US Think—Tank

WASHINGTON: The prestigious Carnegie endowment for international peace has indirectly refused to accept India’s repeated statements that it does not have a nuclear ‘weapon.

However in the introduction of its report, it says “although it (India) may have fabricated a number of undeclared nuclear weapons, or may be fabricating them at this time, India has not conducted another nuclear test (since 1974) or deployed nuclear arms.

The study also urges the Reagan administration to withhold advanced conventional weapons systems like the AWACS and the Harpoon missiles from the military aid package for Pakistan in 1988, to enhance credibility of U.S. nonproliferation efforts in South Asia.

It called for strict and immediate action on the part of the U.S. President, Mr, Ronald Reagan, and other superpowers, particularly China, to halt Pak nuclearisation.

The U.S. and key western members of the nuclear supplies groups were also urged to exercise “equal” influence on India through the Aid India consortia by linking aid to nuclear nonproliferation.

The task force brought India and Pakistan on par on the question of a regional test ban and nuclear sites inspection treaty.

‘It warned India that “by failing to take up Pakistan’s offer of a comprehensive test ban, New Delhi appears to be sacrificing an invaluable opportunity to enhance its national security.

The analysis emphasized that the U.S. should make it clear that not only aid but other economic benefits could “we’ll be placed in Jeopardy if India conducted a second test”.

The top American think tank warned of “serious consequences in the Indian subcontinent” if concerted action was not taken to curb Indian and Pakistani efforts.

The task force led by Carnegie’s nonproliferation project director, Mr. Leonard Spector who visited India last year, recommended a variety of curbs in American military station of Pakistan despite “national interests, security, vis-a-vis Afghanistan”.

Members of the task force were agreed that U.S. inaction in the face of recent Pakistani nuclear activities would undermine the credibility of other U.S. nonproliferation initiatives in the South Asian region.

To demonstrate continued U.S. concern over the nuclearisation of South Asia and express displeasure over Pakistan’s violation of its nonproliferation pledges, the group said President Reagan, “at a minimum should withhold from Pakistan certain advanced convention weapons system that are more appropriate for confrontation with India than for defense against Russians in Afghanistan”.

Arms falling into this category include the controversial airborne early warning and control system, more F16 aircraft and the submarine to surface Harpoon missiles.

The task force was predisposed to suggesting that all or a substantial proportion of the 1988 package to Islamabad should be cut off unless Pakistan agreed to cease production of weapons grade uranium.

In fact, rather than lose such assistance, there was reasonable Prospect that the Pakistani President, Gen. ZiaulHaq, accept the restriction as the aid was “essential to Pakistan’s continued modernization of its conventional weapons system and which provides an important source of patronage for the Pakistan Government,

The Carnegie group, in its 160page analysis, stressed that the restrictions would be limited, since Pakistan would be required only to freeze its nuclear weapons program, but not abandon it or dismantle key installations. Thus, Islamabad would retain its nuclear weapons option, just as India does.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 29, 1988