May 22, 1998
INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS: 'JINGOISTIC EUPHORIA' SUBSIDES;
WILL PAKISTAN FLEX NUCLEAR MUSCLES?
The series of underground nuclear tests carried out by India May 11 and 13 continued to elicit copious media reaction from all points of the globe. Editorialists reiterated fears expressed earlier (see 5/14 Daily Digest) that by crossing "the nuclear Rubicon," India was likely to set in motion a destabilizing new arms race on the subcontinent and elsewhere. While the world's initial reaction to the Indian tests was predominantly one of indignant condemnation, more recent commentary began to question why the "exclusive" club of declared nuclear powers should be limited to only five countries. Opinion-makers in the Middle East and in some Third World countries sounded that theme most strongly, with many arguing that what the West feared most was the development of an "Islamic bomb." Meanwhile, as the world waits with bated breath to see if Pakistan will follow India's lead and test a nuclear device of its own, writers in India and Pakistan debated the benefits and downsides of flexing their "nuclear muscles." Following are salient themes in the commentary from India and Pakistan:
INDIA: 'Time To Cool Down'?--The initial jubilation with which the Indian media had greeted the news of the successful tests in the Pokharan desert began to cool somewhat over the past week. A number of centrist publications urged an end to jingoistic "chest-thumping" and cautioned against provoking Pakistan. Economic and opposition papers argued that, instead of pursuing an expensive nuclear weapons program, India should tackle its "severe problems of underdevelopment." The pro-economic Economic Times, for example, while endorsing the development of India's Agni missile, insisted that the government should steer clear of "prohibitively expensive" tactical missiles and "star wars weaponry." Other analysts continued to express pride in India's nuclear achievements which, they maintained, gave India "increased leverage on the world stage."
PAKISTAN: 'DISCRETION THE BETTER PART OF VALOR'?--In Pakistan, editorial opinion was divided as to whether Pakistan should "go for" a nuclear explosion of its own. Among the group advocating Pakistan's development of nuclear weapons, some stressed that such a step was important, not only for Pakistan, but for the entire Islamic world. "The Jewish-Hindu conspiracy is united in opposing the acquisition of nuclear technology by Islamic states," asserted leading, mass-circulation, Urdu-language Jang, adding: "Only together can we defeat this plot against us." Other nuclear advocates insisted that Pakistan needed nuclear deterrence capability to defend itself against India. An opposing group of editorial writers judged that Pakistan should "wait a little longer" before exploding a nuclear device and reap the benefits it might accrue from a policy of restraint. "By taking advantage of the situation and exacting debt relief and favored trade terms for itself, Pakistan has the opportunity to make a giant leap forward in its economic development," said Karachi's independent Dawn. "A strong and prosperous economy creates its own dynamics and in the end this strength will become Pakistan's most viable defensive deterrent," that paper reasoned.
This survey is based on 95 reports from 36 countries, May 14 - 22.
EDITOR: Kathleen J. Brahney
|  SOUTH ASIA  |    |  EUROPE  |    |  MIDDLE EAST  |    |  EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC  |    |  AFRICA  |
|  LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN  |
INDIA: "Time To Cool Down"
An editorial (5/22) in the centrist Indian Express declared: "The nation has savored its nuclear triumph long enough. Now the time has come to use it wisely. If the first step toward doing this is to moderate the chest-thumping and come down to earth, the next one is to exploit this demonstration of India's nuclear capability to create stability in the region, rather than instability. This, in sum, was the subtext of Prime Minister Vajpayee's statements when he visited Pokharan on Wednesday.... There is also a need to correct certain negative perceptions of Indian intentions by the careful briefing of Indian envoys, especially those stationed in politically sensitive countries. For starters, Vijay Nambiar, India's envoy to China, who is currently in the capital for consultations with his...bosses, should be sent back to Beijing with assurances that India's recent nuclear detonations were attempts to plug the gaps in its own security cover, and were not meant as exercises in neighborly belligerence."
"Need For Caution On Pakistan"
In the editorial view of the centrist Hindu (5/22): "(Home Minister) Advani's statements have predictably drawn sharp reactions from Islamabad and Washington, with the United States urging caution in word and deed from India.... In the context of the explosions at Pokhran, the pointed stridency of the remarks of Mr. Advani about the changed geopolitical situation tends to sound like nuclear saber-rattling. Such hardline stances can have the disastrous consequence of setting the clock back and undoing the results of years of unrelenting effort by official and nonofficial organizations to improve the relations between the two countries.... The Vajpayee government must resist the temptation of subjecting Indo-Pakistani relations to the test of partisan politics and succumbing to the hardliners in the BJP who refuse to see the merits of the time-tested policy of moderation which they equate with appeasement."
"Why U.S. Should Support India's Acquisition Of Nuclear Muscles"
An analysis in the centrist Pioneer by columnist Hiranmay Karlekar insisted (5/22): "India, a secular and democratic country wedded to modernist and gender justice, is anathema to Islamic fundamentalists. It is also the first and a formidable hurdle in the way of their expansionist goals. Should they succeed in destroying it, other countries, including the United States, will be targeted in their bid to replace the current global hegemony of the developed countries with their own. Its weapon will be terrorism.... This of course does not mean that the Islamic fundamentalists will succeed in overwhelming the United States and the West. But the Americans should ponder what the compulsions of combatting large scale terrorism will do to their easy, free and mobile lives. If they do so, they will realize that a strong India capable of defending itself is in their interest, and they will begin to support India's acquisition of nuclear muscles instead of going into a pout over it."
"No Need For Jingoism"
The nationalist Hindustan Times commented (5/20): "In sounding a note of warning asking Pakistan to put an end to the proxy war in Kashmir, it is important to see that this does not sound jingoistic.... India's case for asking Pakistan to stop the 'proxy war' in Kashmir stands on its own merits, irrespective of this country's nuclear status. India need not flaunt its nuclear prowess to make this point. India's responses should be measured and in keeping with its position as a mature and self-confident nation."
"An Open Letter To President Clinton"
Veteran journalist M. V. Kamath commented on the op-ed page of Bombay's independent, left-of-center Free Press Journal (5/20): "As it looks to me, Mr. President, you are telling us that only white, developed country and an Asian country that couldn't care less for you, have the right to make nuclear weapons. You sound very racist, Mr. President.... In what way is Britain, or France superior to India? Kindly don't offend our national self-respect.... Our nuclear arms, such as we may ultimately be forced to make, would be defensive. They are meant to be deterrent. If you don't understand that, you would make a poor statesman.... We know what it is to be invaded. We don't want history to be repeated ever."
"So We Are Now A Nuclear Power"
Editor Mohan Charaghi commented in the pro-Congress Party Qaumi Awaz (5/20): "Everything has suddenly changed. Peace, which everybody was swearing by until the Pokharan (tests), has been given a goodbye; a bloody thirst for war, pretended to be hated by all and sundry, seems to have now overtaken everyone. There is a race among our fellow countrymen to kiss the hands of those who have conducted the Pokharan explosions. The very foundations of the country are threatened by all kinds of fanaticism. A huge number of our people are unable even to meet the basic needs of their life. Who cares? Forget all the misery and suffering; we are now citizens of a nuclear power!"
This was the editorial view of the centrist Times of India (5/19): "The divisions among the G-8 on the sanctions to be imposed on India following the nuclear tests at Pokhran were roughly on predictable lines. The more mature European nations, Britain, France and Russia have learned from their past experiences on sanctions and concluded that they do not work. The United States and Japanese policies, on the other hand, are the height of sanctimonious hypocrisy.... The United States, the most strident advocate of nuclear weapons for itself and non-proliferation to others must come to terms with this reality and start discussing nuclear disarmament. That is the message of Pokhran."
"Sense From G-8"
According to an editorial in nationalist Hindustan Times (5/19): "That the G-8 summit ended with no more than a routine condemnation of the Indian nuclear tests and without any announcement of sanctions shows that India's case has a wider appreciation now than at any time in the past.... As a result, even as the G-8 resorted to the knee-jerk reaction of condemning India for the blasts, it discovered, undoubtedly much to the chagrin of the Americans, that there was no unanimity on the question of sanctions.... India's size, its potential as a market, its success as an open society and the unassailable argument that it remains the best and only judge of its defense requirements in a dangerous neighborhood must have persuaded the summiteers in Birmingham to desist from opting for punitive measures."
"Then There Were Six"
The centrist Statesman's editorial maintained (5/19): "Typically, the nuclear five, but especially America, treated the Indian question as one of manageable dissent. Which is why now, when the political will to push the nuclear button has been displayed and government have rightly made no bones about weaponization, India is being treated as a betrayer of sorts.... What did Washington expect? That Karl Inderfurth would be given advance notice?... America, and the other four must now sit up and take notice. India has blown open the doors of the club."
"New Burdens For India"
The centrist Hindu stressed (5/19): "As the latest entrant into the nuclear club, India has to reckon with the irony of its stockpile, however small, having to be built up with the objective of its remaining only a deterrent in a nuclearized world. The ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament ought not to be lost sight of."
"No Star Wars, Please"
According to the pro-economic-reforms Economic Times (5/19): "It makes eminent sense to develop the Agni into a missile that has the capacity to penetrate deep into China. But it does not make sense to go in for tactical nuclear weapons, fancy delivery systems or any kind of Star-Wars weaponry.... These would be prohibitively expensive, adversely affecting this poor country's ability to tackle its severe problems of underdevelopment. Even more importantly, these would be redundant."
"Our Scientists Do Us Proud"
An editorial in the centrist, Hindi-language Navbharat Times (5/19): "Our scientists will share the pride of place in history with the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government for India's nuclear achievements.... It is because of our scientists that we are today in the big league."
"Time For Indo-U.S. Nuclear Dialogue"
The centrist Hindu's strategic affairs editor C. Raja Mohan had this to say (5/19): "By converting itself into a nuclear weapon power, India is now ready to join the international mainstream on non-proliferation.... Although the opening positions of India and the United States are far apart, there is enough basis to begin a serious bilateral negotiation. India is ready to talk, and the ball is in the American court."
"Repairing The Damage"
According to an editorial (5/15) in the centrist Hindu: "The first imperative is to immediately restrain the jingoistic euphoria that is being whipped up by the BJP and its leading representatives.... The years of painstaking diplomacy by predecessor governments...to repair fragile ties with China and Pakistan are likely to be unravelled by such irresponsible and confrontationist responses.... If India were to adopt a creative diplomatic course...offering to sign the CTBT...and non-nuclear confidence building measures with Pakistan, India can turn this moment into an opportunity for increased leverage on the world stage."
"The Market Will Extract Its Price"
An editorial (5/15) in the pro-economic-reforms Economic Times warned: "Sanctions against India...are just the tip of the iceberg.... What is clear beyond doubt is that the market will extract a price far beyond what the sanctions alone will."
PAKISTAN: "Time Of Deliberation For Entire Muslim World"
The leading, mass-circulation, Urdu-language Jang (5/22): "This is a time of deliberation, not just for Pakistan, but for the entire Muslim world.... The Jewish-Hindu conspiracy is united in opposing the acquisition of nuclear technology by Islamic states. Only together can we defeat this plot against us."
"Washington's Principled Position"
An editorial in the Peshawar-based independent Frontier Post said (5/22): "India continues to draw diplomatic flak from world powers for the string of nuclear explosions it has conducted, though the low-key G-8 response to the cataclysmic event would indicate otherwise. The U.S. State Department has come out with a categorical assertion that Washington would not back New Delhi in its quest for a permanent Security Council seat. This is reassuring stance, at least for India's smaller neighbours with all of whom it has been running territorial disputes.... Advani's recent threat is reflective of New Delhi's real intentions in the region. The international community would do a great disservice to South Asia if it backs India's claim. Washington's principled position carries a lot of weight."
"Countering India's Threat"
Nasim Zehra wrote in the centrist national News (5/22): "Pakistan does not need nuclear parity with India. It however needs a credible deterrence to the Indian nuclear threat. The only way to deal with the Indian threat is to re-establish credible nuclear deterrence. By going for the nuclear explosion Pakistan needs a strong defence capability not empty words of sympathy and concern from suspect non-proliferation crusaders."
"Pakistan Must Wait A Little Longer"
The Peshawar-based independent Frontier Post observed (5/21): "India is now confronted with a real sanctions situation. The BJP may try to downplay the impact of these sanctions, but the fact remains that most thinking people in India are concerned about the negative economic fallout from the five blasts. The euphoria is bound to die down in days ahead. Meanwhile, Pakistan must wait a little longer."
According to Mirza Aslam Beg in the centrist News (5/21): "Apart from other considerations, the two main aspects of [a] response should be: Prepare to carry out tests at a time of our choosing and demonstrate all range and variety of our nuclear capabilities.... (We should) task the armed forces of Pakistan to provide material help and support to the freedom fighters in Kashmir...(and) remain prepared to fight an all-out war with India."
"Lords Or Underlings?"
Humayun Gauhar in the center-right national Nation (5/21): "If Nawaz Sharif does not take the fateful decision to test, and take it soon, there will be such an upheaval as Pakistan has never seen before, and the present order will be swept aside. Then America's old nemesis, the fundamentalists, will find the same leaderless public which never voted for them following them in droves. The explosion will be much greater than any thermonuclear device."
"Time To Act"
Popular, Islamabad-based Ausaf had this editorial (5/20): "The threats to Pakistan increase with each delay in the action. We know now that India is fully prepared to attack of independent Kashmir and at this time the United States, the UK and other Western countries want to keep Pakistan entangled in deliberations.... Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should declare the nuclear explosion without any delay against these global conspiracies.... We want to make it absolutely clear that the people of Pakistan will not tolerate those who will show weakness at this decisive moment."
"Discretion Is The Better Part Of Valor"
Shahid Scheik wrote in the Karachi's independent, national Dawn (5/19): "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should thank his lucky stars. The underground tests in the Rajasthan desert have diverted attention from some urgent and pressing problems at home.... By choosing restraint at this time, by working with the international community to see that sanctions are imposed on India, by taking advantage of the situation and exacting debt relief and favored trade terms for itself, Pakistan has the opportunity to make a giant leap forward in its economic development.... A strong and prosperous economy creates its own dynamics and in the end this strength will become Pakistan's most viable defensive deterrent."
"Not For Bargaining"
The centrist News had this view (5/18): "Sovereign states with acute and aggravated security concerns like Pakistan cannot possibly bargain on national security--something that Washington ought to be able to understand."
"A Test Will Close Options"
Anwar Ahmad observed in the centrist News (5/18): "The adverse fall out of an immediate nuclear test and the sanctions is obvious, while its benefits are, at best, debatable. Conversely, the potential benefits of waiting are more visible than its burdens. Thus, a preponderance of the national debate seems to favour waiting. A nuclear test now will close too many options."
"Time To Set Off Out Own Bomb"
According to Peshawar's independent Frontier Post (5/17): "Pakistan should do exactly as India has done: explode a nuclear device and then say it is ready to sign the CTBT."
A.H. Nayyar said in the centrist News (5/17): "(Pakistan) will have to come out of the binds of its security perceptions and to make a rational choice of putting all the resources it has got into the economic development and welfare of its people. That is the only way to make the country worth defending."
"Do Not Miss This Historic Opportunity!"
Under the headline above, an editorial in the second-largest, Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt stressed (5/16): "Voices raised by the United States and its allies immediately after the India atomic explosions are now fading slowly, and it is becoming clear that India has the quiet support of the America and Europe.... We cannot compromise on our national security. By accepting an 'American umbrella' to secure our national defense, we adopt permanent dependence on a friend who will betray us in time of need."
"The Case For A Pakistani Nuclear Explosion"
Under the headline above, an op-ed by Nasim Zehra in the centrist, national News claimed (5/15): "The Indian nuclear explosions drive home the three state hostile nuclear triangle--Israel, India and United States--that engulfs the entire Muslim world. A nuclear-armed Pakistan remains the sole hope for a self-reliant Southwest Asian security arrangement."
BANGLADESH: "Can U.S. Put The Genie Back In The Bottle?"
The independent Daily Star's Dilara Chowdhury held under the headline above (5/21): "Pakistan feels that its sovereignty and security are at grave risk due to Indian nuclear explosions. And Washington is unable to appreciate its concerns, and not doing enough which is not reassuring.... In the likely possibility of heightened tensions which would eventually involve Russia and China, the examples of India and Pakistan will be used by the other aspiring nations like North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Israel to go nuclear."
"India Sparks New Cold War"
Influential, pro-left weekly Holiday front-paged this piece by editor Enayetullah Khan (5/15): "India has set apace a new Cold War loaded with the threat of a nuclear day-after in the most populous part of Asia. In this new game, it wants to play the democracy-card with the West vis-a-vis China; raise the Pakistan bogey lest the threatened 'Islamic bomb' makes its way into West and Central Asia."
According to the independent Bangladesh Observer (5/15): "While many Third Worlders admire both aspirants for taking on 'the powerful five,' nobody in his or her right mind would want this suicidal madness perpetuated right in the neighborhood.... India's nuclear signals have deepened both regional and global anxieties. Many see in it, not national pride but dangerously narrow nationalist arrogance...boding ill for all in Asia."
NEPAL: "India, Third-Rate No More"
The government-owned Sunday Despatch commented (5/18), "(India) is no longer a pushover, third-rate power whose impression in the First World to date has been that of a poverty-stricken, malnourished, corrupt and ungovernable country with a teeming population.... From now on the world would have to reckon with it in more respectable terms.... If the world can survive with five nuclear haves, it would as well do with six or may be even seven."
"India's Destabilizing Move"
Pro-left Jana Dharana stressed (5/14): "These tests...raise the danger that the hegemonist steps India has taken so far will culminate in armed aggression."
SRI LANKA: "U.S., China Have Lined Up With Pakistan"
Mervyn de Silva drew these conclusions in the English-language Sunday Times (5/17): "Post-Cold War geopolitical changes...have left India without a superpower patron or ally. Both the United States and China have lined up with Pakistan, a formidable trio. The balance of power is decidedly in favour of Pakistan.... India is also a potentially powerful global economic player.... The question that then arises is, if the big powers can possess nuclear weapons, why not others? Is it to say that the leaders of these five states are more rational than those of the rest of the world?"
RUSSIA: "Pakistan Ready For Own Test"
Nikolai Dmitriyev and Leonid Gankin held in reformist, business-oriented Kommersant Daily (5/20): "For Islamabad, the best solution would be to let itself be talked by the Americans and Japanese out of responding to India, naturally, in return for big economic and military aid."
"Doomsday Not Fantasy"
Vladimir Dunayev held in reformist Russkiy Telegraf (5/15): "Doomsday predictions do not sound fantastic any more. Weapons of mass destruction have slipped out of the five nuclear powers' control.... Several countries already have components necessary to build a nuclear bomb."
BRITAIN: "Why Should India Listen To U.S.?"
The conservative Daily Mail's editorial pointed out (5/15): "Of course, nobody in his right senses wants to see an arms race in Asia. But why should India listen to the Americans when there is so little progress in disarmament between the West and Russia? There would be more hope of a sane outcome if Washington, Moscow and Beijing led by example."
FRANCE: "A Fatal Blow To Non-Proliferation"
Marie-Helene Labbe commented in left-of-center Liberation (5/20): "The tests have...revealed the 'double standard" of U.S. policy.... Washington does not treat Israel and Iraq in the same manner. Why? Because Israel is a democracy and not considered a threat by the United States.... In essence, there is a basic inequality when dealing with the atom. If you are a Western nation, a democracy and a U.S. ally, you can go into the nuclear business without any worries.... India's misfortune is that it is only a democracy.... Non-proliferation is turning out to be incoherent and ambiguous."
"The Risks Of Escalation"
Pierre Beylau wrote in right-of-center weekly Le Point (5/15): "Rightly or wrongly, India feels encircled.... Most of all, it feels that the United States has deliberately chosen China as its privileged partner, thus reinforcing China's old dream of dominance.... Strictly speaking, India has not violated any international treaty.... The danger is not so much of seeing New Delhi misuse its nuclear weapon, but of contagion in a crucially strategic region."
GERMANY: "Logic Of The Bomb"
In left-of-center Berliner Zeitung Roland Heine insisted (5/22): "It is hypocritical, if Bill Clinton, looking to India and Pakistan, is announcing that nuclear tests should no longer be viewed as signs of national strength.... It is unrealistic and not very useful if the U.S. government now declares that India has disqualified itself for a seat in the UN Security Council by conducting nuclear tests. The logic of the bomb, as the story of the UN proves, works the other way around. In 1964 Beijing carried out its first nuclear test and thus forced itself back in the circle of permanent UN Security Council members. Taiwan, which was supported by the West, had to leave the UN. In the end, nobody wanted to run the risk of facing an outcast and hostile nuclear power."
"India's Arrogance A Bad Omen"
Centrist Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich concluded (5/20): "Much to India's joy, the Birmingham Summit made clear that no agreement on sanctions against India would be reached.... If Pakistan, despite international warnings, conducts nuclear tests, it will feel the outrage of the world much more strongly than India and it will suffer from sanctions. New Delhi thinks it is calling the shots. And this is not a good omen for the future of this region, which is rich in conflicts."
ITALY: "Twilight For Pax Americana"
A commentary in leading, rightist opposition Il Giornale said (5/18): "The two ongoing crises in Southeast Asia and in the Indian sub-continent have one point in common: They are both symptoms of the twilight of the Pax Americana. A process which will certainly be long and dramatic, like all twilights in history, but which appears to be unstoppable.... It is, therefore, urgent to build a new order that has to be multilateral, since no power, not even the United States, is strong enough at the present time to act independently."
"A Sign From Birmingham"
A report from Eisenach in centrist, influential La Stampa (5/15) by Andrea di Robilant held: "The United States may not obtain the tough condemnation of India it is seeking. One thing is certain: The Pakistani government will follow with attention the Birmingham talks, and a soft and split reaction by G-8 nations may become a decisive element in encouraging Pakistan to follow the road taken by India."
AZERBAIJAN: "India Blasted Its Own Future"
Tofiqa Qasimova wrote in independent Ayna/Zerkalo (5/16): "Just as one should have expected, the coming to power of the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party had the worst ramifications for the whole region. The developments in India may follow the 'Iraqi' scenario, and the pressure from the West may only strengthen the positions of the nationalists. More so that complete isolation failed to be achieved: Russia, India's old-time ally, took a special position. Delhi is the biggest buyer of Russian weapons and Russia's joining the sanctions against India would be a severe blow against the Russian economy. At the same time, Russia will hardly be able to preserve the relationship with India at the same 'full range' it used to have."
CANADA: "India's Triumph Of The Will"
Under the above headline, leading Globe and Mail asserted (5/15): "Is India flouting a foundational norm of the modern order? Well, yes, says France--but they might want to buy some of our airplanes. Is India undermining global security? Agreed, says Great Britain--but there's that historic relationship and all. Doesn't India's atomic explosion threaten to set the dominoes rolling in Pakistan and beyond? Of course, says Russia--but let's not antagonize a trading partner.
"The actions are empty, the words are weak. The UN Security Council couldn't even bring itself to 'condemn' India in a statement. The delegates settled for 'strongly deplore.'... Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee must be laughing at how easy it has been.... Several countries, notably the United States and Japan, have at least given India something more than perfunctory scoldings.... The international community now has a choice. It can take concerted action to force both Indian and Pakistan to renounce nuclear weapons. Or it can watch and wait until India, now that it has fine-tuned its bomb-making skills, agrees to sign the CTBT. The latter option is a sham, since it guarantees that Pakistan will go nuclear."
"Containing A Nuclear Threat"
Montréal's liberal English-language Gazette declared (5/15): "India's arrogant bravado in detonating two more nuclear-weapons tests this week despite widespread international condemnation is appalling.... India's people are puffing their chests with pride in the mistaken belief that they have somehow trumped a hostile neighbor. Instead, they have sparked a disastrous arms race with Pakistan that can only damage prospects for the region."
HUNGARY: "Neglect Strengthened India's Sullen Nationalism"
Washington correspondent Gabor Lambert put forth this view in centrist, conservative Magyar Nemzet (5/18): "It was more important for the elected Hindu nationalist government to widen its national basis then to foster its international relations.... Regarding the sanctions to be imposed, there are indications already...that they are likely to hit the U.S. economy as much as that of India. The reasoning behind the sanctions, on the other hand, will hardly reach enough public ears, but the mere fact of them might well offer ground for sparking further anti-Americanism."
POLAND: "Americans' Vigilance Asleep"
Centrist daily Rzeczpospolita had this by Washington correspondent Jacek Kalabinski (5/15): "The nuclear tests in Rajasthani are the failure of U.S. intelligence and U.S. diplomacy. All the quadrillions of megabytes of information from spy satellites are worth nothing if they are not read and analyzed in time--or read but not understood. It will be more difficult now to persuade Russia not to sell its nuclear technology to Iran. Likewise, it will be hard to urge Israel to sit calm on its arsenal of nuclear warheads."
SPAIN: "A More Dangerous World"
Dario Valcarcel in conservative ABC wrote (5/20): "Why should China be a member of the nuclear club and India not?... Why does the United States court China but treat India like a second-class nation...[despite] its 51-year history of democratic government affirmed over the course of 12 general elections?... If the United States wishes to pursue an effective non-proliferation policy, it must offer credible guaranties to those countries threatened by nuclear attack, while the CIA's failure to detect India's preparations--which must have involved hundreds, if not thousands, of scientists and military personnel--was nothing less than a fiasco."
UKRAINE: "Ghandi's India?"
Hennadii Korzh suggested in pro-presidential Nezavisimost (5/19) that India may have to be considered in the future as one of the 'new Iraqs,' whose leadership will pursue an aggressive policy toward their neighbors: "We have, for some reason, a distorted view of India and its foreign policy. There is a common stereotype, which I would call 'Gandhian.' India's policies, however, don't look non-violent at all."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
CHINA: "India Tests Destabilize Peace"
Yan Xuetong commented in official, English-Language China Daily (5/20): "With India nullifying post-Cold War efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation, other 'threshold states' are likely to follow suit.... It is very likely that Pakistan will conduct nuclear tests in response.... If opposing sides have nuclear weapons, nuclear war will become a real possibility in South Asia.... India's nuclear tests will...fuel a regional arms competition. India took China's restraint as weakness and made more accusations against China and the 'China threat.'... This is the first time in history that a country with nuclear capability has denied its own responsibility for its nuclear tests and shifted the blame onto others."
"India's Act Subverted Peace And Stability"
Zhang Jinfang and Hu Guangyao stressed in official Communist Party People's Daily (5/18): "India's excuse that neighboring countries' possessed nuclear weapons is ill-founded...
"The ambition of India is to become a nuclear power and to gain regional authority. Its act has not only subverted peace and stability in South Asia, but also posed threats to world peace."
"India's Tests Shocking: A Poll"
Jiang Jingen stated in official, English-language China Daily (5/16): "A nationwide survey revealed that most Chinese believe India's recent nuclear tests are in defiance of international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. They are concerned and extremely critical of India. More than 91 percent were shocked by India's advertising its military power through the nuclear tests, and 80 percent worry about the consequences to China's national security."
"Serious Provocation Against Peace"
Song Ping and Chen Weiwei expressed this view in official Central Legal and Political Commission's Legal Daily (Fazhi Ribao, 5/16): "Disregarding the will of the international community to prevent nuclear proliferation, India herself has resorted to nuclear threats. It's a little like the trick of a thief crying 'Stop thief!' India's intention is obvious: It is seeking an excuse for its nuclear development by repeatedly trumpeting the 'China as a threat theory.'"
"India's Absolute Lie On China"
Chen Xiaofang insisted in intellectually-oriented Guangming Daily (Guangming Ribao, 5/15), "India using the Pakistani threat as an excuse for its nuclear tests is unconvincing.... The 'Chinese nuclear threat theory' which has fabricated by India is an absolute lie."
HONG KONG: "Judge Not Lest Ye Also Be Judged"
Neville de Silva wrote under the headline above in the independent, English-language Hong Kong Standard (5/15), "How sanctimonious can some nations and their leaders get? There was Bill Clinton, leader of the world's sole superpower, hectoring India for exercising a sovereign right and conducting nuclear tests.... And which is the only state in the world to have used nuclear weapons against another? The United States, which Mr. Clinton represents today.... Now they all condemn India, and some are even imposing economic sanctions. This is hypocrisy and moral blackmail of the worst kind."
JAPAN: "Pakistan, Do Not Carry Out Nuclear Tests"
An editorial in the business-oriented Nihon Keizai insisted (5/19): "We strongly urge Pakistan not to conduct nuclear tests. Self-restraint is the only way to win a respectable position in the international community.... At the Birmingham Summit, the G-8 member countries could not agree on retaliatory measures against India. The discord at the G-8 summit reportedly firmed up Pakistan's determination to conduct nuclear tests. We cannot allow Pakistan to justify its nuclear experiments anymore than we can condone India's nuclear tests.... The collapse of the CTBT or Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) system is not acceptable."
AUSTRALIA: "India Must Pay Dearly For N-Test"
The regional West Australian maintained (5/14): "India must be condemned in the strongest possible terms for its provocative and unnecessary resumption of nuclear testing.... There can be no justification for what was obviously designed as a sign by India's new nationalist government that India is now a force to be reckoned with.... India's tests continue a timely reminder that despite the end of the Cold War and the work to ease tensions between Israel and its Middle East neighbors, the nightmare of nuclear clouds still hangs over mankind's head."
INDONESIA: "Pakistan's Nuclear Test Is Only A Matter Of Time"
Leading, independent Kompas pointed out (5/19): "It is really ironic that in Asia, where many people live in poverty, nuclear capabilities are developed.... About 1.2 billion people, or one-fourth of the world's population, live in South Asia, and the majority are living in poverty. Given that fact, the international community has seen how absurd were India's nuclear tests. All the more with the fact that this action may provoke Pakistan to follow suit.... If a nuclear war were to break out in South Asia, it would give rise to an extreme disaster which would affect regions beyond Indian borders."
PHILIPPINES: "Don't Expect The Indians To Back Down"
Max Soliven, publisher of the conservative Philippine Star, wrote (5/22): "The Americans, Brits, Russians [and the] Chinese are threatening trade and economic sanctions against India.... Don't expect the Indians to back down, however--they're anxious to assert themselves as an equal of the big powers. 'Why should the nuclear club be exclusively the property of the West and their Chinese neighbors?', they are now shouting. The Indians want a seat in the UN Security Council for starters."
"World Has Good Reason To Be Nervous"
The independent Manila Times asked (5/21): "Why is the Indian decision to arm itself and carry out nuclear tests more frightening than...that of China or of France?... An over-populated country with a fractious, hungry population, an unstable government, and age-old hatred with neighbors--and now it possesses nuclear capabilities. The world has good reason to be nervous, if it isn't already. It looks like the bad old days are back again."
Columnist Basilio Alo of the leading business Business World wrote (5/15), "If the citizens of India believe their national security has been enhanced, they should realize that the natural reaction of other states, particularly the ones who may feel threatened by a misbalance of power, is to intensify their own weaponry development to neutralize the other's perceived gain. A world engaged in a deadly arms race is decidedly not the world we want."
SINGAPORE: "Securing Region's Future Matters More"
The editorial page of the pro-government Straits Times (5/15) carried a commentary by editorial consultant Sunanda K. Datta-ray: "Of course, it is a criminal waste of scarce resources that India spends 15 percent of its budget on defense, and Pakistan 25 percent. Of course, the region would be a safer place if both neighbors signed the nuclear test ban and comprehensive test ban treaties. But strictures and sanctions will not undo a fait accompli that enjoys the approval of Indians of all persuasions, their only regret being that the 1974 bang was not followed up.... A hotline already enables the Indian and Pakistani commanders to exchange information about military exercises. Now is the time also to revive former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao's proposal for a nuclear no-first-use agreement as well as to activate the Sino-Indian normalization talks. This is something for President Bill Clinton to discuss in Beijing next month."
THAILAND: "Nuclear Club Offers No Honor"
According to the moderately conservative, English-language Bangkok Post (5/18): "When the first flush of ridiculous self-esteem wears off, Indians will realize they have been branded by the rest of the world. Their nation now is a rogue among countries searching for a way to secure peace around the globe....
"It is not too late for New Delhi to declare publicly that it has completed nuclear testing--forever. It should immediately declare that it will never be first to use nuclear arms in conflict. India should also sign the CTBT, already agreed to by almost every country on earth."
"India Takes Wrong Path"
Human rights lawyer Thongbai Thongpao queried in the top-circulation, moderately conservative, English-language Bangkok Post (5/18): "Isn't it better for the Indian government to allocate this enormous budget to produce clothes and food and to build houses to keep its people healthy and warm?"
"India's Nuke Tests"
Dao Sao had this analysis in top-circulation Thai Rath (5/15), "Of concern is the fact that India's tests may have signaled a green light to other nuclear wannabes, who have hitherto contained their craving, to follow suit, thereby beginning a new era in the global nuclear arms race.... If China, which has long rivaled with India to gain supremacy in Asia, can no longer tolerate threats to its security and revives its nuclear program, conflagrations are certain to envelop the whole region."
ISRAEL: "Lower Nuclear Threshold"
Defense analyst Reuven Pedatzur jduged in independent Haaretz (5/17): "Only if the world makes India pay a painful price for its tests would the international nuclear status quo be saved from being broken by other countries. Alas, prospects for that are anything but bright. Putting selfish interests first, most nations are not likely to follow the United States and impose economic and other sanctions on a country of over a billion people.... The Indian nuclear tests also tell volumes about the American intelligence community. Its miserable failure to detect Delhi's preparations may be relevant to the Middle East arena.... It may very well be that U.S. intelligence would perform just as miserably in Iran...and this has certainly not been lost on Tehran and Baghdad. The bottom line for Israel is that the crossing by other Middle Eastern countries of the nuclear threshold is only a matter of time."
"India's Terrible Example"
The independent Jerusalem Post said in its lead editorial (5/15): "India's tests will not only make Pakistani tests likely, it encourages the mindset that nuclear weapons contribute to national greatness.... To be effective, the nuclear powers must lead the disarmament process by example, and be willing to make minimal economic sacrifices for global security."
EGYPT: "India's Nuclear Tests"
Salama Ahmed Salama, columnist for pro-government Al Ahram, held (5/19): "Pakistan would make a grave mistake if it responded to pressures from superpowers and relinquished its right to develop its nuclear power. If Pakistan succumbs to international pressures, it will end up in the same shameful position as Arab countries. India would decide the dispute in its own favor, as Israel did in the Middle East dispute by building its nuclear arsenal.... In the end, there is no logic or common criteria in dealing with the issue. If the United States ignored, intentionally or unintentionally, the Indian nuclear power, it will now focus on Pakistan. Pakistan may greatly regret it if it finds itself without a nuclear cover."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Muslims Under A Nuclear Siege"
Conservative Al-Riyadh carried this editorial (5/20): "The ugliest face of the United States is its public threat to Pakistan...to make the punishment (if Pakistan conducts a nuclear test) a lesson for others.... This confirms the blunt reality that no Islamic state will be permitted to obtain (nuclear) weapons.... The American role in these events has been pragmatic, and true to the strategy which Israel designed for it towards the Islamic world.... Israel, India and perhaps Turkey and others will be the centers of power against the Arab and Islamic world in any upcoming confrontation. We must understand this reality. The Islamic world should not believe any guarantees that the United States or Europe offer to protect our security. Muslims must support Pakistan, because it possesses the potential to develop into the first deterrent Islamic power."
"Why Should Some Have The Bomb And Not Others?"
London-based, pan-Arab Al-Hayat published this op-ed commentary by Bahraini writer Mohammed Jaber Al-Ansari (5/17): "I wholeheartedly support the Indian action. This is the only language the world understands...the language of resolve and determination to act.... Why should the United States, Europe, Russia, China and Israel have the right to monopolize nuclear capability and weapons and deny others?... Will the world be a safe place if Israel possesses (a nuclear bomb) and a dangerous place if India possesses one?"
TUNISIA: "Why Didn't U.S. React The Same Way Toward Israel?"
Senior editor Mohsen Zoghlami asked in independent, Arabic-language As-Sabah (5/15): "Why did the United States react angrily to India's nuclear test?... Why didn't they react the same way at least with Israel, a country which continues to ignore the peace process agreement...commit crimes and overturn all the rules?... All this has been overlooked by United States, whose support to this 'friendly state' which possesses 'only' 350 nuclear warheads, remains unconditional!"
SOUTH AFRICA: "Chilling Eruption Of Populist Fervor In India"
Johannesburg's Sunday Independent insisted (5/16), "We can only describe as chilling the eruption of populist fervor (in India.)..in what is clearly a carefully calculated move to shore up the political base of the new Hindu nationalist government and play for superpower status.... The best that can be hoped for...is a test-and-sign strategy whereby Beijing persuades India...and Washington does the same with Pakistan once it has done the dreaded deed. Both should then sign the NPT.... If China could be persuaded to sign the missile technology control regime, this ghastly episode could even have a happy ending."
"By What Moral Authority Does U.S. Condemn India?"
In the view of the black, independent Sowetan (5/15): "Questions must also be asked about the political wisdom which informed the Indian government's decision to invest such massive resources in a nuclear weapons program. In a country as poor as India, one would expect that government to prioritize socio-economic development rather than nuclear proliferation.... China and Pakistan too must share in the responsibility for what happened in the past week.... At the same time, the question must be asked: By what moral authority does the United States condemn India's errant conduct?... The United States must lead by example and start by dismantling its own nuclear arsenal."
BURKINA FASO: "Hypocrisy Of The Powerful"
Independent Le Journal Du Soir opined (5/19): "One cannot, after the impunity from which France benefited in 1995, support the reprisals put in action by several countries including the United States, Japan, the Scandinavian states, Canada. India has excuses. She has with her [Indian] public opinion, galvanized by the scientific and technical performances of the nuclear testings, by the determination of the national government of BJP, and moreover, by what she represents. It is not probable that one can succeed in punishing...without consequences...a market of one billion people, considered, by the way, as the third scientific power of the globe."
ZAMBIA: "Asian Insecurity"
The government-owned Zambia Daily Mail opined (5/16), "India has caused insecurity among its neighbors, particularly Pakistan, which is its arch enemy and with whom it has fought three wars.... In retaliation, Pakistan is also reported to be contemplating carrying out a nuclear test by firing a device at a remote desert testing site.... Perhaps what is happening in Asia could give Western investors a chance to look again at a sub-Saharan Africa previously neglected to third-rate attention because of overwhelming (economic) success in Asia and elsewhere. However, this should not be misunderstood to mean that Zambia and other sub-Saharan countries are rejoicing over the Asian economic crisis.... Far from it."
LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN
ARGENTINA: "Danger Posed By Kashmir"
Fernando Pastrano, international columnist for pro-government La Prensa, held (5/15), "India's nuclear tests this week are nothing else but a demonstration of power.... It is hard to believe that India dares attacking Pakistan.... But the fact that the two big countries of the subcontinent have nuclear armament could cause a fatal error which would become an international conflict. Today, the...danger lies in Kashmir."
BRAZIL: "In The Wrong--Hegemonic Nations"
Center-right, pro-government Correio Braziliense commented (5/20) on Brazil's nuclear stance and the breaking of its nuclear cooperation treaty with India: "Although parts of Brazilian society were against it, given the country's social and economic priorities, the decision to sign the Tlatelolco and NPT treaties was the right one. In the wrong are the hegemonic nations, which have built thousands of nuclear bombs since the Second World War, and do not agree with each other about destroying them or even reducing their number. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States, the nation with the largest number of nuclear arms in the world, does not have any justification for maintaining these weapons."
CHILE: "Expression Of National Pride Will Have An Enormous Cost"
Readers of conservative, influential El Mercurio saw this editorial (5/18): "The detonations were received with euphoria by all sectors of India's population, who celebrated the end of what they saw as an unfair exclusion from the group of (nuclear) countries.... But this expression of national pride will have an enormous economic cost and will open a Pandora's box resulting in an arms race and a more intense regional conflict of unpredictable consequences."
In a second editorial, El Mercurio judged (5/18): "The detonations have destabilized the region.... Pakistan is under an enormous internal pressure to unleash its clandestine nuclear program and equal India's progress, explosion by explosion, missile by missile."
JAMAICA: "India, The Bomb And Hypocrisy"
Stephen Vasciannie commented in the moderate, influential Daily Gleaner (5/18): "My strong suspicion is that the unarticulated premise of those who wish to keep India from the club concerns raw power.... India is perceived by the West as a newcomer to international power politics--and newcomers...are not supposed to have nuclear weapons.... Some critics would go further to suggest...it turns on the fact that they are Indians--and the West, with its...notions of white supremacy, is just not ready to share real power with brown and black people.... In fairness to the United States and its allies, the matter of nuclear proliferation cannot be narrowed down only to hypocrisy. It is clear...that the West has genuine fears concerning the implications of the Indian action. If India and other middle-ranking developing countries are encouraged to establish nuclear fighting capability, this could well stimulate others in the same direction.... The upshot is that nuclear weapons--the gravest threat to humanity as a whole--will remain with us, and with the passage of time, an increasing number of states will follow the precedent set when the Enola Gay delivered its cargo."
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: "West Has No Moral Authority"
The Independent had this editorial (5/17): "The nuclear program is costing billions in countries who can least afford it... The Western powers, led by the United States with its huge nuclear stockpiles, have no moral authority to prevent the Asian countries from developing similar arsenals."
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