Introduction Nonproliferation is a high priority for U.S. foreign policy and an integral element of our relations with countries around the world. We continue our special efforts to combat the proliferation threat in regions of tension such as South Asia, seeking to address the underlying motivations for weapons acquisition and to promote regional security through confidence-building measures and arms control. Reducing tensions can be just as effective in building security as enhancing military capabilities, if not more so, as we and the then-Soviet Union learned from years of effort. We also continue to encourage India and Pakistan to undertake direct discussions of nonproliferation and security issues, either bilaterally or in a multilateral context, with the goal of controlling and eliminating their nuclear and ballistic missile programs while preventing their use or threatened use.
We are convinced that retention of a nuclear weapons option and the acquisition of ballistic missile delivery systems undermine, not strengthen, the ability of India and Pakistan to meet their security requirements. The short-run military advantage of such weapons should not blind India and Pakistan to the possible cost in long-term security. Either state's nuclear weapon program only encourages the other to retain its ability to quickly deploy, and possibly employ, nuclear weapons. They can also encourage the spread of nuclear weapons to Iran or other states in South West Asia. The same is true of the pursuit of ballistic missiles by Islamabad and New Delhi.
The governments of both Pakistan and India have indicated support for the Administration's recent global initiatives aimed at stemming the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These include a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and a ban on the production of highly enriched uranium or plutonium for nuclear explosive purposes or outside of international safeguards.
The Administration has continued its dialogue on regional security and nonproliferation with both India and Pakistan. We held bilateral talks with both countries in September 1993 in Washington and the discussions were marked by positive and pragmatic consideration of issues of concern. The Administration made clear to both sides that it remained seriously concerned about their advanced programs to acquire, either indigenously or with foreign support, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile delivery systems.
Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia We continue to believe that both India and Pakistan could assemble a limited number of nuclear weapons in a relatively short time. India exploded a nuclear device in May 1974. Since 1990, the President has been unable to certify, as required by Section 620E of the Foreign Assistance Act (the Pressler Amendment) that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear device. India and Pakistan have combat aircraft that could be modified to deliver nuclear weapons. Both are developing or seeking to acquire ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear or chemical weapons. Such weapons have the potential of striking major population centers in the other country.
On September 23, 1993, Pakistani Prime Minister Qureshi publicly announced that Pakistan was not going any further with its nuclear weapons program. Government of Pakistan spokesmen subsequently emphasized that Pakistan had not abandoned its nuclear program and retained the "capability" to develop nuclear weapons. In reply, the United States made clear its longstanding and firm opposition to nuclear weapons development in South Asia. The United States would welcome a verifiable halt to all aspects of the nuclear weapons programs of Pakistan and India as an important contribution to global nonproliferation efforts.
Missile Sanctions On August 24, 1993, the U.S. Government imposed sanctions on Pakistani Ministry of Defense procurement entities, as well as on Chinese entities. In accordance with U.S. missile sanctions law, this action followed a determination that China had transferred items controlled under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) to Pakistan in late 1992. The transfer was in violation of China's commitment to observe the guidelines and parameters of the MTCR. Both Pakistan and China have protested the decision to impose sanctions, claiming that no transfer in violation of the MTCR guidelines had occurred. We are willing to examine any information which Pakistan or China may wish to provide on the late 1992 transfers. We are prepared to discuss with Pakistan and China steps they could take that would meet our overall nonproliferation goals and which would enable us under the law to waive the sanctions.
In May 1992, the U.S. imposed missile proliferation sanctions against an Indian entity, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in accordance with a determination that ISRO had contracted with a Russian entity, Glavkosmos, for the transfer of cryogenic rocket engine technology, which is controlled by the MTCR. As with Pakistan and China, we are prepared to discuss with India steps it could take that would meet our overall nonproliferation goals and the requirements for waiving the sanctions.
U.S. Efforts to Achieve a Regional Agreement on Nuclear Nonproliferation in South Asia
U.S. Objectives The U.S. seeks to combat nuclear, chemical and biological weapon and ballistic missile proliferation in South Asia and to preclude either a nuclear or missile arms race. Our objective is first to cap, then reduce, and finally eliminate the possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. We seek also to help reduce tensions and avoid conflicts which could possibly escalate to the use of WMD or ballistic missiles. Therefore, we are attempting to help create a climate in which each country's sense of security is enhanced through tension reduction and confidence-building measures and where both India and Pakistan recognize the disadvantages inherent in the possession of WMD and ballistic missile delivery systems and seek to eliminate them. In addition, the U.S. seeks to inhibit the export from the region to other countries of goods and technology that can contribute to WMD and missile delivery systems. We also actively discourage third countries from exporting WMD-related equipment and technology to India and Pakistan.
U.S. Approaches 1. Engaging India and Pakistan We held a third round of formal bilateral talks on regional security and nonproliferation with India on September 15-16, 1993, in Washington. We also commenced formal bilateral talks between the U.S. and Pakistan on regional security and nonproliferation on September 2-3 in Washington.
In our discussions with India and Pakistan, we strongly encouraged timely resumption of a direct high-level dialogue between India and Pakistan to address and resolve the issues dividing them, including Kashmir, as well as nuclear and missile proliferation. We also urged both to adopt and implement near-term concrete tension reduction measures, including additional nuclear and non-nuclear confidence and security building measures (CSBMs). Examples of such measures were listed in the Administration's April 1993 report to Congress on progress toward regional nonproliferation in South Asia.
We see our role as that of a catalyst, seeking to promote a serious dialogue between the two countries and with other interested nations. We hope that India and Pakistan will resume senior-level discussions shortly, and are encouraged by the announced willingness of both countries to recommence such a dialogue once the newly elected Pakistani government is in place. We hope that neither state will allow ongoing tensions to forestall that dialogue, which we hope will play a vital role in allaying such tensions.
For several years, U.S. public diplomacy in South Asia has had as one of its goals an improvement in the understanding among Indians and Pakistanis of the benefits to their national security of nonproliferation, arms control and confidence building measures. To this end, during the period covered by this report, USIS posts in Islamabad and New Delhi facilitated Neemrana V, the fifth meeting of a group of private Pakistanis and Indians with strong ties to their respective governments, who convene at irregular intervals to discuss Kashmir, nuclear and conventional arms and economic issues. Also during the period covered by this report, these USIS posts arranged seminars in New Delhi, Karachi and Colombo to discuss the goals of U.S. policy in South Asia before audiences of journalists, academics and government officials. We will continue to rely on public diplomacy to expose the Indian and Pakistani publics to international trends in arms control thinking and to address how they can be applied to the South Asian region.
2. Engaging Other States We have continued to work with other interested parties -- including Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Italy and Australia -- who share our concerns about proliferation in South Asia. We have also sought to engage China, a key player in South Asia. China has said it would participate in multilateral talks on regional proliferation issues. Global interest in South Asian proliferation issues is growing, and that concern is increasingly communicated directly to the governments of India and Pakistan.
3. Multilateral Talks In 1991, the U.S. proposed five-party discussions on regional security and nonproliferation in South Asia. Of the four states approached by the U.S., Pakistan, Russia and China accepted our proposal. India declined to participate in the discussions, stating the proposed format would not adequately address its security concerns, and instead proposed bilateral discussions with the U.S. We agreed to such talks with both India, and later Pakistan, as a useful means to advance our overall nonproliferation goals and encourage direct Indo-Pakistani discussions. We have held three rounds of talks with India, and one round with Pakistan. We have focused the discussions on how appropriately structured multilateral talks might facilitate an Indo-Pakistani dialogue and deal with the underlying security concerns.
We also worked on ideas to advance resolution of regional proliferation issues and on how global initiatives like the CTBT and the U.S. proposal for a convention to ban the production of fissile materials for nuclear explosive purposes could generate momentum for nonproliferation in South Asia. Pakistan, India, the United States and other interested countries agree that an appropriately structured multilateral forum could be useful, but specific arrangements have not yet been worked out.
Results to Date In the effort to secure a regional agreement on nonproliferation, the United States has continued to emphasize the critical need for direct, ongoing senior-level contacts and dialogue between India and Pakistan. We and others are prepared to participate in multilateral talks if India and Pakistan find that useful and a serious process gets underway.
On September 7, during Indian Prime Minister Rao's visit to China, India and China agreed in principle to reduce troops and respect cease-fire lines along their border, and established the framework to negotiate the difficult details. The United States welcomes the agreement and efforts by China and India to resolve peacefully the border issues and reduce tensions between them. We continue to encourage both parties to expand their dialogue to include broader strategic and security issues.
Both India and Pakistan quickly welcomed the U.S. announcement on July 3 that it was extending its moratorium on nuclear testing to September 30, 1994, and placing priority on commencing negotiations towards a multilateral comprehensive test ban treaty.
In his September 27 address to the U.N. General Assembly, President Clinton announced that the U.S. would seek a global ban on the production of highly enriched uranium or plutonium for weapons purposes or outside of international safeguards. This proposal would advance our nonproliferation objectives, including in South Asia, by establishing a global, verifiable regime that would significantly constrain a proliferator's ability to create or expand a nuclear arsenal. Because this agreement would impose equal obligations on nuclear weapons and non-nuclear weapons states, countries like India and Pakistan could not argue that it discriminated against them. The President's proposed fissile material production ban is intended to complement, not supplement, the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), and to provide a meaningful, confidence-building step that countries currently outside the nonproliferation regime could take while providing a potential stepping stone to more far-reaching measures. The governments of both Pakistan and India have indicated support for this U.S. proposal.
Obstacles to Concluding a Regional Agreement The underlying obstacles to concluding a regional agreement on nonproliferation are essentially unchanged, and remain largely as detailed in the previous Report on Progress Toward Regional Nonproliferation in South Asia. The fundamental obstacle continues to be the persistent level of tension and consequent distrust between India and Pakistan, arising from popular emotions fed by the memories of partition and three wars, and the unresolved dispute over Kashmir. For India, there are also concerns about China and a belief that nuclear weapons confer global power status and equality of rights with the nuclear weapons states. These strongly felt concerns are at the base of the broad domestic support in both countries for preserving a nuclear weapons option.
The U.S. view remains that dealing successfully with nuclear and missile proliferation in South Asia will require that the U.S. and others take into account both Indian and Pakistani domestic political concerns and regional security threat perceptions, including those extending beyond the two countries themselves. Our nonproliferation goals in South Asia cannot be addressed simply as a nonproliferation issue pursued on the basis of external pressure by the United States alone.
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