INTERVIEW WITH K. SUBRAHMANYAM
Chairman - National Security Advisory Board (NSAB)
INDIA'S NUCLEAR DOCTRINE
Serge Berthier.- The Indian media has been very critical of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) you chaired and its members who were described as "amateurs - mostly self proclaimed strategic affairs specialists". The NSAB was said to be "hawk-packed" (1). Why is the media so hostile?
K.Subrahmanayam.- One should take all these things in one's stride.
KS.- You are right. To some extent the power of the media does affect the politicians. For instance, if you take the nuclear issue, because of our press, even though the politicians have a consensus, even those out of power today have done their maximum to advance our nuclear weapon program, because they were afraid of the press, they did all these things secretly. The fact that they did it secretly should be obvious to anybody, for how could the current government within 50 days of taking office conduct a nuclear test? It could not have done it. It was done by the previous governments. It was not a BJP government decision, it was a Congress government, a Janata government, a Union Left, and a BJP one, etc… All the other governments have been involved. Do you see that these people are criticizing this government as if they had nothing to do with it?
SB.- Now that the tests are done, and the question of being nuclear or not being irrelevant, what is the atmosphere surrounding security issues?
KS.- People can be much more relaxed in their thinking. You have people that stand for one ideology or another. Opponents are living in a world of their own. The irony is that most of them are what they call themselves leftist. They don’t realize that the countries whom they admire, the Soviet Union or China, were or are nuclear. They don't criticize them. They only criticize India going nuclear, so in a sense you may say, it is a totally immature approach.
SB.- What compelled the BJP led government to do what the others did not dare to do - that is to carry out the tests quickly after assuming power?
KS.- Three factors compelled the current government to do something. One was that the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was expected to come into force in December 1999. That was creating pressure, because it meant you had to do it before that. The second factor was the Pakistan missile test (on April 28, 1998). That Nodong missile (3) clearly proved to the world that while Japan and the United States objected to North Korean missiles being fired from North Korea, they did not object to North-Korean missiles being fired from Pakistan. So, that attitude was the compulsion. You had to do something to stop this kind of thing and to boost the moral of this country. And therefore, the government found it was an opportunity. And thirdly, the government had to do the tests as early as possible after assuming office because the Americans have a good intelligence agency and in a sense, it had to be done before the Americans got their feet under this new government.
SB.- By end of 1998, in addition to the controversy provoked by the nuclear test, there has been a lot of noise about a military appointment of a deputy chief of staff which was decided without consulting the military line of command. It was perceived as the start of a political plot to subvert the independence of the army. What is your view?
KS.- The controversy over the appointment of a deputy chief of staff (operations) at the Naval headquarters highlights in fact the confusion about the place and structure of the armed forces in India. No democratic country, other than India, keeps the headquarters of the armed forces outside the government. In all other democratic countries, the armed forces chiefs are the professional advisers to the Defense Minister. In India, the armed forces are treated as a subordinate department of the government with the Ministry of Defense staffed entirely by generalist civilian staff. This situation came about as the result of a mistake committed by the Indian chiefs of staff when India became a Republic. Under the British, the commander in chief of India was only a theater commander in the British Imperial defense system but was the second-ranking member of the Executive Council of the Viceroy who reported to the British Secretary of State for India. When India became independent, there was a civilian Defense Minister. The three chiefs of the services ought to have become chiefs of staff to the Defense Minister and his primary advisers. But it did not happen. That is why we still have a confusion and somehow that problem will have to be resolved one day. There is nothing sinister in that appointment.
SB.- How would you describe the India-US relationship?
KS.- Our relationship with the United States is very much ambiguous. It is because of a certain cold-war mentality that still exits in major sections of the American administration. In their theology, India has not lined up as they expected. In any case, they do not like anybody that does not line up with them. As for India, they feel we did not line up with them during the cold war. Now, they find once again that, after the cold war, when they are the sole superpower, we are not lining up again.
SB.- India is certainly not the sole country not having lined up?
KS.- That's right. Yet the fact that the Americans are losing the moral ground every day does not make them change, therefore that is part of the problem.
SB.- You say that India has a very ambiguous relationship with the United States. On the other hand, the current government is accused of pandering to the whims of the Clinton administration in order to get some international status as a junior partner of the US. That is not really ambiguous.
KS.- I am not quite sure about what you are saying, but it is true that in India there is a problem. We are an English-speaking country therefore we have a lot of interaction with the United States even though we don’t agree with each other. That interaction is at the elite level. If you go just around (in Delhi's expensive residential areas), and ask every household if they have a son or a daughter in the United States, you will see that almost every household has one of them in the US. It is also acknowledged that, in the United States, of all the ethnic communities, the Indian community is the most affluent and the one which makes the maximum amount of contribution to US science. All this means that you have a very complicated relationship. People to people, there is a lot of interaction, yet at the same time we disagree on policies and issues. In India, there is an awareness of what the United States say or do.
SB.- That is not unique to India. In South-East Asia, people do watch CNN and are perfectly aware of the American way of life. Yet, I can't think of one country calling on the United States to declare its neighbour a "rogue" state, as the Prime Minister did in January. I don't think that President Kim Dae-jung is asking the Americans whether he can speak his mind or not about North-Korea, and Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia does not care either when it comes to formulate policies which, he thinks, are beneficial to Malaysia.
KS.- If what you said, that the other countries do not take into account the US position, is true, then I think you are misunderstanding their position. South Korea used to be an ally and remains one today. As for Malaysia, their foreign policies are just aligned on Western policies, even though one can say that within Malaysia, Mahathir has his own agenda, but in our case for the last twenty years we have been disagreeing on everything.
SB.- Then why call on the United States to declare Pakistan a rogue State. What can be achieved with such a declaration, if not to reduce India's status to parity with Pakistan in the American mind?
KS.- I disagree with the Prime Minister in his seeking the United States and the world to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. Pakistan happens to be a terrorist state, that is a fact, but we will have to deal with it. I agree that it is not going to lead us anywhere. The Americans are tolerating Pakistan’s terrorism like they won’t tolerate it elsewhere.
SB.- There is a difference between a terrorist State and a weak State which is an haven for terrorists. Why are you so sure that the Pakistan government is first and foremost fomenting and abetting terrorist acts as a matter of policy?
KS.- Look, CIA operatives were killed in Karachi, it is a Pakistani that put a bomb in the World Trade Center, other American citizens have been killed in Pakistan, Bin Laden has been coming and going in the country. Now, if you compare this with what people say of other countries whom the CIA calls terrorist, such as Libya or North Korea, they have not done as much as that. So therefore there must be a reason why Pakistan is not prevented from taking such action.
SB.- You mean, is not prevented from being a terrorist State. But what would be that reason?
KS.- The United States are worried that Pakistan will hand over nuclear weapons to some other rogue states. I, for one, don’t think that Pakistan will ever do that because if they did it, they don’t have that many number of nuclear weapons to hand to somebody else. Are they going to give it to Iranians? Iranians are not their friends. I can’t think of them doing it but still the Americans are worrying about it. In these circumstances, the Americans will do what they feel is in their sole interest. That is why I think the Prime Minister was wrong on that point. Now why did he do it? I don’t think it was for domestic reasons because no one thinks that it can work. I would attribute it to a purely off the cuff remark.
SB.- That would be surprising for a man as experienced as Mr. Vajpayee (4), but even if it were, don't you think that, by hitting so hard against India's neighbour, the Prime Minister is actually damaging any chance of a dialogue for a very long time?
KS.- No, I don’t agree with that. Pakistan is indeed one of the problems of India. There is no other country like ours where, within ten years, 25,000 people have been killed by foreign terrorism. Algeria had 60,000 deaths in a civil war, but it was Algerians killing Algerians, while the 25,000 have been killed by 9,000 terrorists who have been sent in. You have any number of terrorist activities within India supported by Pakistan. India is the only country in the world which accepts such a thing and still does not declare that Pakistan’s regime is an enemy which is waging war against India (5).
SB.- It is indeed surprising that India and Pakistan have diplomatic relations in view of what you say. So it must not be as clear cut.
KS.- You must go back to the partition of Pakistan. It was created because they said they do not want to be Indians. They did one of the biggest ethnic cleansing of the world in 1947, not seen before in History (6). Pakistan is a religious extremist state since its creation. And that is the result.
SB.- If Pakistan is a religious extremist state as you say, what can be expected since we have not yet seen any Muslim State become secular, except Turkey, but that was one hundred years ago and it was a general that changed the course of the country (7)?
KS.- Pakistan will stay what it is until such time as it happened in the Soviet Union, when the communists went down. Similarly, after twenty or thirty years Pakistan rulers will eventually come to the point where they believe that religion is a private matter and that secularism is the only way to run the country. The major problem today in Pakistan is that the rulers have not tried to create a national identity.
SB.- Let's say I agree with you, there is still one point that I don't understand. If the rulers of Pakistan, whoever they were, or whoever is currently in power, are behaving as you say, what is the logic of such policies? What are they trying to achieve? Is it just then religious fervor at its worst that push them, but then I hardly see Mr. Shariff or General Muzaffar as zealots? I don't see the logic.
KS.- Nor do I. That is the problem. What is the point of the Kashmir issue? The Pakistani are not Kashmiri. They don’t speak Kashmiri. If Kashmirian Indians have a problem with the Kashmiri Muslims, let's them sort it out, but how come Pakistan is coming into it? Why did they fight four wars on that? I mean you are not able to make it rational. The only answer you get is that they are Muslims (8).
SB.- There are dozens of different organizations claiming that they are fighting for the liberation of Kashmir. They all claim not be Kashmiri-based and to be independent in their struggle.
KS.- Yes, but when the Pakistani State patronizes such organizations, let them function freely, what can you think?
SB.- Pakistan is very much a feudal society. I mentioned earlier that Turkey got out of her theocratic status only because General Kemal Ataturk took control of the country, which was then very much backward. Can't you eventually see the current political development in Pakistan, as unfortunate as it may be, in a positive light, as a step forward rather than backward?
KS.- It is very right that the structure of the Pakistani society is still very much feudalistic in nature. It is the third time the country has marshal law. It means that two times it did not work. Is it going to work this time? You see, the comparison with Turkey does not work because you had a constitutional order which was secular. What Ataturk did was to defend it. In Pakistan, it is the other way round. It was created for Islam. It is not the people of Pakistan that are sovereign, it is Allah. And the army can only abide by such order, to defend the constitution of Pakistan. Therefore, it sees its role as an Islamic one. And the problem is compounded by the fact that, from 1970 onward, General Ziaur (9) islamized the institution. Since the army gets Islamic education, what can one expect?
SB.- I see. Is the fact that Pakistan is now a nuclear state complicating the issue?
KS.- We have to deal with an irrational extremist state which is nuclear. However, my belief is that they will not be able to continue being nuclear. They used to be a highly militarized state but without external support they can’t because the State is broke. Their nuclear program is mostly based on Chinese support and if China stops assisting their program, they can’t continue for long. As for their missile programs, they are on the basis of Chinese and North Korean programs. If both stop, they lose another support and cannot go on forever. Furthermore, today, they are not able to pay for their debts and pay for their army out of their revenue budget. Therefore the answer is that, if they are trying to keep going on, what happened to Soviet Union will happen to them (10).
SB..- China has received General Muzaraff with full honor at the time where India was asking the United States to declare the country a rogue state (11). Is it going to create new tensions between India and China?
KS.- The Chinese support to Pakistan was originally, to some extent, anti-India and, to some extent, anti-US. It was anti-US in the sense that, Pakistan being a pro-American state, China wanted it not to lean too much towards the Americans. That is how the Chinese came to assist Pakistan. In return, they expect Pakistan to use her influence in the Islamic world, to keep the other Islam countries in check. Now I presume that China is able to understand that Islamic extremism is in her own country, as in India, a problem. But it will take sometime for the Chinese to come around.
SB.- After the Kargil war, which is dubbed to be the fourth war with Pakistan (12), you have been appointed the head of a panel which was set up by the government without any Parliamentary approval or any statutory status to look at what had happened. Why such a setup?
SB.- But if a government has to bypass its own constitutional order to get to the truth, what can one think of such a situation?
KS.- Well, the answer to that is when you want to get to the bottom of the truth, you have to choose the right people - people with credibility - and to create the right conditions. As regards Kargil, the Cabinet Secretary had issued directions that all documents and persons should be made available.
SB.- Was it enough?
KS.- It was enough. We interacted with everyone we wanted to, except three people who declined to meet us, Dea Gowda and Chandra Shekar, both former Prime Ministers, and R.K Mishra. But everything we wanted was given to us, even classified information.
SB.- What has the panel achieved?
KS.- After Kargil, many people were confused as to why such a thing could happen. They began speculating on their confusion without bothering to check the facts. What this committee has done is to set the record straight.
SB.- If there were speculations about Kargil, now there is a lot of speculation about the report itself. Is it complete, is it going to be made public, if yes, with or without deletion? And if there is deletion, which seems to be inevitable because I assume it contains sensitive material, are the deletions only made with regard to their security elements? What is your opinion?
KS.- Well, the whole report, including the appendices, is about 2,300 pages and it is final. Of course deletions occur here and there but their length is shown at the appropriate place. If we had submitted the whole report as it is to the government, somebody could have said: we have to go through it since it contains sensitive material.
SB.- So there is no reason for the government to go through it again before making it public in extenso?
KS.- There have to be some procedures. The point is that the committee did not give the opportunity to say that they need to examine the whole report and decide what to make public.
SB.- The parliament is going to discuss it. Can’t the government say that it disagrees with the committee on the matter of national security? After all, none of its members are government officials.
KS.- Let’s be very clear about this. The committee consisted of the present Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), Satish Chandra, a former Vice-Chief of the Army (General Harare) and a former Chairman of the JIC, myself. We don’t need guidance and we know very well what should be told and what should not be told to the public. I believe that national security demands transparency.
SB.- You were the head of the National Security Council Advisory Board, which now stands dissolved, now that its tasks of preparing the nuclear doctrine and the strategic defense review of India has been completed. Yet, the review and the doctrine have only open the door to widespread criticisms What conclusion do you draw from that experience?
KS.- As you mentioned it, the NSCAB was given two assignments which it has completed. Now it is up to the government to see if it is still needed under one form or another. What the critics don’t realize is that the NSCAB was not an official body. It was quite an achievement that 27 people coming from disparate backgrounds and discipline were able to evolve a consensus. And I see the process as the beginning of a national security community, just like in other democratic countries.
SB.- Another country with whom India has still a tense relationship is Bangladesh. Why are the two countries unable to sort out their differences?
KS.- Situation does improve with Bangladesh. The country has a lot of gas, but the only country they can sell it is India.
SB.- But they don't and Indian goods going from West Bengal to the North East Indian States which are across Bengal are not allowed to transit. Why?
KS.- In all these things again, religion is playing a part. You must understand again after 1975, when Abdul Rahman was killed (14), to 1996 when the Bengal government changed, there was a lot of distrust between the two. It is now getting reduced but anything could happen. They have to develop economic ties with us, that would be a stabilizing factor, but it is not yet there.
1.- In the editor's column of the Frontier, a review published by the Hindu on August 28, 1999. The editor, N. Ram, wrote: "The six pages draft Indian Nuclear Doctrine (dIND) presented as a 'consensus' document in the name of 27 members of the hawk-packed but largely amateur National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) is an egregious exercise of bomb-rattling without responsibility (…). A close study of the hawkish document reveals first its pretentious, confused character; this is unmistakably the work of amateurs (mostly self-proclaimed strategic affairs specialists) playing nuclear games and a bit of star wars as well…".
2.- Mr. C.R Irani, editor-in-chief of the Statesman, has recently been appointed as one of the eleven members of the Constitution review commission. It would be hard in the West to justify to the public that the editor-in-chief of the Washington Times or the Times or Der Spiegel or Le Monde is part of a such a panel.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Calcutta in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman (circulation 180,000) is the leading English newspaper in Calcutta and West Bengal.
There is in fact some irony in the reply, because K. Subrahmanyam is also a man with a media background. He was for a long time a consulting editor of the Economic Times.
3.- The Nodong missile was developed in the early 1990s by North Korea. It is a road mobile IRBM with a range of 1,000 km. It carries a single warhead of 1000kg. Pakistan tested a surface-to-surface missile "Ghauri" said to have a range of 1500km. It is said, but Pakistani scientists and China deny it, that the "Ghauri" is a localized version of the Chinese missile CS2000 supplied clandestinely to Pakistan.
5.- India and Pakistan have fought a total of four or five wars, in 1947-1948, in 1965, in 1971, since the early 1980s in the Siachen region and which is said to continue at low-level, and in 1999 (the Kargil war). Only the 1971 war was not fought for the Kashmir region, but about East Pakistan. It ended with the creation of Bangladesh.
6.- After its victory in the general election of 1945 the Labour government of the United Kingdom sent a Cabinet Mission to India to work out an agreement with the Indian leaders which were split between the Congress that desired a Federal Government with a strong Centre for India, and the Muslim League that insisted on the creation of a separate state of Pakistan comprising of the six north-eastern and north-western Provinces of India where the Muslims were the majority. The Cabinet Mission rejected the creation of Pakistan but proposed the creation of a Interim Government of India with fourteen members, six from the Congress and five from the Muslim League and three representatives of the minorities to be nominated by the British Governor. The leader of the Muslim League, M.A Jinnah, rejected the proposal as it gave a clear majority to the Congress against the Muslim League and called upon the Muslim nation to resort to Direct Action to achieve Pakistan. On 16th August, 1946, a public holiday in Bengal, Hindu-Muslim riots on an unprecedented scale took place in Calcutta. They continued till August 20th, the British government doing little to stop them. The total toll of communal carnage in Calcutta alone was about 15,000 dead and wounded. Later on, also a nominal member of the Interim government, the Muslim League refused to cooperate on all matters. Lord Mounbatten, appointed Viceroy on 27th March 1947, in view of the determined opposition of the Muslim League, became then convinced that a partition was inevitable. But he became also convinced that the partition would also involve a division of the predominantly non-Muslim areas in the Punjab and Bengal because, he felt, the minorities could not be left to the mercies of the Muslim majorities. So he proposed the partition of the two provinces (it must be noted that the British had in their previous scheme no qualm about living the Muslims at the mercies of Hindus). Finally on June 3, 1947, the plan was accepted by the Congress, the Muslim League as well as the Sikhs of Punjab. The decision was condemned by the Hindu Mahasabha. In June 1947, the provincial Legislative Assemblies of Bengal and Punjab decided in favour of partition of the two provinces. East Punjab and West Bengal decided to join India while West Punjab and East Bengal favored their merger with Pakistan. Then a boundary commission was established. The award of the Commission was presented by Lord Mounbatten to the party leaders. None of the parties was satisfied with it. 16% of the Muslim population of Bengal came under West Bengal, that is India, 42% of the population remained in East Bengal. In Punjab, 45% of the population received 38% of the land while West Punjab (that is Pakistan) got 62% of the land and 55% of the population. The capital of the state, Lahore, went to Pakistan. Millions of Sikhs and Hindus fled eastward and equal numbers fled west. There were innumerable atrocities and killings on both sides.
7.- Modern Turkey was founded on Oct. 29, 1923, as the successor of the Ottoman Empire. The republic was declared on Oct. 29, 1923, and Ataturk, a general, was elected its first president. Moving the capital from Constantinople to Ankara, Ataturk aimed to transform the nation into a modern Western state. Religion and state were separated; women were emancipated and given the right to vote; Western law, Hindu-Arabic numerals, and the Roman alphabet were adopted. The state supported the development of critical industries and businesses. Although theoretically head of a constitutional democracy, President Ataturk ruled as a virtual dictator until his death in 1938.
8.-.Kashmir is a mountainous region at the extreme north of the Indian subcontinent. The territory of about 223,000 sq km (86,000 sq mi) is divided into the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (139,000 sq km/53,700 sq mi; 1991 est. pop. 7,716,700), and the Pakistani Azad (Free) Kashmir (83,800 sq km/32,400 sq mi; 1981 pop. 2,542,000).
All Indians, including K. Subrahmanyam, considered that Kashmir is in India because Kashmiri decided to be Indians rather than Pakistani, but that is a distortion. The British ruled only parts of India directly (the provinces) but 46% of the territory was ruled through treaty (in many cases multiple treaties) with the rulers (kings or Maharajas) of about 564 states. Kashmir was one of them. Although those States were told in 1947 that they had complete freedom, technically and legally to become independent once Paratmountcy would lapse, they were actually pushed and pressured to accede to India or Pakistan. In fact, Maharaja Hari Singh, the Hindu ruler of Kashmir was not in favour of any hasty move. Two days before the independence of India, he sought a "Standstill Agreement" with both India and Pakistan, maintaining the independence of his kingdom. Pakistan agreed to maintain the status quo with Kashmir and ensure that trade and supply of essential commodities from Pakistan would continued undisturbed. The position of the Maharaja was not unique. Hyderabad, a much more critical state for India, had also shown every sign of remaining independent. Then, in spite of their previous pledge, the British, under pressure from Nehru, stated that while no one had any objection if a state acceded to one party or the other (India or Pakistan), it should not seek to stay independent.
There is little doubt that, while maintaining a pretense of relative detachment about Kashmir (and other states in the same predicament), the British and the Congress (whose second-in command, Sardar Patel, had said that it would be considered an unfriendly act by India if the Maharaja decided to join Pakistan) started coercive measures to undermine the legitimate authority of the Maharaja and the unrest that took place in Kashmir at the time, that culminated with a Muslim uprising is typical of the devious political scenery the British had created in the territories. More than 71,667 citizens of the state had been enrolled in the British army during World War II. Of these, 60,402 were Muslims and most of them from the Poonch region. They had been demobilized but without getting any pension. They then campaign for a "no tax campaign" as a compensation for their status of ex-soldiers. The British had no intention to pension the Kashmiri, only a fraction of the 2.6 million Indians that had been enrolled in the war effort and had got nothing for it. Furthermore, the ruler had to cope with a large influx of refugees, both Sikhs and Muslims but mostly shias, due to the partitioning of the adjoining province of Punjab. Kashmir was undeniably a Muslim majority state and it was inevitable that communal violence compounded by the laxity of the British to satisfy legitimate claims before leaving the country would spread. In Poonch District, when violent demonstrations took place, the British Commander at the time said it was against high prices, while it was mainly former Indian National Army men airing their grievances about taxes. Kashmir, that depended almost entirely on critical supplied of kerosene, petrol and other necessities from outside the state, had then only one reliable road going from Punjab to Pakistan. In September, the road was under blockade. The Indian version is that Pakistan engineered the blockade. The Pakistani one is that the road was too dangerous for the Muslim drivers because the Sikhs and Hindus were attacking them. Armed groups of disgruntled Punjabi/tribal/Poonchis demobilized soldiers of all kinds engaged themselves in cross-border raids. Pakistan then launched a full-fledge invasion of Kashmir between 20-22 October 1947 with about 5,000 men. Pakistan, to these days, maintains it was a tribal invasion from the Kashmiri of Pakistan (it should be noted that at the time both commanders-in chief of Pakistan and India were still British officers!).
9.- Once again, the argument is not substantiated by historical facts. As regards Turkey and Kemal Ataturk, the general inherited a country that was the remain of the Ottoman Empire. There was no constitution of Turkey before he enacted one to establish secularism. The Treaty of Lausanne (1923) settled the boundaries of modern Turkey and resolved the territorial disputes raised in Anatolia by World War I. At the end of the war the Allies imposed the Treaty of Sevres (1920) on the defeated Ottoman empire that had sided with the Germans; it effectively dismembered the empire, leaving only Anatolia (minus a Greek enclave at Smyrna, or Izmir) under Turkish rule. This settlement was rejected by the Turkish nationalists led by Mustafa Kemal (later Kemal Ataturk). Although they accepted the loss of Iraq, Syria, Arabia, and other non-Turkish areas, they objected to the loss of Smyrna to Greece. After driving the Greek troops out of Smyrna and ousting the sultan, Kemal's government was able to force the negotiation of a new treaty, which was finally concluded at Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 24, 1923. Then, he tuned the new country from a theocratic state to a secular one.
10.- There are no accurate figures to substantiate that statement. India is said to spend less than 3% of her GDP in defense expenditures, as is Pakistan. Because of the difference of size between the two countries, it would meant that Pakistan is spending one-third of India military budget on weaponry but what is the nuclear and missile element of it is unknown.
11.- On January 24-25, 2000, Pakistan's military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf went to China where he was received with full honor. China reiterated her policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of a country.
13.- In March 1987, V.P Singh (who later became Prime Minister), Defense Minister of Rajiv Gandhi, issued an official press release announcing that an inquiry had been ordered into a Rs300 million commission reportedly received by an Indian agent in a defense deal with a foreign country. Since then, the name of the supplier (Bofors, a Swedish company) and the amount of the commission have been identified, but the destination of the money has not been proved. There are strong suspicions that Rajiv Gandhi was involved, but still today, no commission has been able to gather the evidence or find the key witness to the case.
14- Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) is an independent country located on the Bay of Bengal, bounded on most of its borders by India and to the southeast by Myanmar (Burma); it occupies a total area of 143,998 sq km (55,598 sq mi). Before 1947, most of the territory now in Bangladesh was part of the province of British-ruled India known as East Bengal which in 1947 joined with the Sylhet district of Assam and became East Pakistan in the new state of Pakistan. Growing economic and political differences with West Pakistan led East Pakistan to declare independence in 1971 as the new nation of Bangladesh. About 85% of the population are Muslim and, except for the tribal peoples who are mainly animist in religious outlook, most of the remaining people are Hindu. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman became the first Prime Minister and, under the amended constitution of 1975, the first President. Mujibur was overthrown and assassinated on Aug. 15, 1975, in a military coup led by Khondaker Moshtaque Ahmed, who was in turn overthrown in a military counter coup in November 1975. Gen. Ziaur Rahman then assumed power and was President from 1977 until his assassination in an unsuccessful military coup in May 1981. Former Vice-President Abdul Sattar, elected President in November 1981, was deposed in March 1982 in a bloodless military coup led by Lt. Gen. Hossain Mohamad Ershad. Ershad formed his own political party and proclaimed himself Head of State and Chief Martial Law Administrator in December 1983. In a March 1985 referendum, voters approved Ershad's policies and his continuation in office until elections under the suspended constitution could be held. The elections were finally held in May 1986, but they were marked by substantial violence; Ershad supporters in the Jatiya party were accused of fraud and vote-rigging. The Jatiya party won a majority in parliament and Ershad won the presidency in an election boycotted by the opposition. New parliamentary elections held in 1988 after a wave of antigovernment protests were also boycotted by the opposition, and there was further violence when Islam was declared the state religion later that year. In December 1990, Ershad suddenly resigned under pressure. A caretaker government was formed, and Ershad was later placed under house arrest and charged with corruption and misuse of power. New elections were held in February 1991. Begum Khaleda Ziaur Rahman, Head of the center-right Bangladesh Nationalist party (BNP) and widow of former president Ziaur Rahman, became the nations' first woman Prime Minister on Mar. 20, 1991. In September 1991, Bangladesh's constitution was amended to return to its Westminster-style of governance, ending 16 years of executive presidential rule. In June 1996, a general election put Sheikh Hasina Wajed's opposition Awami League into power. Prime Minister Hasina Wajed is the daughter of Sheik Mujibur Rahman, the first Prime Minister murdered in a military coup in August 1975.