IDC’s Xmas Analysis 


New Delhi, 25 December 2003

At 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 Rusia.

The 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.

In 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.

India's 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.

The 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.

USA 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.

We 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.

Another 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 called on 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.

Here are more disclosures as revealed in the Washington Post recently.

Nuclear Program in Iran Tied To Pakistan

Complex Network Acquired Technology and Blueprints

By Joby Warrick

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, December 21, 2003; Page A01


It is unclear exactly why the United States and its allies failed to detect and halt Iran's most significant nuclear acquisitions.

One 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.

The 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.

Pakistan 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.

Traces 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.

The Questions that come to the fore are:

What 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.

Isn't it time Americans woke up and held India’s hand more firmly?

Isn’t It time India got USA on board with its game plan and forced it on Pakistan?

We wish our wonderful and loyal readership A VERY MERRY Xmas and PM Vajpayee a very Happy 79th Birthday.

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