News

USIS Washington 
File

13 May 1998

INDERFURTH, EINHORN, SENATORS DISCUSS CONSEQUENCES OF INDIAN TESTS

(All agree on sanctions and need for Pakistani restraint) (470)

By Rick Marshall

USIA Staff Writer



Washington -- President Clinton's decision to impose economic
sanctions on India in response to the nuclear tests it conducted this
week met with strong approval from several key senators May 13.


"I have tried to be a good friend to India," Sen. Jesse Helms,
(Republican, North Carolina) chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, said. "But as long as there is breath in me, I will never
support the lifting of the Glenn amendment sanctions on India unless
they abandon all nuclear ambitions."


Sam Brownback, (Republican, Kansas), who chairs the Foreign Relations
Near Eastern and South Asian subcommittee, remarked that "India's lack
of restraint is a signal to the rogues of this world that they too can
flout international opinion and international norms. I commend
President Clinton for his decision to sanction India under the Arms
Export Control Act. I hope that during the coming days at the G-7
meeting he will be able to prevail on our allies to follow suit."


According to Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth, who
addressed the Committee, imposing Section 102 of the Arms Export
Control Act -- or Glenn Amendment -- places "stiff penalties on India,
and will affect a wide cross-section of our current activities in
India, including development assistance, military sales and exchanges,
trade in specified dual use goods and technology, U.S. loans,
guarantees, and credits to India; loans and credits by U.S. banks to
the government of India; and support for India within the
International Financial Institutions."


The sanctions will not be easily lifted. Indeed, the Glenn Amendment
does not have a mechanism to do so; new legislation would have to be
drafted, according to Robert Einhorn, deputy assistant secretary of
state for nonproliferation.


Inderfurth told the Committee that President Clinton had spoken by
telephone to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who "told the
President that he was under tremendous pressure to respond" to the
nuclear tests.


In an effort to prevent such a response, a high-level U.S. delegation
led by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott was scheduled to leave
for Pakistan later in the day, Inderfurth said. Any Pakistani nuclear
test would trigger the same Glenn Amendment sanctions, he added.


Nonetheless, Inderfurth conceded that sanctions can only work up to a
point and that domestic national security considerations might
outweigh them.


Indeed, Inderfurth told the senators that he believed the Indian
government had tested its nuclear capability for largely domestic
reasons. "The BJP has arrived, and I guess it has signalled its
arrival with these tests," he added, referring to the Hindu
nationalist party which heads the current Indian governing coalition.