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Volume 47, No.
March/April 1994



Perhaps the place to begin in assessing the chances of various arms control proposals in South Asia is to ask the question: Which nations involved are seriously afraid of what?

An unprecedented conference on such issues, sponsored by the Federation of American Scientists, took place in Shanghai February 23-26 among mostly private representatives of four nations-China, India, Pakistan and the United States. It provided some glimpses of the answers.

Without any doubt, the Pakistanis are the most seriously apprehensive about an arms race, for the simple reason that the arms race they face involves a much larger rival, India. Still worse, America, under the Pressler Amendment, embargoes aid and sales to them without corresponding pressures on India. They have a real interest in arms control and are prepared to go much further in the direction than will ever be negotiable with India. But they want a nuclear capability for the same reasons that America wanted one against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, viz, confrontation with a larger conventional force than they can handle with confidence, and this is a limiting factor.

What America fears in South Asia is that India and Pakistan will become an obstacle to that universal regime on non-proliferation which America seeks as a defense against Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya and future such "renegade" nations. With the end of the Cold War, American hawks have joined American doves in a full-court press against the spread of nuclear weapons; self-interest has joined idealism. Armored by disarmament agreements that are cutting its deployed warheads by 90 percent, America is prepared to mobilize a worldwide crusade to secure the planet against further spread of nuclear weapons.

Of its various fears, India is most apprehensive about American pressures to forestall its nuclear and missile buildup-not an arms race with Pakistan and not an arms race with China. It wants a nuclear capability and a long-range (Agni) missile for deep-seated reasons of honor and equity. In its religious and moral statements, it may have disparaged the genocidal quality of nuclear weapons, but, in fact, it has accepted the primitive notion that prestige in the modern world requires such accouterments. And it does live next door to a rapidly growing, more powerful civilization that, despite its defensive traditions, might someday turn arrogant.

China's apprehensions seem to turn mainly on being drawn into an arms race on its periphery that it would rather ignore. It has lived with far greater missiles than an Agni pointed at it. As one of China's greatest leaders-the President of its Academy of Sciences, Quo Mo Ro-told FAS in 1972, "We are a poor country and we intend to defend the country with diplomacy." China, as always, is preoccupied with itself.

Under these circumstances, there will be not greater arms control in South Asia than India wants. With regard to nuclear capability, we ought not take too seriously its complaints of "discrimination" or American double-standard and the goal posts it sets up. Like our weapons laboratories that maintained that nuclear testing could he terminated when and only when nuclear weapons had been eliminated Indian pre-conditions for giving up its nuclear capability are probably bottomless.

And how much arms control will India accept? If this conference's participants are any guide there may he ways to slow or freeze the deployment of ballistic missiles. And there are grounds to believe that the testing of nuclear explosives -- by India and Pakistan -- could be precluded by treaty. In the context of worldwide progress on fissionable material cutolls, subsequent fissile material production might be precluded.

For the rest, the conference, predictably, was an opportunity for the Third World participants to devise and promulgate new global conditions on the world's nuclear powers: conventions against first-use of nuclear weapons or a date certain for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Safe stufl.

As far as process goes, experienced hands in South Asia were astounded at how well the four-party conference went and at its Chinese locale. There are after all six possible bilateral relations among four parties and four ways in which three such parties can gang up against one. As this record of the conference shows it was a highly civilized exchange among four quite different cultures.
-Jeremy J. Stone


Every civilization has its own personality, which reflects the personalities of its population and shapes its foreign policy. The most evident conneetions were these.

China Disclaims Leadership

The Chinese, warned as children that ''the nail that sticks up gets hammered down," insisted from beginning to end of the conference that "China is not a superpower." Let the U.S. and Russia "take the lead,'' they urged. And do not expect us, they warned privately, to do much in the way of moderating the disputes of nations on our periphery. Chinese diplomacy, as subtle as the personal diplomacy of its citizens, is too aware of the difficulties of sustaining long-term relations without a policy that is pointedly humble and strategically aloof.

Americans: Action Oriented

The Americans, full of energy, optimism and the certainty that problems have solutions, took the lead in trying to make the conference produce just such solutions. In this, they were acting, in a small way, just as America acts on the world scene-trying to bring a modicum of order and fairness to an unruly world. Building on the organizational efforts of the Chinese host, they made the mistake of seeking, in a limited time, to produce mutually acceptable recommendations-over and above having a good discussion. As with many American efforts, it succeeded but not without incidents that tested American diplomatic skills and required the intervention of the superior skills of the Chinese.

Indians Want A Voice

The Indians, in a feisty and sometimes exuberant conversational style, in and out of the conference, dare to make their own rules and show a certain combination of chutzpa and irony. They enjoy provoking the "imperialists," getting a rise out of people. They are patriotic and want to hold up their country's end of the strategic debate, responding in particular to the indignities of thousands of years of invasion and one kind of oppression or another.

Similarly, in its foreign policy, India, like its citizens, is daring to be different. 155 nations sign the non-proliferation treaty but, to the Indians, it is enough to say that the treaty is ' discriminatory.'' In fact, their position is not moral but tactical. They follow the path, in their own way, of the Russians in the Fifties ( 'Ban the Bomb'' until we in Russia have built up ours) and the Chinese since the Sixties ( No first use" while China is strategically weak). They use a constant reference to America's failure to adopt ' no first-use'' to provide political cover for a bomb and missile they very much want.

It is evident that India wants bombs and missiles not just tor the dark scenarios that a military man can prop up. or for the ''technology'' that scientists like to salute, but simply because an influential class of Indians sees nuclear bombs and missiles as a route to a long-delayed greatness: a seat on the Security Council, acceptance as a great power, perhaps even long-denied respect from China. The Indian Agni missile aimed at Beijing was, in psychological terms, a wave from India signifying "We are here; please take note of us.'' If Chinese diplomatic skills are up to it, they could, with a peace offensive and the giving of 'face" to the Indians, do more than anyone else to blunt the Indian missile threat to China. (Banishing the Indian nuclear bomb itself is probably beyond their abilities or anyone else's.)

Pakistan: Between And Betwixt

The Pakistani delegation was sober and mature; all of its members were only too well aware that they faced an arms race against a much larger country and that India was capable of great-power chauvinism that equaled anything America might do or had done. When, at a meeting, an American asked rhetorically whether the world would, in fact be happier if America vanished off the face of the earth, an Indian viewed this with equanimity but the Pakistani reaction was "But this would leave us alone with the Indians."

The Pakistanis tried to show their Chinese ally that they were not in league with others against them, while signaling the rest of the conferees that they would agree to virtually any fair proposal. And this was, also the foreign policy of Pakistan.

For the purposes of the conference, the senior representatives were: Qian Jiadong, whose close ties with the Chinese foreign ministry and long-time diplomatic experience made him the natural person for the Chinese government to ride herd on the host country delegates; Richard Garwin. whose legendary energy and old college try" made it possible for the conference to try to secure a product; General Sundarji. whose military prestige, experience and analytical skills made it possible for the Americans to create a missile deployment freeze that just might go somewhere; and Ahdul Sattar, whose quiet sobriety and long experience protected Pakistan's position and dignity at every turn

Priorities of Conference Organizers

The secretaries of the organizing groups, Dingli Shen of Fudan University's Center for American Studies, Jeremy Stone of FAS and Brahma Chellaney of the Center for Policy Studies in New Delhi, had their own agendas.

Shen wanted to "survive" the conference. His head was on the block if anything went wrong. With the skills of a trained physicist and, above all, being a very diplomatic Chinese, he organized everything to a "t", accommodated everyone who seemed to need something and showed a great deal of integrity.

Stone's interest was in making the conference more than just a meeting. With a characteristically activist approach to life, he wanted not just the unprecedented workshop in China with Indians and Pakistanis but proposals that could be pushed later.

Brahma Chellaney became a kind of spokesman for the Indian position, introducing barbed questions and leaving no point unturned, even at times adopting positions that other Indians with special knowledge would not support.

Pakistan's Munir Ahmed Kahn and India's Raja Ramanna were like Manhattan Project atomic scientists working now only for peace after long periods running their countries' atomic energy commissions. Kahn, a person of good cheer and good will, provided very-well-informed papers from which, the Indians joked, they were learning much about their own programs. Ramanna seemed caught in the official web, knowing too much and tied in too closely to say or do all that he would like. Pakistan's General Khalid Mahmud Arif seemed sincerely interested in devoting his later career to peace, and the Chinese were amazed to see Generals Arif and Sundarji embracing in friendly spirit only seven years after their armies faced off in 1987. More generally, they were surprised to see how well, and without a single untoward incident, the entire Indian and Pakistani delegations interacted.

All three of the non-American delegations have their own reasons to be angry with America, but the Indians show it the most. From their point of view, America is puffing on an untold number of nuclear cigars and telling them not to smoke on the grounds that, someday in the future, they might die. No parent ever had a harder sell.

The Chinese feel that they are being criticized for molehills of arms sales while America exports mountains-and tries to tell them how to run their country with intrusive human rights demands. But they are too polite to say much about it in public.

And the Pakistanis, who have a right to real complaints over the one-sidedness of the Pressler Amendment, were remarkable in their avoidance of anti-American attitudes. No doubt even the embargoes and economic pressures applied to them diminish in significance in comparison with the dangers and attitudes they see in India policy.

All of the non-Chinese delegations share a British heritage, communicating with each other not only in fluent English but also in basically British attitudes. While we are all in awe of certain Chinese characteristics, the Indians, in particular, are quietly alarmed over Chinese economic progress. To see China making such progress in only a few years gives them pause. Like Brazil, India is looking to a great future in the next century, a future it may not realize.


Because this conference, especially in South Asia, is being given surprising prominence, something ought to be said at the outset of how it was started and, by good fortune, grew in significance along the way. In particular, the assumption that there was major Chinese Government interest in this conference is inaccurate.

Meeting First Proposed In Mid-1993

The initiative for the conference came, predictably, from the Americans, in this ease from Frank von Hippel, then Chairman of the FAS Fund, policy research and education arm of the Federation. With his subsequent decision to enter the Clinton Administration (as Assistant Director for National Security Affairs in the Office of Science and Technology Policy), the planning of the conference was left to the FAS President Stone. Von Hippel's plan was for a scientific workshop on arms control issues between Indian and Chinese experts to discuss the comprehensive test ban and fissionable material cutoffs-arms control staples in which he had a long-standing interest.

The Pakistanis were not included, at the outset, because he concluded that the real problems for India were with China and that no such meeting had yet ever been held. With help from a Chinese professor at Fudan University, Dingli Shen, who had been trained, in part, at Princeton University under von Hippel, the conference was planned for Shanghai and permission given by the Education Ministry of China which supervises the university. Plans were for five representatives from each of three countries .

After von Hippel entered the Government, two changes occurred. In the first place, the Chinese Government had asked Professor Shen to invite a few Pakistanis, reasoning, no doubt, that it had a special relationship with Pakistan that ought not be ignored. FAS, meanwhile, decided that parity was essential and invited five Pakistanis. The conference became fully four-cornered rather than three-sided. Next, at a conference in Philadelphia, run by the Univ. of PA's Center for the Advanced Study of India, FAS met five very suitable Indians whom it invited to the conference, and as a consequence, the conference became less of a purely scientific workshop and began to include a more political component. These Indian representatives were as follows.

General Krishnaswami Sundarji, former Chief of Staff of the Indian Army, is a widely respected defense analyst and scholar. General Sundarji was commander of the Indian army during such dramatic Indian episodes as the "Brass Tacks" mobilization of the Indian army in 1987 (which provoked a counter-mobilization of the Pakistani Army), the 1984 attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar (which led to the assassination of Indira Ghandi) and the Indian intervention in Sri Lanka in 1987 (which led to the assassination of Rajiv Ghandi).

Dr. Raja Ramanna, currently the Director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies, was Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India and even, for a short time, India's Minister of State for Defense. Secretary A.P. Venkateswaran, former Indian Foreign Secretary, was Ambassador to China between 1982 and 1985 and headed the Indian delegation to the senior official level talks between China and India over the border dispute.

Brahma Chellaney, a research professor at New Delhi's Center for Policy Research, is a former journalist for United Press International. He also has worked at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland and Brookings.

A fifth Indian, Rakesh Sood, currently serving as Director of the Disarmament & International Security Affairs Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, was invited but, at the last minute, could not attend.)

The Indian delegation, with Professor Chellaney serving as its secretary, helped FAS round up a comparably distinguished Pakistani delegation.

Minister Mubashir Hasan, was former Minister of Finance, Planning, Development and Economic Affairs (1971-74) and, later Secretary-General of the then-governing Pakistani People's Party.

Minister Abdul Sattar, a thirty-year career diplomat, was Foreign Minister of the interim administration that turned over power to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government following the elections in October. Previously, he had served as Ambassador to India and to the Soviet Union.

General Khalid Mahmud Arif was Vice Chief of Staff of the Pakistani army between 1984 and 1987 (in effect, Chief of Staff, but President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq had retained that title while delegating its powers).

Dr. Munir Ahmed Khan, was Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission between 1972 and 1991 and, briefly, Minister of State during 1990-1991. He had been Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors from 1986 to 1987.

Riaz Hussain Khokhar, is Pakistan's High Commissioner (i.e., Ambassador) to India. He is one of the most senior career officials of Pakistan and had been the Additional Secretary in charge of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Atomic Energy and Information in the Prime Minister's Secretariat

China Officially Unreceptive

With these unexpectedly senior, if mostly retired, officials from India and Pakistan rounded up, the main conference organizers, in the person of Professor Shen and FAS President Stone, sought without success to get current representatives of the Chinese Foreign Ministry to attend the conference.

Instead, a former ambassador to the United Nations conference on disarmament in Geneva, Qian Jiadong, agreed to attend. A former secretary to Premier Chou EnLai, he has been, among other things, Assistant Director of the Asian Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Representatives of a number of leading Chinese institutes were also invited:

The China Institute of Contemporary International Relations-subordinated to the State Council-sent a young woman in her twenties, Fang Jinying, who specialized in Indian foreign policy.

The China Institute of International Studies-subordinated to the Chinese Foreign Ministry-sent its Deputy Director, Zheng Ruixiang, who had long experience in India and Sri Lanka.

The China Institute for International Strategic Studies sent an expert on non-proliferation, Mu Changlin.

The Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics sent Chen Xueyin, a physicist interested in the future role of nuclear weapons. The Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND) sent the Director of its Program on Arms Control and Disarmament at its Defense Science and Technology Information Center.

The International Politics Department of Fudan University sent its Vice-Chairman, Ni Shixiong, a prolific author on international politics.

The Chinese Academy of Social Science sent a senior fellow of its Institute of American Studies, Wu Zhan. The Shanghai Institute for International Studies sent its Deputy Director, Wang Hongyu, who specializes in South Asian and Middle East issues.

And, of course, there was Dingli Shen, Associate Professor of Fudan University, who organized the conference from the Chinese side. Professor Shen is a physicist by training but is currently working on arms control after post-doctoral training at Princeton University.

America's Handpicked Delegation

From the U.S. came current FAS officials and staff, one former official and one of America's most distinguished experts on South Asia.

Richard Garwin, FAS Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the FAS Fund, is the dean of American public interest scientists, with a resume showing extraordinary activity over an enormous range of public interest fields in high technology and arms control.

Frank von Hippel, identified above, is also a recent winner of a MacArthur genius award, and the entire Shanghai conference had been shifted forward one day to permit him to receive the AAAS award for scientific freedom and responsibility in San Francisco.

Jeremy J. Stone and Dr. Jerome Holton, a physicist working on Stone's zero-ballistic missile project represented FAS.

Stephen P. Cohen of the University of Illinois, was a member of the State Department Policy Planning Staff from 1985 to 1987. The author, co-author or editor of eight books and many articles and chapters, Cohen has long experience in both India and Pakistan and is considered an expert on the region.

Under the conference ground rules, papers presented by participants can be quoted, and attributed, if they are not marked "not for quotation," but the Conference comments of participants are not to be otherwise attributed to them by name unless authorized. This report follows those ground rules.


Protected by the Himalayas and one of mankind's oldest continuous civilizations, the great Han people of China have had little reason to occupy themselves with the disparate cultures of South Asia and, characteristically, little interest in doing so.

Five thousand years after their written history began, however, they face the disturbing possibility that modern technology may bridge the geographical barriers between themselves and India. The Indians are building a nuclear capable missile, the Agni, whose 15()()-mile range just happens to coincide with the shortest distance between India's northeast territories and China's capital. India had a nuclear test in 1974 and has a nuclear "capability" that could represent 10 to 20 bombs in readiness. China thus faces the possibility that a neighbor other than Russia could reach it with a weapon of mass destruction.

More generally, China and India are beginning to be linked in a worldwide effort to control the spread of weapons. But from material read on the plane en route to Shanghai, it became apparent how reluctant China has normally been to get involved in regional arms control. A chapter in Iain Johnston's Superpower Maritime Strategy in the Pacific (Rontledge, 1990; Frank C. Langdon and Douglas A. Ross, eds.) noted that China has had "little or nothing to say about arms control," that "cuts too close for comfort." Aloofness, Johnston felt, was China's "traditional response to [the] sort of tough dilemma" of having to veto or accede to regional arms control processes. Such processes might even put Chinese military programs and behavior "on the table" in the Asia-Pacific region.

China's approach, he felt, reflected a tendency to seek a "free ride" on arms control and disarmament by reaping the benefits of U.S. and Soviet arms control processes while "scrupulously avoiding substantive commitments that might affect China's own weapons programmes."

According to his report, China tends to "oppose or avoid bilateral arms control and disarmament, Asian-focused arms control and disarmament, and arms control and disarmament which constrains China's on-going or potential military programmes." It seemed that, if he were right, the Shanghai conference was triply unlikely to produce agreements on regional arms control involving China. This turned out to be almost completely correct, with a possible exception concerning missile deployment that Chinese delegates were, characteristically, unwilling to permit to be issued by the conference.

Indian "Hawks" Attended

On top of these problems, it was evident that our Indian and Pakistani participants were, in most cases, not "doves" from the perspective of their countries. On the contrary, General Sundarji was considered a militant who sought an Indian "minimum nuclear deterrent," complete with an Agni missile that could hit China. Dr. Ramanna, as a former head of the Indian AEC and even, briefly, a Minister of Defense, was part of the weapons establishment, just as Secretary A.P. Venkateswaran was part of the diplomatic establishment. Even the ex-journalist and professor Brahma Chellaney had written in International Security ("South Asia's Passage to Nuclear Power", Summer 1991) that the risks of a subcontinental nuclear war would nevertheless remain modest and manageable" even if the Indians and Pakistanis built "small nuclear forces"-and this was his "likely picture of the emerging South Asia. "

Indeed, he considered nuclear weapons to be "the first truly political weapon system"-one that bestowed on its holders "immense political clout." He believed that the stability which nuclear weapons had produced for the two Cold War blocs had induced "systemic instability" in the Third World. His article referred to an "innate inclination in U.S. policy toward interventionism."

For Professor Chellaney, India's goal was to "block or slow down" the Pakistani nuclear program while holding up its own end of a competition with China, especially at sea, that has been encouraged by China's nuclear and missile assistance to Pakistan. He seemed almost to welcome the "technology denial" approach of the international non-proliferation regime, inasmuch as it "accelerated indigenous development of nuclear and fuel-cycle technologies" in the Third World. He noted, approvingly, "It is this momentum that has helped catapult India into what is widely perceived as the role of a regional superpower through an awesome defense buildup and an increasingly assertive military role."

He expected Indian policies of "calculated nuclear ambiguity" to continue for some time to come, in part because it would be "premature to give up its posture of pursuing a peaceful nuclear program as long as it is not in a position to counter what it sees as the nuclear threat from China."

Pakistan's Position

The Pakistani position was quite different. As a much smaller power than India (one-eighth the size with one sixth the GNP), caught up in an arms race, Pakistan was ready for virtually any balanced agreement with India. It even feared that some Indians had not yet reconciled themselves to an independent Pakistan, and in particular, there was the problem of Cashmere.

A paper submitted to the conference by General Arif noted that, in addition, international pressures on Pakistan were "more severe" than on India. As far as Pakistan was concerned, India had "rejected over half a dozen Pakistani proposals for bilateral agreement on nuclear related issues" and was "declining serious negotiations to gain time to complete her on-going nuclear effort in the hope that the fait accompli of her nuclear capability will be accepted and her negotiating position will improve."

He supported a nuclear weapon-free South Asia as an "achievable and desirable goal despite the prevailing regional nuclear reality." Even Pakistani generals were obviously for far-reaching arms control. He proposed to the conference seven regional proposals, including a comprehensive one that calls for "A bilateral treaty between India and Pakistan covering the non-manufacture, non-testing and non-deployment of all weapons of mass destruction, their munitions and the associated delivery vehicles."

The U.S. Agenda

Meanwhile, the American side had its own agenda. Von Hippel had been working on a fissionable materials cutoff for at least a decade and was strongly for a comprehensive test ban. Garwin had been working on all of these and was interested in sharp reductions in stockpiles of nuclear weapons. Stone had proposed in 1992, (L.A. Times, March 26 op-ed) the notion of revisiting the Reykjavik proposal on a global basis, held a Senate-based "Scientists' Hearing" on the subject, and secured grants from Carnegie Corporation of NY and The W. Alton Jones Foundation to staff a project and advance this notion. This was a new initiative with which to brief a conference seeking just such links between regional and global agreements on ballistic missiles.

Sundarji, Sattar In DC Before Conference

Stone had invited General Sundarji to be FAS's guest in Washington for the three weeks preceding the conference to help FAS prepare. And Minister Abdul Sattar had been in Washington during this period also, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Institute for Peace.

In particular, after consulting with Sundarji and Sattar, Stone had worked out eight seemingly mutually agreeable proposals to submit to the conference and, in particular, one that dealt with a missile freeze in South Asia combined with some Chinese accommodation. More about this later.

Stephen Cohen, a master of the region's politics, had edited the "bible" on South Asian arms control-Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia: Prospects for Arms Control (Westview Press, 1991), complete with a master table of all arms control proposals yet proposed. He had brought along a paper proposing a South Asian Regional Initiative (SARI).(See page 15.)

The Education Ministry of the Chinese Government must have been surprised by the high level of the attendees, as indeed were its local organizers, but in the end, they had obviously agreed, presumably after consultations with the Foreign Ministry, to let the conference go forward.

Shanghai was enjoying a five-year economic building boom that made parts of the city look like it had stepped out of the capitalist world of Hong Kong. The Regal Hotel was the best of the Chinese four-star hotels and at least one participant had motion detectors that turned off all the lights after 30 minutes of no movement in his room. (This meant that, in the middle of the night, a guest might have to sit up and wave at the motion detector to get the bedside light to work.)

The Conference Begins

The President of Fudan University, Xie Xide, welcomed the delegates, noting that consensus might be hard to reach but that "friendship and good will are the cornerstones" on which peace and security can be built.

An Indian participant emphasized the importance of progress (" . . . must do something about these dangers or let our families down"). A Pakistani suggested that the conference will "empower us" to more effectively influence our own respective states. And an American opened the first session by calling for concrete proposals and thanking the W. Alton Jones Foundation and its staffer George Perkovich for the funds and vision that made the conference possible. The first speaker, General Arif, spoke along the lines sketched above from his comprehensive paper and urged a host of proposals. But he noted that Cashmere was the important political problem and that its occupation was illegal.

In the discussion, a Pakistani speaker reminded the audience that most of the Indian army was, in fact, devoted to Pakistan. The army was far in excess of India's legitimate needs already and committed to improvements and mechanization by the year 2,000. The China "card" was just a way for India to keep its options open. since in fact the Himalayas were too big an obstacle for China to he a significant danger to India.

Pakistan had offered a freeze on fissionable material and wanted a nuclear-free zone. Security guarantees by others would not work and the Pressler Amendment showed less than an even-handed approach.

Colonial Borders Cited As Problem

Next, Brahma Chellaney delivered a paper entitled ''India and Southern Asia in the Post-Cold War," which, labeled 'in draft," cannot be quoted. An Indian said the problem was colonial borders, and that weapons from Afghanistan had provided arms to fuel terrorism in the region. He argued that the ' no-first-use'' pledge of China was not consistent with its retention of tactical nuclear weapons. [This is false, since tactical nuclear weapons could be used to deter the use of tactical nuclear weapons of others without any intention to use nuclear weapons first . ] He felt that China had exported arms and, in particular, had created and enlarged threats to India. He urged a comprehensive test ban treaty (CTBT) and a worldwide cutoff of fissionable material. But he said that Pentagon statements that nukes were an enduring necessity meant a bleak future for the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

He felt that the fact that the Security Council was composed only of states with nuclear weapons meant that they want to maintain their monopoly and would act to do so. He was for an international no-first-use convention and for a ban on the production not only of uranium and plutonium but also tritium.

Professor Ni Shixiong of Fudan University presented a paper that "noticed with much anxiety that against the global reduction of strategic weapons, the arms race in this region increases unchecked". Observing that India's population, territory and GNP were all in excess of 70 per cent of the total for the subcontinent, he said that "accordingly, the solution of regional conflicts will largely depend on India's position."

Chinese officials, he said, had proclaimed the "four nevers": never claim hegemony, never engage in an arms race, never enter into any military bloc and never seek spheres of influence. And the following further principles had been put forward by China:

"Asian countries should treat each other in an equal and friendly way; cooperation at different levels based on mutual benefits and common development should be promoted; China would facilitate arms control and disarmament on a fair and reasonable basis and would oppose any new arms race and seek to prevent nuclear proliferation; China would seek to solve border disputes and other problems through peaceful negotiations in line with relevant international norms and would oppose the use or threat of use of force; China would carry out multi-form, multi-level and multi-channel security dialogues in order to increase communications and enhance understanding and trust between nations."

In particular, China supported security regimes in South Asia and would take an active part in their formation. It supported reconciliation and rapprochement between India and Pakistan and wanted to improve its relations with both . Professor Ni urged India and Pakistan to sign the NPT and called for "an early official multiple security dialogue among Southern Asian countries and other countries concerned when the time is ripe" after bilateral contacts and scholarly meetings on security.

No-First-Use Of Nuclear Weapons

In a far-reaching discussion of "no-first-use'' of nuclear weapons, one Indian delegate expressed strong interest in a no-first-use convention for all states, while another Indian candidly explained that Pakistan could never sign such an agreement. Indeed, Pakistan delegates explained patiently that no-first-use or the total elimination of nuclear weapons could make the world safe for conventional war.

In the course of this discussion, it became evident that the Indian delegates most interested in no-first-use had completely ignored the very large extent to which the United States (and other states) had already adopted virtual no first-use policies while, at the same time, they enormously exaggerated the strategic significance of the no-first-use declarations they called for.

An American delegate (Stone) made these two points:

a). The United States had a "negative security assurance" doctrine, adopted at the United Nations in 1978 and constantly repeated since, which assured non-nuclear states (so long as they had endorsed the non-proliferation treaty or a comparable undertaking) that it would not use nuclear weapons against them. (An exception for non-nuclear states engaging in aggression in alliance with nuclear states-designed for North Korea-no longer applied to any real situation since the relevant alliances with aggressive nuclear powers no longer existed.)

Accordingly, the U.S. was free to use nuclear weapons first only against nuclear powers. But it was unthinkable that it would use them against Britain or France, unnecessary now against Russia (which was a capitalist state suffering conventional inferiority), and totally out of the question against China. Meanwhile the non-signatory states of Israel, Pakistan and India had never feared nuclear attack from the U.S. In sum, the U.S. had no significant possibility of using nuclear weapons first.

(Indeed, U.S. officials had assured FAS that nuclear weapons would not be used against Iraq, under this doctrine, even as Iraq was threatening U.S. troops with another weapon of mass destruction-chemical weapons.)

Experts on South Asia confirmed, as did the surprise of the Indian delegates, that this argument was absolutely unknown in South Asia. State Department officials please note .

b). A no-first-use statement, even a no-first-use convention with all nuclear powers signing it, was neither verifiable nor reliable and would not have the effect the Indian delegates claimed of removing the basis for nuclear weapons. This follows because, even if all nuclear powers assert no-first-use, any specific nuclear power cannot rely sufficiently on these declarations to throw away its nuclear weapons .

And as the Pakistani delegates emphasized on more than one occasion, those who sought nuclear weapons as a defense against conventional attack-rather than as an effort to deter nuclear attack-would not have their positions that much improved by no-first-use statements by conventionally stronger adversaries.

[All in all, the Indian position on no-first-use thus appeared to be a make-weight argument designed to fend off U.S. pressures on it to forgo nuclear weapons. It is true that the adoption of no-first-use statements by the nuclear powers, removing this argument, might have political implications in undermining the Indian nuclear program. But Indian nuclear proponents could simply move on to arguing that India needed nuclear weapons to discourage Chinese conventional attack in the border areas which, indeed, they already argued.]

Thursday Afternoon: Fissile Material

Frank von Hippel presented conclusions drawn from his September 1985 Scientific American paper ("Stopping the Production of Fissile Materials for Weapons"). He urged a worldwide cutoff. It was argued that IAEA would require an additional $100,000,000 a year to verify such a worldwide cutoff-more than double the $60,000,()()0 it spends today. Indian delegates wanted help with both nuclear safety and commercial power in return for such agreement.

An American noted that controls on tritium, as urged by an Indian delegate, were irrelevant because a 30-year supply of tritium now exists as a result of reductions of nuclear weapons. And, in any case, excess fissionable material could be used to offset the loss of tritium.

Dr. Ramanna presented a paper asserting that any end to the production of highly enriched materials has to be discussed in the context of "defense requirements," which, he said, "are usually controlled by the surrounding political atmosphere of the country concerned."

He argued that stopping production of unsafe guarded plutonium means the application of NPT, "with its implications of safeguarding all reactors and production facilities within a given country." But, he felt, this meant signing the NPT which India does not subscribe to "as long as it is discriminatory'' and until it becomes a total ban on nuclear weapons everywhere. With changes in technology, even accelerators might produce fissile material, and so the only method of control was "a total renouncement of the development and use of nuclear weapons."

Friday Morning: Test Ban

General Sundarji is a military man who wants more rationality in military planning. In 1991, in an interview, he complained to The Times of India that the military had been forced into "political" conflicts including, among others, the 1984 invasion of the Sikhs' Golden Temple in Amritsar and the 1987 intervention in Sri Lanka (both of which he commanded). "In foreign and military policy," he urged, "one should expect a whole spectrum of scenarios from the sublime to the ridiculous and we should have all the possible answers worked out. That kind of discipline and institutional underpinning is just not there."

He presented a paper that asserted that India should make constructive proposals and, practicing the art of scenarios himself, he described three world contexts. If, in his worst case, the U.S. retained large nuclear stockpiles and refused to assert "no-first-use" or to ban fissile material production or nuclear testing, then India should treat the nuclear regime as "thoroughly discriminatory and cynical" and should take the view that "There is no alternative to nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles if you are to live in security and with honor." (emphasis in original).

If, however, the nuclear powers pledge "no-first-use" and the U.S. and Russia cap their arsenals at about 10 percent of the present levels while freezing China, Britain and France at current levels, and if the United Nations Security Council is changed so that no one member can veto its actions, he would support India's signing the Nonproliferation Treaty as a non-weapon power.

[He cautioned in a footnote that even this major series of international concessions would not be enough for many of his colleagues, who would ask, in addition, that the nuclear forces of the permanent five states be placed under U N control-or even more] General Sundarji is a major proponent of the view championed in the US by Professor Kenneth N Waltz that nuclear weapons can be stabilizing in circumstances like those of India and Pakistan-in particular that India will be much more loath to attack Pakistan with conventional forces now that Pakistan has a nuclear capability and that the same would presumably apply to China versus India He feels confident for example that none of the three wars fought between India and Pakistan would have occurred had each side had the present nuclear backdrop And he believes a pattern of greater Indian circumspection now applies for this reason

He would urge India to seek a minimum deterrent combined with targeting of cities and a no-first-use doctrine He believes that such a policy precludes arms races and does not require "hair-trigger responses with their attendant risks As a further precaution, he would avoid deployment leaving warheads and delivery vehicles in different sites in an unweaponized and under deployed state of existential deterrence -only to be united after an attack

General Sundarji explained a recent change in his thinking He now believes that minimum nuclear deterrence in South Asia can be made to stick without weaponization or deployment in the classic sense providing that certain tacit understandings are arrived at regarding the continued maintenance of capped but live capabilities of weaponizing at short notice, and having the requisite vectors for effective delivery, but not marrying with warheads and deploying them in advance " [In effect he had come around to the view on non-weaponized deterrence espoused by George Perkovich of The W. Alton Jones Foundation, a view he had opposed in an earlier paper.]

In closing his paper called for "capping" the South Asian arms competition keeping it short of weaponization and deployment; capping the size of arsenals; capping the production of fissile material and capping the number, or range or both of under deployed missiles held in inventory

This he felt could be done voluntarily through informal negotiations or formally He considered the most practical and realistic approach to he to try to narrow the gap between negotiated and formal capping with the U S helping with verification

[This paper did not require any action by China as a quid pro quo for capping the Indian forces except for a withdrawal clause permitting India to withdraw if it perceives a serious security threat from China But the paper questioned whether India would agree without some quid pro quo in the form of credible international guarantees to non-weapon powers in case of the absence of any capping of the Chinese nuclear capability]

Pakistan's Munir Ahmed Kahn

Dr Kahn made a strong case for a regional nuclear test ban in one section of his paper 'Possible Impact of Global CTBT on South Asia:

"From the technical point of view testing is not absolutely necessary for making a workable low or medium yield heavy nuclear device Enough information, design and technical data are available to have reasonable assurance that such a device would work But certain questions would still remain. First of all the device may be rather too large for the delivery system available There could be a limitation on their range of delivery Secondly, a battlefield weapon is different from a device for underground testing and demonstration The former has to work when released at a certain height over a specific place and at a given time If prior testing has not taken place, it cannot be inducted into the war machine as a reliable and sure-fire weapon "

He warned that a reckless act on the part of one side or the other "could mean the testing of a hydrogen bomb by India and a fission bomb by Pakistan and noted that some Indians had asked Pakistan to go ahead and test In particular, a test ban would slow down the development of hydrogen weapons "for which testing is considered to be necessary

Kahn urged a bilateral treaty banning all nuclear tests in South Asia, and this won the unanimous agreement of the conference

In a complementary paper, Regional Implications of the Spread of Ballistic Missiles in South Asia," Dr Kahn felt a race for ballistic missiles was developing in South Asia and would spill over to other countries and have global repercussions But there 'may still be time to arrest further deterioration of the situation " He called attention to the near-term deployment of Prithvi, Akash and Nag battlefield weapons and the longer-range Agni

In a seemingly characteristic response, one Indian participant said "We have to defend ourselves We have been under foreign control for such a long period And technology must be developed. We need psychological progress between India and Pakistan. And we have to have the potential to act if anybody becomes a threat-we don't sat who is the treat."

Further Reductions In The Nuclear Arsenals

Wu Zhan stated the Chinese position. The Chinese were for "complete prohibition" and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and no-first-use statements by nuclear powers The U S and Russia should take the lead in halting the test production and deployment of all types of nuclear weapons and drastically reduce all types of nuclear weapons" which would create favorable conditions for an international conference on which further progress could be based

An American complained that China had, in 1982 said it would Join in disarmament talks if and when the U S and Russia cut their warheads by half Now that just such major progress was in train China had shifted to demanding 'drastic reductions and. according to Wu Zhan, this could be interpreted as 95% rather than 50 per cent

Wu Zhan's paper showed the same exaggerated faith, seen in some Indian statements in no-first-use declarations He argued that such a commitment by nuclear powers would render their research, testing production and deployment of nuclear weapons meaningless and unnecessary "

His proposal for the region was to freeze the status quo in India and Pakistan in procurement and deployment of nuclear weapons and to do so verifiably.

Richard Garwin noted that under Start I and Start II, Russian nuclear warheads would decline from a peak of 45,000 warheads to 3000-3500 strategic warheads by the year 2003 and the US would reach the same limits down from 33,00 For both powers, only 700 air-delivered NATO tactical nuclear weapons are outside the borders of US and Russia.

After describing the U S National Academy of Science study on the management and disposition of excess weapons plutonium, he urged extending disarmament of nuclear warheads to reach levels of 1000 on each side, with tactical nuclear weapons included in that total Other nuclear powers might, he suggested, adopt limits on their nuclear weapon holdings of about 300 to facilitate this progress.

Ballistic Missile Disarmament

Under a current FAS plan for ballistic missile disarmament (ZBM), which was described by FAS staffer Dr. Jerome Holton, the U.S. and Russia would agree on a contingent "good faith initiative" to make substantial further reductions in missiles if all nations would agree, at a world conference, to attempt the goal of zero ballistic missiles Thereafter, eight regional zones, covering the entire world, would attempt freezes and disarmament of ballistic missiles in their regions

Stone presented a related proposal for a ballistic missile freeze in the region which said India and Pakistan could agree to freeze the deployment of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, in accordance with jointly agreed definitions on what constitutes deployment-and with such mutually agreed on-site inspection by each other, or by an agreed third party as the two parties require -- so long as China agrees as a good-faith gesture to keep all IRBMs out of agreed territories adjoining India As part of the agreement, the United States could agree to provide technical assistance and information designed to help verify the agreement "

The Chinese were urged to give this careful consideration on the grounds that:

a) its security was at stake if missiles were created in states on its periphery that could reach China especially in regions prone to war;

b) that in any case, its friendship with neighboring states should extend to helping them freeze their own missile arms races if this could be done without great damage to Chinese security; and

c) that a missile freeze in South Asia would preclude the otherwise inevitable requests from Pakistan for help from China in holding up Pakistan's end of an arms race with a larger power, India.

In the discussion that followed Stone reminded Professor Wu that his paper said India is not the target of the Chinese nuclear force so long as if does no~ deploy any nuclear weapons" (emphasis added), which implied that, in the context of a deployed Agni missile, with nuclear warhead, China would certainly be targeting India and a new confrontation would exist

One Chinese participant said the idea of worldwide ballistic missile elimination was "very interesting' and suggested that two bilateral negotiations (India-China and India-Pakistan) might be better than a trilateral one [This conforms to Chinese traditional interest, emphasized several times below, in avoiding getting in between two quarreling parties.]

An Indian participant defended the proposal for a regional freeze saying 'non-deployed, non-weaponized" status for missiles "would do and would prevent "arms racing He said we could not be "sanguine" that such arms racing would not occur, and the proposal would not mean one was 'writing off ones capacity to retaliate It was better to stay, by agreement short of deployment and with transparency" since, otherwise. one could never be sure what a future government might do, and an arms race might start A Chinese participant said the regional freeze was "interesting," and still another said "It is true that we are a bit concerned about Agni ' He went on: "As neighbors of India and Pakistan we hope they can solve their differences and we are for nuclear-weapon-free zones-although this is the first we have heard of a ballistic-missile-free zone. It should be the joint product of countries involved but first of all India and Pakistan." And he raised the question of how countries outside the zone would cooperate. e.g the U.S. carrier Enterprise

A Pakistani said the missile threat in the region is real and that "yes, a freeze is good for us." [In the end when the time came to see if there was consensus on conference proposals this item was the most controversial, mainly because one Chinese delegate felt that 'it was too detailed." There was palpable fear, underlying that comment that a reference to China in the report-and this was the only proposal under consideration that required anything explicit of China that was not already Chinese policy-could lead someone, somewhere in the Chinese bureaucracy to come down hard on the Chinese delegates. Under the circumstances, Stone withdrew the proposal from consideration for promulgation saying that FAS would pursue it, in any case, and did not need an expression of consensus]

In a final session Stephen Cohen tabled a paper for his South Asian Regional Initiative (SARI) under which the U S and Japan-and probably Russia Germany and Great Britain-would co-sponsor a process seeking to pass a 'framing UN resolution updating the UN position on regional peace in a contemporary context. Substantive committees would deal with various components of India-Pakistan relations Nuclear proliferation in the region and a dialogue on Cashmere would be subsumed in this long-term effort designed to change perceptions and with incentives and disincentives applied to India and Pakistan

On To Beijing

Working late into the evening, Garwin, under instructions from a group of four leaders including himself set out to put the proposals that seemed to have survived the consensus process into a common form But it was evident that the conference had not had time for a final review Later in Beijing, members of the Indian delegation complained that a "no-first-make proposal for a bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan not to manufacture nuclear weapons had not been noticed by them during the 45-minute review session

They insisted that this would be embarrassing to them and asked that it be struck-not just covered by a phrase that indicated the review had not been completed and the consensus not reached In the end, under pressure from them, and after virtually all other delegates had left, the proposal turned into a completely different proposal for a regional agreement not to be the first to use nuclear weapons. [But this proposal is, obviously, not acceptable to the Pakistanis, who want their nuclear capability to deter conventional attack by the Indians, and the final document delivered to participants does indicate that both Pakistani and some Indian delegates do not agree with it ]

Foreign Ministry Institute for International Studies

It was interesting to see the pressure under which the Chinese were acting The Deputy Director of the Institute for International Studies had asked Stone, the night before, whether the agenda for the meeting at the Institute might be "U S. Policy Toward Asia " On Stone's objection, he said "O K., open agenda " But when the meeting opened, he returned to announcing that the topic was "U S Policy Toward Asia "

Why? Perhaps, the Foreign Ministry or the Institute was worried that, somehow, the three visiting delegations might join in some combined approach or theme petitioning China to do something or other or criticizing its policy Better to deflect this by having an agenda in which all would criticize US policy. All this reveals the unbelievable vigilance of a system in which long-serving bureaucrats must worry about any slip that might be magnified, through McCarthyite demagoguery, into a charge on their record that could upset an otherwise iron rice bowl.

During the discussion, an Indian delegate said, "The U.S. thinks it is the chosen people of God and is not prepared to accept China as a co-equal " Another Indian delegate criticized China for not accepting any arms control limitations except the Chemical Weapons Convention and urged a substantive dialogue with India.

An American criticized the Chinese for not taking a leadership role in their region, where "you are unquestionably a superpower."

He was advised that We don't want to be leaders' and "We fear that the US has a strong interest in being the world s leader Another said, "India has a right to nuclear weapons; why does the U S object to this? I worry about U S meddling in South Asia He also volunteered, To lead a world is not so easy so we are not so eager to try " A Pakistani defended the Chinese against the charge of not showing great interest in arms control And another said that China should get its due share and deference to its greatness "

After an interesting discussion, the head of the Institute former Ambassador to Austria Chengxu Yang, hosted a lunch. In answer to questions, he said that China's biggest problem was control of the economy the Foreign Ministry's biggest problem was America and the Institute s biggest problem was to find good young people In the afternoon, our delegates were received by the very senior General Xu Xin, now Director of the Beijing Institute of International Strategic Studies and formerly Vice Chief of the Armed Services. In his presentation, he was at great pains to provide statistics showing how little the Chinese military was being given in its budget.

According to his figures, using exchange rates at the periods in question, Chinese military expenditures had been $6 1 billion in 1991, $6.7 billion in 1992 and $7.35 billion in 1993 (but less than $5 billion if using last October's exchange rate) The budget had gone up only 1.6 times from 1980 to 1993 Since Spring 1993, the exchange rate moved against them, and now he had only 40 cents per day per soldier for food Per capita the U S was spending 70 times as much on its defense budget Regarding India, he said that it had two aircraft carriers while China could not buy any And that "our Indian friends have bought some Russian weapons which surpass in numbers the weapons we have bought." China had bought a few Su-27 aircraft so we can benefit from the advanced technology of other countries

With respect to oil in the South China Sea, China's approach was to "shelve the dispute and engage in common developments; what better policy could there be ? General Xu pointed out that the U S was the biggest arms merchant in the world with $33 billion in sales so the US should take the lead in arms control [Editor s Note Congressman Lee Hamilton's March 10 report to the House on Fiscal 1993 US arms sales lists $32 4 billion in government-to government sales plus $25 5 billion in exports of commercially sold defense articles and services-a total of $58 billion ] On the issue of ballistic missiles, about which FAS had inquired he said As to control of ballistic missiles, this is good if conducive to world peace But here in principle, they should he fair reasonable and balanced" and consultation should be carried out among the countries around the world.

Institute for Contemporary International Relations

At a meeting with officials of this institute of over 400 researchers the Americans made their pitch for ZBM, which a Pakistani delegate said he supported [Indeed, their Government is considering proposing some version of this in the UNGA] An Indian and a Pakistani delegate each launched into long denunciations of US policy.

Over a dinner hosted by President Shen Qurong, FAS was urged not to exaggerate the role China has played in negotiating solutions to problems with our neighbors

The Beijing Institute Of IAPCM

The next morning the group met with physicists interested in arms control at the Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics whose director is Fu Hongyuan At this meeting there was further discussion about no-first-use with a Pakistani delegate trying to explain why the pro-no-first-use analysis ignored situations where conventional attack was the thing the nuclear weapons deterred A wide range of other issues was touched upon, including dual-use technology for peaceful purposes This institute is hosting an ISODARCO meeting on April 26.


What follows is drawn from India: Facing the Twenty-First Century by Barbara Crossette of The New York Times, Indiana University Press, 1993.

India faces problems of poverty, caste ghettoization, regional rebellion, religious strife and political gangsterism. Wary of new foreign overlordships of any kind after centuries of subjugation, many Indians lash out at symbols-the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and a host of international human rights groups-for turning on the spotlight. Human rights warnings are brushed aside as inapplicable to India, which nonetheless blasts other nations regularly for lesser crimes. Caste discrimination is a fact of life.

Quality of Life Low on Scale

According to indexes measuring the quality of life, India was ranked 123rd among 160 Third World nations on a human development index. For quality of life, it was behind all of Latin America except Haiti. Almost two-thirds of Indian women cannot read. Corruption, observers say, has spread "to all but a very few positions of power." Telephones, roads and internal air transportation networks rank among the world's worst. Television and the press are all but devoid of meaningful international news.

But the Indian intellectual, however trenchant or even vitriolic in criticism of India and the fatal hubris of its leadership, remains a patriot at heart, deeply in love with the country. Indians don't want to let their country down.

Observers are quoted as saying "We don't think in linear terms" and "There is no serious regard for historical authenticity." A former minister of state for foreign affairs was doleful in his view of a Hindu's relationship with facts, writing on one occasion that "Our cerebral underpinning rests on a sponge. " Cheating is widespread in school and even in science; a World Bank expert reports that international organizations are often skeptical of scientific findings from Indian universities.

India often produces muddled responses to international issues, as intense pride and a sense of manifest destiny collide with an unwillingness to make bold policy moves. Wild allegations and abstractions are hurled around and sanctimonious speeches made, but concrete proposals or rational analyses rarely follow.

Indians say "We treat our women like goddesses here" but, in fact, this is a fantasy. Even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India said publicly in 1990 that he did not really agree with giving women legal equality. Observers say that Indians "spend more time in performing religious rituals than any other people in the world."

At the Beijing Asian Games, India won one gold medal while China won 126. The dean of Indian sportswriters says that Indians are on the whole poor team players and much prefer to excel in individual competition that tests mental skills and psychological strengths. Consumers face meaningless guarantees, false advertising and the widespread marketing of fake merchandise. The environment is being destroyed.

India has an anti-foreign ethos and its official attitudes toward foreigners-symbolized by frequent noncooperation with international organizations, repeated refusals to join nuclear nonproliferation regimes and the powerful undercover role ceded to intelligence agencies in foreign affairs-were rooted in long years of association with the former Soviet bloc and in a narrow (and always convenient) reading of regional history, which assigned this nation an unmistakably imperial role in South Asia.

China is India's biggest neighbor and a persistent concern of policy makers. Yet Indians read or see virtually nothing about China and the Chinese in the media. India never condemned the attack on democracy in Tiananmen Square. An Indian scholar notes, "The Indian government doesn't want to say anything that could be misinterpreted in Beijing or could cause the Chinese to start talking about Cashmere."

Similarly, the lack of freedom in Russia was never, never mentioned. New Delhi supported Moscow's invasion of Afghanistan.

Cloaks And Daggers Dominate Politics

Politically, every one of India's smaller neighbors has been the victim of Kautilyan (i.e., Machiavellian) intrigue since the death of Nehru in 1964. Indian policymaking on Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and to some extent Maldives and Pakistan (a special case) was a game for intelligence agents, schemers in the Ministry of External Affairs, and vice-regal diplomats in imperial cloaks. For more than a quarter of a century, Indian policies have been pushing regional nations closer to the Chinese, who cannot ignore New Delhi's repeated interventions in neighbors' affairs.

Foreign diplomats in New Delhi have learned to suppress natural and spontaneous responses to Indian tirades because it is easy to provoke unintentionally an official reaction that is wildly out of proportion, even when criticism is meant only to get a few facts in order.


What follows is drawn from On The Grand Trunk Road by Steve Coll, Random House, 1944.

Pakistan born in 1947, was separated from its Eastern wing which became Bangladesh in 1971. Since 1947, it has tried about a half-dozen different political systems and four formal constitutions and survived many internal crises.

From 1956 to 1969, it was led by General Ayub Khan. He was overthrown by the commander-in-chief, General Yahya Khan, who. 33 months later, discredited by Pakistan s defeat in East Pakistan, turned power over to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He. in turn, was removed from office by commander-in-chief of the army General Zia ul-Haq in 1977. Bhutto was hung in 1979 after having been tried for political crimes and Zia was assassinated in 1988 in an unsolved aircraft crash Bhutto's daughter, Benazir Bhutto became Prime Minister in 1988, lost in 1990, and regained the position in 1993.

This has been an extremely heterogeneous society for more than 5000 years and features now, by language groupings Punjabi speakers (48%), Pushto (13 %) Sindhi (11.8%), Saraiki (9.8%) and Urdu (7.6%), with another 10 percent distributed among still other languages. The British left it with a fractured legal system that differed from province to province. And the country is constantly dealing with Islamic pressures e.g., to test the "repugnancy" of all laws with Quranic injunctions. In theory though not in practice, it has such Islamic punishments as the amputation of hands for theft, stoning of offenders for sexual crimes, and lashes for consuming alcohol.

Despite the many crises. Pakistan's economy has been growing since 1947 at four percent a year, among the fastest in the Third World. Pakistan now has an average per capita income of more than $500 per year. While close to "middle-income ' in economic terms, it is in social terms, much lower on the world scale. It is equal to or worse than India in infant mortality, child mortality and life expectancy at birth (51 years). And its adult literacy rate is 24 percent, compared to 85 percent for India. (In both countries the female literacy rate is about half that of males.) Population growth is 2.4 percent, compared to India's 1.8 percent. Its population is about 125 million

According to one conference participant quoted in this book, Mubashir Hassan: "Indo-Pakistan society is paranoiac by nature. They are extremely insecure. They have always been ruled by force and power. They have yet to learn to rule over themselves. The more they learn, the more they become afraid of what will happen to them. They keep looking for protectors at every level . . Salvaging the Pakistani state might require a combination of a Caesar and a Plato."