SLUG: 2-270510 Pakistan / Nuclear Restraint (L only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:










INTRO: A top Pakistani military official is offering a three-step proposal which he says would help avoid nuclear war in South Asia. V-O-A's Janice Berliner reports the official says Pakistan and India should cooperate in a risk reduction agreement.

TEXT: Brigadier-General Feroz Hassan Khan, who is Pakistan's director for arms control and disarmament affairs, says South Asia is currently in a strategic impasse.

General Khan said in a speech at Washington's Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Thursday) that arms control must be undertaken for the security of the region and he laid out what he called three major principals.

/// KHAN ACT 1 ///

The first one in my assessment was have an effective command control system where you delineate the roles and responsibilities of political leaders, bureaucracy, and the scientific community, that's stage one. The second element is that it was establish a restraint regime within the region, because it's a regional context area.

/// END ACT ///

General Khan says the third principal is to improve risk reduction measures.

The Pakistani military official said one of his major concerns is the rising tension between India and Pakistan over the separatist insurgency in Kashmir. Another, he says, is the possibility of an accidental nuclear exchange.

/// KHAN ACT 2 ///

In the absence of formal dialogue between India and Pakistan and the dynamics of belligerency that is going on, there is a case that India-Pakistan relations has to be focused in a manner that exercise nuclear and conventional restraints so that the danger has been identified, and that danger has been identified by everyone in the world, including the United States - how to prevent that.

/// END ACT ///

General Hasan also says he is concerned about what he called India's military build-up. He says India is buying missiles from Russia and Israel.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's military leader General Pervez Musharraf is urging India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to respond to his country's offer of three-party talks involving India, Pakistan, and Kashmiri separatists.

India has rejected the offer, saying the Kashmir conflict is an internal Indian problem. India says it will not hold talks with Pakistan until it stops supporting "cross border terrorism" in Kashmir.

Pakistan says it provides only moral support to separatist groups in Kashmir and has no control over their movements outside Pakistan.

India and Pakistan each claim the entire Kashmir region. They have fought two wars and numerous skirmishes over it. (Signed)