relations suffered as a consequence, Prime Minister Vajpayee himself showed the same sensitivity towards Nepal as had his predecessors prime ministers Narasimha Rao and I. K. Gujral, and frequently overruled his advisors in showing accommodation to Nepal's expectations. The hijacking incident of December, 1999, and the somewhat casual and insensitive way in which even close friends of India like K. P. Bhattarai and G. P. Koirala treated India's requests for cooperation, came as a personal shock to Vajpayee. Subsequently, Vajpayee's personal interest and sympathy for Nepal waned as the inter-ministerial bureaucracy in India took a hard-line position on various issues, often negating concessions earlier accorded to Nepal in the spirit of the Gujral doctrine. To its credit, the political community in Nepal did make impressive efforts, especially before the hijacking incident vitiated the atmosphere of bilateral relations, to create cross-party consensus for constructive discussions on important bilateral issues. The experience of the Mahakali Treaty was particularly striking. The Treaty was first proposed to the Narasimha Rao government by the Communist Party of Nepal-UML in April, 1995. It proposed a mega-project at Pancheshwar on the Mahakali River, upstream of Tanakpur on which the CPN-UML, while in opposition, had created a major controversy. The idea was to subsume Tanakpur in a larger

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project to be jointly designed and implemented (unlike previous river projects in Nepal which had been entirely executed by India, like the Kosi). Pancheshwar is at a point on the Mahakali where the river forms a boundary stretch, and the proposal was to have two stations of equal capacity on either bank, with power surplus to Nepal's needs being exported to India at mutually agreed tariffs, and additional downstream benefits to be paid for by India. The CPN-UML government fell before the proposal could be discussed. However, the successor Nepali Congress-RPP-NSP coalition led by Sher Bahadur Deuba, with Water Resources Minister Pashupati Rana and Foreign Minister P. C. Lohani taking the lead, picked up the threads of the same proposal, hoping that the UML, now the main Opposition party, would find it difficult to oppose a draft initiated during its own administration. The Treaty was finalised on the basis of a formal allparty consensus in Nepal, and signed in New Delhi by prime ministers Sher Bahadur Deuba and Narasimha Rao during the former's New Delhi visit in March 1996. By the time the Treaty was placed before the Nepalese Parliament for ratification the Gujral Government was in office in India; the Nepalese Parliament ratified the Treaty with the requisite 2/3 majority, after a thorough and occasionally divisive national debate. The Deuba Government fell soon thereafter; its successor was a coalition led by antiMahakali dissidents in the RPP and CPN (UML), Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand and Deputy Prime Minister Bamdev Gautam. The new government opted to honour past international commitments, and the Instruments of Ratification of the Treaty were exchanged during Prime Minister Gujral's official visit to Kathmandu in July 1997. The Mahakali Treaty attracted attention in a number of countries as an important indication of the ability of India and Nepal as multi-party democracies to reach agreement on cooperation in water resources on the basis of equality, transparency and equitable sharing of costs and benefits. The Nepalese Constitution requires ratification by two thirds Parliamentary majority for any agreement affecting the country 'extensively, seriously or in the long term'; many had thought that with such a constitutional provision Nepal and India would never be able to reach an understanding on cooperation in such a sensitive area as water, since ratification by Parliament would be next to impossible, given the divisive nature of politics in the subcontinent. Nepal has some 83,000MW of hydropower potential, half of which is feasible for development. It presently has a demand of only 270MW. With India's energy deficit projected to reach 20,000MW by 2010, the compelling logic of economic complementarity is all too obvious. Also, large-scale export of hydropower is perhaps the only way Nepal can hope to achieve speedy growth and remove poverty within a decade. The only other resource it has is tourism, which has its limitations. Thus, the fact that despite a hung parliament and considerable political uncertainty, Nepal's main parties could unite to the extent of securing parliamentary ratification for the Treaty was hailed in many quarters as an impressive demonstration of the maturity of Nepal's democracy and the promising prospects now available for investment in the power sector. That a Power Trade Agreement had

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already been signed between the two countries during Deuba's visit to India, providing in principle for private sector investment in hydropower projects in Nepal for export to private sector consumers in India, further encouraged interest of prospective investors world-wide. It is unfortunate that the Treaty is being implemented at such a slow pace, mainly because of its over-politicisation in Nepal on the one hand and compartmentalised, overly-technical, poorly coordinated approaches to it in India, on the other. But for all its shortcomings (no Treaty is probably perfect), it does offer a model for India and Nepal on how to reach important understandings despite the uncertainties of democratic politics and coalition governments. It is waiting to be implemented the moment Nepal's polity can summon the political will, consensus and resolve it once showed, and India the priority it once accorded and sense of accommodation it earlier demonstrated. It is encouraging to note that meanwhile, India and Nepal are seriously discussing a number of other projects (including Kosi High Dam, Upper Karnali and Budhigandaki); and that at least one private sector hydropower project for export to India (West Seti) has been finalised. During the period between 1990-2001, when King Birendra attempted with some success to play the role of a constitutional monarch, India's relations with the institution of monarchy improved. The king shed his reserve vis-Ă -vis India, and in various ways he sent out signals to India as well as his own people that the misunderstandings and bitterness of the 1980s should be forgotten by both countries, and that he was personally a strong supporter of closer India-Nepal relations. He maintained regular contact with the Indian leadership on all matters of mutual interest, so that to the extent possible, neither country was taken by surprise by developments in the other; graced private and public functions regularly at India House after more than twenty years of avoiding them; made unusual departures from protocol in dealing with the Indian Embassy or visiting Indian dignitaries; paid several private as well as official visits to India, including a pilgrimage to Hardwar, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Dwarika; warmly received President Narayanan on an official visit; and was himself invited to visit India as chief guest on Republic Day, 1999 -- the first time a King of Nepal had been accorded this honour in 50 years. Mutual goodwill and the momentum for strengthening cooperation appeared to have reached unprecedented levels. Speaking in parliament in reply to a noconfidence motion, shortly after the king's visit as chief guest on Republic Day, Prime Minister Vajpayee defended his government's foreign policy achievements by giving the example of Nepal: an election campaign was in progress there, he said, but there was not a hint of anti-Indianism in the air! Indeed, unlike in previous elections, Indiarelated issues like the 1950 Treaty, Mahakali Treaty or Kalapani border dispute did not figure in the campaign. Tanakpur, which had brought the Koirala government down in 1994 and had once seemed such an intractable issue, was not mentioned even once. The results of the general elections in May, 1999, were widely perceived as a vote for stability, development and apparently also for good relations with India.

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Parties and individuals, professing a commitment to the politics of the far left as well as the extreme right, were categorically rejected. India's constant reiteration of its faith in the multiparty democracy-constitutional monarchy arrangement, despite its recent failures, has much to do with its experience of the positive achievements in Nepal and in the bilateral relationship, up to the time of the hijacking incident. Old suspicions and mutual demonisation have, unfortunately, vitiated the atmosphere once again. As in the past, India's security concerns and Nepal's inability to satisfy them has become the central issue for India, and the ground for reviving anti-Indian sentiments in Nepal has become fertile once more. The Maoist insurgency has, of course, taken full advantage of this in order to enhance its own appeal within Nepal. Until recently, India's formal position on the insurgency was that while it would readily respond to requests for supply of arms, equipment and training, strengthen cooperation on cross-border movement of Maoists and extradite Maoist leaders from India, this should be treated as Nepal's internal matter. After the visit of Prime Minister Deuba to India in September 2004, both countries have accepted it to be a shared concern. It is expected that Indian support to the Government of Nepal will increase. The latter has been advised at the highest level not to encourage involvement of third parties. What seems to have prompted the change of policy is proliferating cross-border linkages between the Maoist groups on the two sides of the border, the revival of hostile attacks against Indian interests in Nepal, the demonstrated ability of the Nepalese Maoists (e.g., through their recent blockade of Kathmandu and forced closure of dozens of industries all over Nepal) to mock the government's writ in the land, as well as the evolution of new policies on the part of government of India in dealing with its own Maoists.

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have to be tackled with a sense of urgency. Without this, threats to India as well as Nepal, whether from unfriendly third countries or the Maoist insurgency or the drugsand-arms smuggling network will continue. In this context, India will have to look at the need to respond to the widely held feeling in Nepal that the 1950 Treaty is outdated and unfair to Nepal and needs to be reviewed. A special relationship -- one in which Nepal obtains economic advantages in exchange for dilution of its sovereign space -- is less sustainable than a relationship of strategic interdependent economic linkages. Specifically, the two countries need to build on possibilities in the water resources and hydropower sector, and attracting investment and economic growth in the Bihar-Uttar Pradesh-Nepal triangle if the security and economic prospects for the entire sub-region are to be strengthened.

(K. V. Rajan is a former Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and served as India's Ambassador to Nepal from 1995 to 2000. Mr. Rajan can be contacted at krishnavrajan@rediffmail.com)

In India's judgement, the collapse of the constitutional forces in the face of the Maoist threat must be averted at all costs. It is, however, clear that the combination of multiparty democracy and constitutional monarchy in Nepal is saddled with too many inner contradictions and deep mutual distrust, and may not be able, at least in the foreseeable future, to deal effectively with the crisis facing the state. It is far from clear as to how Nepal can be helped in a bilateral framework towards the only viable solution, which is to become an inclusive democracy. Any inclination on the part of India to be proactive will only attract controversy and become counterproductive. Nor is it clear how complicated issues like the Maoist demand for a Constituent Assembly, future of constitutional monarchy, civilian control over the Royal Nepal Army, disarming Maoist cadres, holding elections, are to be addressed without a facilitation acceptable to all sides if and when a peace process starts. India and Nepal also need to move beyond the Maoist insurgency and away from traditional concepts of military and strategic consideration. Apart from more effective joint management of the border and improving the infrastructure, the core issue of improvement of the quality of governance on both sides of the border will

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Legal Purview: Wullar Barrage, Siachen and Sir Creek Ahmer Bilal Soofi This paper can serve as a basic document for identifying the complex nature of each of the three issues -- Wullar Barrage, Siachen and Sir Creek -- between India and Pakistan. It is a legal summary of all the three issues along with brief descriptions of the positions taken by both the parties.

I. Wullar Barrage Wullar is a lake upstream Jhelum river on the Indian side of Jammu & Kashmir. It is said to be the largest fresh water lake. India proposed to build a barrage on the mouth of the lake. The intent of constructing the barrage was to provide for storage of water and its controlled release would make the river Jhelum navigable throughout the year, which is why the Indians also refer to it as Tulbul Navigation Lock project. Pakistan opposed this move on the basic ground that it violates the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 between both the states. Pakistan's position is that under the controlling Articles of the Indus Water Treaty, namely Articles 2 and 3, the broad principle of distribution of the rivers has been spelled out clearly. Under the said principle, the waters of the three western rivers, Jhelum, Chenab and Indus would be available for Pakistan1, whereas the waters of three remaining rivers (eastern rivers), namely Beas, Ravi and Sutlej would be available for unrestricted use of India2. In the light of this broad principle, Pakistan maintains that any attempt to block the water, or make a storage, upstream on river Jhelum, would be in violation of the 1960 Treaty and that storage for navigational purposes is not permissible under the Treaty of 1960. Pakistan further argues that the purpose for which the barrage needs construction, is firstly not permissible under the Treaty and secondly it is hardly relevant now because several improved communication links, serving as better alternatives to river navigation have come up in the area and, therefore, India has lost the rationale to build the barrage. Indian position is that, notwithstanding the broad principle in the 1960 Treaty (which it also accepts), it has the technical endorsement to build a barrage on Wullar in the light of the Article 3 para 4 of the Indus Water Treaty. The said article broadly prohibits all attempts to store or restrict flow of water on Jhelum, but as an exception allows construction under certain conditions and technical specifications which are enlisted in Annex D and E of the 1960 Treaty3. Indian view is that if they do comply with the conditionalities and technical specifications of Annex D and E to the Treaty, then, they can legally go ahead and build the barrage. The current factual position is that although the work at the site is stopped, India still intends to go ahead.

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Wullar has been included in Indo-Pak talks almost 10 times, which has had both good and bad consequences. Good to the extent that the dispute did not deteriorate further given the attention to it and bad that it failed to be resolved since it remained tied up with other contentious. It came very close to resolution when in 1991 a draft agreement was prepared but could not be signed. Indians blame Pakistan for tying up the resolution with construction of the proposed 390-MW Kishanganga Hydroelectric project. Parties have later considered using the draft agreement as a starting point for resolution. The agreement tacitly allowed building of the barrage with monitoring by the Indus Water Commissioners (established under the 1960 Treaty) and intends to introduce technical restrictions such as 6.2 metres of barrage would remain ungated with crest level at EL 1574.90 meters along with other stipulations4. One option available to India and Pakistan is to first reach a conclusion at a political level, whether both agree for construction of the Wullar Barrage or to abandon the construction. This is so because 1960 Treaty would be instructive on the purposes of storage. If there is concurrence to give up the project, then the matter ends and no side-line technical deliberations are required. However, if there is a political acceptance on both sides for construction of the Wullar Barrage, then several alternatives are available to find a way forward. For example, both the states can (a) agree to assign the issue to resolution under the Indus Water Treaty Mechanism (b) revisit the draft agreement prepared in 1991 (c) prepare an independent technical solution and for resolution of future disputes, link it with the dispute resolution mechanism of 1960 Treaty.

II. Siachen Issue After the 1948 ceasefire between the Indian Army and Pakistani Army in Kashmir, under the mandate of UN, the positions held by both the sides were frozen and the line dividing these positions was referred to as the ceasefire line (CFL). The following year, in 1949, military commanders of both the sides entered into a detailed agreement whereby the ceasefire line was documented, delimited on the map and demarcated on the ground. This was done under the 1949 Karachi Agreement. This delimitation ended almost with the position of the troops and the areas further north of the troops positions, were not delimited or demarcated. In the 1971 war, the positions of Indian and Pakistani armies opposing each other on the ceasefire line changed. There were some gains and losses on earlier positions by both the sides. Again when the fire ceased, courtesy UN intervention, the new positions emerged. Instead of withdrawal to the ceasefire line positions, the new positions were accepted and now the line dividing the opposing troops on the ground was referred to as the Line of Control (LoC), which exists till today. The military commanders again delimited and demarcated the LoC and its last point on map was NJ 9842. This point was almost 78 kilometers short of the present Siachen glacier. In short in the 1980s, Indian Army movements were detected around Siachen area and Pakistan mobilised its troops and since then both the armies are locked in Saichen without a clear military victory.

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India has two alternative positions on Siachen. First, it argues that Siachen is part of Kashmir and Kashmir is part of India which is endorsed generally by the Indian Constitution and, therefore, it has the right to station troops on Siachen. In alternative India argues that, under the 1949 Karachi Agreement, when â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the line proceeds northwards towards glacier' straight upwards, Siachen falls on the Indian side of the so-extended LoC.

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A country's rights on the resources of the sea are now granted by the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention. The said Convention gives additional rights to both India and Pakistan, over sea resources up to 200 nautical miles in the water column and up to 350 nautical miles in the land beneath the water column. It also provides principles on the basis of which sea boundaries have to be drawn between the states adjacent to each other with a concave coastline. In short, the land boundary's general course of direction on the land leading up to the coast, can make a difference of hundreds of square nautical miles of sea when stretched into the sea as a divider between the said two states.

In contrast, Pakistan insists that extension of line if made northwards towards the glaciers, while keeping in view the previous course of direction of LoC, would see distinctly Siachen falling on the Pakistani side of the so extended LoC. Pakistan further relies on evidence of state practice whereby Pakistan is confident of its claim of having asserted better administrative control in relation to Siachen. For example, it relies on several atlases and expeditions who have been seeking approval from Pakistan. Pakistan also argues that Siachen occupation is a breach of the Simla Agreement, thus relieving Pakistan from obligations of bilateralism.

Pakistan and India have a concave coastline. With the new 1982 Law of the Sea Convention adopted by both, the governments have suddenly realised the enormous sea resources that can be lost or won on the basis of the land terminal point where the border between India and Pakistan ends. That is why Sir Creek has become more contentious than ever before.

Resolution of Siachen means solving two different issues. First, the demilitarisation of the glacier itself and second the resolution of the title of the glacier. One concern holding back the solution of this issue is that parties apprehend that resolution of first may not be tied up with the second. Although there are formulations that de-militarisation is notwithstanding the issue of eventual title, nonetheless, it does bother the concerned in both the states. Therefore, the starting point of the negotiations should be a clear, well-declared and well-phrased verdict, mutually accepting that de-militarisation (a) does not tantamount to waiver of claims to title of either party and(b) a time bound mechanism to commence the process of determining the title of the glacier. In this mechanism, there are multiple choices before the parties. For example, they can agree on international arbitration, or agree to submit the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In case of ICJ or arbitration, the parties would need to agree on the terms of reference to be submitted to arbitration, or the parties may continue with the political dialogue for a political rather than technical solution.

There is also a comprehensive dispute relating to maps of the creek. During the British period, the Rann of Kutch was partly administered by the Government of Sind and partly by the Maharaja of Rann of Kutch. In 1913, the Government of Bombay resolved the boundary dispute through a ruling, which became the basis of the 1914 map referred to as B-40. It was around 1925-6 that some pillars were actually erected at distances, demarcating on ground the agreed boundary between the state of Kutch and the Sindh Government. As per this arrangement, the line was to follow a longitude till a specific point called border post (B.P) 1179 and from there run parallel with (longitude) to the mouth of the creek and then follow the eastern side of the creek. The eastern edge was also called the Green Reband because of its visible thickness on the map. Around 1937-8, the Government of India issued the map of the said terrain by the Surveyor General, which affirmed eventually the said position of eastern side being the border. In 1947, due to partition, the eastern edge of the creek was deemed to have been converted as the concluding portion of the international border between India and Pakistan.

A question would arise as to what should be the legal status of the Siachen territory while demilitarisation takes place and parties await resolution of title. In my view, it may be declared as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;terra nullis' (territory belonging to no one), a recognised regime under international law. The talks on Siachen must take account of the issues raised, otherwise they would again end in a deadlock, because giving up the territory means extinguishing executive control over the disputed terrain.

In 1965, the well-known Rann of Kutch Arbitration took place. Interestingly enough, India agreed to exclude the line beyond B.P. (border post) 1175 from the subject matter of arbitration on the ground that it is not disputed. Thus the arbitrator never adjudicated on the boundary of the present Sir Creek as both parties agreed that no dispute existed. India also stated that the border from the mouth of Sir Creek should run on the western side of the creek and not the eastern one. This was a major departure from its earlier position of agreeing to the eastern side.

III. Sir Creek Wherever a river forms a delta before falling into the sea, it develops creeks on the coastal line. Around the area where the present border of Pakistan is supposed to meet India in the delta area south of the Rann of Kutch, a dispute arose on the issue of drawing a dividing line between the two countries. The demarcation becomes significant when the line is extended seawards to divide the sea boundary between India and Pakistan. The line then directly affects the division of sea resources -including minerals, fish and other marine life -- between the two countries.

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Pakistan opposes this and instead relies on the Resolution Maps of 1913-14 and the 1937 Map approved by the Surveyor General of India. One option for the parties was to follow the Thalweg principle, which means drawing a line in the middle of the deepest navigational channel. The fundamental technical confusion is that the dialogue process has failed to realise that Sir Creek negotiations is not part of political process alone, but it is

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actually a clear obligation on the two states under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention. Whether the dialogue process is on or not, both the states have obligations under Article 76 (in respect of Continental shelf), Article 74 (in respect of the Exclusive Economic Zone) and Article 15 (in respect of the territorial sea) of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention to arrive at a negotiated settlement based on principles of International Law. India could argue that there is no dispute on delimitation of sea boundary and that the present dispute is regarding the international border, which was simmering much before the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention came on line. However, even if this argument is accepted, the obligations under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention remain unfulfilled because the sea boundaries remain undivided. In case both the parties fail to reach an agreement then Part XV of the 1982 Law, which provides for the formal mechanism in respect of settlement of disputes, can be invoked. In the above context, the process of dialogue can authorise resort to the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.

IV. Delay in Peace Process Given the current sequence of meetings between Indo-Pak delegations and the toned down statements from both the sides, it can be sensed that both the countries are making earnest efforts to push the peace process into a result-oriented direction. But despite good faith to resolve these issues, there may still be delays. These delays will occur due to the inherent nature of each of these three disputes.

Management of Peace Process PM of India

President of Pakistan

Political Consensus

Foreign Office

2â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3 daysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; working rounds

Ministry of External Affairs

Reservations / Delay

Experts

More time to discuss technical alternatives

Experts

All these three disputes are basically technical in nature. They stem from legal texts (Wullar from 1960 Treaty, Siachen from 1949 Karachi Agreement, Sir Creek from interpretation of maps). When technical issues are brought into a process of political dialogue between the traditionally hostile states, they create pressure on negotiators. The negotiators on either side are usually not technical personnel. They are in the form of a delegation of Pakistan's Foreign Office meeting with a similar Indian delegation. I do not recall reading names of any lawyers, navy personnel or

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water experts5 in the negotiation teams from either side. Resultantly, the onus of decision in talks and their consequences, have to be borne by the current team. The present composition of members in both the delegations, would be hesitant to agree to a political solution that runs down the technical side of the issue. Each technical or legal element of the issue has legal consequences and the negotiators fear inadvertently destroying the consequences that may favour their respective state. Further, in all these three issues in particular, failure is measurable. Any critic can later point out to a specific provision of the relevant text and argue that the negotiating team has compromised on a favourable point. Another problem is that if only the technical personnel get involved, they face pressure of a different nature. As a lawyer or a water specialist, one is reasonably familiar with the extent of genuineness in a particular issue and, in certain cases, a negotiator may be willing to yield. But when the negotiation becomes part of a political process of `composite dialogue', the technical negotiators are reluctant to even accept the genuine claims of the adversary in view of the charged up political atmosphere. The reference to `expert level talks', often implies replacing a set of diplomats with a set of bureaucrats from the relevant ministries. These bureaucrats may be running the affairs of the concerned ministry but they are not `experts'. Thus one finds further delays in talks. It is expected that both the delegations participating in the dialogue process are equipped on the technical side of the issues and would be in a position to take immediate decisions during the actual process of the dialogue instead of deferring the issue for technical input. For example, it is the political component of the dialogue process to discuss whether Wullar barrage should be build or not. If yes, then the technical component of the dialogue process has to be initiated which would require interpretation of the applicable treaty and technical specifications would take over. Are the delegation mobilised enough to go through the technical exercise within a day or two so as to conclude the agenda item? Most likely not. This would be a delaying factor. In view of the above, it is clear that the `management of the talks' is an important issue particularly in respect of these three issues. The expertsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; input must be obtained first, with several alternatives. It should be done before the diplomats from both the sides meet. The diplomats should make a political choice from the technically approved alternatives, whereas it is often the other way around. The diplomats or the foreign secretaries, arrive at a political decision first and later refer the briefs downwards asking for technical and legal justifications. When the experts try and match the political decision with the technical justification, it is the political decision that requires re-alignment and the matter is referred back to the parties and they end up accusing one another. For example, a political decision for demilitarisation of Siachen is being discussed between Mr. Tariq Aziz (from Pakistan side) and Mr Dixit (from Indian side)6. Assume that both agree to the withdrawal of the troops recognising that it

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would not prejudice legal positions of either party. When the broad agreement is referred back to experts in both the states, they may come up with their own independent formulations to be incorporated into the text of the agreement. These formulations would become extremely crucial when the issue is revisited for eventual settlement. What language should be used to describe the occupation? What proposition to frame to signify the entire dispute? Eventually what would happen is that despite political will, there would be disagreement on the technical language of the agreement recording the withdrawal. Instead, it would be more productive if the concerned interlocutors have already tasked experts to put in various alternatives of draft language. They may then simply negotiate the existing draft texts and conclude the talks. Political will to resolve these disputes should not be confused with political resolution of these issues. Will to settle all issues in a composite dialogue must mean to undertake a meaningful and thorough process of experts input (involving various alternatives), which must run simultaneous to the peace process and be part of it. That would be a more dependable way towards a sustained dialogue which would bring out specific results.

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construct any storage works on, the Western Rivers.’ 4. Such as India shall forego a General Storage capacity of 30,000acre feet. Water level in the barrage will be allowed to retain the full operational level of 5177.90 feet. The timing of filling the lake shall be decided by the Indus Water Commissioners. Any other changes shall be done with mutual consent. 5. Although in separate talks between both the sides at least on two issues the specialist participate. For example extensive technical exchange takes place under the Indus Water Treaty mechanism. Likewise, on the Sir Creek, navy representatives from both the sides have meet frequently. 6. As reported in daily Dawn, Pakistan, 29 and 30 September, 2004.

Siachen Issue

Indian Position Pakistan’s Position

Suggested Way Forward Experts

Foreign Office

President of Pakistan

Discussion on Technical Alternatives 2–3 days’ working rounds

Political Discussions

Experts

Ministry of External Affairs

PM of India

(Ahmer Bilal Soofi is a Senior Partner of a Commercial Law Firm in Lahore. Mr. Soofi has worked as Consultant to several UN bodies and has advised the Government on several international treaties.)

End Notes 1. Article III (1) ‘Pakistan shall receive for unrestricted use all those waters of western rivers which India is under obligation to let flow under the provisions of para 2’. 2. Article II. ‘all the waters of Eastern Rivers shall be available for the unrestricted use of India…’ 3. Article III (4), ‘Except as provided in Annexures D & E, India shall not store any water of, or

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Sir Creek Tulbul, Sir Creek and Siachen: Competitive Methodologies Bharat Bhushan

200 miles EEZ

Indian Position Pak position

Wullar Barrage / Tulbul Navigation Project

T

he resolution of the disputes over Tulbul Navigation Project/Wullar Barrage, the Sir Creek boundary and the Siachen conflict can help change the parameters of India-Pakistan relations, enabling them to move forward on the more difficult issue of Kashmir. That this is not an impossible task has been evident for quite some time. But the two neighbours have been engaged in such one up-manship that nobody wants to give an inch even if the consequent peace dividend is evident. India and Pakistan have, in the past, come fairly close to agreements on the Tulbul Navigation Project/Wullar Barrage dispute and the Siachen conflict. Just as nations deserve the political leadership they get, they also inherit their lack of vision from one generation to the next. Besides, successive weak governments in Islamabad and New Delhi have been forced to retreat from possible solutions lest they are seen as compromises. Only strong and popular governments can give concessions and be sure that they are not seen as compromising the national interest. In a sense this article presents virtually nothing new. What it does, however, is to put together the various aspects of three of the less intractable disputes between the two countries and suggests not specific ways of resolving them but of surrounding them with measures to build confidence thereby making them amenable to resolution.

I. The Tulbul Navigation Project/Wullar Barrage Dispute This dispute is over the Indian proposal to construct a barrage on the Jhelum River downstream from the Wullar Lake in Jammu & Kashmir. The project itself, in a sense, goes back to 1912. The then government of Punjab had approached the Maharaja of Kashmir seeking permission to construct a barrage on Wullar Lake. In 1924, the Punjab government renewed the proposal offering Rs. 1.85 lakh as annual royalty. The Maharaja, however, rejected the proposal as he was apprehensive that the construction of the barrage might lead to water-logging in Sopore and Baramulla. The current dispute, though, arises from Pakistan viewing the construction of a barrage on the Wullar as a storage work. Islamabad refers to it as the Wullar Barrage dispute while India, which sees the project as an attempt to make the Jhelum navigable, calls it the Tulbul Navigation Project. The name Tulbul comes from a village at the western tip of the town of Sopore, although when the project was started by India in 1980 the site was shifted to Ningli, on the eastern side of Sopore which was nearer to the Wullar.

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Pakistan's contention is that a barrage at the mouth of the Wullar is a contravention of the Indus Water Treaty. The 1960 Treaty assigned the unrestricted use of the eastern rivers of the Indus basin (including Beas, Ravi and Sutlej) to India and of the western rivers (including Chenab, Indus and Jhelum) to Pakistan. It, however, permitted India the limited use of the western rivers for domestic and agricultural use, run-of-the-river hydroelectric generation and any nonconsumptive use that did not diminish the water flow to Pakistan. The Treaty also permitted India limited storage of water of the western rivers -- a general storage capacity of 300,000 acre feet on the various channels of the Jhelum (excluding Jhelum Main) and 10,000 acre feet on the Jhelum Main itself. Controlling water for navigation is a permissible activity under the Indus Water Treaty. The Indian position is that the Tulbul Navigation Project is neither an act of storage nor of impounding the waters of the Jhelum, but of controlling the flow for navigation. The project would leave the volume of water flowing to Pakistan intact. India maintains that the project would, in fact, help regulate the water flow in the Jhelum and would benefit power projects downstream both in the Indian side as well as Pakistani side of Jammu & Kashmir. The problem of navigation in the Jhelum arises in the lean season from October to February. During this period, the flow of water in the river is 2,000 cubic feet per second and its depth is about 2.5 feet. This cannot support navigation. Around the year navigability requires double the flow and depth -- hence the barrage that would make the river navigable from between Sopore and Baramula. The work on the barrage began in 1984 but was stopped in 1987 by the Rajiv Gandhi government after Pakistan protested. Many in India believe that stopping construction was a mistake and that the decision was taken by Rajiv Gandhi to please Benazir Bhutto. Since then there have been ten rounds of secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan to settle the Tulbul/Wullar Barrage dispute bilaterally. The last round was held in the first week of August, 2004. Although matters have not proceeded apace since then, the basic draft agreement on the dispute had been arrived at in October 1991. Initially, the barrage was to be gated. After Pakistan's objections, it was decided to un-gate it. This is reflected in the stipulations of the 1991 draft agreement. In the agreement the two sides agreed that: (a) India would keep 6.2 meters of the barrage un-gated with a crest level at EL 1574.90 metres; (b) India would not make any alteration in the salient features of the project without mutual agreement between the two countries; (c) India shall forego the general storage capacity of 30,000 acre feet out of the provision permitted to it on the Jhelum (excluding Jhelum Main); (d) in return for this, the water level in the barrage will be allowed to attain the full operational level of 5177.90 feet -- the timing of the filling of the lake will be decided by the two Indus Water Commissioners and, should they fail to reach an agreement, the filling of the lake would be between June 21 and August 20; (e) except for the stipulation regarding the filling of the lake, India would let all the waters entering the

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Wullar Lake downstream; and (f) all differences will be settled under the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty. Later, in addition to the above, Pakistan demanded that India forego the construction of the 390 MW Kishenganga hydroelectric project. Its argument was that this project would affect Pakistan's proposed Neelum-Jhelum power project. New Delhi did not give any such commitment. The 1991 draft was reproduced verbatim in the non-papers handed over to Pakistan by India in 1994. During the 1998 composite dialogue, the Pakistani delegation had apparently insisted on starting the talks afresh but then agreed to pick up the threads from the 1991 draft. By the time the latest round of talks took place in August 2004, the Pakistani position seems to have hardened with Islamabad insisting that India gave up the project. New Delhi is of the view that there are two reasons for this: One, Pakistan has decided that no deviation from the Indus Water Treaty was acceptable to it; and two, wherever Pakistan can prevent India from taking up a project in Jammu and Kashmir it has decided to do so as a signal to the Kashmiris that Islamabad can exercise a veto.

II. Boundary Dispute along the Sir Creek Whenever India and Pakistan begin to normalise ties, they begin by releasing fishermen and fishing boats seized by them for crossing over into their respective territorial waters. These fishermen and their boats are seized along the undemarcated border of the Gujarat Coast. This dispute of an un-demarcated boundary along the Arabian Sea and the Rann of Kutch straddling Paksitan's Sindh province and the Indian state of Gujarat is not limited only to fishermen and fishing. In August 1999, a Pakistani Atlantique surveillance aircraft was shot down by the Indian Air Force in the Rann of Kutch. New Delhi claimed that the Atlantique was on a spying mission and had violated India's airspace. The ten sailors and six crew members on board the aircraft died. India claimed that the debris fell two kilometres within its territory and Pakistan made a contrary claim. However, as it turned out, it actually fell on both sides of the border. The next day when the Indian Air Force tried taking a group of journalists to the site where the debris had fallen, Pakistan apparently retaliated by firing on the Indian helicopters ferrying the media personnel. Pakistan's claim was that its groundto-air missiles were aimed at the Indian fighter jets accompanying the helicopters which were apparently in violation of their airspace. The shooting down of the Atalntique was taken by Islamabad to the International Court of Justice. The verdict eventually came in India's favour i.e., the court accepted that India was justified in shooting down the intruding aircraft. There is both an international border as well as an un-demarcated border in the Rann of Kutch between India and Pakistan. The incident of the Atalantique surveillance aircraft being shot down took place over the clearly demarcated international boundary -- to the north-east of the un-demarcated one. The 1965 IndiaPakistan war also began in the Rann of Kutch.

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The Sir Creek dispute, as the name indicates, is about the un-demarcated boundary because of the claims and counterclaims of India and Pakistan. The dispute is about a tidal channel called Sir Creek -- a 38 km estuary in the marshes of the Rann of Kutch. The boundary along this tidal channel between India and Pakistan has not been delimited. There are two issues involved in the dispute -- the delimitation of the boundary along the creek and the demarcation of the maritime boundary from the mouth of the creek seawards in the Arabian Sea. The dispute is complicated by Pakistan linking its resolution with the Kashmir issue and its refusal to separate the resolution of the land boundary along the creek from demarcation of the maritime boundary. Without demarcating the maritime boundary, neither India nor Pakistan can exploit the ocean resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone (up to 200 nautical miles). As this area adjoins Bombay High where India has been exploiting sub-sea oil and gas deposits, there is some expectation of similar reserves in the adjoining disputed area. Legend has it that the Sir Creek dispute began much before Indian independence in 1908 between the ruler of Sind and the Rao of Kutch over a pile of firewood lying on the banks of Kori Creek to the east of Sir Creek, which divided the two principalities. The dispute was referred to the British government in Bombay which gave its ruling in 1914 through a resolution which had a map attached to it. Up to the 1960s, the dispute remained unresolved but was dormant. Then Pakistan began claiming that half of Rann of Kutch along the 24th parallel belonged to it. The 1965 war that began in the Rann of Kutch followed this claim. The boundary dispute was referred to the India-Pakistan Western Boundary Case Tribunal. The tribunal was chaired by a Swedish judge, Gunnar Lagergren and comprised two others -- Ales Bebler of Yugoslavia (Indian nominee) and Nasorallah Intezam of Iran (Pakistan's nominee). The two sides agreed before the tribunal that their dispute should be limited only to the boundary to the north. There was some agreement on the boundary to the south, which began at the head of Sir Creek and moved eastwards along the 24th parallel. India claimed that after moving eastwards for a short distance, the boundary turned sharply north at a right angle to meet the northern boundary of the Rann. Pakistan, on the other hand, claimed that it went on straight eastwards along the 24th parallel. The tribunal gave its award on February 19, 1968. It rejected Pakistan's claim that the border between Gujarat and Sindh should run roughly along the 24th parallel beginning at the head of Sir Creek, moving eastwards from there. This would have involved dividing the Rann in the middle and transferring about 3,500 sq miles of territory from India to Pakistan. The tribunal upheld India's claim that the boundary line from the head of the Sir Creek went a short distance eastwards, then turned northwards at a right angle and then ran along the northern edge of the Rann (see map at the end of the article). This northern edge had also formed the boundary between the British Indian state of Sindh and the Kutch state before 1947. As a result of the tribunal broadly accepting

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the Indian contention, only about 300 sq miles of territory was awarded to Pakistan. The decision was accepted by both India and Pakistan. This still left the boundary of the Sir Creek -- from its head in the marshy lands of the Rann to its mouth in the Arabian Sea -- and the maritime boundary between India and Pakistan un-demarcated. India and Pakistan had agreed not to refer this part of the un-demarcated boundary for adjudication to the tribunal. Because of this understanding between the parties, the tribunal had noted that it had not taken into consideration the boundary along the Sir Creek. The dispute has festered since then. As a result, it is not possible for India and Pakistan to distinguish between their territorial waters (the zone up to 12 nautical miles, where states enjoy exclusive rights and can restrict passage of foreign boats), their contiguous zones (up to 24 nautical miles, where states can enforce custom and fiscal laws, fisheries laws and ban acts prejudicial to the state) or their Exclusive Economic Zones (up to 200 nautical miles extendable to 350 nautical miles for countries with continental shelf). Pakistan's contention is that the boundary along the Sir Creek must lie along the eastern edge of the creek. India believes that the boundary should be along the middle of the creek; that it should be demarcated using the 'thalweg' or the midchannel principle ('thal'- valley, 'weg' - way). The 'thalweg' principle lays down that boundaries along a river or a valley must lie along the line connecting the deepest points along a river channel or the lowest points along the valley floor. The case for a mid-channel boundary is based on the Sir Creek being a navigable channel throughout the year. Pakistan's contention is that the creek is not navigable and, therefore, the mid-channel principle does not apply. India and Pakistan both refer to the 1914 resolution of the Bombay government about the dispute between Sindh and Kutch over the Kori Creek and the map attached to it. The map shows a green line running along the eastern edge of Sir Creek on the Kutch side and Pakistan claims that this was the boundary between Sindh and Kutch. This was the map that India had relied on prior to the constitution of the India-Paksitan Western Boundary Case Tribunal. However, in 1958 Pakistan had itself admitted that this map was 'intended no more than an annexure to the Bombay Government resolution'. This resolution, according to veteran lawyer and analyst A. G. Noorani, has a reference to the Indian government's 'sanction' on November 11, 1913, of the Kutch-Sindh compromise over Kori Creek, which had been spelt out by the Bombay government in a letter of September 20, 1913. The letter referred to the line on the attached map 'from the mouth of Sir Creek to the top of Sir Creek.' The letter also quoted the Sindh Commissioner as saying, '... the Sir Creek changes its course from time to time and the western boundary of the area, which it is proposed to surrender to the Rao [of Kutch] should, therefore, be described as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the centre of the navigable channel of the Sir Creekâ&#x20AC;?.' This is seen as support for the

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Indian contention. The Secretary to the Bombay government commented on this, saying: 'I am to explain that the term 'navigable' is really inappropriate in the larger sense. The creek is, of course, tidal, and it is only at certain conditions of the tide that the channel is navigable and then only to the country craft as the point from which the proposed boundary turns due east from the creek.' Noorani concludes, 'This is not a rejection of the Sindh Commissioner's condition but essentially an acceptance of it.' Today, the Sir Creek does not flow as shown in the 1914 map. It has shifted westwards i.e., towards Pakistan. However, the head of the creek, as it existed then, is marked by a boundary pillar, called Western Terminal -- it was from this point that some 38 pillars marked the horizontal boundary eastwards. Pakistan neither recognises the existence of the Western Terminal nor the pillar-based horizontal boundary eastwards. Pakistan's contention is that the eastward boundary should be based on the dotted line as drawn in the 1914 map. This line is below the boundary marked by the pillars. The contentious question is: What should be recognised -- the pillars on the ground or the line on the 1914 map? In the current climate, neither country is willing to concede territory. So the dispute remains where it was -- with Pakistan insisting on the left bank of the creek and the dotted line on the 1914 map as the boundary and India insisting on the mid-channel of the creek and the pillars to the east as the boundary. Meanwhile, under the UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLS) both countries have to bring their Maritime Zone laws in consonance with it by defining their base-line points to define their maritime boundary and its co-ordinates have to be deposited with the UN. Islamabad has, in an attempt to define its maritime boundary along the eastern edge of the Sir Creek in the 1914 map up to a point on an Indian low tide elevation. This would allow Pakistan not only to claim the Sir Creek entirely but even the Pir Sinai Creek to its east. This would not be acceptable to India and this claim is likely to be protested against. India also has to deposit its baseline point co-ordinates with the UN. Once it does so, Pakistan may also object to the manner in which India defines its baseline point. There would be no way out but bilateral negotiations, provided for in UNCLS to sort this out. Why is this of any significance? Although the area under dispute along the Sir Creek is estimated to be only about six to seven square miles, it also involves as much as 250 sq. miles of ocean and ocean floor. If the boundary was moved by, say, one kilometre along the coastline, it could translate into the loss of a few hundreds of square kilometres of the Exclusive Economic Zone in an area which could be rich in oil and natural gas. The issue, therefore, not only concerns land claims but also subsea resources. Both Indian and Pakistani experts believe that the Sir Creek dispute is amenable to a solution. But their governments have been intransigent and there has been no real progress on the ground. There are two simple ways of increasing cooperation between India and Pakistan in the Sir Creek area: One, by decreasing the area in dispute by settling those parts which are easier to resolve and leaving the more intractable parts for later; two,

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by leaving the boundary question aside for the time being and exploring cooperation in the non-boundary related areas which would have a direct and fruitful bearing on the disputed area in the long run. To reduce the area of the dispute, India has proposed the median or the equidistant method where the demarcation of the maritime boundary would begin from the seaward side. This would involve taking a point 200 nautical miles from both Indian and Pakistani coasts and moving the point forward by drawing an equidistant line towards the coast. This series of equidistant points or equidistant line can move up to an agreed point towards the coast -- perhaps 50 nautical miles from the coast. This would help demarcate the boundary along the better part of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the two countries and leaving the boundary near the coast undefined for the time being (see map at end of article). This proposal has not been accepted by Pakistan. If the equidistant principle is not accepted by Pakistan, India may even be willing to take its baseline point on the coast and the Indian baseline point and use the trinagulation method to mark the boundary up to a certain mutually acceptable distance (say, 50 nautical miles once again) and narrow down the differences on the maritime boundary. The second way out, some experts have suggested, is to temporarily set aside the boundary dispute and explore cooperative ventures in the region. The fishermen's unions in Gujarat and Sindh have suggested licensed joint fishing with quantity restrictions. They point out precedents for sharing border resources. The fish in Lake Victoria breed in the territorial waters of Kenya but then go off to Ugandan waters but this fact can be used to prevent the Kenyan fisherman from access to this resource, they point out. India and Sri Lanka have already agreed to declare their border fisheries a joint resource. The joint fishing licenses that the fishermen's unions of Sindh and Gujarat in India suggest could be photo-identity cards issued by the coastguards and the fishermen's unions jointly on either side. This would prevent unnecessary harassment of fishermen whose unions, in fact, enjoy excellent fraternal ties. Some experts have also suggested that, since the marine environment of India and Pakistan along the Sindh and Gujarat coasts are closely linked, the two countries could conduct cooperative environmental studies and share data. These could, for example, relate to oil spills or preservation of mangroves. Oil spills in this region are bound to go up over time as it is estimated that by the year 2007 nearly 50 per cent of India's oil imports would be through ports along this coast. In 2002, when an oil tanker broke near Karachi Port, the first thing that the Pakistani authorities did was to inform India of the oil spill and the danger it may pose to its marine environment. Pollution caused by oil and heavy metals seeping into the sea from ship-breaking activities have damaged marine life and also caused environmental concern in this area. The loss of coral reefs and mangroves due to pollution along the Gulf of Kutch has led to cyclones hitting the mainland with undiminished fury. Experts have also suggested that India and Pakistan should jointly

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study the threats to these mangroves and coral reefs. A mechanism for carrying out these studies already exists under the South Asian Seas Action Plan of which both India and Pakistan are signatories.

III. The Dispute over 'Mountain Rose' Siachen is the world's highest battlefield with gunfire being exchanged at 16,000 to 20,000 feet above sea level. Nine out of ten deaths on the Siachen are due to climate with only one being combat-related. It is no wonder then that the Siachen dispute between India and Pakistan is described as one of the most futile and wasteful in the world both in material and human terms. The defence secretaries of India and Pakistan have met eight times to discuss the Siachen dispute in an attempt to resolve it -- their last meeting being in August 2004. Twice the two sides came close to settling the dispute but the political climate was perhaps not right to reach a settlement. The solutions proposed include demilitarisation of the glacier and of creating a 'Zone of Disengagement'. However, mutual lack of trust has prevented a resolution of the dispute. Siachen invokes strong passions in both India and Pakistan. It is the stuff of legends. It was for the brand rub-off offered by it that former Defence Minister of India George Fernandez visited the Glacier often on New Year's Eve or Christmas. For most Indians Siachen, symbolises unparalleled gallantry, bravery and a commitment to protect national interest. This was why the nation was shocked to know that last year some army officers had fabricated video evidence of fake encounters with Pakistani soldiers in the Siachen area to secure gallantry awards. Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf's 'Siachen consciousness' is also very high. In September, 1987, as brigade commander of the Special Services Group, he was responsible for leading an attack on an Indian position at Bilafond La, one of the two main passes on the Soltoro ridge (the other being Sia La - 'La' means a mountain pass) to the Siachen Glacier from Pakistan-administered Kashmir. His forces had to retreat. Having also served as Pakistan's Commander of Northern Areas, he knows the Siachen dispute intimately. Although the boundary dispute between India and Pakistan in this region is referred to as the Siachen dispute, the Siachen Glacier is in fact under Indian control. There is no battle raging on the glacier itself. Indian soldiers sit on the Soltoro ridge to the west of the Siachen Glacier (see map at end of article). Between the Pakistani forces and the Glacier, therefore, there are high mountain peaks controlled by India. The Siachen Glacier flows in the valley formed by the Soltoro ridge to its west and the Eastern Karakorams. It is about 72 km long from its highest point at Indira Col to its snout. It gets its name from the wild mountain roses that grow near its snout. Siachen is the source of the Nubra River that meets the Shyok River, originating from the Eastern Karakorams, at Thois. Later, it feeds into the Indus. Militarily, the Siachen Glacier can be divided into three parts. The Northern Glacier is the most difficult, containing the highest peaks. The Central part is where

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the glacier is broadest -- up to 20 km wide and this is where India has its Kumar Post from where expeditions are launched to the various Soltoro peaks. The Southern Glacier is narrow -- only four to five km wide. Helicopters maintain the entire Northern and Central Glacier while ponies and porters supply the Southern Glacier. There are stretches of a fair-weather road that also services the glacier. The Indian army has taken 105 mm field guns to the glacier to support the peaks. They had to be knocked down for transport and reassembled. They are deployed at the lower end of the Northern glacier and in the Southern glacier. The Base Camp has 130 mm and the Bofors 155 mm guns. The difficulty in using field guns on the glacier arises from shifting ice which moves by about two inches a day in winters and 10 to 20 feet a day in summer. Registering a target and using the calculations to shoot after even a couple of days will not guarantee a hit because of shifting gun positions. At present three battalions of the Indian army are deployed in the Siachen region -- one each in the northern, central and southern parts of the glacier. At any point of time three battalions are deployed, three are in training and three awaiting orders. The soldiers manning the observation posts on the Soltoro and the camps have to be relieved every 30 days to three months. The estimates of the costs of hostilities on Siachen vary. Lt. General (Retd) V. R. Raghavan in his definitive work 'Siachen - Conflict without end' says: 'No one has an accurate assessment, but everyone has a figure to quote and a point to make.' Without endorsing any estimate, he quotes cost figures ranging from US $ 1.2 million per day for both India and Pakistan; US$ 1.94 million a day for India alone; and Rs. 2.5 crore to Rs. 6.5 crore for India alone to US$ 18.5 million a day for Pakistan and thirty times that for India. Pakistan's former foreign secretary Shaharyar Khan once said that the cost of a roti (bread) for a Pakistani soldier posted in that region is more than Rs. 450. George Fernandes told the Indian Parliament that Siachen costs the exchequer Rs. three crore per day. The Siachen dispute originated because the boundary in Jammu & Kashmir, after the Karachi Agreement of 1949, was not fully demarcated. A ceasefire line (CFL) on the map ended at a grid point with co-ordinates NJ-9842 on the Soltoro ridge. This was near the northern-most point where troops were deployed when the fighting ended in 1948. Although the CFL subsequently changed into the Line of Control (LoC) after the Simla Agreement of 1972, its end points remained the same. The descriptive explanation of the boundary beyond NJ-9842 -- 'thence North to the Glaciers' -- has created confusion. India believes that this means that the boundary would go north through the nearest watershed, the Soltoro ridge. Pakistan draws a straight line from NJ-9842 going northeast to the Karakoram pass. The former interpretation gives the control of the Glacier to India, the latter, to Pakistan. In 1978, the Indian army became aware of maps showing the LoC as a straight line extended from NJ-9842 to the Karakoram pass appearing in publications abroad. The same year an Indian army mountaineering expedition led by Colonel N. Kumar, brought back evidence of foreign mountaineering expeditions being launched

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into the Siachen area from Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Kumar's expedition also did not go unnoticed. Both sides were convinced that the other was trying to establish a military presence in the area. New Delhi and Islamabad began exchanging protest notes asking the other to desist from entering its territory. It was then that India realised that Pakistan was behind the extension of NJ9842 to the Karakoram pass, claiming the Siachen glacier. India objected to this 'cartographic aggression' as it meant Pakistan claiming territory up to the Karakoram pass and preparing the ground for involving China in the India-Pakistan dispute. The Indian Army believed that the choice before it was either to be blind to this activity or pre-empt Pakistan. In late 1983, India had intelligence that Pakistan was also purchasing large quantities of high altitude gear and its troops were planning to occupy the passes leading to the Siachen Glacier. Two months before the mountaineering season was to begin in April 1984, India airlifted two platoons of Kumaon Regiment and placed them on the two key passes of Bilafond La and Sia La on the Soltoro ridge. Pakistan had been effectively pre-empted. Both India and Pakistan see geo-political compulsions in fighting for Siachen. In 1963, Pakistan ceded 4,500 sq km of Kashmir, the Shaksgam Valley to the west of the Karakorams, to China because it wanted a border with China. But India believes that the disputed territory of the former princely state of Jammu & Kashmir was not Islamabad's to give away. India, therefore, did not recognise this settlement. However, New Delhi came to know of the Chinese activities in the area only a decade after China had built the Aksai Chin highway passing through it. The belated Indian presence on the Soltoro ridge abutting the Shaksgam Valley seeks to question the Sino-Pakistan 'border settlement'. If there is no military presence on the Soltoro ridge, Indian military experts argue, then India would be blind to any activity inimical to its interests in and around the Soltoro ridge, in the eastern Karakorams and in what the Indian Army calls 'Subsector North' abutting the eastern Karakorams but contiguous to the Shaksgam Valley. Satellite pictures and air surveillance, they argue, provide only images but it is physical observation which indicates an adversary's intent. Initially, the Siachen conflict was also justified in terms of countering a threat to Ladakh from Pakistani forces coming down the Nubra Valley via Siachen. This is now considered logistically unviable. That Siachen rankles in the Pakistani mind is evident from the fact that the Kargil misadventure, some in Pakistan claim, was aimed at undoing the Indian takeover of Siachen. One of its objectives apparently was to snatch Siachen from India by cutting off the Srinagar-Leh highway. India and Pakistan have held eight rounds of talks on the Siachen dispute. They apparently came close to resolving the dispute in 1989 and then again in 1992. These attempts were unsuccessful because of two reasons: first, Pakistan wants India to withdraw to pre-Simla positions by vacating the Soltoro ridge but wants to retain its own military positions claiming that they are pre-1971; and second, to keep up the myth of engaging India on the Siachen glacier, it refuses to exchange maps marking

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the present ground positions. These would show that Pakistan is nowhere near the Siachen glacier and that its posts on the Soltoro are at much lower heights (9,000 to 15,000 feet) than India's. Was there really a settlement in the offing in 1989? American scholar Robert Wirsig has claimed that India made six proposals to Pakistan in 1989: cessation of cartographic aggression by Pakistan (i.e. extending the LoC from NJ-9842 northeast to the Karakoram pass); establishing a demilitarised zone at the Siachen glacier; exchanging maps to show present positions on the ground; delimiting the border beyond NJ-9842 towards the China border based on ground realities; formulating ground rules for future military stand-off - a measure of last resort; and redeploying Indian and Pakistani forces to mutually agreed positions. Pakistan apparently countered this with two alternative proposals: deployment of Indian and Pakistani forces to mutually agreed positions held at the time of the 1971 ceasefire (pre-Simla positions); and only then, the delimitation of an extension of the LoC beyond NJ-9842. There were differences over which should come first -- delimitation or the redeployment of forces. Re-deployment was seen as entirely an Indian withdrawal with Pakistan staying put. India was unwilling to accept demilitarisation to mean only an Indian pullout. The sixth round of Siachen talks in 1992 also raised hopes for a solution. India claimed that there was a broad understanding on the redeployment of Indian and Pakistani troops and on creating a 'Zone of Disengagement' on either side of the Soltoro ridgeline -- although Pakistan was still unwilling to mark its current deployment on a map indicating the ground reality before disengagement. Whatever hopes that Indian officials had for a settlement even then were dashed when they approached the political leadership. The Zone of Disengagement Plan did not find political acceptance with Narasimha Rao's minority government. In the seventh round of talks in November 1998, India referred only to the Soltoro range with no mention of the Siachen glacier. The proposal for a Zone of Disengagement was also dropped. The 1998 proposals, instead, suggested a comprehensive ceasefire along the Soltoro region based on a freeze of the ground positions; discussions of the modalities of ceasefire in a definite time-frame; bilateral mechanisms for the ceasefire including flag meetings and hotlines between divisional commanders; and authenticating the existing position on the Soltoro range beyond NJ-9842. Pakistan rejected the proposals. The Indian position had clearly hardened in the face of Pakistan's refusal to recognise the ground reality. The army has the dominant say in the Siachen dispute. The Indian army's position is that there should be no asymmetrical redeployment of troops. There is no glacier on the Pakistani side. To climb up the Soltoro peaks Pakistani army does not

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have to traverse a glacier - just mountaineering is enough. If there is a pullback by the Indian army to say, Leh or Turtuk but the Pakistanis stay in Skardu; then they can occupy the key positions on the Soltoro ridge in ten days' time. It would take India three to four months to do that. Pakistan's President, General Pervez Musharraf, has apparently assured India that, should demilitarisation take place, his army would not reoccupy the crucial passes on the Soltoro ridge. However, after Pakistan's Kargil misadventure, his assurances are likely to be taken with a pinch of salt in India. All the same, the two sides have agreed to engage in a military-to-military dialogue to explore ways of disengaging from the Siachen Glacier and this may be a movement forward. There have also been proposals for converting the Siachen Glacier area into a science park -- an environmental zone, jointly managed by both India and Paksitan. However, till such time as the entire area is demilitarised without either side feeling defeated, these proposals can only remain pipedreams.

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The need, therefore, is to change the parameters of the problem. Once its dimensions are changed -- for example by surrounding it with agreements on the relatively less difficult disputes between the two countries -- then psychologically at least Kashmir may not seem as intractable as it does now. On the other hand, if both India and Pakistan harden their stands on even the smaller disputes, engaging on Kashmir would become disproportionately difficult. (Bharat Bhushan is the Editor of The Telegraph in Delhi. The views expressed in this article are his and do not represent the views of the newspaper. Mr. Bhushan may be contacted at bharat@abpmail.com) Authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note: This article is largely based on a series of news reports that I wrote in the Hindustan Times (November 9-12, 1998) and for The Telegraph (December 18, 2003 and August 1, 2004) and a paper, 'India's Maritime Boundaries - The Case of Sir Creek, presented at the Media and Conflict workshop organised by the South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR) in Kathmandu, Nepal in September, 2003.

IV. Conclusion There are some disputes between nations that have the potential of being addressed relatively easily but they get linked with bigger disputes and seem intractable. Yet, if these smaller contentious issues were analytically separated from the bigger ones and resolved, they could have a positive impact on the prospect of solving the bigger disputes. The Tulbul Navigation Project/Wullar Barrage dispute is easily resolvable and there even exists a draft agreement on it. If, in return for allowing the project, Islamabad wants its pound of flesh in terms of a greater share of water from the Indus, it can bring such a proposal to the table. Obduracy would neither be in the interests of the people of Jammu & Kashmir nor of improving Indo-Pak relations. Similarly, in the Sir Creek area, solutions or at least half-way houses are possible. As a small beginning, after the foreign secretary level talks of June 2004, the two sides have agreed to send a team to survey the boundary pillars east of head of the Sir Creek. This may not seem like much progress but it is a small co-operative step forward and should be viewed positively. In the case of the Siachen dispute, the political leadership both in Pakistan and in India seems far too weak at present to sell a complete solution to their people. The glacier, many people in India and Pakistan believe, has no strategic significance and its militarisation is the result of competing and irrational nationalisms. This irrationalism as well as competition needs to be downscaled. The disengagement in the Soltoro region would be a good beginning but this requires a decisive leadership both in India and Pakistan.

Bibliography l A. G. Noorani, 'CBMs for the Siachen Glacier, Sir Creek, and Wullar Barrage', in

Michael Krepon and Amit Sevak Manohar (eds.), Crisis Prevention, Confidence Building, And Reconciliation in South Asia, (New Delhi: 1996). l Bharat Bhushan, 'Tulbul Navigation Project: With Political Will, Dispute Can be easily Resolved', The Hindustan Times, (October 5, 1998). l Gaurav Rajen, 'Strengthening Regional Security in South Asia: Cooperative Monitoring in Coastal Regions', Faultlines, Volume 14, 2001. l Bharat Bhushan, 'Sir Creek: Dividing Up Swamps and Seas. Issue mired in maps and methodology', The Hindustan Times, (October 9, 1998). l Bharat Bhushan, 'Fisherfolk float formula to bridge the Creek', The Telegraph, (December 18, 2003). l Robert G Wirsing, 'The Siachen Dispute: Can Diplomacy Untangle it?' Indian Defence Review, (July, 1991). l Bharat Bhushan, 'High-altitude war that is most wasteful and futile', 'Peace and tranquility' in Siachen possible,' The Hindustan Times, (October 6, 1998). Lt. Gen. (Retd) V. R. Raghavan, Siachen Conflict Without End, (India: Viking, 2002). l Praful Bidwai, 'Siachen Impasse, Meter of Destruction Keeps Ticking,' The Times of India, (11 November, 1998) l K. L. Biringer, 'Siachen Science Center: A Concept for Cooperation at the Top of the World'. Occassional Paper, Cooperative Monitoring Center, Sandia National Laboratories, USA, 1998. l Niranjan D. Gulhati, Indus Water Treaty, (Delhi: Allied Publishers, 1973).

The status of Jammu & Kashmir is arguably the biggest contentious issue between India and Pakistan. There are some who argue that unless the Kashmir issue is addressed adequately nothing significant can be achieved between India and Pakistan. However, unless the overall atmosphere is improved between the two countries, a compromise on Kashmir would be difficult to sell for either Islamabad or New Delhi.

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Regionalism Debate: Re-positioning SAFTA Dr Saman Kelegama and Ratnakar Adhikari

I. Introduction Trade liberalisation can follow various tracks -- unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral. There is a growing consensus among a large segment of stakeholders that multilateral trade liberalisation is the first best option not least because of the reciprocity and multilateralisation of concessions (so called most-favoured nations principle), where each country has an equal chance of gaining from trade liberalisation initiatives of other countries. However, the progress of the WTO over the last 10 years clearly indicates that trade liberalisation under the multilateral regime is at best uncertain and slow. Neoclassical economists argue that unilateral trade liberalisation is the best option for a country; however, political economy of trade liberalisation is such that reciprocity is a sine-qua-non in trade liberalisation initiatives in most developing countries. Since unilateral trade liberalisation is not a practical option and multilateral trade liberalisation is slow and uncertain, many countries have opted for regional trade liberalisation through regional trade arrangements (RTAs). In the existing literature, RTAs have been hotly debated and there are two schools of thought. The first school of thought, led by Larry Summers (former Treasury Secretary of the USA and currently President of the Harvard University) maintains the view that RTAs are building blocs towards multilateral trade liberalisation. The second school of thought led by Jagadish Bhagwati (Professor of Economics at Columbia University) argues that RTAs are stumbling blocs to multilateral trade liberalisation. Some other economists, however, have chosen to remain neutral. South Asia decided to embrace an RTA in 1995 when the SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA) was signed in 1995. In early 2004, the much delayed South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) was signed. Six member countries of SAFTA have already vouched their support for the WTO. Bhutan, which is the only non-member of the WTO, has manifested its commitment to the multilateral trade architecture espoused by the WTO by initiating its accession process. Thus the SAARC RTA (i.e., SAFTA) is a parallel initiative to the multilateral trade liberalisation commitments of SAARC member countries. Critics have pointed out that there is no rationale for an RTA in South Asia because there are limited complementarities in the region; major trading partners of the individual South Asian countries are located in the West, etc. The latest World Bank report on South Asia's trade argues that an RTA in South Asia will lead to

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substantial trade diversion than trade creation and considers an RTA in the region as a stumbling bloc to multilateral trade liberalisation1. This argument needs reexamination and for this purpose it will be worthwhile first to revisit the theoretical debate on regionalism. This is done in Section II followed by a discussion in Section III on the South Asian perspective of an RTA. Some concluding remarks are made in Section IV.

II. The Debate on RTAs i) Arguments in favour of RTAs as building blocs As per Larry Summers, any 'ism' (bilateralism, regionalism and multilateralism) is good as long as its ultimate objective is trade liberalisation. Supporters of this school of thought, prominently Bergsten (1997) argue: 'Regional arrangements promote freer trade and multilateralism in at least two sense: that trade creation has generally exceeded trade diversion, and that the RTAs contribute to both internal and international dynamics that enhance rather than reduce the prospects for global liberalisation. The internal dynamic is particularly important for developing countries: regional commitments, which can be negotiated much faster than global pacts, lock in domestic reforms against the risk that successive governments will try to reverse them. Internationally, the RTAs often pioneer new liberalisation ideas that can subsequently be generalised in the multilateral system. Moreover, regional liberalisation creates incentives for other regions and individual countries to follow suit and thus to 'ratchet up' the global process2. The proponents of regionalism assert that it often has important demonstration effects. Regional initiatives can accustom officials, governments, and nations to the liberalisation process and thus increase the probability that they will subsequently move on to similar multilateral actions. 'Learning by doing' applies to trade liberalisation as well as to economic development itself, and can often be experienced both more easily and more extensively in the regional context with far fewer negotiating partners. They further contend that it has had positive rather than negative political effects. Trade and broader economic integration has created the European Union (EU) in which another war between Germany and France is literally impossible. Argentina and Brazil have used Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) to end their historic rivalry, which had taken on nuclear overtones in recent decades. Central goals of Asia Pacific Economic Commission (APEC) include anchoring the United States (US) as a stabilising force in Asia and forging institutional links between such previous antagonists as Japan, China and the rest of East Asia3. One could also hope that the political rivalry between India and Pakistan is laid to rest after the formation of SAFTA leading to deeper economic integration in days to come. However, the favourable impact of an RTA is subject to proviso that RTAs are able to achieve a deeper degree of economic integration than the multilateral trading system. This is well within the realm of feasibility because RTAs usually entail neighbouring like-minded countries. A smaller forum (with homogenous or semihomogenous membership) makes it possible to establish the necessary centralised

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institutions or federalising policy-making and enforcement institutions4. A group of trade economists follow the logic that expansion of RTAs could have positive effects on the global economy provided the emerging RTAs are 'open' to trade from outside. One key benefit to the global economy comes from the impact of RTA in stimulating domestic growth, which in turn increases the demand for extraregional exports. A major analytical contribution dealing with this issue is of Baldwin (1995). Focusing exclusively on the incentive to seek entry on the part of outsiders, Baldwin identifies a 'domino' effect, which may yield global free trade through Preferential Trading Arrangement (PTA) expansion. Using a variant of what have come to be known as models of economic geography, Baldwin shows that under the 'domino' effect, more and more outside countries have an incentive to become insiders as a PTA expands. The countries are assumed to differ in a way that the PTA is not equally attractive to them. Initially, it attracts one member who finds the entry worthwhile. The addition of this member enlarges the internal market and makes it more attractive to yet another outside country at the margin. Once this country joins, yet another country finds accession profitable, and so on until the PTA becomes global5. Baldwin (1997) further mentions that this domino theory is derived from the expansion of the EU. He then goes on to explain about the American dominos. Indeed, the possibility of facing exclusion due to U.S.-Mexico trade, when the trade talks were going on between the U.S. and Mexico, Canada requested the parties to trilateralise talks which led to the birth of North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA). Similarly, when other Latin American countries, which were interested to join NAFTA only received lukewarm response from President George Bush (Senior), four of them decided to form Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR). The pressure for inclusion was so much that Bolivia and Chile joined MERCOUSR as its associate members. Now that Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) has been announced, covering the entire Western Hemisphere, virtually every country in the Americas is looking forward to joining the same under certain conditions. Not many Asian dominos have fallen so far primarily because ASEAN (the largest RTA within the continent) has only expanded its membership to 10 countries. However, the first ever free trade agreement (FTA), which Japan entered into with Singapore and ASEAN plus three (China, Japan and Korea) is likely to result in falling of Asian dominos of tremendous significance6. Closer home, recently Bhutan and Nepal joined an exclusive club of five countries formerly Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation (BIMST-EC) now renamed Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic and Cooperation, because they felt that they could be marginalised if they did not join the club. Sapir (2001), who conducted a study on the issue of domino effect in the Europe, further supports the evidence of the prevalence of domino effects. A la Sapir,

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'The empirical findings of the study support the hypothesis that 'domino effects' have played an important role in Europe. These effects may be partly responsible for the successive enlargement of the European Community (EC) from its original six to its present 15 members.'7 The fact that the membership of the EU has grown to 25 further vindicates the above analysis. However, one important condition for the application of domino theory is that the incumbent members should be 'open' to include new members. If they have incentives to create barrier to entry to the new country in the group, domino theory does not work. Therefore, the concept of 'open regionalism' was propounded. Bergesten (1997), one of the pioneers of the concept, argues: The concept represents an effort to achieve the best of both worlds: the benefits of regional liberalisation, which even the critics acknowledge, without jeopardising the continued vitality of the multilateral system. Indeed, proponents of open regionalism (including the author) view it as a device through which regionalism can be employed to accelerate the progress toward global liberalisation and rule-making.8 Asia Pacific Economic Commission was modelled on this concept based on the suggestions of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), which was chaired by Bergesten himself. However, Bergesten's idea of open regionalism is contradictory and vague as explained in Section 2.2. ii) Arguments for RTAs as stumbling blocs As early as in 1992, Jagadish Bhagwati, who claims himself to be a multilateralist and a critique of regionalism, posed the following question: is regionalism truly a building, rather than a stumbling, bloc towards multilateral free trade for all: in other words, will it fragment, or integrate, the world economy?9 Bhagwati calls 'the revival of regionalism' as 'unfortunate'. He emphasises the need 'to contain and shape it in ways that it becomes maximally useful and minimally damaging, and consonant with the objectives of arriving at multilateral free trade for all,'10 which is the end of free trade in his conception. Expanding on these arguments, Panagariya (1998) uses two different analyses, through formal model as well as informal arguments to prove that regionalism is a stumbling bloc to multilateral trading system. He takes two formal models by Levy (1997) and Lipsey11. As per Levy's model, if the voters in two different countries, which are the members of both FTA and multilateral trading system were given a choice to vote, they felt that FTA cannot make previously infeasible multilateral liberalisation feasible. Krishna uses a three-country, partial-equilibrium, oligopoly model in which trade policy is chosen to maximise national firms' profits. He shows that more trade diverting the FTA between two countries in this set up, the greater the backing it receives and more it reduces the incentive to eventually liberalise with the third country. With sufficiently large trade diversion, an initially feasible multilateral liberalisation can be rendered infeasible by the FTA option12.

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He then analyses the informal arguments in the following sequence. Firstly, it has been suggested by Summers (1991) and others that multilateral negotiations will move more rapidly if the number of negotiators is reduced to approximately three via bloc formation. This argument gained some popularity at the time the Uruguay Round (UR) negotiations were stalled but has lost force since the successful completion of the Round. The argument is that due to a large number of members involved at the WTO and the associated 'free rider problem', negotiations at the WTO are slow and difficult. If the world is first divided into a handful of blocs, multilateral negotiations will become easier. Secondly, according to the second informal argument, PTAs may serve as a threat to force unwilling parties to negotiate in earnest at the multilateral level. As per this argument, EU was dragging its feet too long for the conclusion of the UR, but when President Clinton called for the formation of APEC, the EU decided to conclude the negotiations during the UR. However, Bhagwati (1996) disagrees with this interpretation. He asserts that the UR could conclude only because the US wisely decided to close the UR deal, taking the offer on the table rather than seeking more concessions. Thirdly, it is argued that due to their high visibility, PTAs can energise and unify protectionist lobbies, turning them into effective obstacles against multilateral liberalisation. Finally, there is the related issue of attention diversion and scarce negotiating resources. If the President of the United States and his Trade Representative are preoccupied with cutting deals in Latin America, they will have less time and motivation of multilateral negotiations13. The World Bank (2000) study further elaborates this point by arguing that negotiating an RTA will absorb a huge portion of policymaking skills of a developing country. Perhaps one of the opportunity costs of RTAs is that less negotiating and political capital are available for multilateral negotiations14. Das (1999) argues that growth in regionalism does not necessarily have to lead to a short cut to free trade or a liberalised trading regime. It is difficult to claim that the target of free or a liberalised trade is easier to reach in large regional agreements like the FTAA and the APEC forum with memberships as large as 35 and 21, respectively. These two and other large regional grouping contain economies as different in size, outlook and level of development as any in the WTO15. Panagariya (1998) criticises 'open regionalism' by highlighting three critical limitations of such a concept. His arguments can be summarised in three major points. First, discrimination against non-members at any point in time remains in place by definition as long as the regionalism is of Article XXIV variety16. Second, openness is not as innocuous as it sounds the admission price can include several unpleasant 'side payments' that are essentially unrelated to trade. Third, open membership does not necessarily translate into speedy membership17. Further, Zissimos and Vines (2000) assert: 'If the benefits from membership of an exclusive club are derived partly by making outsiders worse off, then the club

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will not throw open its doors to all comers. Facilitating trade between bloc members has exactly this effect. The purchasing power of block currencies increases, whilst that of outsiders declines. Consequently, trade blocs do not have an incentive to allow all applicants to join, because some of the benefits of membership come from being able to purchase the products of outsiders more cheaply on world markets. So there is a limit to the expansion that can be expected from existing blocs, and free trade between all countries will not arise.'18 Open membership also raises the issue of broadening versus deepening. Broadening the membership of any regional grouping inherently complicates the process of deepening its integration. Too many new members can make decision making more time consuming and cumbersome. APEC realised this and imposed a moratorium in expanding membership in early 1998.19 Srinivasan (1997) too is quite vocal in criticising 'open regionalism'. Argues he, 'If regional liberalisation is to be extended on the same time table 'in practice and in law' to non-member countries on an MFN basis, it would be multilateral and not regional. If that is the case, why should any group initiate it on a regional basis in the first place?'.20 He goes on to call 'open regionalism' an oxymoron. The practical problems of this concept have been highlighted by the current status of the APEC and the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) where the progress has been far from satisfactory.21 iii) Contemporary debate on regionalism: Other viewpoints A comprehensive study done by World Bank (2000) on the debate on regional integration, titled Trade Blocs finds out that regionalism is generally a building bloc to multilateral trade liberalisation. It goes on to explain how benefits of trade creation resulting from an RTA outweigh the costs of trade diversion22. The study looks at seven recent RTAs by modelling the effect on trade among the countries in the bloc and the rest of the world to see the impact of trade diversion. As per the study, in four of the seven countries there was no significant trade diversion, but in three countries the problem of trade diversification was large enough to be visible. Hence diversion is neither so common as to be general, nor so unusual as to be dismissible23. Complementarity between regionalism and multilateralism is also stressed by Ethier (1998), who argues that 'the new regionalism is in good part a direct result of the success of multilateral liberalisation, as well as being the means by which new countries trying to enter the multilateral system (and small countries already in it) compete among themselves for direct investment'. He also suggests that regionalism by internalising an important externality plays a key role in expanding and preserving the liberal trading order24. Commenting on complementarity of regional liberalisation on services with multilateral liberalisation, Hoekman (1995) suggests that both conceptual considerations and the available data on trade and investment flows suggest that RTAs in the area of services should be easier to negotiate and be more far-reaching than a multilateral agreement. However, he admits that the two approaches are

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substitutes. Reviewing existing agreements, he concludes that sectors that are (included) excluded from RTAs are also (included) excluded from multilateral liberalisation. This suggests 'the GATS is likely to be seen as complementary to the regional arrangements by major service industries in OECD countries.'25 After analysing all the arguments that were discussed, it is clear that there is no need to be unnecessarily nervous about regionalism and its potential to derail the multilateral trade liberalisation. As Baldwin (1997) puts it: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Does recent regionalism threaten the future of the world trading system? My guess is that because trade is already quite free in the major trading nations, few regional liberalisations are capable of creating important anti-liberalisation forces (the exceptions are likely to be South-South FTAs). For this reason, most regional deals will weaken the key opponents of free trade (import competitors) while simultaneously strengthening its key proponents (exporters). Regional integration will, therefore, foster multilateral liberalisation and vice versa, just as it has done for the past 40 years. If this is right, regional deals are not building blocks or stumbling blocks. Regionalism is half of the trade liberalisation 'wheel' that has been rolling towards global free trade since 1958â&#x20AC;&#x2122;.26 The increase in intra-regional trade between the regional partners shows that benefits of trade creation outweigh costs associated with trade diversion. Regional economic integration has served the useful purpose of creating a thread for multilateral trade liberalisation on several counts. If that were not the case, the size and number of RTAs would not have grown with leaps and bound as is happening, especially after the formation of the WTO. Indeed, RTA is the favourite of all the countries of the world whether they are members of the WTO or not.

III. South Asian Perspective on RTAs The initial conditions for South Asia to embark on an RTA seem not very attractive. Limited complementarities, low intra-regional trade (4-5 per cent), political turbulence, etc., are acting as impediments to embark on promoting intra-regional trade. However, there are some valid reasons for engaging in an RTA. The case for economic cooperation under an RTA can be justified from six perspectives. First, nearly 60 per cent of global trade now takes place under RTAs and more than 250 RTAs in operation27, so there are compelling reasons to be in an RTA, for if not formed member countries could get increasingly marginalised in the competitive world. In such a context, one can also question the rationale of multilateral trade liberalisation being identified as the first best option by economists led by Bhagwati. Theory is based on strong assumptions such as perfect competition which no longer exists in a world with 250 plus RTAs already in operation. In an imperfect world, the so-called second best option may be the only option available, thus the case for an RTA is strong.

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Second, it is argued that there is a large amount of informal trade that is taking place in the region and if this is added to the formal trade, the overall intraregional trade will amount to nearly eight per cent in the SAARC. The argument is also put forward that despite intra-regional trade being put at 22 per cent in ASEAN, if the re-exports from Singapore is taken into account, ASEAN intra-regional trade reduces to 12 per cent. Thus it is argued that there is not much difference between SAARC and ASEAN in intra-regional trade taking into account that preferential trading in ASEAN started 20 years before SAARC. Third, RTAs are not necessarily formed to increase low intra-regional trade to a higher level. In Europe, intra-regional trade was at 44 per cent at the time of formation of the EC. The real objective here according to the Cecchini Report (1988) was to promote economics of neighbourhood and engage in industrial restructuring by exploiting economies of scale and specialisation28. In other words, to promote industrial restructuring through complementarities and synergies. Fourth, the cost of non-cooperation is highlighted to put forward the case for an RTA. CUTS (1996) showed that consumers in Pakistan paid extra costs of US $ 36.3 mn, US $ 48.9 mn. and US $ 33.7 mn. over the calendar years 1992, 1993, and 1994 respectively for their governments importing 82 to 83 per cent of their tea import requirements from outside the region, such as UK and Kenya29. Despite India being self-sufficient in sugar, it suffered an underproduction during 1992 and 1993 and had to import sugar. Though Pakistan had exportable surplus during that year, India chose to import sugar from outside the region, thus incurring additional costs to the tune of US $ 151 million in 1992 and US $ 215 mn. in 1993. Likewise, Pakistan is known to import steel from China at a price, which is twice that of exports from India. RIS (1999) used the unit value method in a comparative static framework to work out the cost of non-cooperation in the SAARC due to sourcing of imports from nonSAARC countries. They found the cost of non-cooperation for Sri Lanka and Pakistan to be US $ 266 and US $ 511, respectively30. Fifth, the experience of the Indo-Sri Lanka Bilateral Free Trade Agreement (ILBFTA) can be considered to highlight the benefits of an RTA. Despite fears expressed by many pessimists in Sri Lanka, the Agreement led to reducing Sri Lanka's trade deficit with India from 11:1 in 1999 to 5:1 in 2002. Sri Lankan exports to India accounted for 3.6 per cent of overall exports in 2002 in comparison to 1999, when Sri Lankan exports to India accounted for one per cent of overall exports. India has become the 5th largest destination for Sri Lankan exports in 2002 compared to the rank in the 20s in the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, India has become the largest source of imports to Sri Lanka, accounting for 14 per cent of overall imports31. What the Sri Lankan experience shows is that if the regulatory framework in an RTA is correctly designed to accommodate the disparity between the countries then a small country could in fact gain from an RTA. In this case, the time frame of tariff phase out, rules of origin, and negative list were designed to accommodate the smallness of Sri Lanka's export and production capacity.

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Sixth, the argument that the South-South RTAs are not very effective in promoting intra-regional trade may not make much sense if we look at South-South trade from the intra-regional investment perspective. It has been empirically demonstrated that the transfer of resources and technology through South-South joint ventures is more appropriate and cost effective for receiving country than similar transfers effected by transnational corporations (TNCs) based in industrial countries. For instance, technology transferred to joint ventures has been found to be appropriately scaled down to smaller size, made more appropriate for factor endowments of developing countries, and adopted to local raw materials and market conditions (RIS, 2004). These joint ventures can promote and supplement SouthSouth trade. Joint ventures with buy-back arrangements with the home country can help in correcting the perennial trade imbalances which may emerge because of limited export capabilities of host countries. In ASEAN, Japanese investment driven exchanges contributed to stimulating intra-regional trade among ASEAN countries. ASEAN also started with limited complementarities in the 1970s with intra-regional trade at six per cent, but by exploiting the investment-trade nexus, ASEAN managed to increase its intra-regional trade to 22 per cent at present. In the Greater Mekong Region, ADB funded infrastructure stimulated the supply side and contributed to increasing trade among member countries. These experiences where dormant complementarities have been invigorated by investment have been well documented in the literature. Like in the EU, if industrial restructuring in the region based on economies of scale and specialisation is promoted via a SAARC investment area, there may be much to be gained. For instance, after the EU came into operation, IBM closed down its individual plants in member countries and initiated specialisation by producing personal computers in the UK, main frames in Germany, telecom equipment in Italy, and so on. RIS (2004) argues that a SAARC investment area can facilitate efficiencyseeking restructuring of industry in the region, thus enabling them to exploit economies of scale and specialisation. In such an event, Sri Lanka may emerge as the region's shipping hub and also the hub for rubber-based industries, Bangladesh will emerge as the hub for energy-based industries, Bhutan, forest-based industries, India as the hub for IT and textile industries, Maldives for fisheries industries, and so on. While the arguments for an RTA exist in South Asia, the question is how to exploit this potential. For SAFTA to be a formidable FTA, it has to cover a large portion of trade that is currently taking place in South Asia. SAPTA the precursor to SAFTA was notified to the WTO under 'Enabling Clause'32 which allows developing countries to form RTAs within themselves. However, more serious RTAs are notified under the Article XXIV of the GATT even if they can in theory be notified under the Enabling Clause. Because RTAs can be welfare enhancing only if they result in more trade creation than trade diversion and act as building blocs to multilateral trade liberalisation, the drafters of the GATT included the requirement to 'liberalise substantially all the trade' under this Article. This means only serious RTAs can fulfil the stringent criteria laid down by Article XXIV. Therefore, it can be argued that

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SAFTA needs to be notified under this Article so as to make it a formidable RTA33.

IV. Conclusion From the mere fact that there are more than 250 RTAs, and the USA which was the main proponent of multilateralism until a decade ago has embarked on NAFTA and other RTAs with the enactments of the Trade and Development Act of 2000 clearly indicates that the proponents of an RTA have won the debate. The rationale for a SAARC RTA was the point of debate but as we have pointed out there is a case for an RTA in South Asia. The question is the slow progress and the political will to implement it. While the case for SAFTA is straightforward, the question is a major political problem that cut across all areas of economic cooperation. Some South Asian nations being recent creations, a strong rhetoric has been built around the states and they are aided by the powers of state institutions. The mapping of the cartography of the colonial regime has eroded the foundation of regional linking. The division into nation states is strong. Since the nation-states are themselves in the process of being formed in the region, the concept of supra-national region seems novel and contradictory to the immediate task of nation building. Nation states are absolutely central and crucial for any project in South Asia. SAARC moves slowly because most nation states themselves have not been very successful In this milieu, the important question is can SAARC insulate its economic agenda from regional politics? Irrespective of SAARC summits been postponed to accommodate political developments, can the economic agenda have a momentum/life of its own? The answers to all these questions at present are not very positive. Thus economic cooperation within a framework of an RTA in South Asia will move slowly and depend on the political equation. Due to the slow progress of SAPTA, a number of SAARC countries embarked on working out bilateral, sub-regional, and trans-South Asian regional groupings. SAARC is thus unique because before moving to an FTA, it has bilateral FTAs within the grouping and selective RTAs that include some SAARC countries with neighbouring SAARC non-members. ASEAN, for instance, did not have bilateral FTAs among ASEAN countries before moving to AFTA, and neither did MERCSOUR. Thus SAFTA is coming into operation when a 'spaghetti bowl' is already prevailing in the region. The challenge for SAFTA is either to supercede them or to integrate them. Given the SAFTA time frame, this may prove to be difficult. The reviewed debate on regionalism gives little emphasis on such challenges. In this context, the debate on regionalism can be enriched by the experience in South Asia. After all, if RTAs are to be building blocs for multilateral liberalisation efforts then the vision should be to integrate existing RTAs to three or four major blocs such as FTAA, EU, proposed African Union, and a contemplated Asian Economic Community. SAFTA, BIMSTEC, ASEAN +3, etc., are RTAs that can eventually integrate to form the Asian Economic Community. Thus SAFTA has to be repositioned in the pan-Asian context and be considered as a building bloc of the Asian

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Economic Community which will eventually become a major global trading bloc that would in turn be a building bloc of the multilateral trade liberalisation system. Asia has a long way to go and SAFTA needs to be more aggressive in its commitments to becoming that building bloc for the Asian Economic Community.

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(Dr Kelegama (kelegama@ips.lk) is the Executive Director of Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka) (Ratnakar Adhikari is Executive Director, South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics & Environment (SAWTEE), Kathmandu and can be contacted at ratnakar@hqsawtee.wlink.com.np)

23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

End Notes 1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11.

23. 24. 25. 26.

27.

28. 29. 30.

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World Bank, 'Trade Policies in South Asia: An Overview', Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, South Asia Region, (Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 2003). Fred Bergsten (1997), 'Open Regionalism', Working Paper 97-3, Institute for International Economic, Washington D.C: 2-3 Fred Bergsten, (1997), above, note 2: 3 Dilip K Das, (2001), Regional Trading Arrangements and the Global Economy: An AsiaPacific Perspective, Monograph, February, Cambridge: Harvard University, Centre for International Development, ,2001) p. 22 Richards E Baldwin, 'The Causes of Regionalism', The World Economy, Vol.20, 1997, pp. 877-8. Based on a personal conversation with Prof. Richard Baldwin. Andre Sapir, 'Domino effects in Western European regional trade, 1960-92', European Journal of Political Economy, Vol 17: 386, 2001. Fred Bergsten, (1997), above, note 2:4 Jagdish Bhagwati, 'Regionalism and Multilateralism: An Overview' in Jagdish Bhagwati, Pravin Krishna and Arvind Panagariya (eds.), Trading Blocs: Alternative Approaches to Analyzing Preferential Trade Agreements, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999), p.7. Jagdish Bhagwati in V.N. Balasubramanium (ed.) Writings on International Economics, (Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 169. See Arvind Panagariya, 'The Regionalism Debate: An Overview', The World Economy, Vol. 22, no. 4, (Harvard University: Center for International Development, 1999). pp. 22-23 Ibid at 22-23. Jagdish Bhagwati, (1999), above, note 9: 22-25 World Bank, Trade Blocs, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 104. Dilip K. Das, (2001), above, note 4: 4-5 This Article of the GATT provides legal cover to RTAs, which allows for discrimination against non-members. However, a major condition to qualify as WTO-compatible is that there should be 'liberalisation of substantially all trade'. It took the EU more than 40 years to grow from 6 members 15. Canada-US free trade agreement has included only one member by converting itself into NAFTA over a period of one decade. Attempts by even a tiny country such as Chile have faced serious resistance. See Arvind Panagariya, (1998), above, note 11: 35 Ben Zissimos and David Vines,'Is the WTO's Article XXIV a Free Trade Barrier?' CSGR Working Paper No. 49/00, February 2000 S. Kelegama, 'Open Regionalism and APEC; Rhetoric and Reality', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXV, no. 51, 2000a. T.N. Srinivasan, 'Regionalism and the World Trade Organisation: Is Non-Discrimination Passe?' in A. O. Krueger (ed.), The World Trade Organisation as an International

28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33.

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Institute, (The University of Chicago Press, 1997). S. Kelegama, (2000a), 'Open Regionalism and APEC; Rhetoric and Reality' above note 19; S. Kelegama, 'Open Regionalism in the Indian Ocean: How Relevant is the APEC Model for IOR-ARC ?', Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Vol. 5, no. 3, 2000c; and S. Kelegama, 'Indian Ocean Regionalism: Is there a Future ?', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXVII, no. 25, 2002. Large scale foreign direct investment from Japan played a key role in stimulating intraASEAN trade via the investment-trade nexus. Further details are given in S. Kelegama, 'SAPTA and its Future', South Asian Survey, Vol. 3, nos. 1 and 2, 1996. World Bank, Trade Blocs, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2000. W. Ethier, 'The New Regionalism', The Economic Journal, Vol.108, 1998, pp. 1149-1161. Cf. Sam Laird, 'Regional Trade Agreements: Dangerous Liaisons?', World Economy, Vol. 22, no. 9, December 1999, p. 1187. Baldwin (1997), above, note 5: p. 888. Some 250 RTAs have been notified to the GATT/WTO up to December 2002, of which 130 were notified after January 1995. Over 170 RTAs are currently in force; an additional 70 are estimated to be operational although not yet notified. By the end of 2005, if RTAs reportedly planned or already under negotiation are concluded, the total number of RTAs in force might well approach 300. See http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/region_e/region_e.htm Paolo Cecchini et al, The European Challenge-1992: The Benefits of a Single Market, (Aldershot, Hants, UK, 1988). CUTS, 'Cost of Non-Cooperation to Consumers in the SAARC Countries: An Illustrative Study', Working Paper, Consumer Utility Trust Society, Jaipur, 1996. RIS, South Asia Development and Cooperation Report 2004, (New Delhi: Research and Information System for Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries, 2004). S. Kelegama, 'Sri Lanka's Exports to India: Impact of the Free Trade Agreement', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXVIII, no. 30, 26 July, 2003. Officially known as Decision on Differential and More Favourable Treatment, Reciprocity and Fuller Participation of Developing Countries, 1979 (Tokyo Round). S. Kelegama and R. Adhikari, Regional Integration in the WTO Era: South Asia at Crossroads, (Kathmandu and Jaipur: SAWTEE and CUTS-Centre for International Trade, Economics and Environment (CUTS-CITEE), 2002).

Bibliography l Richards E. Baldwin, (1997), 'The Causes of Regionalism', The World Economy p. 20. l Zissimos Ben and David Vines, 'Is the WTO's Article XXIV a Free Trade Barrier?' CSGR Working Paper No. 49/00, February 2000.

l Fred Bergsten, 'Open Regionalism', Working Paper 97-3, Institute for International Economic, Washington D.C., 1997.

l Jagdish Bhagwati, 'Regionalism and Multilateralism: An Overview' in Jagdish Bhagwati, Pravin Krishna and Arvind Panagariya (eds.), Trading Blocs: Alternative Approaches to Analyzing Preferential Trade Agreements, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999). l Paolo Cecchini et al, The European Challenge- 1992: The Benefits of a Single Market, (Aldershot, Hants, UK, 1988). l CUTS, 'Cost of Non-Cooperation to Consumers in the SAARC Countries: An Illustrative Study', Working Paper, Consumer Utility Trust Society, Jaipur, 1996. l Dilip K. Das, (2001), Regional Trading Arrangements and the Global Economy: An AsiaPacific Perspective, Monograph, February (Centre for International Development, Harvard University, Cambridge, 2001). l W. Ethier, 'The New Regionalism', The Economic Journal, p. 108, 1998. http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/region_e/region_e.htm l Jagdish Bhagwati in V.N. Balasubramanium (ed.), Writings on International Economics, (Oxford University Press, 1998).

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l S. Kelegama, 'Indian Ocean Regionalism: Is there a Future?', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXVII, no. 25, 2002.

l S. Kelegama, 'SAPTA and its Future', South Asian Survey, Vol. 3, nos. 1 and 2, 1996. l S. Kelegama, 'Open Regionalism and APEC; Rhetoric and Reality', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXV, no. 51, 2000a.

l S. Kelegama, 'Open Regionalism in the Indian Ocean: How Relevant is the APEC Model for IOR-ARC ?', Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Vol. 5, no. 3, 2000b).

l S. Kelegama, 'Sri Lanka's Exports to India: Impact of the Free Trade Agreement', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXVIII, no. 30, 26 July, 2003. l S. Kelegama and R. Adhikari, Regional Integration in the WTO Era: South Asia at Crossroads, (Jaipur and Khatmandu: SAWTEE and CUTS-Centre for International Trade, Economics and Environment (CUTS-CITEE), 2002). l Sam Laird (1999), 'Regional Trade Agreements: Dangerous Liaisons?', World Economy, Vol. 22, no. 9, December. l Arvind Panagariya, 'The Regionalism Debate: An Overview', The World Economy, Vol. 22, no. 4, (Center for International Development, Harvard University: 22-23, 1999). l RIS, South Asia Development and Cooperation Report 2004, (New Delhi: Research and Information System for Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries, 2004). l Andre Sapir, 'Domino effects in Western European regional trade, 1960-92', European Journal of Political Economy, Vol 17, 2001. l T. N. Srinivasan, 'Regionalism and the World Trade Organisation: Is Non-Discrimination Passe?' in A.O. Krueger (ed.), The World Trade Organisation as an International Institute, (The University of Chicago Press. 1997). l World Bank, Trade Blocs, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). l World Bank, 'Trade Policies in South Asia: An Overview', Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, South Asia Region, (Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 2003) .

India's River Linking Plans Syed Shahid Husain The Indian government got judicial sanction from its Supreme Court in October, 2002 to be able to implement its scheme on linking major Indian rivers to 'overcome drought and floods'. The BJP government followed this up with pronouncements supportive of the scheme. The proposal was not received without dismay in the neighbouring countries, particularly Bangladesh, which organised a series of conferences to highlight the folly inherent in the scheme. The most recent of these conferences was a three-day international conference on Regional Cooperation on Trans-boundary Rivers in Dhaka (December, 2004) with a call to India to dispel mistrust and concerns over its river linking project and to follow a 'no harm policy' towards its neighbours. This is a phrase used in the Treaty between India and Bangladesh on Farakka. According to reports, the Indian Ambassador to Bangladesh assured the Bangladeshis that India would undertake a detailed consultative process with all concerned. She asserted that the project was still at a conceptual stage. This does not mean that the proposal has been shelved; hence, the continued concern for Bangladesh. This conference was a follow up, close on the heels of the August conference in 2004. Aware of the threat posed by this gigantic project and the challenges faced by the region on account of population growth, food scarcity, the Third South Asia Water Forum (SAWAF-III) was held in Dhaka in July, 2004. The Bangladesh People's Initiative against River Linking (BPIRL) in collaboration with the South Asian Solidarity for Rivers and Peoples (SARP) organised the South Asian consultation on River Linking Project (21-22 August 2004), so as to focus on the implications of the proposal on linking the two large rivers in the subcontinent. Concerned citizens from India, Pakistan and Nepal joined their Bangladeshi counterparts to voice their concern at the Indian proposal of changing the geomorphology of the subcontinent. Brahmaputra and Jamna Basins account for 65 per cent of surface water in Bangladesh. In all, 80 per cent of the surface water in Bangladesh comes through these two rivers (Brahmaputra and Jamna) originating in Himalayas and passing through Nepal, Bhutan and India. Bangladesh inter alia decided to endorse the principle of 'more crop for each drop' of water as an alternative to this mega project, so as to increase water efficiency, to decrease non-structural options, to evolve cost effective technologies including rain water harvesting as well as re-cycling of effluent and for action to use water as a source of peace and prosperity rather than a source of discord. The 21st century is marked with a growing need for global cooperation, in

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general, and regional cooperation, in particular. What could be more important for global understanding than on water, which is getting scarcer by the day and will get more so in the future? Days of profligacy are long gone and the mounting pressure of population has forced the issue of this precious commodity to the fore not only in this region but also in other parts of the world. The controversy is not confined to Bangladesh and India. The GangesBrahmaputra-Meghna Basin (GMB) represents a far bigger region comprising Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and some parts of Tibet. According to a recent report, India has nearly exhausted underground water reservoirs by pumping water for irrigation to achieve a mirage of food self-sufficiency. The proposed project is thought to be the only solution to overcome the problem. India has proposed to transfer water from the Brahmaputra through a gigantic 324-km long link canal, which will run from Assam across northern Bangladesh to just above Farraka. The second part of the proposal envisages three large dams, which are potential hydropower-cum-flood control sites. The project consists of thirty river links, 14 on the Himalayan Rivers and 16 on the peninsular south. The project involves storage of flood and monsoon water. The important links are four, including Brahmaputra with Ganges, Subamarekaha and Mahanadi with Brahmaputra so as to irrigate Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa. The proposal for interlinking of rivers is not new. Sir Arthur Cotton first mooted it in the 19th century primarily for promoting inland navigation. Dr K. L. Rao later revived the idea in 1972. After that the focus shifted from navigation to the issue of water scarcity in the south. In 1977 Captain Dastur, a pilot by profession, proposed construction of two canals named Garland Canal -- because it envisaged 4,200 km Himalayan Canal and the twice as long Southern Garland Canal, which were to be connected through pipelines passing through Patna and Delhi. Much before the Supreme Court decision in 2002, National Water Development Agency (NWDA) was established in 1980, to carry out two separate studies, viz. Himalayan and Peninsula rivers. NWDA has to survey and investigate possible storage size and interconnecting links. There are two action plans. Under action plan-I, the schedule for implementation is 10 years from the start. It is stipulated that work will start in 2007 and complete in 2016. Under action plan-II, two committees have been set up to go into the financial aspects of the project. Both the committees are to work concurrently. The NWDA has conducted feasibility studies jointly with the Ministry of Water Resources on six of the thirty possible river links in the last few decades. It is reported to have completed water balance studies of 137 basins/sub-basins and prepared pre-feasibility studies of 30 links. A task force has also been set up by the Government of India on December 13, 2002, with Suresh Prabhu as the Chairperson with the following terms: 1.

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To provide guidance on norms of up-raising of individual projects in respect of economic liability, socio-economic impacts, environmental impacts and preparation of re-settlement plans;

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2. Devise suitable mechanisms for brining about a speedy consensus among the stats; 3. Privatise different projects' components for preparation of detailed project reports and implementation; 4. Propose suitable organisational structures for implementing the projects; 5. Consider various funding, modalities; and 6. Consider international dimensions that may be involved in some components of the project. A full-fledged cost benefit analysis will follow the feasibility studies and detailed project reports. It is, however, claimed that phenomenal economic and socio cultural benefits will accrue, like: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Agricultural production will increase by 100 per cent in the next five years; 35 million hectares will be added to the command area to the current 90 million hectares; Loss of crops worth Rs.250b will be saved by preventing drought and floods; Savings in foreign exchange of Rs.30b per annum will accrue because of cost effective alternative navigation and reduced import of oil; The country will further be bound together. Employment to one million people will be provided in next 10 years; and Additional water line defence will be provided along the western and northwestern borders.

There are sceptics who doubt the viability of the scheme or even the seriousness on the part of India. They suspect that it was an election stunt and will not go beyond the laying of foundation stone. With the new government in place one has not heard of it so loudly. 24 years after the project emerged on the public scene, it is nowhere near completion. But there are those who are afraid of India's seriousness. Once the government conducts studies, like it did on the Kalabagh Dam in Pakistan, without involving the stakeholders in a discussion, then a vested interest is created in going ahead with its execution. Narmada is another example of the same approach. Consequently, the dam is still incomplete. The question remains whether there is enough water to sustain the idea. Except for the Brahmaputra basin in the northeast, there is no surplus water anywhere. The scheme is predicated on the assumption that there is surplus water in the rivers that could be diverted to the deficit rivers. Dr Ainun Nishat, Country representative of IUCN in Bangladesh, in his brilliant exposition at the August Conference in 2004, brought out -- with the help of data -- that dry deltas in Bangladesh bring forth (very poignantly) an affirmation of the claim by the critics of the proposal that not much water is left to flow into the sea. Those who are building a super-structure over a pipe dream either do not understand or have a sinister agenda hidden from public view. The receding snow lines of the Himalayas are another development which cannot be overlooked. The glacier mass showed a negative trend since the middle of the last century, signalling a sharp reduction in flow into the rivers in the next 30 years. Himalayan glaciers could disappear by the year 2035 according to some

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researchers. There is no scientific database on climate pattern and discharge pattern in the Himalayas. Pakistan is facing its gravest crisis with its existing dams almost empty and its present and future crops in jeopardy. In-depth studies of glacier hydrology is in order. The claim that water flows into the sea is no longer true. India has highly uneven water availability. In Pakistan and India diversions on the mighty Indus and its tributaries have reduced water outflows into the sea by 80 per cent; destroying deltaic mangroves that once stretched over 250,000 hectares and were spawning grounds for coastal fisheries. In Philippines, rights to environment have been included as fundamental rights. Engineering a geo-morphologic feature changes both the object and the process and thus triggers a chain of developments that persist long after the intervention is over. The system takes its own time to settle into a new equilibrium. This on a generational time scale is much longer than the executive decisions. The natural level of all water on earth being the sea, the river -- unlike a canal -- augments its flow along its path. Such a project will invite the Law of Unintended Consequences. Moreover the project will involve submergence of forestland, habitations and wild life. How good is the prevailing use of irrigation water? 70 per cent of river water is wasted before its delivery into the fields. High intensity use for sugar cane and rice further compounds the problem. The region faces floods and droughts at the same time. Obtaining the consent of the states within the Union of India will prove an almost insurmountable hurdle. The states have full authority over water and yet the Centre can intervene by taking steps to interfere with their plans for use of the water. Ironically the states where the rivers are located are the most undeveloped parts of the country. East Punjab followed Kerala in opposing the project. Punjab and Haryana are still fighting over the Sutlej water. The annual discharge of the system is 1350 billion cubic meters with a total drainage area of 1.75 million sq. kms Brahmaputara contributes 700 BCM, Ganges 500 and Meghna 150. Tamil Nadu supports the project completely, whereas Andhra Pradesh supports it conditionally. Tamil Nadu has already completed the Mekkara Dam, which is to be used in the proposed link even though Kerala is opposed to the project. Kerala Legislative Assembly has passed a unanimous resolution against the link on August 6, 2003. Gujarat has objections because Daman Ganga-Pinjal River Linking Project, one of the 30 interstate projects, located in Gujarat will be adversely affected. There are two out of thirty proposals that fall in Gujarat. West Bengal is worried. It is demanding adequate funds from the centre to combat post Farakka problem causing floods and erosion. Assam is opposed to the project and is of the view that while remaining within the constitution, the Centre must evolve a consensus of the states. A board or an ordinary bill in parliament cannot supersede the constitutional provisions. One opinion suggests that Bihar should not oppose linking of Brahmaputra because there is sufficient water to meet the needs of the south. However, Nepal will have to be excluded from the plans. Bihar, after spending over Rs.19b on flood control in the flood prone area, is worse off with floods affecting almost three times the area (from 2.5m hectares to 6.9m). Bihar also

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fears that India will reap benefits at its cost. Bringing the countries of the region, particularly Bangladesh, on board may be far more difficult for India, especially after the India-Bangladesh Treaty of December 1996 on the sharing of the Ganges waters. Farakka Barrage, completed in 1975, has been a significant source of friction between India and Bangladesh, much before the latter's creation. The Barrage allows India to divert the Ganges water into Hoogly River through a feeder canal. A decline of 51 per cent flow of water is claimed to have been experienced by Bangladesh after Farakka. Under an ad-hoc arrangement reached in 1983, pending scientific studies, 39 per cent of the dry season flow was to be allocated to India, 36 per cent to Bangladesh and the remaining to continue to be unallocated. The 1996 Treaty protects the flows at Farakka and any storage upstream of Farakka will be in breach of that Treaty. Ganges and Brahmapatra are international waters and their historic use cannot be overlooked. Para 3 of the Preamble of the Treaty requires the two countries to make optimum utilisation of the water resources of their region for the mutual benefits of the people of the two countries. Article IX of the Treaty enshrines the principle -- 'Guided by the principles of equity, fairness and no harm to either party both the Governments agreed to conclude water sharing Treaties/Agreements with regard to other common rivers'. According to Bangladesh, its share in Farakka is fixed at 35,000 cusecs, if availability of water is 75,000 cusecs. In case water exceeds, India will get 40,000 cusecs and Bangladesh the balance. The water sharing arrangement was to be reviewed by the two governments at five years interval or earlier, but so far no such review has taken place. Bangladesh took up the issue of the interlinking project at the Joint River Commission. According to Mr. Hafiz Uddin Ahmad, Bangladesh Minister for Water Resources, India was reluctant even to discuss it, calling it outside the scope of the Joint River Commission (JRC). Bangladesh persisted and the discussion continued for 13 hours, but at the end of the day it was not even minuted. The marathon discussion was dismissed in a single line signifying, nothing. However, there may be some meeting of minds with the new government in place in New Delhi. There are alternatives available to the proposed millennium folly such as decentralised water harvesting, non-conventional energy sources and conservation strategies. A former Indian Prime Minister, while addressing state irrigation ministers in 1986, had this to say: 'Since 1951, 246 big surface irrigation project(s) have been initiated. Only 66 out of these have been completed. 181 are still under construction. For 16 years, we have poured out money. The people have got nothing back, no irrigation, no water, no increase in production, no help in their daily life'. The river linking project is in fact a river privatisation project. Projects that have already been planned or executed are being shown as new projects under the scheme. India seems to be re-making its geography so that water flows where it previously never did. There is need for a regional treaty that forces each country to honour its ecological obligations towards the great oceans. The combined population of the

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region is about 600 million. If India thinks that it can exploit its upper riparian position and its size, China, which has reportedly drawn its own plans to divert rivers originating in Tibet -- including Brahmaputra, may follow suit. While India plans to complete the project by the year 2013, China plans to do so by 2009. An estimated 90 per cent of the Tibetan rivers flow downstream to India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. Both India and Bangladesh are at the mercy of China which could for its own interest withhold water for irrigation and power during dry season and release water during the flood season. Bangladesh experts brought the issue to the attention of Indian journalists. All the rivers flow into the Bay of Bengal. All these countries have abiding interest in the sustainability of the system in order to ensure livelihood of people, who depend on agriculture as well as to protect ecology, environment and wild life for present or future collaboration necessary to evolve common goal of survival. Ganges is reported to be the most polluted river. The effort is not going to be easy but each country has to be prepared to make sacrifices and suffer the perceived loss involved in an agreement. Equity and understanding of the other's point of view are crucial to any settlement, tentative or permanent. Another option is that a public interest petition is filed by any concerned citizen of India requesting review of Supreme Court order, which may possibly review its own order suo moto in the region's interest. There are other hurdles that India must cross before establishing feasibility such as:

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watercourses and the promotion of the optimal and sustainable utilisation thereof for present and future generations. Nothing in the Convention shall affect the rights or obligation of the Watercourse state arising from agreements in force on the date on which that State became a party to the Convention. There are 37 Articles to the Convention. The Articles in the Convention relate to subjects like watercourse agreements, equitable and reasonable utilisation participation, factors relevant to equitable and reasonable utilisation, obligation not to cause significant harm, general obligation to cooperate and settlement of disputes, etc. The Convention shall enter into force following ratification of 35th Instrument. So far the Convention has attracted perhaps no more than 16 signatures and 11 ratifications. 103 nations including Bangladesh had voted in favour. Surprisingly India and Pakistan were on the same side and were amongst 27 nations that had abstained from voting. Times have changed; the demand for water is growing. Dams and megaprojects are known to disrupt the existing pattern of water use. Where people depend on fish, flood plains or deltas for their livelihood, big dams can wreak great havoc. Watershed eco-systems suffer and fragmentation of aquatic and terrestrial eco systems cause growing threat to the ecological integrity is one of the many factors impacting on the change in climate. The growing rate of extraction of fresh water has put enormous pressure on aquifers. Sedimentation causes the dams to lose storage capacity at an estimated rate of 05-1 per cent per annum. In the next 25 to 50 years, 25 per cent of the existing storage will have been lost mostly in the developing countries. In three Asian countries -- China, India and Pakistan -- the water table is sinking at the alarming rate of 1 to 2 metres a year. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Israel are the most water stressed countries. Pakistan is close to Germany in being less stressed.

1.

External financing in view of huge external debt may not be forthcoming. The private sector sees a distinct road for itself in the proposed mega project after having experienced the privatisation of Sheonath River in Chattisgarh.

2.

As per the Constitution, water is a state subject, but no project can be undertaken without following the planning process, which means every proposal must go before the central government.

3.

Whether or not there will be a political will to interlink rivers is an open question. A proposal was made to constitute a commission on the lines of the Finance Commission to examine the project.

Today most of the countries are focusing their attention on management of existing water resources including the dams. The effort involves rehabilitation, renovation and optimisation. Demand side management and improvement of efficiency of the existing supply are receiving greater attention.

There is also the role of international law and treaties. United Nations Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses, although not ratified, could provide a basis to proceed. The Convention was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1997. Watercourse has been defined as a system of surface waters and ground waters forming a unitary whole and normally flowing into a common terminus. The Convention was based on the principles and recommendations adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development of 1992 in the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21. It expressed the conviction that a framework Convention will ensure the utilisation, development, conservation, management and protection of international

There are bound to be difficulties for the countries of the region along the way. However, inaction is not an option. If the waters in the basin are sufficient to justify an equitable and just sharing of waters and the social, economic, political and environmental impact of such structural intervention on common river systems is manageable, then the project cannot be dismissed as being unfeasible. It will require cooler heads in the spirit of give and take for the stakeholders in all the countries of the region to grapple with hard choices. The outcome may yet produce a win-win situation for everybody. The growing population of all the countries of the region, which they have failed to control, imposes an obligation on their leaders to do something substantial to avert the looming disaster of famine and poverty.

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Forming a common front against India as being the largest country in the region will be a self-defeating strategy. After all Pakistan did the unthinkable of bartering away three of its six rivers for the sake of peace and amity in the largest part of the subcontinent. The important thing to note is that the intervention of the World Bank proved crucial to the culmination of the effort in the signing of the Treaty.

Nepal: A Tragedy of Triple Conflict Dr Bishnu Raj Upreti (Syed Shahid Husain has served as Secretary, Water and Power in the Government of Pakistan and as Chief Secretary, Balochistan. Mr. Husain may be contacted at sshusain@hotmail.com)

Bibliography l Indus Water Treaty 1960. l Professor Hap Dunning , 'Water Law', in Water Resource Management, fourth

edition. l 'Riparian Rights Case Summaries', Environment Probe. l Islam M. Faisal, 'Managing International Rivers in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-

Meghna (GBM)'. l Jayanta Bandyopadhyay and Shama Perveen on Doubts over the scientific validity

of the justifications for the proposed inter linking of rivers in India. l Mostafa Kamal Majumdar, 'River Linking and the Environment'. l Dr. Sudhirendar Sharma, 'Interlinking Rivers , Whose Concern is it Anyway?'. l Dr. Asif Nazrul, The RLP and International Law l Dr. Uma Shankari, Interlinking Rivers, Contradictions and Confrontations, A Report on the electronic debate (riverlink@yahoogroups.com)

I. Introduction Nepal is facing an unprecedented crisis in its modern history. The 'people's war', started by a radical party, Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M), since 1996 has not only taken lives of more than ten thousand people and caused a loss of billions of rupees of property, but also challenged centuries-old authoritarian regime and structures. The circumstances in the current Nepalese polity are pointing towards a 'failed-state', i. e., sustained conflict between insurgents and the government has displaced the constitutional regime and has paralysed the whole system of governance with ruling elite incapable of finding a solution to both the constitutional crisis and the Maoist insurgency. Three communist parties, who believed in Mao's ideology and a strategy of people's war, had formed Communist Party of Nepal-Unity Centre (CPN-UC), as a 'political front' to join the 1990s popular Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD). They wanted more radical changes through a constituent assembly to decide the issues of constitution and monarchy. However, major MRD forces (Nepali Congress Party and United Leftist Front1) rejected the approach of convening a constituent assembly demanded by CPN-UC. The negotiations between the king and the major MRD parties led to a compromise on a constitutional monarchy. Despite disappointment, the CPN-UC did participate in the 1991 national election, won nine out of 205 parliamentary seats and became the third largest party of Nepal. Their decision to participate in the parliamentary election was, however, tactical to 'lay-bare the contradictions and limits of the parliamentary system' (Misra, 2004). The CPN-UC wanted to implement political programme within the strict framework of Marxist, Leninist and Maoist ideology in accordance with the concrete situation of Nepal. After one year of underground preparation for the 'people's war', the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) was reorganised in 1995 who initiated a 'People's War' in February 1996 (Philipson, 2002; Nickson, 2003; Thapa, and Sijapati, 2003; Upreti, 2004). This armed conflict has severely shaken the existing political structures and governance system established by the 1990s political change. Prior to 4th October, 2002, there were only two visible power centres in the conflict: Constitutional forces -- the king/parliamentary parties -- and the Maoists. However, after the dissolution of the parliament and removal of the elected government, the country is now divided among three forces: The Palace and promonarchy elements; political parties struggling for the restoration of constitutional rule; and the Maoists wanting a constituent assembly. However, the Maoists are in

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advantageous position vis-a-vis the newly-emerged power equation, as parliamentary parties and the Maoists are willy-nilly moving closer and the Palace is distancing from its traditional allies. Consequently, the republican slogans chanted by students and workers and systematically raised by the Maoists from the beginning of their insurgency, are finding concurrence on the streets. The parliamentary parties still committed to constitutional monarchy are not able to side-track the demand for a 'republic'. This may lead to extended confrontation between the Palace and traditional forces, on the one hand, and those who want a republic with no place for monarchy.

II. Causes of the Conflict Nepal was a monolithic, feudal, autocratic, centralised and closed state for centuries (Thapa, 2003; Karki and Seddon, 2003). The governing system in the entire history of modern Nepal was orchestrated by combining threat of suppression and use of coercive power by the state (Kumar, 2004). Such characteristics of the state, consequently, excluded vast majority of Nepalese people from the nation-building process (Karki and Seddon, 2003; Thapa, 2003, Raj, 2004). Such a vast alienation of the masses virtually became a breeding ground for the peasant insurgency in Nepal. Rampant poverty, abject destitution, systematic and deliberate exclusion, multiple caste, gender, and ethnic discriminations, and greater injustice helped fuel insurgency. (Thapa, 2003; Karki and Seddon, 2003; Misra, 2004, Rana and Sharma, 2004; Upreti, 2004). These causes are also accepted by the Dhami (1997) and Deuba (2000) Commissions, which were constituted by the government to recommend ways to resolve the conflict. The Maoists started their 'people's war' when social conditions were ripe for that (Raj, 2004). According to the Maoists, 'the principal objective of the people's war is, thus, to develop the social productive forces and create a higher form of society through a continuous revolutionâ&#x20AC;Ś by putting 'politics in command' (Kumar, 2004). Therefore, the Maoists argue that they are not the problem but the solution to the problem facing the nation since long time2. In a context of complex conflict, like the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, it is very hard to identify and separate causes and effects, as causes become effects and effects turns into causes. However, the following interrelated causes can help analyse the Maoist insurgency in Nepal and its consequences on the future of the state.

III. Structural Causes Though political conflicts are an integral part of evolving system of governance (Pahari, 2003; Kumar, 2004); failure to ensure public participation, evolve mechanisms to resolve conflict and find ways to establish the writ of the state has resulted in a deep crisis. Centuries-old relations of production, archaic social structures and non-functional governance system maintained by the forces of past aligned with the monarchy, severely skewed resource distribution and perpetuated a system of injustice, racial, ethnic, geographical, gender and social discriminations, rampant poverty and unemployment that have helped ignite the insurgency (Thapa, 2003; Thapa and Sijapati, 2003; Upreti, 2004). The 1990sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; popular movement was the first attempt to dismantle this feudal system and some how succeeded in containing the interests of the feudal elite and traditional power groups. But, the traditional power centres continued to weaken the newly evolved democracy (Kumar,

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2004). However, malpractice and irregularities observed in the 12 years of democratic rule coupled with the deliberate regressive attempts by the palace and traditional power centres to reverse the democratic process have caused disillusionment among the people about the future of democratic governance. The monarchists were able to penetrate the political parties and pursue an undemocratic course to reverse the gains of the people. The undemocratic forces succeeded in splitting the major political parties and the democratic movement against regression (Thapa, 2003; Raj, 2004). Heterogeneous development and mismatch of social and political is another fundamental cause behind the conflict (Upreti, 2003). The following conceptual matrix presents this mismatch leading to violent conflict in Nepal: The Mismatch between Development Practices as Source of Conflict Conflict Prognosis

Political development

Social development

Economic development

High

High

High

High

Low

Low

High

High

Low

No overt conflict Greatest propensity for overt conflict Medium propensity for overt conflict Existence of latent (not overt) conflict, which may require multiple triggers to emerge No overt conflict (mainly urban phenomenon)

Low

Low

Low

Manifestation of effects of mismatch in Nepal Never observed high level of all three developments The situation of current conflict Not observed yet Observed during autocratic panchyat political system before 1990 Existing situation in urban areas and city centres

Low

Low

High

Source: Adapted from Upreti, 2004

Of the three, political development is the most sensitive indicator of conflict if it mismatches with the other two. In contrast, social development sans political and economic development does not lead to overt conflict, while economic empowerment alone leads to the further pursuit of economic wealth at least in the short and medium-term. Low development on all three indices leads to latent conflict, which may not erupt in violence for a long time. However, the grave potential for such situations becoming violent remains strong, and even insignificant triggers may result in a full-blown conflict. The 1990sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; popular movement is an example of manifestation of this situation. The post-1990 empowerment phenomena shows that overall political empowerment is high and social and economic empowerment is low and only elite, and neo-elite, benefited from socio-political development. Nepal's planned development has the proven history of grand failure (Pandey, 1999; Upreti, 2004) in terms of addressing root causes of the conflict, providing fertile breeding ground to the Maoist insurgency (Philipson, 2002; Raj, 2004; Upreti, 2004). Thus, it is imperative that mismatch between social, economic and political development and a lack of empowerment of the people are addressed.

IV. Ideological Basis There is strong ideological dimension to the Maoist conflict. Whether it is right or wrong, the Mao's ideology and 'people's war' strategy propounded by Mao Zedong to

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rely upon and mobilise the people guides and shapes the Maoist insurgency (Thapa and Sijapati, 2003). Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), insurgency of Peru, is also an inspiring source for the Maoist in Nepal (Nickson, 2003; Raj, 2004). The CPN (Maoist) is the founding member of the RIM (Revolutionary Internationalist Movement) and CCOMPOSA (Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia). Perhaps CPN (M) is the most influential member of both the organisations. (It is yet to be seen whether the Maoists will, ultimately, take a political course allowing pluralism or that of Pol Pot which depends, essentially, upon the talks). {If the Maoists take the course of armed takeover of the capital they may bring havoc to Nepal and end up as an isolated dictatorship; and if they are brought into a pluralistic-democratic frame, they may help in the emergence of a republic attuned to peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs (Editor)}. The 'people's war' of Nepalese Maoists is ideologically influenced by RIM and CCOMPOSA (see box below). Co-ordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)(People's War Group) Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) Revolutionary Communist Centre of India (MLM) Revolutionary Communist Centre of India (Maoist) Communist Party of India (ML)(Naxalbari) Purba Bangla Sarbahara Party (CC) Purba Bangla Sarbahara Party (Maoist Punarghathan Kendra) Bangladesh Samyabadi Party (ML) Communist Party of Ceylon (Maoist)

Source: Adapted from Upreti 2004

V. Triggers and Catalysts Triggers or catalysts are (such) events that initiate or fuel conflict (Upreti, 2004). While looking to the Maoist conflict, several triggers or catalysts have tremendously contributed to escalate conflict. Some of them are:

i) Coercive approach Although the mal-performance of parliamentary parities was not the fundamental cause behind the Maoist insurgency, failure to address causes of the conflict through radical reforms and good governance practices during their tenure show that they failed to come up to the expectations of the people (Upreti, 2004; Raj, 2004). They never tried sincerely and honestly to address the root causes behind the miseries of the people and to settle the conflict politically. Rather, they used the conflict as a means to grab or share power in a system that was least responsive to the needs of the people. They interpret the Maoist insurgency simply as a law and order problem and attempt to control it by using force (e.g., cordon and search-Killo Sera II operation). Special 'Armed Police Force' was created to control the insurgency. Later, they imposed a State of Emergency and mobilised military to control the insurgency. The government also declared the Maoists as terrorists, issued red warrants through

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Interpol and fixed bounty on the heads of the Maoist leaders. Consequently, the insurgency spread all over the countryside, mainly because of an extremely coercive approach.

ii) Royal massacre The royal massacre (in extremely mysterious circumstances) added another complexity to the conflict. Immediately after the royal massacre, the Maoists publicly declared that the conventional Monarchy had come to an end and the circumstances had become favourable to install a republican setup in the country (Thapa and Sijapati, 2004). They concentrated their efforts at undermining the new king and weaken the monarchy. The royal massacre broke the myth of monarchy and created a void and an environment for Maoist cadres to attract people and organise them militarily to expand the base of insurgency.

iii) Terrorist attack of 11 September, 2001 The terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington on 11 September, 2001 had direct impact on the Nepalese conflict. India, USA and some other countries supported Nepal with arms, technology and military aid to control terrorism. India also declared Maoists as terrorists and formally sealed the border. The Nepalese government got strong support from India to control the Maoists militarily. After 9/11, successive Nepali governments took an aggressive course. This approach worsened the situation and the conflict was further aggravated.

iv) 4th October, 2002 The ambition of the new king to be assertive, proactive and not only to be seen but also heard as a ruler of the 21st century Nepal and his subsequent action to sack the elected government has pushed the country into a deep crisis, further exacerbating the contradictions among the dominant elites. The king's action led to a deeper conflict between the parliamentary parties and the monarch. The Maoists successfully capitalised on the tussle between the king and the parliamentary parties to their advantage. Mobilisation of security forces (police force, Royal Nepal Army, state intelligence service) as a unified command under the Royal Nepal Army did not get full support of political parties. All democratic and civil institutions have been weakened. In the absence of a parliament, the country has been ruled by ordinances and royal decrees. This has great bearing on the expansion of Maoists. Almost 80 per cent of the country is said to be under the control of Maoist rebels at present.

v) Role of media In the past, particularly before August 2003, the Nepalese media had disseminated sensational and escalatory news stories, instead of promoting peace. This has great impacts in escalating conflict (Upreti, 2004). There was no code of conduct while reporting the conflict. However, after August 2003, the role of media is becoming more responsible and positive in promoting peace.

vi) International dimensions The role of major international and regional powers has been inconsistent, contradictory and often produced opposite results. It is very hard to assess the exact

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strategy of India towards resolving the Nepalese crisis. Its response towards the Maoists has always been contradictory and created doubts. For example, handing over some Maoist leaders arrested in Indian to the Nepalese government at one time, and taking legal action in the Indian courts against the others; supporting the military action, on the one hand, and insisting that the insurgency problem should be solved politically, on the other. Major routes and sources of arms and ammunitions for Maoists come through the Indian territories, but India is not doing enough to stop it. India does not like the involvement of international mediation of the conflict and has objected when UN showed interest in mediation. The U.S. is another main international player in this conflict. It is more consistent in its approach towards dealing with the Maoists. The U.S. wants to control the Maoists militarily. Therefore, it is supporting the RNA in terms of financial and material resources as well as by supplying military equipments and training. The Maoists are also deadly opposed to the U.S. intervention. A vast majority of Nepalese people deeply suspect the U.S. approach of dealing with the Nepalese conflict, as it is worsening the situation instead of solving the problem. The U.K. is also working with double standards in dealing with the Maoist insurgency. It is supplying arms and war planes to the RNA but says it should be resolved politically. However, the U.K. has shown greater concern for the violation of human rights. United Nations, European Union, Amnesty International, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, ICRC are other major international actors devoted to resolve this conflict politically. However, their efforts are constrained or their role is minimised by the above-mentioned three international powers. Norway, Switzerland and many other West European countries are also trying to resolve this conflict peacefully but their role is again limited because of non cooperation from India and the U.S. It is extremely hard to settle this crisis without full support from India. However, India's role, so far, is not quite encouraging (Upreti, 2004).

vii) Attitude towards change Power Dynamics and Attitude of Change in Nepal Intension to change and radical reform

Major power centres The King and the post-October 4 Parliamentary governments parties

Maoists

Resistant to change (guided practices) Slow and peaceful change (democratic practices) Quick and violent change (authoritarian)

The three major power centres have their own agendas of change shaped and orchestrated by perceived risks, unfounded imaginations and unrealistic ambitions. The establishment (the king and the post 4 October, 2002 nominated governments) want to pacify and slow down the much-desired change by ordinary citizens, especially. While perpetuating the status quo, the establishment makes the situation worse in a political vacuum, instead of bringing the democratic process back on the

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rail. The post-4 October, 2002 governing practices have demonstrated that 'guided democracy' seems to be the ruling framework of the king where changes will be regulated and controlled by him. Hence, major parliamentary parties are sidelined from the mainstream politics and the nominated governments, whose legitimacy is seriously questioned, have ruled the country through ordinances. The parliamentary parties are also not ready to initiate a radical reform agenda as they failed to implement their election manifestos when they were in power during the 12 years of democracy. They want some change in a slow and incremental manner. Perhaps, amid raised expectations for change by the Maoists, their agenda for change is too little and too slow. The Maoists want to change rather quickly although not all people believe the feasibility of their way of bringing change. In the current circumstances, none of them would be able to achieve alone what they wanted, without the support of at least another force. This is the real bottleneck which may not be solved and result in the failure of all centres of power to resolve the crisis either way.

viii) Brutalisation of society One of the most serious implications of this insurgency is the widening of human insecurity. Amnesty International and other national human rights organisations, such as Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), have documented evidences on severe human rights violations during the conflict (INSEC, 2003). Air bombardment by the security forces (e.g., in Binayak and Mudvara VDCs of Doti districts) and mass abduction of villagers and school children by the Maoists from their areas of influence have created wide spread fear and uncertainty. Although no accurate data is available, more than 300,000 thousand people are estimated to have been internally displaced. Children, elderly people and women are the worst victims of the conflict.

ix) Denial psyche The individual and collective political psyche has so far preferred to ignore the reality rather than accept the challenge (Upreti, 2004). A powerful defence mechanism, used by all actors is the denial of reality. They deny the seriousness of the current situation; afraid of admitting that their prevailing attitudes and practices are inappropriate and causing problems, they feel even more obstinately defensive when Nepali people confront them with evidence of their bad deeds and ask for change. In Nepal, denial is rooted in the individual psyche and at the institutional level -- be they Maoists, parliamentary political parties, the government or the king. Overcoming this magnitude of denial requires replacing the ideas, values, greed, and orthodoxy with a new set of ideas and values. If this paradigm shift in value system takes place, the current conflict may turn into an opportunity for a fundamental reform of Nepali society. There is also a growing feeling of injustice and revenge, as innocent people are increasingly becoming victims to the conflict. Many people who were neglected by the state are supporting the rebellion with the hope that their life will be better under the Maoists' rule (Pahari, 2003).

x) Deep mistrust Distrust is pervasive across the present Nepalese politics and distorts political process that fuels conflict. Trust plays fundamental role in a democratisation processes, to

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promote civic engagement, public participation, mutual learning, concerted efforts for negotiations and political stability (Upreti, 2004). When the civil war had pitted Nepalese people against each other, hostility and suspicion were rife. Restoring mutual confidence is needed on all sides to overcome distrust and to resolve conflict in Nepal. Creating and maintaining peace require an active engagement of all actors of society from ordinary citizens and security forces to politicians. Peace cannot be achieved without addressing root causes of conflict and initiating a political and social transformation process.

ASIAN

Table 2 reveals the general scenario of cost of conflict in Nepal. This data is for only 2 years and it might be increased even in higher proportion this year. The state is also paying more than NRs. 1 billion as compensation for the loss of the lives of the people at the hands of the Maoists. Reduction in tourism, business losses due to strikes, sanctions by and control of rebels in their areas, displacement of economically productive workforce, reduction of foreign investment, closing down of industries have serious negative impact on the national economy.

VII. Conclusion VI. Cost of Conflict In the name of controlling terrorism, successive Nepalese governments have sharply increased defence expenditure, as shown in the following Table (1). Consequently, funds for the social development have been diverted to unproductive military expenditure. The total number of security forces has also sharply increased during the period of insurgency. Table 1: Defence Expenditure in Nepal (Rs. Billion/Year) Year 1997/98 1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03

Royal Nepal Army (Rs. Billion) 2.68 3.03 3.51 3.90 5.88 7.50

Police (Rs. Billion) 2.53 2.92 3.32 5.27 7.28 7.59

Total Annual % of Regular % of Total (Rs. Growth (%) Expenditure Expenditure Billion) 5.16 5.95 15.3 6.83 14.8 19.8 10.3 9.17 34.3 21.4 11.5 13.16 43.5 27.1 16.4 15.09 14.7

% of GDP Nominal

1.7 2.3 3.1

Source: Rana & Sharma (2004).

Table 1 clearly indicates that the security expenditure has increased by almost 300 per cent within 5 years (from 5.16 billions to 15.09 billions). Most of the increased budget is shifted from the social sectors (health, education, etc.). Illegal trade, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, criminalisation of trade and transit coupled with rural crime have created a war economy. Table 2: Estimated cost of conflict in Nepal (2001/02 & 2002/03) Expenditures/Loss Cost Direct cost Direct expenditure on security (Govt.) 39.63 billion (10% of GDP at factor cost1) Maoist Armys Expense 1.94 2.13 Billion 4 5 Damage on physical infrastructures and banks 25 Billion Sub total 66.63 Billion Indirect cost Loss in business due to strike and Banda (closure) 1 billion Loss due to decrease in the number of tourists inflow 11.05 billion Impact on the income due to damage in human 14.04 billion resources Loss in income due to displacement 8 billion6 Loss due to shift of development expenditure to 12.30 billion defence Impact on the direct foreign investment 6.05 billion Sub-total 52.44 Billion Total 119.07 Billion Source: Rana & Sharma (2004).

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The Maoist insurgency is not the cause behind the failure of the 12 years of democracy in Nepal. It is, rather, a reaction to the failure of 234 years of governance system of modern Nepal. All three major power centres are on a colluding course which has pushed the country into a deep crisis. All of them are prisoners of their own narrow vision and one-sided approach, regardless of the fact, which they don't realise, that the people want peace. The first and foremost need for ordinary Nepalese people is peace and prosperity, freedom and functional multiparty democracy, which are to be achieved through dialogue. The king imagines that guided and regulated democracy under his assertive leadership is the will of Nepalese people and they support him. Civic receptions organised by the government in different parts of the country might have further strengthened his imagination. He might have perceived that he is the best choice among three power centres, as the parliamentary parties have already failed and the world does not support the Maoists. October 4, 2002 royal takeover and subsequent actions is the clear reflection of this imagination. His reliable constituency for this new experiment is among traditional forces like the army and royalist Panchas. However, the 19-month direct rule of the king has demonstrated that this experiment, as expected, did not produce desired results. The parliamentary parties think that they are the true representatives of the Nepalese people because they are elected by them. However, they are not yet able to realise that their behaviour in the past 12 years (April 1990 to September 2002) had deeply annoyed the Nepalese people. Parliamentary parties alone are not fully responsible for what is happening at present. However, they are responsible for not playing a constructive role in resolving the Maoist conflict. Their course of action during past 12 years was shaped by the powers that be who wanted to weaken multiparty democracy, create and maintain instability in the country and strengthen the traditional position of the palace. The Maoists, on the other hand, have a false sense of supremacy and have opted for a dangerous course of action. They feel that what they are doing (change through the barrel of gun) is acceptable to the Nepalese people and they can change the state structures through violence. They ignore the fact that the conflict has caused over 10,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. They are not able to understand that their Maoist project is out of pace with the world and is totally isolated. They have caused misery and will bring greater misery in a country with no developed productive forces. Most people will not disagree with the socialchange agenda of the Maoists on social and economic issues. However, most people

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will disagree on the approach they took to bring these changes.

J. Mackinlay and B. R. Upreti, ‘The King and Mao’, The World Today, (London: Royal l

It is not possible to resolve this conflict militarily, whatever support USA, India and U.K. may give to strengthen the military capacity (ICG, 2003a &b). The best way of resolving this crisis is to address the structural causes, i.e., fundamental restructuring of the state, economy, polity and society. The armed rebellion brought century-old problems to surface, empowered ethnic minorities, backward and suppressed people, women, dalit, and poor sections of society to seek their rights and severely challenged the status quo of the traditional elite and power centres. This insurgency has also tremendously raised the expectations of the people, such as ethnic minorities that could lead to ethnic conflicts and separatism, if not properly tackled.

l C. Misra, ‘Locating the 'causes' of the Maoist Struggle’. Paper presented at International

Institute of International Affairs, 2003) pp. 26-27.

At present, the country is facing unprecedented crisis and all executive power is concentrated in the hands of the king. Therefore, the king must take an initiative to overcome the triangular conflict and settle the Maoist insurgency through a negotiated process. For that to happen, the parliamentary parties and the Maoists should agree to a minimum agenda to force the Palace to come to terms with the aspirations of the people.

(Dr Bishnu Raj Upreti is a conflict management specialist and Director of Friends for Peace, a Kathmandu-based Peace Resource and Research Centre. Dr Upreti is available for feedback on bupreti@ffp.org.np).

Workshop on ‘Causes of Internal Conflicts and Means to Resolve Them: Case Study of Nepal’ organised on 22-24 February, 2004. l R. A. Nickson, (2003). ‘Democratisation and Growth of Communism in Nepal’, in D. Thapa (ed.), Understanding the Maoist Movement in Nepal, (Kathmandu: MartinChautari, 2003) pp. 2-33. l A. Pahari, ‘From Liberation to Insurgency: The Politics of Paradoxes in Nepal’. Paper presented at 'The Agenda of Transformation: Inclusion in Nepali Democracy' organised by the Social Science Baha, Kathmandu, 24-26 April, 2003. l D. R. Panday, Nepal's Failed Development: Reflections on the Mission and the Melodies, ( Kathmandu: Nepal South Asia Centre, 1999). l L. Philipson, Conflict in Nepal: Perspectives on the Maoist Movement, (Kathmandu, 2002). l A Raj, Maoists in the Land of Buddha: An Analytical Study of the Maoist Insurgency in Nepal, (Delhi: Nirala Publications, 2004). l Ratna S. Rana and Sharad Sharma ‘Development Cooperation and Conflict’, Paper presented at the workshop ‘Causes of internal conflicts and means to resolve them: Case study of Nepal’, at Nagarkot, Feb 21-22, 2004. l D. Thapa (ed.), Understanding the Maoist Movement in Nepal, (Kathmandu: MartinChautari, 2003). l D. Thapa and B. Sijapati, A Kingdom Under Siege: Nepal's Maoist Insurgency, 1996 to 2003, (Kathmandu: The Printhouse, 2003). l B. R. Upreti, The Price of Neglect: From Resource Conflict to Maoist Insurgency in the Himalayan Kingdom, (Kathmandu: Bhrukuti Academic Publications, 2004). l B. R. Upreti, ‘Understanding the Dynamics of Conflict in Nepal’, A Background Paper prepared for the Human Development Report 2003 of UNDP Nepal, (Draft), 20053.

End Notes 1. United Front was formed by seven communist parties of Nepal to make the MRD successful. United Front and Nepali Congress Party worked together to restore multiparty democracy. 2. See Bhattarai Baburam, ‘Maobadi Samasya ki Maobadi Samadhan’ (Maoist problem or Maoist solution) in B. Bhattarai, Barta ra tatkalin rajnatik nikas ko prasanga (The question of contemporary political resolution through negotiation), (Kathmandu: Pawan prakasan, 2003). 3. Including foreign aid for security expenses (US Aid: 1.33 billion; UK: 780 million; India: 3.2 billion and additional 1.6 billion rupees). 4. With adjusted estimates of Rs. 2 billion for Maoist army expenses. 5. Loss due to damage in infrastructure construction: 20 billion. 6. Loss due to closure of agriculture production and cottage industries.

Bibliography l CPN (Maoist) 2058. Policy and Programme of URPC, 2058 BS. l International Crisis Group (ICG) 2003a. Nepal Obstacle to Peace. Brussels/Kathmandu: ICG. No 57.

l International Crisis Group (ICG) 2003b. Nepal Backgrounder: Ceasefire-Soft Landing or Strategic Pause, 10th April 2003 Brussels/Kathmandu: ICG. Research No 50

l INSEC 2003. Nepal Human Rights Year Book 2003. Kathmandu: INSEC. l A. Karki and D. Seddon (eds.), The People's War in Nepal: Left Perspectives, (New Delhi: Adroit Publishers, 2003).

l D. Kumar, ‘Proximate causes of c of Nepal’. Paper presented at International Workshop on ‘Causes of Internal Conflicts and Means to Resolve Them: Case Study of Nepal’ organised in 22-24 February 2004.

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Absurdity of Nuclear Deterrence Achin Vanaik

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uclear strategists are a strange breed. These are people who devote most of their thinking not to the task of how best to de-legitimise and get rid of nuclear weapons but to justifying their possession, operationalising their threat and, if considered necessary, organising their actual use. This community has two branches. Sitting on one branch are those who pay lip service to eventual global nuclear disarmament. But it is just lip service -- for it is only the far horizon of their thought and, therefore, is of little consequence for the actual preoccupations that constitute their fundamental political contributions. On the other branch are those who no longer pay even such lip service. We have nuclear weapons. They will never go away. We have to live with them now and forever. But both branches are connected to the same trunk. Basically, they share a common mind-set, and the dominant characteristic of this mind-set is its inability or unwillingness to think deeply about its own highly problematic foundational assumptions and its preference to preoccupy itself with thinking as comprehensively and cleverly as possible within the framework of those accepted assumptions. It is, of course, from the ranks of just this community of strategic experts in India and Pakistan that the loudest and most frequent voices are raised in support of the claim that nuclear weapons are to be welcomed because, through the 'wondrous' workings of deterrence, they enhance the stability and security of the countries (India-Pakistan) and South Asia.

I. Nuclear Weapons and Security Claims i) Uncovering illusions A simple enough way of highlighting the problematic character of such claims for the efficacy of nuclear weapons in South Asia after the 1998 tests in India is to look at the early predictions/claims made by the prominent supporters of those tests (the pro-bomb lobby) who, in one way or the other, were able to enter the domain of public discourse in India. Each and every such prominent member made at least one of the following predictions. Very few made all of the below listed predictions. Most made more than one of these predictions. Pakistani antinuclear activists can, no doubt, draw up their own list of failed predictions/claims made by their country's pro-nuclear lobby. a) Mutual nuclear deterrence would now ensure that there would not be any danger of an actual nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. During the Kargil conflict of 1999 some of these very predictors now publicly argued that Pakistan would not dare attack India with nuclear weapons because the U.S. would not allow Pakistan to do so. The justification had shifted from the efficacy of mutual deterrence to the powerful restraint imposed by the U.S. on an

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otherwise not-to-be-trusted foe. Others declared that there could not be a guarantee that Pakistan might not resort to nuclear weapons although given India's greater nuclear firepower this would be foolish on its part. Nevertheless, India had to be prepared just in case. In effect, in the context of a war-like situation, one-time confident proponents of deterrence efficacy exhibited a much more diluted sense of confidence in the power of mutual deterrence. (b) The advent of nuclear weapons in both countries would now prevent even conventional wars from taking place. Kargil took place partly because of the thinking that Pakistan possessed a 'nuclear shield' behind which they could take new risks on the conventional warfare front. To be sure, Pakistan started the war but shouldn't our 'strategic experts' have exhibited less trust in the efficacy of nuclear weapons in this respect? Obviously, at the time (just after the 1998 tests) their priority was drumming up any and all arguments for supporting bomb acquisition. (c) Nuclear weapons would bring in greater regional stability and better relations between India and Pakistan. Despite the recent thaw in Indo-Pakistan relations for reasons that have nothing to do with nuclear weapons, in a broader historical survey, the period since 1998 was marked by a war in Kargil, a level of massive military mobilisation-brinkmanship of a kind that has never taken place between two countries in peacetime since 1947, a failed summit, verbal expressions of hostility between the two governments reaching new lows, attempts to play off the U.S. against each other, continued impasse in Kashmir. (d) Since nuclear weapons would prevent conventional warfare, as well as bring about greater stability, expenditure on conventional forms of military defence and preparedness would soon be reduced. Defence expenditure in India, in real terms, has greatly increased and most pro-bomb advocates would say this is unavoidable because nuclear weapons cannot address the needs that conventional weapons address. (e) There would be no competitive nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan. The former President of India, K. R. Narayanan, was far from alone in publicly and repeatedly declaring that there was no danger of a competitive arms race between the two countries. One searched in vain for pro-bomb advocates who had the grace or the honesty to say that although there was bound to be actionreaction preparations between the two countries, i.e., a competitive arms race of some sort, this would be managed and controlled, but not prevented or preventable. Both countries would be stockpiling fissile materials, extending missile ranges, drawing up target plans, and so on. Which is, of course, what did happen. (f) India would only have a 'minimum credible deterrent'. There can be no stable 'minimum deterrent', since this is never a fixed position but a moving one connected to the preparations and arsenal development of one's presumed opponents. Further complicating the picture is the Indian desire to have such a

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deterrent vis-à-vis China (some voices even call for preparing such a deterrent vis-à-vis the U.S.) which propels Pakistan to worry about how minimum its deterrent should, or can be. Meanwhile, U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) development will push China to consider expanding and developing its arsenal with all the knock-on effects this can be expected to have on India and Pakistan. The end result in India is that lots of pro-nuclearists talk of only having a minimum but when it comes to specifying what this means, vagueness, imprecision and uncertainty abound.

had prevented the outbreak of conventional war between India and Pakistan despite the massive mobilisation. In effect, to the embarrassment of his BJP backers, he was publicly endorsing the claim made by Gen. Musharraf himself. The BJP had to quickly announce that this was Mr. Kalam's personal opinion not shared by the BJP. Shortly after this, the retired former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. V. P. Malik, publicly disputed both the claims of Mr. Vajpayee and of Mr. Kalam. Nuclear weapons, he declared, were irrelevant to the issue of conventional war and could not deter such wars. They could only deter nuclear exchanges and wars.

(g) Nuclear weapons would make India more independent - nay - defiant of the U.S. in its foreign policy behaviour. The most striking characteristic of Indian foreign policy behaviour since 1998 vis-à-vis the U.S. is its subservient character and the near-desperation with which Indian governments are wooing the U.S. and wanting a 'strategic partnership' with it wherein the terms can never be those of genuine equality or partnership (given the enormous asymmetry of power between the two, regardless of India's nuclear weapons) but must basically be on the lines established by the much more powerful country, the U.S. Despite all declarations to the contrary and self-delusions disguised by calls to serve the needs of 'national interest', India has behaved with obsequiousness towards the U.S. once it accepted India as a de facto nuclear power; but one which Washington is determined to maintain at the level of a 'small nuclear power' (SNP). The point is not whether India is now justified or not in seeking a strategic alliance with the U.S. but that this earlier confident declaration has been disproved by subsequent turn of events. Nor is it enough to say that the U.S. has taken India more seriously after 1998. It has done the same with Pakistan after September 11, 2001.

What is revealing here is that three senior figures all believe that nuclear weapons are efficacious but they cannot come to an agreement about what they are efficacious about or the range is over which their 'wondrous' deterrent properties work. They not only disagreed with each other in a concrete historical situation, showing that the outcome of a specific historical context still does not give a decisive answer to claims and counter-claims made even by the members of the pro-bomb lobby, which otherwise shares a belief in the general efficacy of nuclear weapons, but actually and forcefully, contradicted each other. In its own way, this episode highlighted precisely this dilemma about the essentially problematic nature of efficacy claims made for nuclear deterrence.

(h) A nuclear India with now enhanced bargaining power would actually help the cause of global nuclear disarmament by strengthening the momentum towards it. In a context where the post-1998 'nuclear India' does not possess the courage to come out forcefully against the BMD and instead is manoeuvring for some contract crumbs on offer from the BMD-TMD programme as a whole, the less said about this ridiculous claim the better. It is tantamount to claiming that the best way to nuclearly disarm is to nuclearly arm! This is as silly as it sounds. ii) A triad of views and former ambiguists When, in mid-2003, India finally called off its 10-month long massive military mobilisation along the border with Pakistan and began the process of reducing the tensions it had unnecessarily ratcheted up earlier, a revealing episode took place. The then Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, declared the mobilisation a great success. India had, in effect, called Pakistan's 'nuclear bluff'. India had shown that it was not afraid to risk war or teach a lesson militarily to Pakistan. General Musharraf, on the other side, was equally quick to declare that Pakistan's nuclear weapons, far from being a bluff, were the key reason why India 'backed off' and did not militarily attack Pakistan. In effect, he had, through his nuclear arsenal called India's bluff. The BJPchosen presidential candidate at the time, A. P. J. Kalam, while on his campaign trail and when asked by the press for his opinion, publicly declared that nuclear weapons

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Just as revealing is what happened immediately after the Pokharan II tests of May 11, 1998 when long-time nuclear ambiguists suddenly became nuclear advocates. These were people who before May 11 had argued in favour of India's posture of ambiguity, of neither closing the nuclear option or of exercising it. When they were ambiguists for longer periods, in many cases over decades, they justified their position by positing both the deterrent potential of nuclear weapons and by pointing out the limitations and weakness, even fallacies, of nuclear deterrence thinking and arguments. After May 11, having endorsed the tests, they could now only base their case on the 'undeniable' deterrence value of nuclear weapons. The last thing they would wish to do, and for the most part avoided doing, is highlighting the problematic nature of nuclear weapons and the limitations of deterrence thinking because that could only weaken the case they were now propagating in their new role as unwavering supporters of nuclear weapons acquisition. Salesmanship had effectively overtaken intellectual scrupulousness. iii) Abstractions of nuclear deterrence All claims for the efficacy of nuclear weapons rest on the presumed properties of deterrence. Deterrence arguments at their most rigorous provide an utterly abstract logic to explain why countries that have nuclear weapons will not engage each other in a nuclear war. The case made for nuclear weapons through the acceptance of this logic, carries serious flaws. 1. The argument is coherent only within the strictest and most demanding conditions of rationality of behaviour, which are unavailable and inoperable in the real world we live in. To believe that nuclear deterrence can be relied upon to 'always work' is to impose extraordinary conditions on the key agents concerned, namely those

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who control, command and man the nuclear weapon systems of the countries having them. Nuclear deterrence is the faith-like belief that terrible fear (of the consequences of nuclear war) will always promote wise decisions by fallible human beings operating under conditions of sometimes extreme tension and always operating under circumstances that neither the side seeking to deter or the side supposed to be deterred can ever fully control. Deterrence is hope disguised as strategic wisdom. 2. The abstract logic of deterrence -- being abstract -- applies universally. That is to say, the same fundamental arguments and efficacy claims apply everywhere and for all countries that have the capacities to make nuclear weapons. If having nuclear weapons enhances the safety of one country with actual or potential nuclear opponents, they do so for all other countries having actual or potential nuclear opponents. Very few nuclear strategists (Kenneth Waltz is a partial exception) are prepared to be so consistent as to endorse all countries having the capacity to do so to actually go ahead and possess such weapons because they would presumably make their regions and the world in general safer. Most strategists and pro-nuclear thinkers retreat from the demands of such an abstract logic, and from the factitious world of super-rational human beings and supercontrolled environment that this logic assumes, to the real world, where horizontal proliferation of such weapons to other parts of the world is seen as de-stabilising or dangerous. Such strategists and supporters of the bomb for their own country are intellectually 'irresponsible' in being deeply inconsistent. They hypocritically combine the use of the abstract logic of deterrence to justify their own country's acquisition of nuclear weapons but parade a more sober sense of 'responsibility' and a much more down-to-earth (rather than abstract) sense of reality in recognising the dangers involved by such proliferation elsewhere. 3. The abstractness of the case made for the efficacy of nuclear weapons means it is also a strongly de-historicised, de-socialised, indeed de-politicised, way of thinking about the impact and implications of nuclear weapons in the world we live in. To make the case for nuclear weapons logically consistent and highly rigorous requires constructing a case that must not be embedded in an actual or living politics that, of course, is always historicised and socialised. That is why so much of nuclear strategising takes the form of game-theoretic, rational choice modelling, which for all its incidental insights and chess-like attractions to devoted practitioners, is effectively a retreat from thinking seriously and sophisticatedly about the actual world we live in. Like a lot of neo-classical economic theorising, there is quite sophisticated argumentation by economists (and nuclear strategists) at secondary and tertiary levels, but it is encased within a broader framework of extraordinary foundational and empirical inadequacy. Given this abstract character, it is hardly surprising that nuclear strategists and run-of-the-mill bomb supporters are invariably one kind of realist or the other. Realism, here, does not imply being highly realistic; in fact, far from it. It refers to the formal label for a particular school of thought (and its various branches)

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concerning how to understand international relations. Realism, whether understood as theory or paradigm or even as merely a world-view, is also marked by its fundamentally ahistoric and asocial character. Realism is basically a crude, but within severe limits also useful, manual for the conduct of foreign policy statecraft for strong or aspiring powers. It is a manual divided essentially into two parts -- one part providing the language of apologetics for governments; and the other providing rough guidelines, a tool-kit of doâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and don'ts, that can then help operationalise foreign policy behaviour. 4. Nuclear deterrence logic addresses concerns about nuclear war prevention. But it does not at all adequately address another issue that is also a basic motivation for countries acquiring nuclear weapons -- wanting such weapons because they are seen as instruments of power for general foreign policy support. Quite apart from the issue of how useful nuclear weapons (as such putative instruments) are, what this means is that their possession, development, deployment, brandishing and flaunting is always embedded in a politics that has little to do with issues of basic nuclear survival, and far more to do with the issue of how best to enhance the state's political or foreign policy 'advantages', 'authority', 'power', 'status', etc. The idea that nuclear weapons must only be treated as 'instruments of last resort' is thus vitiated from the very beginning. They are never treated as only that! What does this imply? First, it means that between politically hostile nuclear rivals like India and Pakistan, there invariably arise situations of nuclear-related tensions not because either side actually wants to use nuclear weapons against the other but simply because nuclear weapons are themselves embedded in the logic of confrontational politics and not in some unreal, abstract logic of 'deterrence behaviour' models. Nuclear-related tensions emerge out of the very fact of nuclear weapons possession. A new layer of tension is thereby added to the levels of tension between politically hostile rivals that pre-exist the advent of nuclear weapons. This, in itself, is a standing refutation of the standard pro-nuclear claim that nuclear weapons reduce tensions and enhance stability and security. Second, the greatest danger of nuclear weapons use lies in the 'escalatory dynamic' that always resides in real-life political crisis situations for which the reassurances provided by the abstract logic of deterrence are either misleading, or at best, irrelevant. The chain of events that threaten to erupt in circumstances of political hostility between nuclear-equipped rivals goes like this: political hostility does lead to periodic crisis situations that all too often carry an escalatory dynamic which has the potential to reach the level of actual nuclear exchanges. The very point about an escalatory dynamic is that escalation beyond a point is rarely deliberate and controlled but indeed its opposite -- taking on an essentially uncontrolled and 'reactive' character on both sides. A situation of dangerous uncertainty is thereby reached which neither side to begin with had any desire or intention of reaching whatever the later, post-crisis/post-facto, self-serving rationalisations might be. This is the crucial lesson of the Cuban missile crisis and indeed of the various crisis situations of the past between India and Pakistan. No one should claim that such a

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situation will definitely lead to a nuclear exchange or that it will never ever do so. But it must be recognised that this chain of developments with its in-built tendency towards an 'escalatory dynamic' most certainly exists. 5. The claim that nuclear weapons bring stability and security ultimately rests on a foundation that cannot properly bear the weight of such a judgement. Nuclear weapons are supposed to have provided enhanced security and stability because after their acquisition there has been no nuclear war. Why has there been no nuclear war or exchange? This is because nuclear deterrence works. How do I know it works? Because there has been no nuclear war or exchange. There are two crucial problems with this 'enhanced security' claim. First, there is the counterfactual nature of the claim itself whereby it cannot be either definitively proved or refuted. This being so, the case for and against its efficaciousness must be decided on the basis of a 'balance of plausibility' keeping in view the coherence of the arguments themselves and whatever illuminating historical evidence there is. Here the anti-nuclear case wins hands-down, i.e., it is much more plausible. Second, there is not just an extreme or merely 'breakdown' test of whether or not nuclear weapons bring security. There is another more routinely applicable, continuous and pervasive test that exists quite apart from the 'breakdown' issue: do nuclear weapons actually make rival countries hostile to each other more secure? Was this the case between the U.S. and USSR during their hostile Cold War past? The same between India and Pakistan and between Israel and, say Iran, tomorrow? Will the future development and deployment of the BMD by the U.S. and its impact on Russian and Chinese nuclear preparations and developments make matters more secure? The very diffuseness, generality and partial intangibility of the notion of security means there is no universally acceptable answer to this question. But once again, the 'balance of plausibility', given the actual evolution of the world we live in -the insane levels of actual nuclear weapons production, storage, deployment, R&D, proliferation -- favours the anti-nuclear side, not the pro-nuclear side. In this regard, it may be noted that George Lee Butler, the head of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) of the U.S. between 1991-94 (the one person the U.S. president had to speak to before pressing the nuclear button), and one-time staunch believer in the efficacy of nuclear deterrence, on retirement declared that the honest truth was that throughout the Cold War period, the nuclear establishment of both the USSR and US did not feel secure, hence the absurd character and levels of their nuclear preparations, but deeply insecure. There is, in fact, one piece of evidence favouring the anti-nuclear case that, though not clinching, is certainly revealing -- the proportion of defectors from the one-time pro-nuclear side to the anti-nuclear side is far greater than the opposite flow of defectors. It is probably around 25-30 times greater. Admittedly, this usually happens after retirement (itself revealing about the relationship between deterrence advocacy and the pressures of careerism) but the number has included the topmost civilian and military 'nuclear warriors' of the past, now repudiating that past.

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II. Moving Towards Nuclear Sanity We cannot stabilise a nuclear regime in South Asia. Nuclear weapons destabilise the security conditions between rival nuclear-equipped countries like India and Pakistan and the region (South Asia) where they exist cheek-by-jowl. Of course, one can fully expect the two governments of India and Pakistan to make such stability claims. But that does not mean we should take this seriously.1 The tenuousness of such stability claims can be easily perceived by just asking ourselves what would most likely happen in South Asia if the U.S. government decides to carry out nuclear testing once again! As long as nuclear weapons exist, you can only try and make the situation less unstable and less insecure by transitional measures such as nuclear risk reduction. These are transitional measures because they cannot, in themselves, make the region nuclear safe; in fact, they make it only less unsafe. Genuine and enduring nuclear safety comes from being 'nuclear free' regionally and globally. There is no substitute for nuclear disarmament and to believe that we must always 'live with nuclear weapons' is to make a grievous mistake. Interestingly, and perhaps revealingly, the most serious efforts by South Asians to elaborate on nuclear risk reduction measures for India and Pakistan in the public domain, have come from the ranks of opponents, not defenders, of nuclear weaponisation in South Asia.2 Moreover, there is an unavoidable trade-off between the strongest demands of nuclear safety (avoiding accidental or unauthorised detonation or launching) and the strongest requirements of deterrence 'readiness'. This being so, it is best to come down on the side of greater safety through de-mating and substantial time-absorbing separation of warheads and delivery systems. However, risk reduction is not a substitute for moving towards regional disarmament, as well as promoting a process of global disarmament. Cynics who think all talk of disarmament is utterly far-fetched tend to forget that countries like Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have disarmed as indeed South Africa; while others like Brazil and Argentina have renounced threshold status and yet others like Libya have renounced the search for such weapons capability. Even North Korea has clearly expressed its willingness to go in for fully verifiable and complete nuclear disarmament if only the U.S. would agree to a non-aggression pact against it. The point is that it is the mind-set of certain leaders, not anything else, which constitutes the biggest stumbling block towards taking serious steps of actual nuclear disarmament. The Pakistani and Indian governments have made proposals and counterproposals to each other since 1998 regarding issues like ‘No First Use’ (NFU), regional nuclear disarmament, a non-aggression pact. Whatever the reservations on both sides concerning the 'bad faith' of the other and the play of diplomatic one-upmanship involved, since these proposals have entered the domain of official pronouncements, they should be explored. Pakistan should move towards adoption of NFU. India should tighten its current ‘no-first-use’ commitment (which reserves the right to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states as retaliation against use of other weapons of mass destruction) and both countries should not violate the spirit and true purpose of such a commitment by developing tactical and battlefield nuclear weapons.

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India should move towards a non-aggression pact with Pakistan. After coming to power, General Musharraf has repeatedly suggested publicly his willingness to move towards regional de-nuclearisation, partly as a way of conducting diplomatic oneupmanship but also because 'non-nuclear parity' between India and Pakistan has always been more attractive to Pakistan than to India, despite the growing belief in Pakistan that their nuclear arsenal is valuable for countering India's conventional superiority. This path should be explored but it is unrealistic to expect the current nuclear establishment in India to do so without a sea-change in mentality that only longer-term processes can hope to bring about. If Pakistan's bomb was, and is, Indiacentric, the Indian bomb has been sought after for purposes beyond 'deterring' Pakistan. There are two other stabilising measures that can and should be considered. First, both countries should agree to a certain non-deployment zone on both sides of their common border wherein there will be no presence of missiles or aircraft that could carry nuclear warheads or bombs. Second, there is every reason why both countries should consider declaring Kashmir (all of it on both sides of the border) as a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ). In practical terms it costs nothing to either government since neither side has actual nuclear-related deployments in this area. But its political implications are considerable. Apart from reassuring the people of Kashmir, it reassures the rest of the public of both countries as well as sending a message to the rest of the world that both governments are committed to not letting Kashmir become a nuclear flashpoint. This should also appeal to the pro-bomb lobbies on both sides (especially on the Indian side) that feel irritated by the assumption of so many others that after 1998, Kashmir is being seen as just such a 'hot spot'. It also becomes a significant, original and remarkable political contribution to easing Kashmir-related tensions between the two countries. Nor does such a declaration of all of Kashmir as a NWFZ imply any retreat from official government positions concerning their respective claims of sovereignty over the region in dispute, while at the same time also appealing to Kashmiris because of its implicit recognition of the distinctiveness of their region and the problems besetting them. Finally, there are ways of exploring how to bring in the governments and societies of the neighbouring countries of South Asia -- Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka into the process of addressing the nuclear problem. India and Pakistan see the bomb issue as their issue and not something that these other governments and societies should concern themselves with, beyond giving their endorsement to what the two countries did in 1998 and what they have done since. But this is a South Asian issue. In a nuclear exchange, radiation is no respecter of formal territorial boundaries. There is a broad agenda of activities and proposals that can be explored, discussed and pursued by civil society activists and groups in the neighbouring countries to put pressure on their own governments and through this pressure create political difficulties for New Delhi and Islamabad. Matters worth seriously exploring are the possibilities of Bangladesh and/or Sri Lanka joining an extended Bangkok Treaty or the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) or Nepal considering the emulation of Austria and Mongolia as independently declared 'nuclear-free nations'.

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Given existing circumstances, we cannot expect short-term or even mediumterm success. But despite the possibility of being accused of making wish-list suggestions, these can, nevertheless, serve as signposts that point out the direction and journey we must take. Insofar as the politics of nuclearism is embedded in the wider (historicised and socialised) politics of India-Pakistan relations, we have to address the four main barriers preventing a positive transformation of relations between the two countries. 1.

Pakistan has to move towards the stable institutionalisation of democratic rule, i.e., an end to the decisive power of a military that has always had a strong vested interest in periodically promoting an anti-Indian nationalism as a self-serving justification for its own authority and role in preventing the establishment of genuine democracy at home.

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India has to move towards a permanent stabilisation of the secular and democratic character of its own polity, which means above all, decisively defeating the profoundly authoritarian threat presented by the most pernicious internal force independent India has ever faced -- the forces of the Sangh Parivar. One of the foundational pillars on which the whole political-ideological construct of the Sangh rests is anti-Muslimness. Reactionary Muslim fundamentalist forces in Pakistan are anti-Indian but they don't have to be anti-Hindu. Reactionary right-wing Hindu communal forces in India are not merely at some level or the other anti-Pakistani; they also have to be anti-Muslim. Such right-wing reaction on both sides represents a serious obstacle to lasting friendship or even long-term peaceful coexistence between both countries.

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India and Pakistan have to move towards each other independently of the U.S. The U.S. presence in the region is not a boon to either country, whatever the short-term and pragmatic considerations of New Delhi and Islamabad might be. The U.S. presence in Central, South and West Asia is part of its global Empirebuilding project for which it perceives India and Pakistan has serving quite separate needs and interests and therefore seeks to suborn both countries but in different ways. Defeating this larger U.S. imperial project is vital. But this requires the kind of profound revision in the foreign policy of the two governments, vis-Ă -vis the U.S. -- precisely what is not in the least visible in either of the two capitals in South Asia. The current triangulated relationship between the U.S., India and Pakistan benefits primarily the U.S.

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There can be no political stabilisation of South Asia without a just resolution of the Kashmir issue. The emphasis here is on the word 'just'. The Indian and Pakistan governments should disabuse themselves of the notion that there can be a stable resolution of this problem without providing a considerable measure of justice to the people of Kashmir. And pursuing justice for Kashmiris means this is not an issue wherein any solution can emerge through purely bilateral negotiations between the two governments or even through external third party mediation via the UN or the U.S. (which will develop its own 'regional perspectives' on how Kashmir should fit into its wider geo-strategic plans). The

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serious search for a just, and, therefore, stable solution of the Kashmir issue will require bringing in the independent (not government controlled or manipulated) representatives of Kashmiris on both sides of the border into the framework of deliberations about the future of Kashmir. Neither government, whatever their public declarations of concern for Kashmiris, has so far been prepared to promote this development in any serious way. Since this paper started off with some reflections on the mind-set of nuclear strategists and later pointed out its connections with the broader realist mind-set regarding the understanding of international relations, it will also end with some general reflections in this respect. The kind of politics for South Asia we need to think about and engage in is not the kind that will emerge out of the restricted imagination of conventional 'realism'. This can only provide a more or less managerialist perspective, rationalised and justified in the name of a restricted conception of politics as the art of the possible. Here, the vision of what constitutes the possible is flawed by a strong presentist bias and a narrow and strongly state-centred conception of how changes take place in the world we live in. Realists are accurately described as basically 'sentimentalisers of the status quo' and 'worshippers of the accomplished fact'. We have every reason to be grateful that those in Palestine opposing the brutal and vicious occupation by Israel and those in Iraq and elsewhere opposed to the Empire project of the U.S., and on whose struggles the eventual prospects of Israel and the U.S. will be decisively determined, have mind-sets so very different from the 'realist' members of the foreign policy establishments of India, Pakistan and elsewhere. What we need in South Asia is a transformative political imagination that has a wider conception of what the forces of change are, where and how to work for it, and a very different conception of the possibilities that exist in and through political behaviour. Here the spectrum of political operation is not the space defined by conventional notions of the 'art of the possible' but the space that exists between the rejection of the pursuit of the probably impossible and the endorsement of the pursuit of the improbably possible. (Achin Vanaik is a prominent Indian political commentator and long-time antinuclear activist. Mr. Vanaik can be contacted at pamela@del3.vsnl.net.in)

End Notes 1.

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Expert-level talks on nuclear confidence building measures held in New Delhi on June 1920, 2004 claimed: ‘Recognising that the nuclear capabilities of each other, which are based on their national security imperatives, constitute a factor for stability.’ This formulation was repeated in the statement after the meeting of the two foreign secretaries in New Delhi on June 27-28, 2004. R. Rajaraman, M. V. Ramana, Zia Mian, 'Possession and Deployment of Nuclear Weapons in South Asia: An Assessment of Some Risks' in Economic and Political Weekly, (Mumbai, June 22, 2002). See also, 'Nuclear risk Reduction Measures between India and Pakistan', the title of a pamphlet publicly released by the Movement in India for Nuclear Disarmament (MIND), May-June 2002.

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Lahore Declaration Media and Reconciliation in South Asia SAFMA: South Asia Free Media Conference-IV on ‘Media and Reconciliation Processes in South Asia’ November 20-21, 2004

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he media persons from the South Asian region met in Lahore, Pakistan, on November 20-21, 2004, at South Asian Free Media Association's 4th South Asian Free Media Conference on 'Media and Reconciliation Processes in South Asia'. After having exhaustively analysing the state of negotiation processes between India and Pakistan, New Delhi and Dhaka, Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) and the crisis in Nepal while critically evaluating the role of media on these processes in each member country of SAARC and reflecting upon the independence of media in the post-9/11 situation and the bloodshed in Iraq arrived at the following broader understanding: a.

Reiterating our commitment to peaceful resolution of all inter- and intra-state conflicts in South Asia through sustained and productive dialogue while rejecting the use of force, both by state and non-state actors, and coercive or sham diplomacy to solve differences and disputes as enshrined in SAFMA's Kathmandu Declaration on 'Media and Peace', New Delhi Declaration on 'Interstate Conflicts in South Asia' and Colombo Declaration on 'Intrastate Conflicts in South Asia'; b. Recalling our resolve to rise above the national, ethnic, religious and ideological divides while performing our professional duties as reporters, opinion makers, producers and compares without indulging in acrimony, falsification, demonisation, jingoism or embedding with respective officialdoms; c. Restating our adherence to the roadmap and Guidelines adopted by SAFMA's conference at Dhaka on 'Regional Cooperation in South Asia' that show the path to all-sided regional cooperation in the best interests of all countries of the region; d. Appreciating joint statements of January 6th and September 24th issued by Pakistan and India initiating composite dialogue, stopping cross-border infiltration and repression, exploring all possible options on Kashmir to find a solution to the satisfaction of peoples of Jammu and Kashmir and India and Pakistan and, simultaneously, normalising relations, taking confidence-building measures in all spheres and expanding areas of bilateral cooperation; e. Considering that the slow pace of negotiations between India and Pakistan, suspension of ongoing negotiation process between Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, failure to initiate reconciliation, in Nepal, and inability of New Deli and Dhaka to put together a comprehensive negotiation framework to iron out differences and find mutually beneficial solutions to the disputes is causing

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f.

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anxiety among the people; Taking note of a set of options proposed to open a debate on the Kashmir imbroglio by President Pervez Musharraf, reduction in troops deployed in J&K announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and confidence building measurers being proposed by the two governments regarding Kashmir, including proposed bus services between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, Jammu and Sialkot; Concerned about the deadlock over resumption of dialogue between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE; Cognizant of serious differences between Bangladesh and India over cross-border infiltrations, re-demarcation of certain points of border, including numerous enclaves, redistribution of water and issues of trade, etc; Worried about the continuing political and constitutional crisis in Nepal, Maoist insurgency, delay in resumption of dialogue between the Maoists and the government and the Palace and the political parties; Taking a serious exception to the pretext of using inter and intra sate conflicts or war against terrorism to clip civil liberties, introduce draconian laws, suppression of the democratic aspirations of the people, violence against the civilian population, especially women and children, who often become a victim in the crossfire of parties to the conflict; Appreciating the voices of sanity for peaceful resolution of conflicts from the civil societies and the media while expressing disappointment over those sections of media still embedded to the so-called 'national consensus' or respective establishments; Welcoming the visit of Pakistani journalists across the Line of Control and return visit by the journalists to this side of LoC that have set a good precedence to open all 'no-go areas' to journalists; Encouraged by the decision of the last SAARC Council of Ministers' meeting to associate SAFMA as an Associate Body of SAARC and an assurances given by New Delhi and Islamabad regarding liberalisation of visa regime for the journalists across South Asia, and announcement by the Ministry of External Affairs of India to relatively relax visa for the Pakistani journalists with the hope that the announcement made by President Pervez Musharraf at this conference allowing multiple-entry visa valid for the whole country to the journalists from the countries of South Asia will be implemented;

The Conference resolves that: 1.

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The peoples of South Asia have suffered too much and for too long due to interand intra-state conflicts. Some disputes are perennial that sustain hostility and proliferate ancillary disputes to further complicate the prospects for regional peace and postpone the agenda of regional cooperation and economic integration as envisaged by SAARC; Rejecting all violent means by any party to resolve inter and intra state conflicts, this conference endorses peaceful approaches to resolving all disputes and differences through meaningful, sustainable and productive negotiations; In pre-conflict, conflict and post-conflict situations, there is always a need to manage and defuse the conflicts and take confidence building measures that are crucial to creating an enabling environment for the resolution of core disputes

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and addressing real causes behind the conflicts; Looking beyond the traditional notions of security and focusing on cooperative security, the South Asian nations must act in their self-enlightened interest to ensure security within their states and beyond their borders at the regional level while avoiding to exploit an intrastate conflict in any manner; 5. The choice is not between conflict resolution and regional cooperation: the only way out is to simultaneously move forward in finding solutions to the political disputes and expanding all avenues of economic and cultural cooperation, both at the bilateral and regional levels, while allowing greater interaction among the people, especially free movement of journalists and media-products across borders as proposed by the SAFMA Protocol; 6. All reconciliation processes and negotiations have to be even-handed, attuned to the priorities of the parties to the conflict, balanced, productive and mutually beneficial, and need to be framed and phased in a manner that the interlocutors continue to benefit from the process and are able to move forward; 7. As nuclear powers, putting at risk the entire region, India and Pakistan must respect the desire for peace of their peoples and not let them down by slipping back into their old official postures; it would require approaching the outstanding issues with flexibility of approach and innovation, especially with regard to Jammu and Kashmir; the ancillary disputes should be quickly resolved to create an environment favorable to the resolution of perennial dispute; 8. As Indo-Pak composite dialogue enters its second phase, it is essential to remind the interlocutors to avoid beating about the same bush and outlive the habit of perpetuating stalemate and the belligerent tendency of not making any concession or compromise, and the need to be more flexible, creative, adjustable and pragmatic in a spirit of give and take. The New Delhi conference had resolved that the confidence building measures should be taken while simultaneously examining various proposals regarding the Jammu & Kashmir issue with a sincerity of purpose. There was a consensus that Kashmiri interests and aspirations needed to be addressed by the governments; the representatives of Kashmiris from both parts should be consulted so that a viable solution from which all parties felt they had gained could emerge; 9. A new regional understanding of the riparian issues is essential to resolve IndoNepal, Indo-Bangladesh and Indo-Pak water disputes since Regional Riparian statutes are obligatory under RRR statute model respecting Helsinki Convention that envisages 8K upstream and downstream rights; 10. Recent cooling of Indo-Bangladesh relations is a mater of concern; New Delhi's complaints of Dhaka's alleged 'help' to militants from India's North-east and Bangladesh's concern over India's 'refusal' to correct the trade imbalance and differences over the river-linking project by India seem to have strained their relations; while India should do more to remove tariff barriers on exports from Bangladesh and take Dhaka into confidence over the river-linking project, both the countries must take each other's security concerns more seriously and prevent cross-border hostilities; 11. The political conflict in Sri Lanka, that has assumed an ethnic form due to the marginalisation and exclusion of ethnic minorities, cannot be resolved with a 4.

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mind set of an already defined majoritarian-hegemonic state, nor can a distinct Tamil political identity in north-eastern region be recognised, without ensuring equality to other ethnic and religious minorities, territorial integrity of the state and stopping human rights violation from all sides and guaranteeing the rights of minorities. In the interim, the Ceasefire Agreement of 2002 need to be strengthened and the urgent needs of the people of the war zone, including the rights of the minorities, necessitate the establishment of an interim administration structure without further delay; Reviewing Indo-Nepal Treaty of 1950 and the Letters exchanged in 1950 and 1965, there is a need to effectively regulate Nepal-India border to stop crossborder activities that are detrimental to peace and security of the two counties. The Maoist conflict cannot be solved militarily and, therefore, calls for a negotiated settlement that can happen only if the constitutional forces reach an agreement to bring the constitutional process back on the rail and the Maoists are brought on board to settle the conflict on a democratic basis. There is an urgent need to stop violence and violations of human rights by the security forces and the Maoists. The states of South Asia have to collectively face up to the challenges such as low river-water discharges and global trade disparities in order to prevent the birth of a new inward-looking era in which each sate fends for itself in the face of essentially collective problems. Call upon all the governments and the parties to the conflicts, be they inter or intrastate, to respect internationally recognised fundamental human rights and democratic aspirations of the people; Appeal to the South Asian media fraternity to join hands in reinforcing the values of independence, sanity, sobriety, objectivity and neutrality of their profession to strengthen the reconciliation processes in South Asia, encouraging open debate and dialogue to create room for flexibility and compromise, rather than becoming instrumental in the hands of officialdoms or a prisoner of respective rigid national standpoints.

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Delhi Declaration Resolution of Interstate Conflicts in South Asia (Declaration of South Asian Free Media Association's (SAFMA) Conference on â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Interstate Conflicts in South Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, October 9-10, New Delhi)

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ournalists from South Asia met in New Delhi on October 9-10, 2004 at the South Asian Free Media Association's Conference, to deliberate on 'Interstate Conflicts in South Asia'. Reiterating SAFMA's commitment to a peaceful settlement of all disputes and differences among states as emphasised by the Declaration issued by the Second South Asian Free Media Conference held at Kathmandu, January 1-2, 2002. Reaffirming our principled position as defined by the SAFMA's Guidelines for South Asian Cooperation; The main obstacle to improving connectivity remains political. The prevailing barriers to cross-border movements make neither commercial nor logistical sense and originate in the pathologies of interstate, as well as domestic politics. The political leaders of South Asia should, therefore, dismantle the political barriers to free movement of people. South Asian nations should look beyond the traditional notions of security and focus on cooperative security. This notion recognises the profound condition of interdependence that binds South Asia and calls on the states of the region to act in their own enlightened self-interest to resolve the current problems facing them through peaceful means. In South Asia, the choice is often posed between regional cooperation and conflict resolution. We urge all states to simultaneously move forward to address long-standing political disputes and intensify economic cooperation and people-topeople contact.

The Conference on Interstate Conflicts reached the following understanding: South Asia has lagged behind the rest of the world in the resolution of its regional disputes that have led to conflict and threaten its peace in the future. Some of the disputes are perennial and maintain interstate hostility at a steady boil. Other issues crop up regularly as a result of this hostility, further complicating the prospects of regional peace and postponing the agenda of regional economic integration envisaged at SAARC. There is a need to address these disputes urgently in order to stop a virtual proliferation of ancillary disputes, especially in a changing regional-ecological and

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global environment. The states of South Asia have to face up collectively to challenges such as low river-water discharges and global trade disparities in order to prevent the birth of a new inward-looking era in which each state fends for itself in the face of essentially collective problems. The SAFMA Conference noted with satisfaction the new efforts by India and Pakistan to discuss their bilateral issues in a composite dialogue while taking measures to normalise relations. Meetings between the leaders of the two countries have ushered in a period of unprecedented hope, raising the expectations of the people on both sides of the border. As nuclear powers putting at risk the entire region, India and Pakistan must respect the desire for peace of their respective peoples and not let them down by slipping back into their old official postures. This would require approaching the outstanding issues with flexibility of approach and innovation, especially in regard to Jammu & Kashmir. The lesser differences should be quickly resolved to create an environment favourable to the resolution of the main issue. Delegates to the SAFMA conference were agreed that India should make more efforts to discuss bilaterally with its neighbours problems relating to river waters. A new regional understanding of the riparian issues is essential to resolve Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bangladesh and Indo-Pakistan water disputes. The conference noted that India-Sri Lanka relations had improved and that their bilateral free-trade agreement could serve as a model for a SAARC free-trade regime.

On Indo-Nepal Relations Countries of the GMB region are encouraged to conduct the preliminary survey of the technical feasibility of the proposed 'NIBB Water Ways: 21st Century Project'. NIBB Water Ways is a vision to develop navigation (shipping) starting from Bay of Bengal to Koshi Tappu and other riparian cities. Regional Riparian Statutes are obligatory to resolve Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bangladesh and Indo-Pakistan water disputes. RRR statute model respecting Helsinki Convention proposes 8K upstream and downstream rights.

SAFMA suggests: l To review the 1950 treaty and letters of exchange in 1950 and 1965. l To effectively regulate and manage Nepal-India border to stop cross-border criminal activities, detrimental to the peace and security of both countries. l To educate, implement, promote and maintain water harnessing in a broader perspective so that the poor living standards of the potentially rich subcontinent can be upgraded. l Resolving the political crisis through a process of negotiations and engagement of all sides to restore democracy and peace in Nepal.

On Indo-Bangladesh Relations The SAFMA Conference noted with concern the recent cooling of relations between India and Bangladesh over several issues. India's complaints of Dhaka's 'help' to militants from India's North-east and Bangladesh's concern over the Indian 'refusal' to correct the trade imbalance and over the river-linking project in India seem to have particularly strained relations between the two countries. The Conference recommended that India should do more to withdraw the tariff barriers on the export of Bangladeshi goods to India. It also suggested that New

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Delhi take Dhaka into confidence over the river-linking project. The Conference also recommended that Bangladesh and India take each other's security concerns more seriously and act on them.

On Indo-Pakistan Relations The conference warmly appreciated the January 6th and September 24th (2004) Joint Statements issued by the leaders of India and Pakistan and called on both countries to implement them in letter and spirit. It expressed the hope that confidence-building measures will be taken while simultaneously examining various proposals regarding the Jammu & Kashmir issue with a sincerity of purpose.

On Kashmir SAFMA welcomes the positive and constructive tone of the meeting between President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New York, and the jointly expressed determination to engage in constructive and meaningful dialogue on all issues, including Kashmir without preconditions. In that spirit the SAFMA Conference discussed several alternatives on Kashmir for going ahead with the dialogue. The conference concluded that the twin processes of normalizing relations between India and Pakistan and, simultaneously, addressing the Kashmir issue with vigour. Stabilisation of Indo-Pak relations and confidencebuilding measures will, however, deepen trust and facilitate progress on Kashmir. There was a consensus that Kashmiri interests and aspirations needed to be addressed by both governments. It was felt that the representatives of Kashmiris from both parts should be consulted by the respective governments. The SAFMA conference generally agreed that only a solution from which all parties felt they had gained would be viable in the long run.

On Sri Lanka The Conference strongly endorsed the view that the return of peace, harmony and prosperity to the people of Sri Lanka calls for the sustained pursuit of the peace process that has been initiated. Unsettling developments that have marred the process in the past must not be allowed to impede its progress.

On Stabilising the South Asian Nuclear Regime Appreciating the already agreed upon measures intended to stabilise the South Asian nuclear regime, the conference proposed the following additional measures: l Kashmir should be declared a nuclear-free zone through a bilateral Indo-Pak agreement. l Both India and Pakistan must ensure that missile deployments (conventional or nuclear capable) do not directly threaten the other side. l Both sides should ensure that in crisis situations, direct communication channels remain functional. In addition to the arrangements in place and measures which have already been suggested, such channels must operate at other key levels of diplomacy and governance. However, SAFMA reiterates its opposition to all weapons of mass destruction and commits itself to strive for their elimination.

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Colombo Declaration Intrastate Conflicts in South Asia SAFMA Regional Conference on â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Intrastate Conflicts in South Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, 5 - 7 November, 2004, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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e the media persons from the countries of South Asia having deliberated on conflicts within the states at the South Asian Free Media Association's Regional Conference on Intrastate Conflicts in South Asia in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from November 5 to 7, 2004, reached a broader understanding on the following lines: 1. South Asian countries are beset with a variety of intrastate conflicts that often develop into interstate conflicts due to ethno-religious overlapping across geographically contiguous or too close frontiers, such as an ethnic conflict between majority Sinhala-Buddhist and minority Tamil-Hindu communities in Sri Lanka, communal and sectarian conflicts in Pakistan and India, mini insurgencies of the indigenous peoples of North-East for their self-assertion in India, Maoist insurrection for the rights of the rural and disposed people and constitutional crisis in Nepal and the resistance of indigenous people of Chittagong in Bangladesh. 2. The fact of the matter is that all these conflicts have been caused due to the denial of fundamental rights and aspirations of and discrimination against the people who happen to be in minority and have either been marginalised or excluded from the nation-building, political, social, cultural, economic and developmental processes that have been designed to suit, with varying degrees, the cultural, lingual, religious, economic and political interests of the majority community in mostly multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic societies. 3. In almost all these instances of the intrastate conflicts, the majority communities took the road of aggressive nationalism, based on the consensus among the majority community, or communalism/sectarianism which has been exclusionary and chauvinistic that often resorted to the armed repression of the struggle for equal rights and resistance to authoritarianism. 4. On the other hand the minority communities, be they ethnic or religious, have continued to resist all kinds of discriminations at various levels and, on denial of their right to peacefully resist, had to resort to violent means to face the armed repression by the state or forces from the majority community. 5. Even the countries like India and Pakistan, who took the opposite courses of nation-building, the dominant tendency was essentially over-centralisation or authoritarian as far as the rights of the deprived communities are concerned. Despite subscribing to opposite ideologies, India and Pakistan could not fully ensure the rights of minorities and strengthen pluralism due to various majoritarian versions of nation-building or democracy. Communal and sectarian

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conflicts have continued to sadly reflect upon the plight of religious minorities. Even if a secular state like India pursued a secular polity, the forces of religious revivalism, Hindutva or its soft versions, played havoc with the life and property of the minorities, as demonstrated by the demolition of Babri mosque and the Gujarat pogrom. Despite being created in the name of faith, Pakistan maltreated its ethnic majority, the people of Muslim Bengal, that resulted in the breakup of the country and the minority sects from within Islam became a victim of discrimination practiced by the state and attacks by the extremists from the majority sect. Rise of religious revivalism, communalism and extremism in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is increasingly threatening the minority religious communities or sects with adverse affects on non-extremist character of South Asian societies. A lack of respect for the identity, exclusion from the mainstream and marginalisation of certain religious and ethnic communities, castes, ethnic and the poor, caused a backlash among the dispossessed and disfranchised people that took an exclusivist form to resist the forcible assimilation and integration. In these conflict situations, communal and ethnic divides, the people from the oppressed and deprived communities suffered most, especially non-combatant civilians, women and children. No less disappointing is the fact that, as these communities were forced to resort to arms in some cases, such as Tamils of Elam, the armed wings of these resistance movements also showed intolerance to the non-combatant civilians and badly treated the minorities living under their areas of influence. The interstate conflicts, suspicions and differences among the states of South Asia, such as between India and Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka and India and Bangladesh, encouraged the respective states to use, with varying degrees, the intrastate conflicts and differences of the adversary to their advantage, thus, further exacerbating the intrastate conflicts. These conflicts have had not only distorted the whole processes of nationbuilding, socio-economic development, but have also retarded growth, increased incidence of poverty and caused greater miseries to the people since the scarce resources have increasingly been diverted to military security at the cost of human security. No less devastation is caused to the environment, ecology and culture of the indigenous people. As is always the case in such situations, the greater sufferer of these conflicts has been the women who had to pay greater price at the hands of the parties to the conflicts, even if certain movements did encourage women to play a relatively greater role. In these conflict situations, the media, with few laudable exceptions, also became partisan and got divided on chauvinist lines while becoming a tool in the hands of dominant interest groups and their ideologies or competing nationalisms. No doubt the media practitioners had to suffer casualties and victimization while performing their duties in the conflict situations, most of them have not tried to rise above the 'us' and 'they' divides and have often followed the official line or socalled 'national consensus' sacrificing neutrality, objectivity and independence.

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On Nepal The Maoists conflict cannot be solved militarily and therefore, calls for a negotiated settlement. But that can happen only if the constitutional forces including the king and the political parties come to an understanding on the question of bringing the constitutional process back on the rail. It is also time that Maoists sincerely prove that theirs is a political movement which respects the rights and existence of dissent within as well as outside their movement. Maoists should accept peace and dialogue as the way to seek legitimacy of their objectives. Equally necessary is a total stop on human rights violation by both the security forces as well as the insurgents so as to create a situation for dialogue.

On India The problem of insurgency in northeast India was because of two reasons: a) a weak sense of Indian nationalism among the people of the region, particularly those who inhabit the hill areas and b) large-scale illegal immigration into the northeast that has been going on since centuries. The first cause is rooted in history. The people of northeast India lived in isolation till the coming of independence. They remained outside the sphere of the great Indian national movement and so they never got the opportunity to identify themselves with the Indian ethos. To remedy the situation it was felt that the government and the policy planners should take into account this historical distortion. It was also felt that the Indian media had a huge role to play as far as integrating the people of the northeast are concerned. The media should give more coverage to affairs concerning the northeast people so that the psychological and emotional gaps between the northeast people and mainland India are bridged.

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07 - Interstate Conflicts in South Asia  

South Asian Journal, a quarterly periodical of South Asian journalists and scholars, January-March 2005. Editor Imtiaz Alam