Indic Studies Foundation

(a California non-Profit Organization)  kaushal's blog

index  Disclaimer






Home about us The Story of the Calendar AIT The Andhra  Satavahana Kingdoms Arrians Hiistory of Alexander Henry Rooke Aryabhata I Archaeology Aryan Migration Theories Astronomy Baudhika Dharma Bhartrihari Biographies  (mathematical sciences) Bhagavad Gita Bibliography California Text Book Travesty Caste Contact Core Values The Dhaarmic traditions Dholavira Digital Library of Indian History Books Distortions in Indian History Economics Editorial Archives Eminent Scientists Famine in British Colonial  India The ethics of the Hindu Glossary The Great Bharata war HEC2007 Hinduism/faqdharma.html HinduWeddings History The Indic Mathematical Tradition Indic Philosophy & Darshanas Indcstrat Kalidasa Katyayana Mathematics News and Current Events Panini References on India (library of Congress) References on Indic History References on Philosophy References for Place value systems References on Vedic Mathematical Sciences Sanskrit The Sanatana Dharna Secularism and the Hindu The South Asia File Srinivasa Ramanujan Vedic Mathematicians I Vedic Mathematicians II Vedic Mathematicians III What's in a name VP Sarathi Ancient Indian Astronomy






Who are We?

What do we do?

Latest News

Free Resources








Security, Global Power and Geopolitics


The Indian Voice  -an American view  of and the developing strategic relationship between the worlds 2 largest democracies.

Indian power and the threat to the world -Dr.Gautam Sen

Evolution of US-Indian Ties by Ashley Tellis

The Non-Proliferation Blues:

What is it about Pakistan ?

9-11 Citizen Watch

India flexes Naval Power sets up FENC

India Deserves A Nuclear Partnership

India Civil Nuclear Cooperation: Responding to Critics

Open Letter to Congress

US-Saudi relations – melting world order . Radha Rajan discusses ramnifications of the renewed cordiality between India and the House of Ibn Saud

In our interests to support India's rise ,a refreshingly different Ozie viewpoint where he sees the reality that many in the western world do not want  to see.

 Opposition to Nuclear Deal in India, Brahma Chellaney feels India does not learn from history, see also The South Asia File for the reasons for visceral US opposition

David Ignatius article in Washington Post (March 1,2006)


Letters to the editor


Response to  David Ignatius article

Apropos your column in todays  Washington Post, it bears recalling that it took over 30 years but at last the US administration and the American Press have recognized India for what she truly always has been a responsible nation state and a responsible Nuclear Power. Miracles do happen and finally the august Washington  Post has seen fit to see reality.. That India has never proliferated either through errors of omission or by deliberate acts of commission, sets it apart from the 5 major Nuclear Powers almost all of whom are guilty of selective proliferation.  It would not be an exercise in hyperbole to say that India' s behavior in this regard has been exemplary.

I applaud you for finally stating the truth namely that

The world is ready to accept India as a nuclear power because its actions have given other nations confidence that it seeks to play a stabilizing role.

I would like to reemphasize that it always has been thus. It is just that it took your paper 30 years to recognize reality. For this I give a lot of credit to President Bush, for his part in extricating Indo-US relations from the swamp of the cold war morass into which they had sunk.


Kosla Vepa

Dear Kaushal Vepa:

Judging from the following LOS ANGELES TIMES report, it looks like it’s going to be an uphill task for the passage of House Bill
HR 4974 and Senate Bill S 2429.

This is the time when friends of India, including the two-million plus Indian American community, need to contact in MASSIVE NUMBERS by fax, e-mail, phone and face-to-face meetings their House Representatives and Senators, starting with the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and the House International Relations Committee (HIRC).

In previous despatches, I had provided information on how to contact your lawmakers. I had also provided sample template letters. If you need the information to be repeated, please do not hesitate to e-mail me. 

The next two-three weeks are going to be crucial. PLEASE ACT NOW.


Ram Narayanan
US-India Friendship

VERY IMPORTANT, please forward this message to all your colleagues, friends and relations living in the United States. If you are connected to an organization, you are welcome to forward this message to all your members.,0,1575532.story?track=tottext


U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal No Shoo-In 

The signature Bush effort has failed to find champions on Capitol Hill. The left and right both fear proliferation of arms would increase.

By Paul Richter, Times Staff Writer

March 31, 2006

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration’s proposed nuclear deal with India is meeting with a chilly reception from lawmakers, who are predicting that instead of swift approval, the initiative faces revisions and delays, if not outright rejection.

The White House had hoped to win congressional approval by the end of May for the deal, which would open the way for cooperation on India’s civil nuclear program, and is also designed to begin a new strategic relationship between the United States and a populous, economically vibrant democracy.

But the initiative has found few high-profile champions on Capitol Hill or elsewhere, while becoming a target for criticism from the right and left that it could further undermine international efforts to stem the spread of nuclear weapons.

Since the deal was announced March 2, key lawmakers such as Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, have remained carefully neutral.

Meanwhile, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said this month that the president "is trying to ride a nuclear tiger…. I’m skeptical."

Former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), a respected voice on security issues, also has voiced concerns and urged lawmakers to remain skeptical.

"It may be going too far to say there’s panic within the administration, but I think there’s deep concern that it hasn’t been received nearly as well as hoped," said a Republican House staff member, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity. "They’re trying to create the impression of momentum. Frankly, I don’t think it’s there."

The legislation before Congress would lift rules barring the U.S. government from providing nuclear technology to countries such as India that have declined to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In return for such help, India would agree to allow international inspections of its civilian reactors, though its military weapons program would remain unmonitored.

President Bush contends that by selling nuclear reactors to India, the program would ease competition for oil, help the environment and provide important new U.S. commercial ties. Administration officials also want to foster a better relationship with India because they believe it can be a strategic counterweight to China.

To provide India with nuclear knowledge, the United States must also win approval from a group of nations, known as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, that controls the international nuclear trade. But in a meeting last weekend, the India proposal drew questions from representatives of many of the countries, and the administration failed to win permission to put the deal on the agenda for the group’s May meeting, as it had hoped to do.

Administration officials, who have been intensively lobbying Congress this month, have said that attempts to add conditions to the agreement could destroy a carefully crafted deal. R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of State for political affairs, said in an appearance this week before the Council on Foreign Relations that the administration could accept conditions that would improve the deal "as long as they don’t require us to go back and break the agreement, reopen negotiations."

But legislators say they’re likely to add conditions anyway. Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, in Washington this week to meet with lawmakers, seemed to accept that some changes were likely. In a speech to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, Saran said New Delhi could accept revisions as long as they did not upset the "delicate balance" of the proposal.

Although it is not yet clear what kind of amendments Congress might seek, it could demand assurances that India would vigorously enforce its export controls on nuclear technology, or press to require New Delhi to put any new fast-breeder reactors, which produce material for bombs, under international monitoring. Congress also might try to insist that India halt production of nuclear materials, as the United States and other leading atomic powers have done.

But India, which is building a nuclear arsenal in part as protection against China, has signaled that an attempt to impose such limits "would be a deal breaker," said the Republican staff member.

If Congress doesn’t act before the summer recess, the administration could face a tougher challenge because of the difficulty of pushing through such a controversial agreement just before a midterm congressional election. Then the deal, which aides consider one of the most important accomplishments of the Bush presidency, could be put on hold until next year.

One State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with agency rules, insisted that the administration was finding support for the deal on Capitol Hill and from countries such as Britain, Russia, France and Australia.

"But we realize we have some questions to address," he said.


r Policy Research, New Delhi in EXPRESS INDIA of October 3, 2005.

Significant excerpts:

**Most Asian countries on China’s periphery believe that their sa percipient piece by Bharat Karnad, Professor at the Center foecurity depends on the emergence of a militarily strong India as counterweight — because, notwithstanding its security commitments, in a crisis the United States can always choose to withdraw behind the moat of the Pacific Ocean.

**The pillars of an obvious and enduring Indian security architecture, if only the Indian government had the wit to envision it, are Israel and a Trucial State, like Oman, in the west and, in the east, ASEAN and Vietnam in China’s ‘‘soft underbelly’’, and Taiwan and Japan on the Chinese flank.

**Beijing may be apprehensive of a resurgent Japan but, of all the states on its border, it is most respectful of a militarily scrappy Vietnam, which prides itself on successfully fighting off the Chinese hegemon for ‘‘a thousand years’’. And most recently in 1979 gave the invading Chinese armies a bloody nose, which compelled Deng Xiaoping to do the prudent thing — speedily declare victory and get the hell out!
**By cultivating a resolute Vietnam as a close regional ally and security partner in the manner China has done Pakistan, India can pay Beijing back in the same coin.

**China has strategically discomfited India and sought to ‘‘contain’’ it to south Asia by arming Pakistan with nuclear weapons and missiles. Militarily to focus on Pakistan — the Chinese cat’s paw — as India has done is unwise. The cat can be more effectively dealt with by enabling Vietnam — a smaller but spirited tomcat — to rise militarily as a consequential state in China’s immediate neighbourhood.

**In the short term, this should reasonably be the prime Indian strategic objective.

**An opportunity will arise on October 3, when a defence delegation led by Lt General Nguyen Thinh, head of the Vietnamese Defence Research Centre — the counterpart of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation — begins its Indian trip. General Thinh is expected to ask for Indian help and technical assistance in acquiring a missile production capability.

**In exchange for the conventional warheaded Prithvi now and the promise of more advanced missiles and other such strategic cooperation in the future, Hanoi should be persuaded to allow the Indian Navy a basing option in Cam Ranh Bay, unarguably the finest natural deep water harbour in Asia, to match the planned Chinese naval presence in Gwadar on the Baluchistan coast. This, in turn, can be bottled up by the IAF active out of the former RAF base at Gan, leased from the Maldives government.

**BUT Cam Ranh Bay is a heady attraction for the United States and China as well. Vietnam has turned down such approaches essentially because it distrusts them. In the past, when the Indian Navy requested access to Cam Ranh Bay, the Vietnamese pleaded this would upset the big powers. However, the offer of missiles and other such strategic cooperation should prevail over Vietnam’s inhibitions.

**The crucial question is: has the MEA the imagination to push this deal?

See below for the complete articles.


Ram Narayanan
US India Friendship


Dear Kaushal Vepa:

India has resisted recent attempts by the US to pressure her to get a formal commitment 
not to undertake further nuclear testing.

The following two articles pretty well sum up India’s position.


Ram Narayanan
US-India Friendship,0012.htm



Deterring pressure

April 18, 2006

By now critics in India should have realised that the Indo-US nuclear deal is a good one for India and that those negotiating it are not about to keel over and play dead when confronted with US pressure to do this or that. US efforts to try to get a formal commitment from India not to undertake further nuclear testing on the pain of terminating the putative cooperation under the deal can only be seen as a somewhat desultory ploy to calm the US non-proliferation ayatollahs. The Americans know very well that a country that stood resolutely against the ‘in perpetuity’ extension of the NPT and virtually single-handedly blocked the CTBT in the mid-Nineties, is unlikely to give in on this issue.
India has, of course, already agreed to maintain a self-imposed moratorium on further testing. New Delhi’s aversion to a formal commitment was clearly spelt out by its diplomats during the negotiations over the CTBT in mid-1996. Its view was that the nuclear weapons States had agreed on ending explosive testing because they had garnered enough knowledge from the hundreds of tests they had already done. New Delhi also made it clear that while it would not sign the treaty, it would not oppose it either. Despite this, provisions were incorporated insisting that without the signature of New Delhi and some other States capable of making nuclear weapons, it would not come into force. Arguably, this attempt to box in India was the catalyst that led to the Pokhran II tests. As is well-known, US pressure prevented a test in December 1996, as did political uncertainty in 1997. But in 1998, at the first opportunity, the tests were conducted.

The current Indo-US nuclear deal has benefits for both India and the US. As the two sides move to a formal bilateral agreement they need to keep the provisions of the July 18, 2005 joint statement in sharp focus. The proposed Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement is to be about cooperation for civil nuclear technology. It seeks to end a comprehensive US embargo of the Indian nuclear programme. It’s key preconditions are that India separate its civil and military programmes, and that the US open up to the former and learn to live with the latter.


Things change, times change

K. Subrahmanyam 

Posted online: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 0000 hrs 

But on nuclear issues India has always acted upon the national interest 

The issue of India being entrapped into a bilateral commitment in an agreement with the US on nuclear cooperation not to carry out nuclear tests has proved to be a flash in the pan. The deal is very complex and the exercise of exceptionalising India from a treaty — which the entire international community excepting three out of the 191 nations, in its wisdom extended unconditionally and indefinitely — has no precedent. Such negotiations would need more than normal diplomatic confidentiality. It is therefore no surprise that the issue of India’s commitment not to carry out tests, featuring in the American draft of the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement, had been addressed by the ministry of external affairs two weeks before the preliminary draft (no longer current) became public. However, this is an appropriate time to discuss the probability of the current, somewhat tenuous test ban regime breaking down and India being compelled to resort to testing again.

Out of the five recognised nuclear weapon powers, three — UK, France and Russia — have signed and ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The US Senate has rejected the ratification of the treaty while China, presumably keeping a watch on the US, has not yet ratified it. If either resumes testing, then others are bound to follow. This possibility will be weighing with the US and China even though they have not ratified the treaty. Every once in a while reports emanate from the US about Congress voting funds for further research on nuclear weapons. A bunker-busting bomb is frequently mentioned as a near-term possibility. But resumption of tests would need congressional approval. It is therefore very unlikely that the world will be taken by surprise by an American test. There will be some notice and other nations will have time to react. One cannot, however, assume that in spite of these considerations the US would not dump the CTBT into the dustbin and go ahead and test. It may be recalled that the US annulled the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty after 30 years, though the annulment was preceded by negotiations with Russia and was done with its reluctant acquiescence.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote in the Washington Post in December: “For the first time since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the prospect of violent conflict between great powers is becoming ever more unthinkable. Major states are increasingly competing in peace, not preparing for war. To advance this remarkable trend, the US is transforming our partnerships with nations such as Japan and Russia, with the European Union and especially with China and India. Together we are building a more lasting and durable form of global stability, a balance of power that favours freedom.”

Unlike the National Missile Defence, which could be justified as a defensive system, new tests in nuclear weapons cannot be advanced as a non-offensive effort to the other major powers. The anti-missile system of the US has led to Russia producing a manoeuvrable warhead missile system, which is unstoppable. This development has a valuable lesson for the US in resuming nuclear tests. Though in the next few years the US will be incurring half of the world’s military expenditure, the spending is mostly focused on making the US armed forces unbeatable by any other major power or combination of major powers. As of now, there are no signs of an arms race between the US and China or Russia. Therefore, a reasonable assessment can only be that resumption of nuclear testing is of extremely low probability.

The large-scale global revival of the nuclear industry is going to engage the US weapons laboratories on designing next generation reactors and in keeping the US ahead of other nations in civil nuclear energy research. Till now the weapon laboratories constituted very powerful lobbies against the nuclear test ban. This situation is likely to change. The issue of retaining the freedom to test features largely in the minds of those who are still conditioned by Cold War logic. In March President Bush explained the new US policy towards India with the words, “things change, times change”.

India’s own attitude towards nuclear testing would illustrate the above axiom. Jawaharlal Nehru proposed a complete test ban treaty as far back as 1954. India was the first non-nuclear country to enthusiastically sign the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Because of this stand, India termed the Pokhran test of 1974 a peaceful nuclear explosion. Indira Gandhi attempted to test in 1983, even as she espoused the ‘six nations, five continents initiative’, which urged comprehensive test ban. Rajiv Gandhi followed up this initiative and held a conference of six nations in Delhi in 1986. Comprehensive test ban figured in his disarmament plan. In 1990 the bulk of non-aligned nations used the relevant clause of the Partial Test Ban Treaty to convene a conference to urge comprehensive test ban. This was vetoed by the nuclear weapons powers. In 1994 the CTBT found a mention in the joint statement of Narasimha Rao and Bill Clinton. Even as India had been urging a comprehensive test ban Rao attempted to carry out a nuclear test in December 1995 and was thwarted by the Americans. All through this period successive PMs denied any intention to acquire nuclear weapons.

For the first time in June 1996, while Inder Gujral was foreign minister, India declared in the Conference on Disarmament that nuclear testing was a matter of national security concern for the country. When the CTBT was to be adopted by the Conference on Disarmament India blocked it and compelled it to be taken to the UN General Assembly. There it was passed with near unanimity, with India opposing it.

This narrative is presented here to point out that India could adopt a publicly declared policy from 1954 to 1996 and when compelled by national security considerations could make a complete U-turn.


Jewish panel backs Indo-US nuclear deal

Sridhar Krishnaswami (PTI) in Washington, DC | May 16, 2006 09:46 IST

Throwing its weight behind the Indo-US civil nuclear energy agreement, the American Jewish Committee has urged the US Congress to approve enabling legislation currently pending on Capitol Hill.

The committee said that the proposed agreement is a pragmatic and forward-looking response to the strategic requirements of both nations and one that recognised the nuclear capabilities of India, a vibrant democracy, while preserving the essence of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is a bulwark of peace and stability in the post-War world." 

The benefit of the nuclear energy deal is ’strategic’ and in America’s interest, the AJC said in letters to the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Richard Lugar, its Ranking Democrat Joseph Biden, Chair of the House International Relations Committee Henry Hyde, Ranking Democrat Tom Lantos and to all members of the US Congress.

"The AJC strongly supports the proposed US-India civil nuclear energy agreement and urges approval of the enabling legislation," it said. 

The committee noted that with a population of more than one billion and an expanding economy, India offers the US a ’stable, democratic partner in Asia, as well as significant trade and investment opportunities’.

"The US-India nuclear agreement will advance this growing relationship, and is profoundly in America’s national interest,’ the AJC said.

’After almost 50 years of misunderstanding, India and the US are on a path of rapidly increasing cooperation that includes counter-terrorism and regional security efforts, and touches on many sectors political, commercial, scientific and educational,’ it added. 

The Committee said that the nuclear deal had the potential to lessen India’s reliance on fossil fuels and meet the country’s growing energy needs.

’Enhancements in India’s civil nuclear power capabilities made possible by this agreement can be expected to lessen the country’s historic reliance on Middle East fossil fuels to meet accelerating energy needs and offsetting electric generation from indigenous high-sulphur coal, may yield long-term environmental benefits as well," it said.

’Our confidence in pluralistic and democratic India, in the Administration’s care in crafting this agreement, and in the natural alliance between India and the US, underlies our support for this timely and prudent step forward in US-India relations,’ the AJC added.


Recognizing reality 

By Stanley A. Weiss
May 8, 2006

Like the eager parents of an arranged marriage, President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have shaken hands, toasted the future and agreed to a dowry long coveted by New Delhi -- an historic civilian nuclear agreement that tacitly recognizes India as the world’s sixth nuclear state.

Both leaders must now convince reluctant compatriots back home to go along with the deal, raising the question that confronts every arranged marriage -- will love follow?

Unlike nuptials of the past, when Indian brides and grooms met for the first time at the altar, the United States and India have been getting to know one another since President Clinton’s landmark visit in 2000. By then, New Delhi had largely shed its Nehruvian socialist past, and today Washington sees India as the attractive partner it is -- the world’s largest democracy and second-fastest growing economy and a reliable partner in the war on terrorism and reconstruction in Afghanistan.

But standing in the way of a more perfect union is India’s small arsenal of nuclear weapons, which under U.S. law and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty prevents New Delhi from receiving nuclear assistance for its civilian energy program. Intended as the crowing jewel of a new U.S.-Indian strategic partnership, the nuclear deal unveiled in March has triggered grumbling on both sides.

American critics say Mr. Bush gave away too much -- giving India sensitive nuclear technology without capping New Delhi’s production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or opening its entire civilian program to international inspection. It is "nuclear hypocrisy," they cry, to embrace Indian nuclear ambitions while condemning those of Iran and North Korea.

Indian critics say just the opposite -- that Mr. Singh gave away too much by agreeing to separate the country’s civilian and military nuclear programs, effectively limiting its fissile supplies and undermining New Delhi’s nuclear deterrent. The real "nuclear hypocrisy," Indians say, is a nonproliferation treaty that arbitrarily recognized the "big five" nuclear states who had arsenals in 1968, but not India, which went nuclear later.

The new agreement perpetuates this hypocrisy, Indians complain.
If Washington shares nuclear technology with Beijing, the great nuclear proliferator, why not India, with its solid record of preventing proliferation? 

Imperfect though it may be, the nuclear agreement now before the U.S. Congress is like any dowry -- turning it down risks spoiling the larger relationship. Indeed, overlooked in the current debate are the dangerous consequences if Congress rejects the agreement or imposes new conditions that make it a deal-breaker for New Delhi. 

Even more than about technology, Indians see the deal as being about trust. Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, the chief Indian negotiator on the agreement, tells me that it "sends the political message that India is no longer perceived as a target, but as a partner." K. Subrahmanyam, a former member of India’s National Security Council, says failure would result in a "total loss of trust" that could contaminate the entire U.S.-Indian political, economic and military relationship, including intelligence cooperation in the war on terrorism.

Mr. Singh, whose fragile ruling coalition survives with the support of leftist and communist parties, could suffer a fatal political blow for aligning India so closely with Washington. A senior aide to the prime minister tells me that the deal’s defeat would limit Mr. Singh’s ability to work with Washington and embolden anti-American voices in India, who could claim, "We told you so, never trust the Americans."

Indeed, perhaps the greatest damage of the deal’s demise would be to the broader Asian power balance. Just as U.S. officials implicitly acknowledge democratic India’s potential role as counterweight to China, the deal’s ruin could achieve the precise opposite. New Delhi and Beijing pledged themselves last year to a new strategic partnership, and Moscow has pursued, without much success, greater Russian-Indian-Chinese cooperation. Failure of the U.S.-India nuclear agreement would "breathe a fresh dose of oxygen into the rapidly dying Moscow-New Delhi-Beijing triangle," says Krishna Rasgotra, the former Indian foreign secretary.

Given the consequences of failure, blocking the agreement because of India’s limited economic, political and military ties with Iran -- as some U.S. lawmakers have threatened -- would be an historic blunder. Cooperation between Hindu India and Persian Iran, two ancient civilizations with deep cultural links, is natural and no threat to the United States.

In fact, despite Iranian threats that doing so could endanger negotiations on a new pipeline to bring Iranian natural gas to India, New Delhi has voted twice with the United States at the International Atomic Energy Agency against Iran’s nuclear program. It’s hard to imagine India taking similar risks in the future if Capitol Hill votes against India’s nukes today.

Three years ago, a young Indian bride named Nisha Sharma became an international celebrity when, at the altar, she called off her wedding after the groom’s family suddenly demanded a larger dowry than had been agreed upon.

American lawmakers take note: You go to the altar with the dowry you have, not the dowry you might want. Trying to renegotiate this nuclear deal could poison the U.S.-Indian relationship for years to come. And rather than love, only mistrust and missed opportunities will follow.

Stanley A. Weiss is founder and chairman of Business Executives for National Security, a nonpartisan organization based in Washington.



It is ironic that so much attention is vouchsafed on India and Iran , while Pakistan gets away almost without any punitive action even after admitting guilt in the proliferation of WMD.  Contrast  with the draconian actions taken against India both in1974 and in 1998,especially in the later case with a President in power who was not antipathic to India. Still, I give credit to President Bush for redressing the tilt to the terrorist state to some extent.

However it is not acceptable to allow Pakistan to get away with such actions without any punitive measures, simply because it is  a compliant ally.

A quiet burial of a scandal that will haunt Washington








The Japan Times Printer Friendly Articles

A quiet burial of a scandal that will haunt Washington



NEW DELHI -- With global attention focused on the U.S.-led face-off with Tehran over the nuclear issue, Pakistan has ingeniously seized the opportunity to give a quiet burial to the worst proliferation scandal in world history, involving the Pakistani transfer of nuclear knowhow and equipment to three states -- Iran, Libya and North Korea.

On May 2, Pakistan announced the closure in the scandal-related case, as it freed from jail the last of the 11 nuclear scientists imprisoned more than two years ago for suspected roles in the covert transfers. The 12th figure, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the ring's alleged mastermind, was granted immunity from prosecution and has been made to stay at home under tight security since his February 2004 televised confession on illicit nuclear dealings.

Contrast the international crisis being contrived over Iran -- a country that would take at least 10 years to acquire nuclear-weapons capability after freeing itself from International Atomic Energy Agency inspections -- with the lack of any response to Pakistan's defiant statement that "as far we are concerned this chapter is closed."

And notice the dramatic irony that at the very time Tehran is under pressure to come clean on its imports of Pakistani nuclear designs and items, the exporting country has announced closure of the probe. A full international investigation could yield answers to several key unresolved Iran-related issues cited by the IAEA in its report released April 28.

It was the Pakistani proliferation ring that gave the Iranian nuclear program its start.

No one to date has been charged, let alone put on trial, in Pakistan for involvement in a clandestine proliferation ring whose international-security ramifications thus far exceed Iran's enrichment of a minute amount of uranium. None of the actors in the scandal has been allowed by Pakistan to be questioned by the IAEA or any other outside investigators, although Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged transfers of bomb know-how, including complete uranium-enrichment centrifuges, to Iran, North Korea and Libya from 1987 to 2003.

In fact, the principal actors are not A.Q. Khan and his fellow scientists but the Pakistan military and intelligence. To ensure that the role of the principal actors is not exposed, the entire blame was pinned on a group of 12 "greedy" scientists led by Khan, and then these very men have been religiously kept away from international investigators.

What's more, the military -- which has always controlled the nuclear program -- claimed that it wasn't aware that nuclear secrets were being sold until Libya and Iran began spilling the beans. As part of Pakistan's nukes-for-missiles swap with North Korea, a Pakistani C-130 military transport aircraft, for example, was photographed loading missile parts in Pyongyang in 2002. Yet Musharraf claimed he was in the dark.

No country has concocted a more ridiculous tale than Pakistan as an excuse for roguish conduct. The uncovering of the proliferation ring should have persuaded Islamabad's Western allies to distance themselves from the military and invest in the only real guarantee for Pakistan's future as a stable, moderate state -- its civil society. Instead, the Bush administration went along with Islamabad's charade because it sees the Pakistan military as central to U.S. strategic interests in that country. It even lent a helping hand to the Musharraf regime to dress up the pretense as reality.

Such is America's ability to shape international perceptions that the world has been made to believe that A.Q. Khan, on his own, set up and ran a nuclear Wal-Mart. And that Khan's network of "private entrepreneurs" had only less than a dozen Pakistani scientists, including his right-hand man, Mohammad Farooq, who has just been freed from incarceration.

It was Libya, seeking to re-enter the international mainstream, that first disclosed the existence of the Pakistani proliferation ring, but the United States took the credit by stage-managing an event in October 2003. With the help of documents Tripoli had turned over to Washington, a German cargo ship was intercepted en route to Libya with centrifuge components routed through Dubai. The 21st-century fable of a Khan-run nuclear supermarket busted by the U.S. has now become part of American nuclear folklore.

Long before Khan turned from a national icon to a national scapegoat, he had been a favorite of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency during the period when Washington knew that Pakistan was developing nuclear weapons. America turned a blind eye to the underground Pakistani bomb program for the same reason that China aided Islamabad's nuclear and missile ambitions. Not only did the CIA twice shield Khan from arrest in Europe, it also had a likely hand in the disappearance of Khan's legal files from the Amsterdam court that convicted him, according to recent Dutch revelations.

As disclosed by former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers last August, the CIA protected Khan from arrest and prosecution in Europe in 1975 and 1986. The Dutch government did not take Khan into custody at the request of the CIA, which pretended that it wanted "to follow him."

Khan was sentenced in absentia by Judge Anita Leeser in 1983 to four years in prison for stealing Dutch enrichment secrets on the basis of which Pakistan's Kahuta plant had by then been set up. After the conviction was overturned on a technicality, U.S. intelligence may have influenced the Dutch decision not to bring new charges against Khan, whose case files, according to Judge Leeser, disappeared "on purpose."

Now, karmic justice has caught up with Khan. After having been assisted for years by the CIA, Khan has become the butt of U.S. vilification.

More broadly, the U.S. should have foreseen the consequences of its action in winking at Pakistan's covert nuclear program. It is well documented how the Pakistan military helped build nuclear weapons with materials and equipment illegally procured from overseas through intermediaries in Dubai and front companies set up in Europe by its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. What could not be procured from the West was imported covertly from ally China.

With the ISI spearheading operations and Khan as the brain, the military ran the world's most successful nuclear-smuggling ring. That success only bred proliferation in the reverse direction -- out of Pakistan.

There is a long history to how Pakistani nuclear mendacity has been aided by America's pursuit of politically expedient foreign-policy goals. Now, by whitewashing Islamabad's official complicity in the sale of nuclear secrets, the U.S. can only spur more rogue proliferation in the future.

Despite a military quagmire in Iraq and instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Bush administration is itching to fashion a continuous arc of volatility between Israel and India by taking on Iran. The White House openly seeks to foment regime change in Tehran while it simultaneously pursues coercive diplomacy, backed by the tacit threat of military strikes, on the nuclear issue.

Compare the Bush team's leniency toward Pakistan with its belligerence against Iran. America and its allies want a U.N. Security Council resolution that would strip Iran of its legal rights under the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by ordering it to cease all IAEA-safeguarded enrichment and reprocessing activities, including research and development and the construction of a heavy-water reactor. Yet, Washington and its three Tehran-bashing friends -- Britain, France and Germany -- have said nothing on the Musharraf regime's use of the downward spiral on Iran to release the last remaining Pakistani scientist from preventive custody and cheekily announce that the proliferation case is over, with no further investigation planned or required.

America's indulgence toward Pakistan defies logic. President George W. Bush invaded Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction that were not there but has allowed Pakistan, with real WMD and al-Qaida sanctuaries, to escape international censure for its egregious nuclear transfers to three states.

The IAEA demands additional documentation or data from Iran regarding its P-1 and P-2 centrifuges. Consecutive IAEA reports have harped on the Iranian refusal to hand over a 1987 document from the Pakistani ring offering to supply "drawings, specifications and calculations" for an enrichment facility, along with "materials for 2,000 centrifuge machines" and data on "uranium re-conversion and casting capabilities." The IAEA, to "understand the full scope of the offer made by the network in 1987," is also seeking a copy of a second 15-page document.

A good way to get around Tehran's reluctance to share full information is for Washington and its friends to facilitate IAEA investigations into the Pakistani ring. Several key outstanding issues on Iran could be readily settled if the IAEA were permitted to do the obvious -- probe the front part of the supply line in the country where it originated. Yet the U.S.-backed Musharraf regime on May 2 again rejected that idea, declaring, "There is no question of direct access."

Even the task of containing the risks of further Pakistani leakage in the future cannot be met without verifiably unplugging the various links in the elaborate Pakistani nuclear-supply chain. A charade that hushes up the role of the military -- in the interest of Musharraf and the U.S. -- is hardly the answer to those risks.

Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the privately funded Center for Policy Research, is a regular contributor to The Japan Times.

The Japan Times: Saturday, May 13, 2006


 Dear Kaushal Vepa:

In his landmark commencement speech delivered at U.S. Naval War College on January 16, 2006 Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committeee, said that both Houses of Congress are satisfactorily “working through language that would guide our policy toward India.” He said that “a Congressional rejection of the agreement – or an open-ended delay – risks wasting a critical opportunity to begin to expand beyond our Cold War alliance structures to include dynamic nations with whom our interests are converging.” It was the strongest statement Lugar has made to date regarding the India agreement, which he called “the most important strategic diplomatic initiative undertaken by President Bush” and a departure “from the crisis management mentality that has dominated foreign policy” in recent years.


Let me discuss with you a current debate before the Congress and our country. I believe it is critical that the U.S. Congress come to conclusions about President Bush’s proposed civilian nuclear agreement with India. The India agreement represents the most important strategic diplomatic initiative undertaken by President Bush, and it represents a fundamental departure from the crisis management mentality that has dominated foreign policy in both the executive and legislative branches in recent years. By concluding this pact and the far-reaching set of cooperative agreements that accompany it, President Bush has embraced a long-term outlook that seeks to enhance the core strength of our foreign policy in a way that will give us new diplomatic options and improve global stability. With this agreement, the President and Secretary Rice are asking Congress to see the opportunities that lie beyond the horizon of the current presidential term.
As such, a Congressional rejection of the agreement -- or an open-ended delay -- risks wasting a critical opportunity to begin to expand beyond our Cold War alliance structures to include dynamic nations with whom our interests are converging.

Many Members of Congress, including myself, have been studying the implications of the nuclear pact on non-proliferation policy. India has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and it has developed and tested nuclear weapons. The U.S.-India agreement would allow India to receive nuclear fuel, technology, and reactors from the United States – benefits that were previously denied to it because of its status outside the treaty. We should be concerned about the precedent set by this action, and we must ensure that this agreement does not undercut our own responsibilities under the Nonproliferation Treaty.

But I believe that we can do that satisfactorily. Both Houses of Congress are working through language that would guide our policy toward India. I believe that we can help solidify New Delhi’s commitments to implement strong export controls, separate its civilian nuclear infrastructure from its weapons program, and place civilian facilities under IAEA safeguards. This agreement also would be a powerful incentive for India to cooperate closely with the United States in stopping proliferation and to abstain from further nuclear weapons tests. These outcomes could represent important advancements for non-proliferation policy.

The Administration’s declaration that we would welcome India’s advancement as a major economic and political player on the world stage represents a strategic decision to invest political capital in a country with a vibrant democracy, rapidly growing economy, and increasing clout. With a well-educated middle class that is larger than the entire U.S. population, India can be an anchor of stability in Asia and an engine of global economic growth.

It can also be a key partner in countering global extremist trends. Both of our countries understand the importance of opposing violent movements through the promotion of religious pluralism, tolerance, and democratic freedoms. As a country with well-entrenched democratic traditions and the world’s second largest Muslim population, India can set an example of a multi-religious and multi-cultural democracy in an otherwise volatile region.

India’s growing energy demand – likely to double within 20 years – makes global energy security an integral part of our strategic dialogue and provides important opportunities for cooperation. I introduced S. 1950 the “U.S.-India Energy Security Cooperation Act” last November to take advantage of these opportunities to cooperate with India on reducing global oil dependence. The bill, which has been passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, promotes and authorizes funding for joint research and development of alternative energy sources and clean coal technologies. It is essential that we elevate our energy dialogue with India and work together to increase the availability of clean energy and help stabilize world energy markets.

We already are beginning to see strategic benefits from developing closer relations with India. For instance, India’s votes at the IAEA on the Iran issue last September and this past February demonstrate that New Delhi is able and willing to adjust its traditional foreign policies and play a constructive role on international issues. While acknowledging that India prizes its strategic autonomy, it will have increasing incentives to use its influence to help sway debates and events in other areas that serve stability and global economic progress.

The full Lugar address can be read at:

Also worth reading is Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei’s article in the Washington Post (see below).


Ram Narayanan
US India Friendship

Rethinking Nuclear Safeguards

By Mohamed ElBaradei
Wednesday, June 14, 2006; Page A23

In regard to nuclear proliferation and arms control, the fundamental problem is clear: Either we begin finding creative, outside-the-box solutions or the international nuclear safeguards regime will become obsolete.

For this reason, I have been calling for new approaches in a number of areas. First, a recommitment to disarmament -- a move away from national security strategies that rely on nuclear weapons, which serve as a constant stimulus for other nations to acquire them. Second, tightened controls on the proliferation-sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle. By bringing multinational control to any operation that enriches uranium or separates plutonium, we can lower the risk of these materials being diverted to weapons. A parallel step would be to create a mechanism to ensure a reliable supply of reactor fuel to bona fide users, including a fuel bank under control of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The third area has been more problematic: how to deal creatively with the three countries that remain outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): Pakistan and India, both holders of nuclear arsenals, and Israel, which maintains an official policy of ambiguity but is believed to be nuclear-weapons-capable. However fervently we might wish it, none of these three is likely to give up its nuclear weapons or the nuclear weapons option outside of a global or regional arms control framework. Our traditional strategy -- of treating such states as outsiders -- is no longer a realistic method of bringing these last few countries into the fold.

Which brings us to a current controversy -- the recent agreement between President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding the exchange of nuclear technology between the United States and India.

Some insist that the deal will primarily enable India to divert more uranium to produce more weapons -- that it rewards India for having developed nuclear weapons and legitimizes its status as a nuclear weapons state. By contrast, some in India argue that it will bring the downfall of India’s nuclear weapons program, because of new restrictions on moving equipment and expertise between civilian and military facilities.

Clearly, this is a complex issue on which intelligent people can disagree. Ultimately, perhaps, it comes down to a balance of judgment. But to this array of opinions, I would offer the following:

First, under the NPT, there is no such thing as a "legitimate" or "illegitimate" nuclear weapons state. The fact that five states are recognized in the treaty as holders of nuclear weapons was regarded as a matter of transition; the treaty does not in any sense confer permanent status on those states as weapons holders. Moreover, the U.S.-India deal is neutral on this point -- it does not add to or detract from India’s nuclear weapons program, nor does it confer any "status," legal or otherwise, on India as a possessor of nuclear weapons. India has never joined the NPT; it has therefore not violated any legal commitment, and it has never encouraged nuclear weapons proliferation.

Also, it is important to consider the implications of denying this exchange of peaceful nuclear technology. As a country with one-sixth of the world’s population, India has an enormous appetite for energy -- and the fastest-growing civilian nuclear energy program in the world. With this anticipated growth, it is important that India have access to the safest and most advanced technology.

India clearly enjoys close cooperation with the United States and many other countries in a number of areas of technology and security. It is treated as a valued partner, a trusted contributor to international peace and security. It is difficult to understand the logic that would continue to carve out civil nuclear energy as the single area for noncooperation.

Under the agreement, India commits to following the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an organization of states that regulates access to nuclear material and technology. India would bring its civilian nuclear facilities under international safeguards. India has voiced its support for the conclusion of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. The strong support of both India and the United States -- as well as all other nuclear weapons states -- is sorely needed to make this treaty a reality.

The U.S.-India agreement is a creative break with the past that, handled properly, will be a first step forward for both India and the international community. India will get safe and modern technology to help lift more than 500 million people from poverty, and it will be part of the international effort to combat nuclear terrorism and rid our world of nuclear weapons.

As we face the future, other strategies must be found to enlist Pakistan and Israel as partners in nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. Whatever form those solutions take, they will need to address not only nuclear weapons but also the much broader range of security concerns facing each country. No one ever said controlling nuclear weapons was going to be easy. It will take courage and tenacity in large doses, a great deal more outside-of-the-box thinking, and a sense of realism. And it will be worth the effort.

The writer is director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He and the agency won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.


Nuke the doubts

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri

July 6, 2006

The critics who have howled their disapproval of the Indo-US nuclear deal have been small but loud. They formed packs in both India and the US, they have included both right and left, war hawks and peaceniks. That they have emerged from the extremes is as good evidence as any that the deal is a win-win for India and the world.
Here’s a checklist of the main arguments against the deal — and why they’re hogwash.

Myth 1: The deal caps India’s fissile material production. Elements in the BJP argue that the deal puts curbs on how much bomb-making fissile material India can make. The US non-proliferation lobby argues the deal places no curbs on fissile material production. They both can’t be right.

The truth is closer to the latter stance. The deal gives India the option of piling up fissile material: India can build as many military reactors as it wants and continue developing its breeder reactor. The latter, when completed, would leave the country knee-deep in plutonium.

The non-proliferation crowd is wrong to say India will go fissile crazy. There may be a way, but there’s no will. India didn’t make a plutonium mountain before the deal — though it could have — because New Delhi has no interest in a mega-arsenal. Reasons: An emptied exchequer and an arms race with China.

Bottomline: The deal doesn’t restrict India’s fissile material production, India’s own strategic calculations do.

Myth 2: The deal stops India from more nuclear tests. Not even the fine print says India can’t test. What it says is that if India does test, the US will break off all civil nuclear cooperation. This has been part of US law since 1978 and applies to all countries, including Israel and the UK.

The only reason India may test again is to maintain the stability of its nuclear stockpile. But this can be done through subcritical tests — which attract no penalties. But just in case Pakistan and China suddenly start preparing to mushroom-cloud the region and India feels it must follow suit, the deal allows the US President to go to the US Congress and explain India’s reasons and try for an exemption.

Assume the worst: India tests and the US says it’s The End. The only real consequence for India would be a disrupted nuclear fuel supply. Which is why India is negotiating an International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreement that commits third parties to supply fuel if the US goes into a sulk.

Bottomline: The deal extracts a cost if India tests. But it has a reimbursement clause.

Myth 3: The deal forced India to sell out Iran. Assume the Indo-US nuclear deal never happened. Would India be happy with Iran getting nuclear weapons? Not a chance. Tehran did business with Pakistan’s atomic smuggler A. Q. Khan. New Delhi has long fretted that Iran’s going nuclear would lead to a Saudi Arabia-Pakistan nuclear alliance. Put it another way: a nuclear Iran rebounds in Pakistan’s favour.

Much is made of India’s ‘special relationship’ with Iran. This is mythical. Yes, the two worked together, notably in Afghanistan. But they have clashed on almost everything else. Iran opposes India’s own nuclear ambitions, lobbies against India’s attempts to get a UN Security Council seat, and supports human rights resolutions and other irritants that have negative implications for Kashmir. Iran is a fair-weather friend. On the nuclear issue, the bilateral sky is permanently cloudy.

Indians have rightly grimaced at heavy-handed attempts by US congressmen and officials to link the Indo-US nuclear deal to India’s opposition to Iran’s nuclear programme. The truth is that India’s policy on Iran wasn’t different, it was just never articulated out of political correctness.

Bottomline: India is and has been against a nuclear-armed Iran. But New Delhi foolishly never made this clear to its public or to Tehran.

Myth 4: Safeguards in perpetuity are a sellout. The idea that any safeguarded nuclear facility will remain civilian forever has an ominously biblical ring. But it’s not new. India first accepted the principle of perpetuity in 1978 when the Department of Atomic Energy let Russia place the Rana Pratap Sagar reactors in Rajasthan under safeguards in 1978. India then agreed to the same for the Koodankulum reactors.

In other words, India has been accepting perpetuity clauses in return for nothing in the past. Now it’s doing the same, but getting international acceptance of its right to have both civilian and military nuclear programmes in return. No country will provide India with nuclear fuel or technology without perpetual safeguards. This is not a US bogey, it’s a global norm.

The only reasonable demand is that India not concede perpetuity without a guarantee of perpetual nuclear fuel supplies. Otherwise, in some theoretical global fluff-up, India could end up with a lot of idle nuclear power plants. This perpetuity-for-perpetuity trade-off is exactly what is being embedded in India’s IAEA safeguards agreement.

Bottomline: Perpetuity is fine, but it must be double-barrelled.

Myth 5: India is not getting genuine nuclear power status. India can’t get nuclear power status as defined by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty unless it can get: a) a time machine and detonate a nuclear bomb before 1967, or b) the support of all 151 NPT signatories. It’s a toss-up as to which is more impossible.

What the nuclear deal gives India is the right to have both civilian and military nukes and access to global nuclear knowhow — the key benefits of nuclear club membership. All else is just rhetoric. It helps to realize that there is no standard ‘bill of rights of a nuclear power’, even among the five NPT powers. Crudely speaking, the earlier you enter the nuclear club, the more rights you get. Thus the US has the most, China the least. China, for example, places many of its atomic installations under perpetual safeguards despite being a recognised nuclear power.

Bottomline: India gets the wine in the bottle, minus the label.

Myth 6: India doesn’t need nuclear power. India needs power from any source that it can find. Critics of nuclear power focus on the high start-up costs of reactors and projections that reactors will at best provide 8 per cent of India’s future energy needs. Yes, reactors are billion-dollar-babies. But that’s why the private sector is being brought in. Reliance, Tata and others are all lining up and they feel they have the funds. The fact the critics sidestep is that after a reactor is up and running, the per unit cost of its electricity is among the lowest and least volatile in the industry.

Also, no one says nuclear power is the be all, end all of India’s power needs. A nation’s energy security is also about being able to tap a variety of power sources. In the long-term, it wouldn’t help to be dependent solely on nuclear power. But not having a lot more nuclear power — cheap electricity that is independent of sheikhs and price cycles — is worse.




All articles are the copyright property of the writers. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C., section 107, some material on this site is provided without permission from the copyright owner, only for purposes of criticism, comment, scholarship and research under the "fair use" provisions of federal copyright laws. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Contact Us   l   About Us   l   Activities   l   Contact Us   l   Core Values   l   Newsletter

Copyright ©Kosla Vepa

View My Stats