Delhi, 25 December 2003
IDC we have been singing, “These are great days for India's
economic and strategic fortunes“, and here is corroboration.
India’s only major problems have been the two Ps –– Poverty
and Pakistan. As of now Pakistan and Musharrraf are under all
sorts of pressure from America and Muslim fundamentalists whom they
are unable to rein in. Musharraf has survived two attempts on his
life the last one by the skin of his teeth! Pakistanis coming across
the border are all for reconciliation. India’s position is getting
stronger for the first time in its history to take historic
decisions, like Helmut Kohl did for Germany or as Gorbachov did for
Rand Corporation’s prediction that the Kashmir problem would sort
itself out only when India’s economy and military, moves well
ahead of Pakistan, may yet prove true. At this juncture India's
defence is moving ahead rapidly and the economy is definitely doing
well, with fair stability in the country. The time span that the
Rand study had predicted to solve Kashmir could be reduced and the
SAARC meet on 4 January 2004 will be very important if India gets
its act together –– not so much to resolve Kashmir but to ease
tensions between India and Pakistan. The no war pact suggested by
Pakistan needs a relook, as the cease-fire is holding. War between
India and Pakistan needs to be ruled out, as otherwise it will wash
away our economic fortunes.
this new world order of Nations there is a new rule on Nuclear
Policy too, which supports India. Those nations that have their own
indigenous nuclear weapon programmes like India are being recognised
as lawful nuclear powers. Pakistan is on the cusp with accusations
that they got help from China and in turn helped N Korea with
centrifuges and now Iran too is on the American radar. Colin Powell
suffers amnesia on the past and wants to rein in the future. He has
a point. Pakistan's economy is in reasonable shape and that too is
good for India.
FFE pouch is flush with $100 billion and if the revised Estimates
for the Defence Budget call for more money it should not be a
problem. If the Gorshkov and MiG 29 K deal is signed it will be a
boost as the Air Force has got all its big ticket deals through,
though the AJT contract is still not signed.
Navy’s six Scorpene deal seems to be sailing in rough waters as
France has issued dead lines but is still to agree to some
technology issues and in India internal clearances are awaited. But
the Israeli Defence Minister with a large team is here to discuss
the many programmes and we have so many, including Aerostats for IAF
with the Green Pine radar, UAVs, Baraks, Phalcon on IL 76,
cooperation in ALH and LCA and possibly the MTA. The 155mm Gun for
the Army has Soltam, Bofors and Denel in the run, and Secretary
Defence Production is due to visit Israel for some discussions with
IMI for Defence production.
too is talking defence business with India as noticed and learnt at
the Dubai air show. Media reported Dy NSA Satish Chandra had signed
the Trinity Technology agreement in Washington DC and that should
witness swifter advances in space, nuclear and dual technology
transfers which India can easily absorb. All this has made Musharraf
see the light in agreeing to discuss Kashmir with a different tune
and maybe he will back the Shimla agreement –– if his honour is
kept intact. PM Vajpayee seems to have the stature and attributes to
achieve this and hold his hand despite radicals in his party. This
will help BJP’s fortunes in the general elections. In any case IDC
wishes Vajpayee Happy Birthday as he takes his holiday in Jaipur and
we look to his musings.
repeat that India by fencing the LOC is making it clear that it is
the border between us, and to keep Kashmiris happy buses can run
from Srinagar (our Kashmir) to Muzaffarabad in Musharraf’s
Kashmir. Not a bad idea to mull over. Pakistani media too has got
the message loud and clear and even Dennis Kux who has been
unveiling the American Report prepared on South Asia by Council of
Foreign Affairs and another Agency has emphasized that India now has
a game plan and this is it. Pakistan better accept it and tell Uncle
Sam their road map. Clinton had told Nawaz Sharrif the same road map
on 4th July 1999 when the Kargil war was raging.
blow has come to Musharraf, when USA is losing one soldier a day in
Iraq and faces problems in Afghanistan, thanks to Pakistan’s game
plans. Recent editorials in The New York Times have
the US to reduce its dependency on Musharraf as, "Pakistan's
behaviour has fallen well short of what Americans are entitled to
expect from an ally in the war on terrorism.” They have charged
that Pakistan still allows terrorists to move into Afghanistan and
Kashmir from its soil, and that it had behaved "extremely
irresponsibly" with nuclear weapons technology in relation to
Iran and North Korea. We are sure this message came from the State
Department. India needs to cash in on it.
are more disclosures as revealed in the Washington Post
Program in Iran Tied To Pakistan
Network Acquired Technology and Blueprints
Post Staff Writer
December 21, 2003; Page A01
is unclear exactly why the United States and its allies failed to
detect and halt Iran's most significant nuclear acquisitions.
possible reason, according to some former government officials and
outside experts, is that U.S. agencies were looking in the wrong
place. American administrations since the late 1980s viewed the
Soviet Union and then Russia as the most likely source of nuclear
aid to Iran, launching intensive efforts to persuade Moscow to sever
or scale back technological links to the Islamic republic.
draft report by Albright's group, based on experts familiar with the
Iranian machine, describes it as a modified version of a centrifuge
built decades ago by Urenco, a consortium of the British, Dutch and
German governments. The machine is about six feet high and is made
of aluminium and a special type of high-strength steel. The design
is one of several known to have been stolen in the 1970s by a
Pakistani nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, who later became
known as the father of the Pakistani bomb.
modified the Urenco design and manufactured a number of the machines
before abandoning the centrifuge for a sturdier model, said
Albright, co-author of the study. The blueprints obtained by Iran
show "distinctive" modifications similar to the ones made
by Pakistan, Albright said.
of highly enriched uranium on centrifuge components in Iran
indicated they had been used before. Most of the contaminants are of
a type of highly enriched uranium believed to be "consistent
with material produced in Pakistan," Albright said.
Questions that come to the fore are:
will be discovered next? Nuclear bomb technology sold by Pakistan to
the Taliban and the Al Qaeda? This worries the West along with bio
terrorism and USA is on HIGH ALERT for the XMAS season.
it time Americans woke up and held India’s hand more firmly?
It time India got USA on board with its game plan and forced it on
wish our wonderful and loyal readership A VERY MERRY Xmas and PM
Vajpayee a very Happy 79th Birthday.