An IDC Analysis from USA


New Delhi, 25 November 2002

Some facts of life and the vital international interests of USA, the largest economic and military power in the World, cannot be wished away by India's leadership and foreign minister Yashwant Sinha and IFS diplomats, just by berating USA to hit at Musharraf while releasing maps of terrorist training camps, and pleading with Bush to get him ousted like he proposes to do with Sadaam. India wants Bush to call Musharraf's bluff on cross border terrorism. 

India has to realise "Real Politik" even scripted in the Arthshastra (Art of Safe Guarding Wealth) is about, "you scratch my back and I will massage yours" and today Indian Ayurvedic massages are making waves in USA as media reports. 

Stephen Cohen in his book “Emerging India” explains that Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers are more brilliant than Pakistan's individually, but the Pakistani Foreign Service officers have done better in their assignments in big capitals, as they have lied better for their country. It is a universal truth that in Diplomatic Service one has to sometimes lie for one’s country because the truth has many shades too.

Former Pakistani Ambassdor Qazi who was ousted out of India, is now in Washington and must be an asset to Foggy Bottom, as he got to know India well and spoke brazenly while he was here. Gen Colin Powell, USA's Foreign Secretary has done yeoman service for Bush and his country by activating all his contacts of yore in Pakistan, when USA needed it desperately. US Armed Forces have a great many uniformed friends in Pakistan, and whatever one may say, Pakistan and Musharraf have cooperated with USA to the hilt, and allowed the US Armed Forces to operate from their soil to fight the war against terror in Afghanistan, and not uttered even a word against Bush's plans to fight the war against Iraq. Many Pakistanis like Indians work in Iraq. Musharraf has cleverly asked for economic sops and military and personal support, in a "Quid Pro Quo."

We can report with conviction that the American administration is mortally scared of what widespread Muslim terrorism can do to its economy and its free way of life which they treasure, so the payout of a few billions to Pakistan is peanuts for USA, to ensure continued Pakistani support. They rightly believe that a down turn in US economy at this juncture, which is just about looking up, will affect the world badly and so they are doing the world a favour. A change in Pakistani leadership may be India's wish, but it may spell trouble for USA, so India's concerns about terrorism in Kashmir may be articulated with decibels by Ambassador Blackwill in New Delhi but are on the back burner at Foggy Bottom.

They feel it is unsolvable at the present and as long as a nuclear war is averted USA has done its duty. Pakistan will acquiesce and India's no first use demated Nuclear arsenal is insurance. Kashmir per se, does not affect USA at present. In fact in their study it comes out that it affects only the Indian Army the most, as Kashmiris have one of the highest reported per capita incomes in India. The J and K Bank is one of the flushest. To move further Japan controlled ADB is now doling out $350 million to Pakistan in loans to keep Musharraf propped up. 

UK has been the tried and tested partner of USA for years and today in this fight against terror and war against Iraq, it stands out and up with USA. Even CDS Admiral Boyce on Thursady last had said the British Armed Forces are getting ready for action in Iraq and cannot be too involved in London's Fire Fighters' strike. 

PM Tony Blair and his team have had to tread very carefully in their relationship with Pakistan and India, even if they lose the Indian $1.3 billion 66 Hawk-100 AJT deal, if the media is to be believed about the gyrations in MOD. (Please see IDC analysis on this on the site). The IAF painstakingly worked the contract under the present VCOAS Air Marshal Inamdar and asked for the moon from BAe, and now suddenly they and RM George Fernandes are in love with other models and the Honeywell F-154 Engine in the L-159 , but that is another story now that Shobha De in TOI on Sunday 24 Nov has become an aviation expert. Even she has digressed from sex, and offered her comments on why the MIG-21s are falling out of the sky. It makes good copy on that page, just above our Attorney Journal Sorabjee, sorry General.

The IAF has already accepted a fifteen year delay for AJT induction because India could not afford it despite cheap twin engine Alfa Jets offered on a platter, on the ready so another delay of similar period (as admitted by RM Fernandes if the deal is retendered) will not matter is the common saying now. Today with $65 billion in reserves that Bimal Jalan wants to deplete to avoid inflation, the Hawk is suddenly too expensive. The climate has changed, and that is probably India's "real politik" some one will explain. It may well be.

Hence we offer a view for consideration that all India can do in these difficult circumstances, while we wait for Gujrat elections and Mrs Gandhi lectures at Oxford on 29th Nov to the Forum for Islamic Studies, is to tell USA if we can, what "via media" is acceptable in the long term to solve Kashmir (aka Ram Jethmalani's views that India and Pakistan will both have to climb down and engage in talks), without losing face as it were, even by just attending a SAARC meet, and make President Bush's task pleasant and easy, and be rewarded. In any case if peace is maintained and Pakistan does not agree to what was offered at Simla in 1972, then most studies show that in 10 years or so, they will lose POK by default. The world saw that even Syria voted with Bush in UN and that did not shock Real Politik watchers. Now Bush has 7 more allies in NATO. The world at large also realises USA and its allies direly want President Musharraf to remain in power till an alternate emerges, and need the soil of Pakistan to fight terrorism and quell Al Queda before it strengthens again, and strikes as Osama bin Laden claims it is doing at Bali and other places all over again. There is support for Al Queda among the fundamentalists. Indians are riding high abroad compared to the Pakistanis but Musharraf cannot be wished away and he takes great care he is not bumped off. Now our own PM Vajpayee is getting an expensive BMW for safety, as media reports. It was James Bond's choice too.

Geography of Pakistan astride the oil route, gives it the biggest advantage, and now Musharraf has a democratically elected Prime Minister of his choice. David Saw, Editor of the Asian Military Review one of the few professional Journalists (as others could not get insurance to travel) to attend the Pakistani Defence Exhibition IDEAS in September at Karachi, has released graphic details and pictures of the military equipment of Pakistan including the North Korean missiles displayed at the show, and claims the officers of all rungs he freely spoke to in Pakistan, looked to Musharraf as their hope for the future.

And we tell you again the nine CORPS COMMANDERS OF PAKISTAN’s ARMY RUN PAKISTAN. Our IFS never talk to them, and our military is not allowed to. Now we have the North Korea connection with Pakistan, to beat the drum.

We were very fast off the mark to highlight the details of Nuclear Bomb Technology Transfer from Pakistan to North Korea in exchange for No Dong Missile transfers, after the story broke in the media. Since then many including former RAW No 2 Mr B Raman and now very much part of the NSAB, have exposed the nexus in some detail, claiming India knew about all this all along. Hence the big ticket question being asked in Strategic circles is –– did the Indian Intelligence share its confirmed reports with USA, because there is a senior CIA man in India in the US Embassy, as there is an Intelligence man in every important Indian mission abroad? It was announced by the Government, that since 9/11 there has been sharing of Intelligence between India and USA and surely this big ticket issue with evidence against Pakistan could not have been neglected?

We also reported the Disaster Management Seminar organised in September by the E-in-C where the Defence Minster George Fernandes informed the audience about the possibility of Nuclear terror attack with fissile material falling into wrong hands of terrorists. This in Pakistan and a North Korean ‘bomb’ is now a reality, and if the Indian Intelligence had good intelligence about it then we are full of congratulations to our operatives, but intelligence must be used also to advantage. 

The article below in New York Times of 24 November makes it clear that the US Intelligence did not have full intelligence, till only few months ago when North Korea admitted it and then retracted. The article also says that Colin Powell said he never went into the past with Musharraf who assured there would be no further transfers. Some hints are there why Dr A Q Khan was removed from the Nuclear establishment of Pakistan to become an Adviser. That's "real politik" and as the NYT article by David Sanfger suggests. It is very revealing for analysts. If any viewers have comments please do send them in.


SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 21 - Last July, American intelligence agencies tracked a Pakistani cargo aircraft as it landed at a North Korean airfield and took on a secret payload: ballistic missile parts, the chief export of North Korea's military.
The shipment was brazen enough, in full view of American spy satellites. But intelligence officials who described the incident say even the mode of transport seemed a subtle slap at Washington: the Pakistani plane was an American-built C-130.

It was part of the military force that President Pervez Musharraf had told President Bush last year would be devoted to hunting down the terrorists of Al Qaeda, one reason the administration was hailing its new cooperation with a country that only a year before it had labeled a rogue state.

But several times since that new alliance was cemented, American intelligence agencies watched silently as Pakistan's air fleet conducted a deadly barter with North Korea. In transactions intelligence agencies are still unravelling, the North provided General Musharraf with missile parts he needs to build a nuclear arsenal capable of reaching every strategic site in India.

In a perfect marriage of interests, Pakistan provided the North with many of the designs for gas centrifuges and much of the machinery it needs to make highly enriched uranium for the country's latest nuclear weapons project, one intended to put at risk South Korea, Japan and 100,000 American troops in Northeast Asia.
The Central Intelligence Agency told members of Congress this week that North Korea's uranium enrichment program, which it discovered only this summer, will produce enough material to produce weapons in two to three years. Previously it has estimated that North Korea probably extracted enough plutonium from a nuclear reactor to build one or two weapons, until that program was halted in 1994 in a confrontation with the United States.
Yet the C.I.A. report - at least the unclassified version - made no mention of how one of the world's poorest and most isolated nations put together its new, complex uranium project.

In interviews over the past three weeks, officials and experts in Washington, Pakistan and here in the capital of South Korea described a relationship between North Korea and Pakistan that now appears much deeper and more dangerous than the United States and its Asian allies first suspected.

The accounts raise disturbing questions about the nature of the uneasy American alliance with General Musharraf's government. The officials and experts described how, even after Mr. Musharraf sided with the United States in ousting the Taliban and hunting down Qaeda leaders, Pakistan's secretive A. Q. Khan Nuclear Research Laboratories continued its murky relationship with the North Korean military. It was a partnership linking an insecure Islamic nation and a failing Communist one, each in need of the other's expertise.

Pakistan was desperate to counter India's superior military force, but encountered years of American-imposed sanctions, so it turned to North Korea. For its part, North Korea, increasingly cut off from Russia and China, tried to replicate Pakistan's success in developing nuclear weapons based on uranium, one of the few commodities that North Korea has in plentiful supply.

Yet while the United States has put tremendous diplomatic pressure on North Korea in the past two months to abandon the project, and has cut off oil supplies to the country, it has never publicly discussed the role of Pakistan or other nations in supplying that effort.
American and South Korean officials, when speaking anonymously, say the reason is obvious: the Bush administration has determined that Pakistan's cooperation in the search for Al Qaeda is so critical - especially with new evidence suggesting that Osama bin Laden is still alive, perhaps on Pakistani soil.

So far, the White House has ignored federal statutes that require President Bush to impose stiff economic penalties on any country involved in nuclear proliferation or, alternatively, to issue a public waiver of those penalties in the interest of national security. Mr. Bush last year removed penalties that were imposed on Pakistan after it set off a series of nuclear tests in 1998.
White House officials would not comment on the record for this article, saying that discussing Pakistan's role could compromise classified intelligence. Instead, they noted that General Musharraf, after first denying Pakistani involvement in North Korea's nuclear effort, has assured Secretary of State Colin L. Powell that no such trade will occur in the future.

He said, ‘Four hundred percent assurance that there is no such interchange taking place now,' Secretary Powell said in a briefing late last month. Pressed about Pakistan's contributions to the nuclear program that North Korea admitted to last month, Secretary Powell smiled tightly and said, "We didn't talk about the past."

A State Department spokesman, Philip Reeker, said, "We are aware of the allegations" about Pakistan, though he would not comment on the substance. "This administration will abide by the law," he said.

Intelligence officials say they have seen no evidence of exchanges since Washington protested the July missile shipment. Even in that incident, they cannot determine if the C-130 that picked up missile parts in North Korea brought nuclear-related goods to North Korea.

But American and Asian officials are far from certain that Pakistan has cut off the relationship, or even whether General Musharraf is in control of the transactions.
Yet in the words of one American official who has reviewed the intelligence, North Korea's drive in the past year to begin full-scale enrichment of uranium uses technology that "has `Made in Pakistan' stamped all over it." They doubt that North Korea will end its effort even if Pakistan cuts off its supplies.

"In Kim Jong Il's view, what's the difference between North Korea and Iraq?" asked one senior American official with long experience dealing with North Korea. "Saddam doesn't have one, and look what's happening to him."

A Meeting of Minds in 1993

Pakistan's military ties to North Korea go back to the 1970's. But they took a decisive turn in 1993, just as the United States was forcing the North to open up its huge nuclear reactor facilities at Yongbyon. Yongbyon was clearly a factory for producing bomb-grade plutonium from spent nuclear fuel.

When North Korea refused to allow in inspectors headed by Hans Blix, the man now leading the inspections in Iraq, President Bill Clinton went to the United Nations to press penalties and the Pentagon drew up contingency plans for a strike against the plant in case North Korea removed the fuel rods to begin making bomb-grade plutonium.
In the midst of that face-off, Benazir Bhutto, then the prime minister of Pakistan, arrived in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. It was the end of December, freezing cold, and yet the North Korean government arranged for tens of thousands of the city's well-trained citizens to greet her on the streets. At a state dinner, Ms. Bhutto complained about the

American penalties imposed on her country and North Korea.
"Pakistan is committed to nuclear nonproliferation," she said, according to a transcript issued at the time. However, she added, states still have "their right to acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, geared to their economic and social developments."

Ms. Bhutto's delegation left with plans for North Korea's Nodong missile, according to former and current Pakistani officials.

The Pakistani military had long coveted the plans, and by April 1998, it successfully tested a version of the Nodong, renamed the Ghauri. Its flight range of about 1,000 miles put much of India within reach of Pakistan's nuclear warheads.
A former senior Pakistani official recalled in an interview that the Bhutto government planned to pay North Korea "from the invisible account" for covert programs. But events intervened.

Months after Ms. Bhutto's visit, the Clinton administration and North Korea reached a deal that froze all nuclear activity at Yongbyon, where international inspectors still live year-round.
In return, the United States and its allies promised North Korea a steady flow of fuel oil and the eventual delivery of two proliferation-resistant nuclear reactors to produce electric power. That was important in a country so lacking in power that, from satellite images taken at night, it appears like a black hole compared to the blazing lights of South Korea.
But within three years, Kim Jong Il grew disenchanted with the accord and feared that the nuclear power plants would never be delivered. He never allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency to begin the wide-ranging inspections required before the critical parts of the plants could be delivered.

By 1997 or 1998, American intelligence has now concluded, he was searching for an alternative way to build a bomb, without detection. He found part of the answer in Pakistan, which along with Iran, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Egypt was now a regular customer for North Korean missile parts, American military officials said.
A. Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, who had years ago stolen the engineering plans for gas centrifuges from the Netherlands, visited North Korea several times. The visits were always cloaked in secrecy.

But several things are now clear. Pakistan was running out of hard currency to pay the North Koreans, who were in worse shape. North Korea feared that without a nuclear weapon it would eventually be absorbed by the economic might of the South, or squeezed by the military might of the United States. In 1997 or 1998, Kim Jong Il and his generals decided to begin a development project for a bomb based on highly enriched uranium, a slow and difficult process, but relatively easy to hide.

Talking, but Not Changing

They did so even while sporadically pursuing a better relationship with Washington. In the last days of the Clinton administration, the North negotiated with Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright for a deal to restrict North Korean missile exports in return for a removal of economic penalties, a de-listing from the State Department's account of countries that sponsor terrorism and talks about diplomatic recognition. The deal was
never reached.

President Clinton even considered an end-of-term trip to North Korea, but was talked out of it by aides who feared that the North was not ready to make real concessions. The nuclear revelations of the past few weeks suggest those aides saved Mr. Clinton from embarrassment.

"Lamentably, North Korea never really changed," said one senior Western official here with long experience in the topic. "They came to the conclusion that the nuclear card was their one ace in the hole, and they couldn't give it up."

American intelligence agencies, meanwhile, suspected that North Korea was restarting a secret program. In 1998, satellites were focused on a huge underground site where the C.I.A. believed Kim Jong Il was trying to build a second plutonium-reprocessing center. But they were looking in the wrong place: after American officials negotiated access to the suspect site, they found only a series of man-made caves with no nuclear-related equipment, and no apparent purpose. "World's largest underground parking lot," one American intelligence official joked at the time.

Rumors of a secret enriched-uranium project persisted, however. The C.I.A. and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee evaluated the evidence but reached no firm conclusion.

But there were hints. One Western diplomat who visited North Korea in May 1998, just as world attention focused on Pakistan, which had responded to India's underground nuclear tests by setting off six of its own, recalled witnessing an odd celebration. "I was in the Foreign Ministry," the official recalled last week. "About 10 minutes into our meeting, the North Korean diplomat we were seeing broke into a big smile and pointed with pride to these tests. They were all elated.

"Here was a model of a poor state getting away with developing a nuclear weapon."
When the Clinton administration raised the rumors of a Pakistan-North Korea link with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who succeeded Ms. Bhutto, he denied them. It was only after General Musharraf overthrew Mr. Sharif's government, and after Mr. Bush took office, that South Korean intelligence agencies picked up strong evidence that North Korea was buying components for an enriched-uranium program.

The agencies passed the evidence along to Washington, according to South Korean and American officials. It looked suspiciously similar to the gas centrifuge technology used in Pakistan. "My guess is that Pakistan was the only available partner," said Lee Hong Koo, a former South Korean prime minister and unification minister.

A. H. Nayya, a physics professor at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, who has no role in the country's nuclear program, agreed: "The clearest possibility is that the Pakistanis gave them the blueprint. `Here it is. You make it on your own.' " Under American pressure, Dr. Khan was removed from the operational side of the Pakistani nuclear program. He was made an "adviser to the president" on nuclear technology.
Here in Seoul, nuclear experts working for the government of President Kim Dae Jung say they were subtly discouraged from publicly writing or speculating about the North's secret programs because the Korean government feared that it would derail President Kim's legacy: the "sunshine policy" of engagement with North Korea and encouraging investment there.

By this summer, however, the C.I.A. concluded that the North had moved from research to production. The intelligence agency took the evidence to Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, who asked for a review by all American intelligence agencies.

Such a request is usually a prescription for conflicting interpretations. Instead, the agencies came back with a unanimous opinion: the North Korean program was well under way, and had to be stopped.
Telling the North, 'You're Busted'

After sending senior officials to Japan and South Korea in August to present the new evidence, Mr. Bush decided to confront the North Koreans. On Oct. 4, James A. Kelly, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, was in North Korea and told his counterparts that the United States had detailed information about the enriched-uranium program.

"We wanted to make it clear to them that they were busted," a senior administration official said.

The North Koreans initially denied the accusation, but the next day, after what they told the American visitors was an all-night discussion, they admitted that they were pursuing the secret weapons program, several officials said. "We need nuclear weapons," Kang Sok Joo, the North Korean senior foreign policy official, said, arguing that the program was a result of the Bush administration's hostility.

Mr. Kelly responded that the program began at least four years ago, when Mr. Bush was governor of Texas. The Americans left after one North Korean official declared that dialogue on the subject was worthless and said, "We will meet sword with sword."
Since then, the North Koreans have been more circumspect. They have talked publicly about having the right to a nuclear weapon, even though they have signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and an agreement with South Korea to keep the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

The Bush administration has been uncharacteristically restrained. President Bush led the push for an oil cutoff, but also issued a statement on Nov. 15 saying that the United States had no intention of invading North Korea. His aides hoped that the statement would give Kim Jong Il the kind of security guarantee he had long demanded - and a face-saving way to end the nuclear program.

Mr. Bush's aides say the way to deal with North Korea, in contrast to their approach to Iraq, is to exploit its economic vulnerabilities and offer carrots, essentially the strategy the Clinton administration used. Many here in Seoul believe it may work this time. "The North Koreans are a lot more dependent on us, and on the West, than they were in the 1994 nuclear crisis," said Han Sung Joo, who served as South Korea's foreign minister then.

But the reality, officials acknowledged, is that Mr. Bush has little choice but to pursue a diplomatic solution with North Korea.
Kim Jong Il has 11,000 artillery tubes dug in around the demilitarized zone, all aimed at Seoul. In the opening hours of a war, tens of thousands of people could die, military officials here say.

"Here's the strategy," one American official said. "Tell the North Koreans, quite publicly, that they can't get away with it. And say the same thing to Pakistan, but privately, quietly."

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