08
February

‘Yes’ to Criteria Based Approach Only!

Written By: Ghazala Yasmin Jalil

India and Pakistan have been seeking the membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which is a group comprising 48 states that seeks to regulate nuclear trade with the view to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and related technology. Both India and Pakistan formally applied for the membership in 2016 which was denied. There were two meetings in 2016, one in June and one in November where the question of membership of non-Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) states was debated. There has been intense lobbying from both countries to sway the votes in their favour. The NSG has mainly been divided among those who want to admit India immediately, creating an exception for it, and those who oppose membership on exceptional basis and instead argue for criteria-based approach to NSG membership.


The existing criteria for NSG membership requires states to be either a party to the NPT, or a member of the Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (NWFZ), have comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, and have good non-proliferation standing as well as have the capacity to export nuclear items. One criterion on which both India and Pakistan clearly fail is that they are not party to the NPT.

 

Given the grossly discriminatory nature of the proposal many countries like China, Turkey, New Zealand, Brazil, Ireland, Austria, Belarus, Italy, Switzerland among others have raised objections to the proposed criteria developed by Grossi. The objections have ranged from procedural aspects such as lack of transparency and selective engagement but also over the clear absence of impartiality and objectivity of the proposal. Russia has also called for greater transparency and the need for due process of consultations.

The U.S. has led the campaign to welcome India to the club on exceptional basis. The U.S. also won an India-specific waiver from the NSG in 2008 for export of nuclear technologies for its nuclear energy programme. This was followed by civil nuclear deals with the U.S., France, the UK and most recently with Japan. In effect, the 2008 waiver was partly motivated by commercial gains. It had politico-strategic significance as well. It was part of U.S. grand design of building India up as a regional power and a strategic counterweight to China. India is central to the U.S. Pivot to Asia policy, forcefully promoting India’s case for NSG is, thus, part of the U.S. larger geostrategic design.


The U.S. gained the waiver for India on non-proliferation arguments that the regime would be strengthened with India’s membership. However, India has clearly disregarded the essential norms of non-proliferation by keeping its nuclear reactors outside IAEA safeguards, continuing to produce fissile materials, continuing to refuse signing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and continuing to pursue modernization of nuclear armament, including sea-based nuclear capability and development of thermonuclear weapons. This is a clear disregard for the non-proliferation norms.


In 2008, some members of the NSG did express concern about India expanding its nuclear arsenal by diverting the fissile materials for the production of nuclear weapons. There are also international reports on how India has expanded its nuclear arsenal after the NSG waiver. During a U.S. senate hearing, Senator Markey said, “Since 2008, when we also gave them the exemption, India has continued to produce fissile materials for its nuclear programme virtually unchecked. At that time Pakistan warned us that the deal would increase the chances of the nuclear arms race in South Asia”.


There has been growing support within NSG for developing criteria for non-NPT states. China has led the campaign for a criteria-based approach. In the November 2016 meeting in Vienna, China proposed a two-point approach for induction of new non-NPT states to the NSG. Step one would be to find a solution applicable to all non-NPT applicants through consultations. Step two would be to discuss admission of specific non-NPT countries into the NSG. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Chinese stance was that ‘the solution should be non-discriminatory, applicable to all non-NPT members and must not damage the core value of the NSG as well as the authority, effectiveness and integrity of the NPT’. According to reports, during the Vienna meeting about a quarter of NSG members supported the criteria-based approach, while another quarter supported India’s sole entry into the group and the other half did not take any specific positions. Besides China, the countries that supported the criteria-based approach included Russia, Brazil, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Turkey.


Argentinian Ambassador Rafael Grossi, who was appointed Special Envoy by the NSG chairperson to develop a consensus regarding the entry issue, presented a nine-point proposal for NSG membership on December 6, 2016. There are a number of issues with these points which largely favour India and seem tailored to win membership for India while keeping Pakistan out of NSG.


One point of the proposed membership criteria is regarding the separation of current and future civilian and nuclear facilities. India has already notified a separation plan as part of the requirements of the 2008 NSG waiver. Pakistan has separate military and civilian facilities but has not formally notified its separation plan to IAEA. At present, if the current proposal is adopted, this point would make Pakistan technically ineligible for NSG membership.

 

In the unlikely event that Grossi’s criteria is adopted then India can claim that it has already taken all measures according to NSG guidelines, while leaving Pakistan at a disadvantage. The biggest problem with the latest proposed criteria is that it seems tailor-made to smuggle India in the group. It would not only be discriminatory but would also make a mockery of the non-proliferation regime and principles. This would be of grave concern for Pakistan which is lobbying hard for a non-discriminatory approach to the issue whereby it hopes to get admitted to the group alongside India.

The second point proposes that states must have signed IAEA’s Additional Protocol. This point also favours India since it has already signed the Additional Protocol. In principle Pakistan has no problem with signing the Additional Protocol but it would take some time which means that India would have advantage over this point as well. Another point is that the candidate must commit to not conduct any nuclear explosion in future. Both India and Pakistan are eligible as per this criterion if they undertake not to conduct nuclear tests in the future. In fact, Pakistan has time and again proposed to India simultaneous signature of the CTBT and even a regional test ban agreement. All such proposals have been rejected by India.


Another point is a commitment not to use any item transferred either directly or indirectly from an NSG Participating Government or any item derived from transferred items in unsafeguarded facilities or activities. Both India and Pakistan can easily fulfil this criterion.


The most interesting point is: “An understanding that due to the unique nature of the non-NPT party applications, [non-NPT applicant] would join a consensus of all other participating governments on the merits of any non-NPT party application.” The last clause implies that there is a pre-condition on India that it will not oppose Pakistan’s entry. This clause has the inbuilt assumption that India would be admitted first, while Pakistan may enter later when it fulfills the new criteria. It is imperative that a simultaneous rather than sequential consideration of the two countries’ applications should take place. Once India is a member, it would not let Pakistan become a member. The countries that are lobbying for India’s entry into the group could lobby to keep Pakistan out as well.


Given the grossly discriminatory nature of the proposal many countries like China, Turkey, New Zealand, Brazil, Ireland, Austria, Belarus, Italy, Switzerland among others have raised objections to the proposed criteria developed by Grossi. The objections have ranged from procedural aspects such as lack of transparency and selective engagement but also over the clear absence of impartiality and objectivity of the proposal. Russia has also called for greater transparency and the need for due process of consultations. Pakistan has also rejected the proposal. Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said: “This would be clearly discriminatory and would contribute nothing in terms of furthering the non-proliferation objectives of the NSG.” He further said that Pakistan continues to emphasize the imperative for a non-discriminatory criteria-based approach for the NSG membership of non-NPT states in a non-discriminatory manner which would also advance the objective of strategic stability in South Asia.


In the unlikely event that Grossi’s criteria is adopted then India can claim that it has already taken all measures according to NSG guidelines, while leaving Pakistan at a disadvantage. The biggest problem with the latest proposed criteria is that it seems tailor-made to smuggle India in the group. It would not only be discriminatory but would also make a mockery of the non-proliferation regime and principles. This would be of grave concern for Pakistan which is lobbying hard for a non-discriminatory approach to the issue whereby it hopes to get admitted to the group alongside India.


Even international analysts see these proposals as very flexible and in essence designed to accommodate India. Daryl Kimball of Arms Control Association in the U.S. says: “The formula outlined in Grossi’s draft note sets an extremely low bar on NSG membership and its wording is vague and open to wide interpretation. Furthermore, this formula would not require India to take any additional non-proliferation commitments beyond the steps to which it committed in September 2008 ahead of the NSG’s country-specific exemption for India for civil nuclear trade.”7


The Obama administration has tried its best to win NSG membership for India. However, it is now upto the new U.S. administration on how aggressively it wants to pursue the matter. The NSG Chair has postponed the scheduled December informal NSG meeting till February 2017. During this period, he intends to engage in further consultations in an effort to develop consensus. For the time being Pakistan has scored a small success by working with principal countries to prevent India’s membership on preferential basis. However, the struggle for impartial and equal treatment as an aspiring member for NSG is far from over for Pakistan.


The matter of India and Pakistan's membership of the NSG will remain a much debated and pressing one. For Pakistan, it would be prudent to be well prepared once the matter of membership is debated by the NSG. According to the latest proposal, the separation of civilian and military nuclear facilities and signing of the IAEA additional protocol are two main issues over which Pakistan’s candidature may be rejected. Pakistan should formally notify IAEA of its separation plan of civilian and nuclear facilities and signing and ratifying the additional protocol to the safeguards agreement so that Pakistan can enhance its credentials for NSG membership.

 

The writer is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad and focuses on nuclear and arms control & disarmament issues.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

4,7 Daryl Kimball, “NSG Membership Proposal Would Undermine Nonproliferation,” Arms Control Association, December 21, 2016, https://www.armscontrol.org/blog/ArmsControlNow/2016-12-21/NSG-Membership-Proposal-Would-Undermine-Nonproliferation

 
09
February

Reconfigurable Warships – A Step Towards Building Pakistan an Affordable Navy

Written By: Usman Ansari

A reconfigurable family of corvettes that can replace a range of less capable vessels and provide a more credible and robust defence during wartime will certainly allow Pakistan to efficiently and cost effectively safeguard CPEC and its EEZ as well as Extended Continental Shelf from aggression.

For Pakistan a powerful navy is an essential guarantor of its seaward defence and prosperity. Its economy relies overwhelmingly on the sea as some 90 percent by volume and 70 percent by value of its trade is seaborne. This will only increase in importance when the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) becomes fully operational. However, though balanced and capable, the navy is presently understrength, and cannot meet this requirement without expansion and considerable modernization. This may appear daunting as out of the three services the navy is the most expensive in terms of unit/running costs of its platforms, and expansion/modernization will require tens of billions of dollars. Achieving this critical requirement need not be a quandary though. A base-line multi-role platform (reconfigurable from Offshore Patrol Vessel to fully armed warship) to be operated by Pakistan Navy and Maritime Security Agency (MSA), to replace a range of vessels operating in territorial waters and Extended Economic Zone (EEZ), will deliver long term lower operational costs and guarantee a credible conventional deterrent against aggression.

reconfigwarship.jpgThe workhorses of the Pakistani fleet are the destroyers and frigates that operate on the outer periphery of the EEZ and beyond. However, Pakistan Navy and MSA also operate a larger number of smaller vessels that can be replaced with a single multi-role design to lower long-term operational costs and increase Pakistan’s defencive capabilities. When the need arose to maintain operational requirements within restricted budgets, some countries examined more affordable multi-role platforms (generally corvettes/OPVs or light frigates) to sustain numbers/presence in less threatening environments. Unfortunately, a true multi-role capability is expensive, leading to acquisition of lightly armed patrol vessels for fisheries’ protection, search and rescue, pollution control, EEZ policing, and other coastguard type duties. However, though more affordable to acquire/operate they have limited war fighting capability. Consequently, when purchased instead in place of fully capable warships, the navy will probably not be able to fulfil its main role of national defence due to being inadequately equipped. Under these circumstances a resource constrained nation essentially cannot 'afford' a ship that cannot fight, as necessity dictates every ship be able to defend itself and actively participate in wartime operations. This is especially true for Pakistan Navy, which faces threats having to undertake anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare in a heavy electronic warfare measures and high air/missile threat environment, (and expect saturation missile attacks under these conditions). This, therefore, requires an affordable design that can replace a range of vessels and perform the full spectrum of roles, but still be credibly armed for wartime.


‘Affordable’ can be defined in terms of acquisition or operational costs. Low acquisition costs generally mean higher through-life operational costs. The formula is generally reversed when considering high acquisition costs mainly due to the cost of advanced technologies that help reduce operational/through-life expenditure. An affordable warship today could be powered by an integrated electric or combined diesel propulsion system, be highly automated to reduce manning levels, and be equipped with sophisticated radar and other sensors in an integrated mast for air and surface search, acquisition and fire control. Weaponry would consist of a package to deal with the conceivable spectrum of threats, such a ship would be expected to act alone or in conjunction with other warships. However, the physical footprint of some weaponry and sensors could dictate the feasibility of their inclusion on smaller vessels such as corvettes, requiring dedicated space for mission dependent modules. Consequently such designs may have common baseline weaponry such as a medium calibre gun, remotely operated small calibre guns, a gun and missile CIWS, and possibly ASW rocket launchers. There can be a temptation to only rely on a gun CIWS for air defence, but they are not (and never should be) the first line of defence against air threats, especially not in the environment Pakistan Navy operates. ASW rockets like the RDC-32 can be used against unmanned underwater/swimmer delivery vehicles. Further weaponry, such as varying anti-ship missile loads, ASW torpedoes, and mines, can be installed as and when required. Advanced air/surface search radar, electro-optical sensors, and hull-mounted sonar, would be pre-requisites on a baseline design, with additional modular sensors such as active towed array sonar for example, installed as and when required. However, even with this ability to swap or leave out equipment, including the previous list of characteristics in a ship design will see its cost rapidly escalate, therefore making a low tech single role vessel more attractive despite its inferiority.


However, meeting the expense of a multi-role capability can be mitigated by the modular concept of retaining dedicated space for mission dependent modules, but choosing not to include systems until they become affordable under the 'fitted for but not with' concept. This allows for systems to be installed when they become available, but does not delay service entry of the vessel itself, therefore having a reduced impact on operational availability especially at the lower end of the threat spectrum. Such a design could also have a dedicated reconfigurable stern compartment able to accept mission dependent equipment. For example, in the OPV role for the MSA this may include an 11m RHIB; for MCMV missions it could include a dedicated counter mine module to locate, classify, and destroy mines; or an active towed array sonar package for ASW operations. This space could also accommodate anti-ship/land attack missiles if they could be raised and fired through the flightdeck. Additionally space could also be used for containerized mission payloads. Such flexibility would allow one baseline design, configurable per mission requirements, to replace a range of vessels usually tasked with patrol and defence of territorial, EEZ and adjoining waters.


Additionally, propulsion options can further reduce costs. Gas turbines have high fuel consumption and are thus expensive to run, contributing to high operational costs. However, integrated electric propulsion has the benefit of reducing operational costs due to the lower levels of maintenance required. It also frees up internal space for other use due to the ability to place the diesel or other engines/generators in alternative areas, and the electric motors thereby reducing the length of the drive shafts. Acquisition costs are high however, but propulsion costs can also be reduced if alternative fuels are considered. Research is ongoing into various possibilities including organic biofuels such as biodiesel or that derived from plants such as camelina, organic derived additives such as ethanol, or even breaking down sea water. Pakistan’s sugarcane industry can produce ethanol in quantity, and this plus other biofuel alternatives such as biodiesel must be explored. At the very least, diesels are an affordable, economical, and reliable propulsion option that considerably reduce operational costs.


Including or excluding helicopters (the most powerful and flexible weapons on any warship), can also reduce costs as they entail added expense of acquisition, maintenance, and operations through fuel and expandables, plus crew training. However, a modular design, allowing vessels to be built with or without a hangar will allow operations requiring longer range/endurance to be handled by vessels equipped with a hangar to embark a helicopter. Missions closer to shore could be handled by those only built with a flight deck to allow resupply, plus refuelling and rearming shore-based ASW helicopters. Alternatively, operating rotary UAVs could keep overall costs down, but still maintain a larger operational footprint.


Warship designers presently offer platforms configurable to customer requirements. However, these are commonly built to certain specifications, and generally not reconfigurable once in service. The Danish STANFLEX system achieves this to a large extent as it allows mission specific modules and equipment to be included as and when required. Newer (some as yet un-built) warship designs have incorporated such concepts to achieve multirole flexibility. Of note in this regard is the U.S. experience of the Littoral Combat Ship Programme and its efforts to achieve this level of reconfigurable flexibility. Despite the programme’s teething troubles the concept is still the way forward. Unfortunately, most western designs are generally quite large, and have excessively high acquisition and operational costs, especially for Pakistan which needs such vessels in volume. However, such a concept is still a realistic option for Pakistan, one that features the above characteristics that will enable it to be fully multi-role, able to undertake the full spectrum of peacetime patrol to ‘hot’ conflict operations. This may require a tailor made solution with maximum public/private industrial involvement, but lacking the necessary domestic design experience Pakistan’s naval planners will have to seek foreign co-operation, which, due to financial and geopolitical reality narrows the field down to China and Turkey. China is an increasingly capable warship designer and its Type-056 corvette/OPV could form the basis for such a design. As a source of affordable technology co-operation with China would make such a programme feasible.


Whereas navies can be convinced of the need to spend money to save it (and lives) though, high acquisition costs may potentially deter decision-makers, (who generally think short term). However, the prospect of affordably delivering a credible defence capability at lower operational cost, (plus a steady work for KSEW that ultimately benefits local industry and the national exchequer), is a powerful counter argument. A reconfigurable family of corvettes that can replace a range of less capable vessels and provide a more credible and robust defence during wartime will certainly allow Pakistan to efficiently and cost effectively safeguard CPEC and its EEZ as well as Extended Continental Shelf from aggression.

 

The writer is currently Chief Analyst for the British-based naval news monthly, Warships international Fleet Review. He is also Pakistan’s correspondent for the U.S.-based Defence News and has contributed in various international defence publications.
 
10
February

نیوکلیئر سپلائرز گروپ اور بھارتی سیاست

تحریر: مستنصر کلاسرا

1974میں بھارتی ایٹمی تجربے نے خاص طور پر جنوبی ایشیا میں ایک بے چینی پیدا کر دی تھی۔ یہ تجربہ اس خطے میں پاکستان اور بھارت کے درمیان ایٹمی ہتھیاروں کی پیداوار اور پھراس کی مسلسل بڑھوتری کی پہلی کڑی ثابت ہوا۔ یہ ایک ایسا وقت تھا جس نے ایک غیرایٹمی خطے کو ایٹمی دوڑ میں شامل کر دیا۔ بھارت کے اس اقدام نے اقوام عالم کو ایک ایسا ادارہ بنانے پر مجبور کر دیا جو مختلف ممالک کے درمیان ہونے والے ایٹمی کاروبار کی شناخت اور پرامن مقاصد کے نام پر پیدا ہونے والے شکوک وشبہات کو دور کر سکے۔ ان تمام عوامل کو مدنظر رکھتے ہوئے اقوام عالم ایک ادارہ بنانے میں کامیاب ہوئیں جسے نیوکلیئر سپلائیرز گروپ کا نام دیا گیا۔


نیوکلیئرسپلائرز گروپ کے رکن ممالک میں امریکہ، جاپان، چین، برطانیہ، ترکی اور کینیڈا سمیت کم و بیش 48ممالک شامل ہیں۔ سال 2016-17 کے لئے این ایس جی کی صدارت ریپبلک آف کوریا کے پاس ہے۔ اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کے لئے چنداصول و ضوابط بنائے گئے ہیں جو درج ذیل ہیں۔
i۔ ایٹمی مواد ترسیل کرنے کی مکمل صلاحیت۔
ii۔ این ایس جی کی طرف سے دی گئی تمام ہدایات پر پابندی اور ان پر من و عن عمل کرنا۔
iii۔ ایک یا ایک سے زیادہ نیوکلیئرنان پرولیفریشن معاہدوں کا پابند ہونا۔
iv۔ مقامی برآمدات کے کنڑول سسٹم کی مکمل پاسداری این ایس جی کی مکمل ہدایات کے مطابق کرنا۔
v۔ مہلک ہتھیاروں کے عدم پھیلاؤ اور ان کی ترسیل کی مشینری کی بیرونی منتقلی کو روکنے کی عالمی کوششوں کی حمایت کرنا۔
یہ وہ چند بنیادی اصول و ضوابط ہیں جن کے تحت کوئی ملک اس گروپ کا رکن بن سکتا ہے۔ اب اگر کوئی ملک ان ضوابط کو بالائے طاق رکھ کر اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کی خواہش کرے گا تو یہ ان ممالک کے ساتھ ناانصافی ہو گی جو ان ضوابط پر عمل کرنے کے بعد اس گروپ میں شامل ہوئے اور دوسرا اس گروپ کی اپنی شفافیت پر سوال اٹھنا شروع ہو جائیں گے۔
نیوکلیئرسپلائرزگروپ میں شامل ہونے کے لئے بہت ہی سادہ سے اصول و ضوابط وضع کئے گئے ہیں جن پر کوئی بھی ملک پورا ترنے کے بعد اس گروپ میں شامل ہو سکتا ہے۔ پاکستان اور بھارت کے اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کی خواہش نے ایک عجیب سازشی فضا پیدا کر دی ہے۔ خاص طور پر 2008 میں بھارت کو دی گئی چند خاص رعایات کے بعد تو یہ صورتحال اور مسموم ہوتی جا رہی ہے۔ دیگر اسباب کے علاوہ سب سے اہم اور بڑی وجہ مغرب میں موجود کاروباری لابی ہے جو کہ مستقبل قریب میں بھارت کو ایک ابھرتی ہوئی معیشت کے طور پر دیکھ رہی ہے۔ دوسری وجہ رعایات دینے کی یہ بھی ہو سکتی ہے کہ جیسا کہ نیوکلیئرسپلائرزگروپ کا سب سے بڑا مقصد ایٹمی ٹیکنالوجی کی ترسیل ان ممالک میں روکنا ہے جو یا تو پہلے سے اسے استعمال کر رہے ہیں یا پھر بین الاقوامی ایٹمی تحفظ کے ادارے کے قوانین کے مطابق عمل نہیں کر رہے جن میں بھارت بھی شامل ہے۔ بھارت میں ایسے واقعات ہو چکے ہیں جن کو مدنظر رکھ کر یہ کہا جا سکتا ہے کہ ان کا ایٹمی مواد یا ری ایکٹر ابھی مکمل کنٹرول میں نہیں ہے۔


نئے بدلتے حالات اور عالمی برتری کی دوڑ میں امریکہ اور بھارت ایک دوسرے کے قریب آرہے ہیں۔ اس بات پر کسی کو شک نہیں کہ امریکہ اور بھارت سول نیوکلیئرڈیل کے بعد اب ایک دوسرے کے سٹریٹجیک پارٹنرز ہیں۔ نیوکلیئرسپلائرز گروپ میں شمولیت کے حوالے سے بھی بھارت کو امریکی پشت پناہی اور حمایت حاصل تھی۔ ایک اور بات جو یہاں قابل ذکر ہے کہ اگرچہ 11اور 12نومبر 2016کو این ایس جی کے حوالے سے ایک میٹنگ ہوئی تھی اور مختلف ممالک کی رائے کو اگر مدنظر رکھیں تو بھی بھارت کی مخالفت میں بہت سے ممالک تھے جن میں خاص طور پر آئرلینڈ، چین اور آسٹریا نے بھارت کے خلاف اپناموقف بدلنے سے انکار کیا اور اصول و ضوابط پر اترنے والے تمام ممالک کو اس میں شامل کرنے پر زور دیا۔ یہاں ایک اور بات قابل ذکر ہے کہ نومبر 2016میں این ایس جی کی میٹنگ سے پہلے تک اگر بھارت این ایس جیمیں شمولیت کے لئے بڑے ممالک کی حمایت حاصل کرنے میں ناکام رہا تو پھر اس نے دوبارہ سے اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کی درخواست کیوں دے دی؟ شاید وہ اس لئے کہ نیوکلیئرسپلائرزگروپ میں شامل ہونے کی اپنی خواہش زندہ رکھ سکے۔ بالکل اسی طرح اب یہ وقت کی ضرورت ہے کہ پاکستان کو بھی اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کی اپنی کوششوں کو تیز کرنا چاہئے۔


نیوکلیئرسپلائرزگروپ کے تناظر میں بھارت اور امریکہ کی جانب سے یہ تاثر بھی عام کرنے کی کوشش کی گئی کہ چین نے پاکستان کو این ایس جی میں شمولیت پر اُکسایا اور پاکستان تو جیسے نیوکلیئرگروپ میں شامل ہونا ہی نہیں چاہتا تھا۔ یہ تاثر پروپیگنڈے پر مبنی ہے۔ حقیقت یہ ہے کہ پاکستان نے تو بھارت کی اس گروپ میں شمولیت سے پہلے ہی 2004میں
Export Control Act
پر عمل شروع کر دیا تھا۔ ایک اور تاثر جو پاکستان کے خلاف دیا گیا کہ پاکستان نے صرف بھارت کو دیکھتے ہوئے این ایس جی میں شمولیت کی درخواست دی یہ بھی سراسرجھوٹ کا ایک پلندا اور من گھڑت بات تھی کیونکہ این ایس جیمیں شمولیت کے قواعد و ضوابط کے مطابق پاکستان کو بتایا گیا کہ کوئی بھی
Non-NPT
ملک اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کی اہلیت نہیں رکھتا لیکن جب بھارت کو امریکہ کی طرف سے مئی میں اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کے لئے درخواست دینے کا کہا گیا تو پاکستان نے 6دنوں کے اندر اندر 300صفحات پر مشتمل ایک مکمل دستاویز بنا کر اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کی درخواست دی۔ اس سے صاف ظاہر تھا کہ پاکستان نے اپنا ہوم ورک پہلے سے کیا ہوا تھا۔ ظاہر ہے بھارت اگر
Non-NPT
ہوتے ہوئے اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کے لئے درخواست دے سکتا ہے جس کا اپنا نیوکلیئرپروگرام بھی بین الاقوامی ایٹمی ایجنسی کے قوانین کے مطابق محفوظ نہیں سمجھا جاتا تو پاکستان کے نیوکلیئر پروگرام کے بارے میں تو دنیا محفوظ اور موثر ہونے کا اعتراف بھی کرتی ہے تو پھر پاکستان یا دیگر ایسی اہلیت کے ممالک اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کی خواہش کا اظہار کیوں نہیں کر سکتے۔ یہ تو اب بین لاقوامی کمیونٹی کو سوچنا ہو گا کہ چند ممالک کے ساتھ برتی گئی ناانصافی دنیا میں عدم توازن بڑھائے گی اور دنیا میں کشیدگی میں اضافے کا باعث بنے گی۔

نیوکلیئرسپلائرزگروپ میں شامل ہونے کے لئے بہت ہی سادہ سے اصول و ضوابط وضع کئے گئے ہیں جن پر کوئی بھی ملک پورا ترنے کے بعد اس گروپ میں شامل ہو سکتا ہے۔ پاکستان اور بھارت کے اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کی خواہش نے ایک عجیب سازشی فضا پیدا کر دی ہے۔ خاص طور پر 2008 میں بھارت کو دی گئی چند خاص رعایات کے بعد تو یہ صورتحال اور مسموم ہوتی جا رہی ہے

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نومبر 2016میں این ایس جی کی میٹنگ سے پہلے تک اگر بھارت این ایس جیمیں شمولیت کے لئے بڑے ممالک کی حمایت حاصل کرنے میں ناکام رہا تو پھر اس نے دوبارہ سے اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کی درخواست کیوں دے دی؟ شاید وہ اس لئے کہ نیوکلیئرسپلائرزگروپ میں شامل ہونے کی اپنی خواہش زندہ رکھ سکے۔ بالکل اسی طرح اب یہ وقت کی ضرورت ہے کہ پاکستان کو بھی اس گروپ میں شامل ہونے کی اپنی کوششوں کو تیز کرنا چاہئے۔

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09
March

Rising Indian Defence Budget

Written By: Dr. Mujeeb Afzal

On February 01, 2017, the Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, presented the annual budget for the year 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha. It includes allocation of 51 billion dollars for the salaries and pensions of the defence personnel and expenditure for the modernization programmes of the Armed Forces. These allocations represent 2.25 percent of the GDP (gross domestic product), and a 5.6 percent increase in the 2016-17 defence budget. This article is an attempt to understand the nature and targets of the new Indian budget, its meaning in the emerging strategic milieu that is demanding and according a new role to India and its impact on the already existing power disequilibrium between India and Pakistan.


The Indian defence budget for 2016-17 is higher than that of 2015-16, which was 36 billion dollars and was 1.75 percent of the GDP. The present budget would have been even higher if the expenditure on pensions, border security forces and nuclear and missile development had been included in it. Besides, the allocations for research and development and for Defence Ordnance Factories have been shifted from the Ministry of Defence to the capital budget. In spite of this shift, the capital expenditure has received an increase of 20.6 percent as compared to the previous allocations. If only pensions had been included in it, this would be 2.3 to 2.4 percent of the GDP. Despite this, the apportionment for defence in this budget is about 12.78 percent of the total expenditure of the government of India, that is 21.47 lac crore. In line with the past practice, the Army, which is perceived to be the main instrument against China and Pakistan, has received 52 percent, followed by the Air Force with 22 percent and Navy's 16 percent while 5 percent has been allocated to DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization). The upward spending on defence is a deep-rooted trend in the behaviour of the Indian state. In the 1960s, it had a defence budget of 600 million dollars and it was 2.1 percent of the GDP. Subsequently, it jumped up to 4.5 percent of the GDP; that was meant to assert India as a real strategic power at the regional and international levels. In the 1990s, the defence budget rose to 5 percent of the GDP; and in real terms it was 7.5 billion dollars. After that, its economy was on the rise by more than 7 percent and India planned to acquire capability to fight a two-front war with both China and Pakistan. During 1995-2005, the Indian defence budget grew on average over 5.5 percent annually. Its overall defence spending registered an increase of 30 percent; and in 2001, its budget was around 11.1 billion dollars. By 2012 India’s defence budget was growing by 13 and 19 percent although its GDP growth was about 7.6 percent. A significant push came in 2014, when Finance Minister P. Chidambaram announced a 10 percent increase in the defence budget and took the budget figures to $36.3 billion. India’s sustained efforts have contributed to its strategic importance. At present, it has a standing force of nearly 1.5 million personnel and its defence budget is the fourth largest in the world after the U.S., China and the UK.

 

India under the Modi administration is trying to seize the vulnerability of Pakistan to change its behaviour with reference to plebiscite in Kashmir and its demand for a fair treatment in the South Asian state system.

India, under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has witnessed a sharp rise in the Indian defence budget which is justified with the help of two emotive themes: one, it is meant to reform the accumulated obsolescence of the country’s strategic infrastructure; and two, it is to ensure the promise of autonomy and self-sufficiency in the defence production by ‘Make in India’ programme. It is argued that a large part of the Indian defence equipment is of little use for an emerging major power because it is of low quality and has aged as well. Moreover, the average infantry soldier of India is technologically at least one generation behind in comparison to his counterpart in the modern armies of the industrialized states. Therefore, its protagonists contend that if India wishes to balance both China and Pakistan and also play the role of a major power at the regional and international level, then it needs to change its old low-tech weapon systems. Additionally, it is considered essential that a major power like India should have more autonomous standing by reducing its dependence on imports; that it should achieve greater self-sufficiency in the production of sophisticated defence equipment. Consequently, successive defence budgets have provided lavish funds for domestic defence research and development as well as defence industry. In the present budget, the DRDO, which is responsible for the development of nuclear and missile systems, has received 14819 crores. This organization is involved in the development of short range 700 kms Agni-I, intermediate range 2,000 kms and Agni-II surface-to-surface missiles. It is also developing contemporary weapon-locating radar and the main battle tank (MBT), the Arjun, for the Army. In recent years, India has opened up its domestic weapons industry to foreign investment; and the foreign investment limit in the domestic defence industry has been raised from 26 percent to 49 percent. Apart from this, India is the largest weapons importer in the world; in just one year (2013), it spent $6 billion on buying equipment. India is expected to spend $100 billion over the next decade on a defence modernization programme. Its armed forces desire to get 22 Apache helicopters, 50 Chinook helicopters, 197 light utility helicopters, 135 lightweight howitzers, 6 submarines and 16 multirole helicopters for the Navy. It has already approved a project worth 13 billion dollars to increase its national defence preparedness. The Indian Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has decided to build within India six submarines, purchase 8,356 anti-tank guided missiles from Israel, 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft with improved sensors from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and 362 infantry fighting vehicles.


India’s economy is on the rise. It has grown from a contested regional power to one of the pre-eminent regional powers along with China and Japan. It has more resources at its disposal to spend on the defence sector. Although in terms of GDP the defence spending has decreased from 2.9 percent in 2009 to 2.3 percent in 2015 – now around 2.25 percent of GDP – but in terms of resources it has reached the capacity of 51 billion dollars. The resources available to its defence institutions are more than their capacity to absorb; for example, the utilization of the defence budget in 2014-15 and 2015-16 was 95 percent and 91 percent, respectively. Similarly, it has repeatedly underspent funds that were allocated for capital acquisition; this was 11 percent in 2012-13, 9 percent in 2013-14, 13 percent in 2014-15 and 15 percent in 2015-16. At the domestic level this trend may reflect bureaucratic incompetence but at the external level it indicates the rising Indian comfort to accumulate and exert power. This trend becomes even more significant with the decline of its poverty indicators from 44 percent to 26 percent within the last twenty years. This argument should be read with the fact that India faces no immediate threat from any of its neighbours near or far from its border. It is strategically in a comfortable state and faces no threat to its survival and extended interest from within or abroad. According to the logic of power, it is moving towards domination over others. The continuous rise in the defence budget reflects this trend in the behaviour of India regionally and internationally. It has serious territorial and water disputes with Pakistan and China. In line with the logic of power it has closed the door of negotiation with Pakistan and demonstrates no particular urgency to resolve its issues with China as well. Though it is too early to declare India a major international power or even regional hegemon, its share in the international defence spending was 1 percent in 1995 and 3 percent in 2015. Notwithstanding the Indian low international strategic standing, its arrogant attitude in its relation with neighbours is a cause for grave concern.


India’s exaggerated claims of power and consequent stubborn diplomatic behaviour is the result of two developments: one, the rise of Hindu nationalists to power at the domestic level; and two, its evolving strategic cooperation with the USA at the international level. Since its independence, India has considered itself a major player at the international level. It believes that it is its legitimate right to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council like China, in order to have a meaningful role in the governance of the international system. With the leadership of its first Prime Minister Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, India attempted to play a major role at the international level as an opponent of the power politics and the champion of the rights of the Afro-Asian people against western economic and political imperialism. At the same time, it struggled to attain economic and strategic power to assert its claim of a major power in a forceful manner. India under Nehru and his successors exerted to achieve national cohesion on the principles of composite-culture, secularism and liberal democracy and at the international level it sought strategic autonomy by staying away from the power politics of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and USA. At the regional level, Nehru’s India wanted to impose the Delhi view of one strategic unit for South Asia and wished to keep it free from the influence of outside powers. After the Indo-China border clash of 1962, India tilted more towards the Soviet Union than the USA for technology transfer, heavy industry and sophisticated weapon systems. The Hindu nationalists challenged Nehru’s vision of India as an attempt to impose a western vision to deprive its people of their Hindu tradition and heritage. They presented the concept of Hindutva and integral-humanism based on the ethos of Hinduism that they argued were based on common blood, common laws and rites, and common culture of the Hindu people. It was argued that in the past India was subject to foreign subjugation of the Muslim invaders followed by the British imperialists because of its internal fragmentation. The Hindutva ethos is considered the only way to evolve a cohesive national identity that will provide the requisite Shakti-power to defend India. At the international level, the Hindu nationalists find the integral-humanism closer to the capitalist system. They aspire to expand their relations with the West and consider themselves the natural allies of the USA. Simultaneously, they want to increase India’s military power and assert its regional and international role. Modi government shares the view of the Hindu nationalists and wants to build a strong Indian national identity based on the ethos of Hindutva in which Hindu and Indian interests take primacy over any other consideration at the domestic and regional levels and see in the post-Cold War era an ideal opportunity to attain the rightful place for India by building closer ties with the West particularly USA. The internal and external opponents of Hindutva are advised to accept the new realities of Indian power and adjust themselves with the priorities of Hindus and India.

 

The continuous increase in the Indian defence budget is not good news for Pakistan. India remains, in terms of its strategic capabilities, the principal threat to its security. The growing conventional asymmetry between the two states undermines the regional stability and negatively impacts upon the balance of strategic deterrence.

In the post-Cold War era, the rise of China as a potential strategic power and the good performance of Indian economy are the two factors that are determining the India-U.S. relations. India perceives the U.S. as an ally in future for two reasons: one, as a possible source of modern weapon systems and technology; and two, as a power that can provide an existing strategic structure to channelize the rising Indian influence at regional and international levels. It may facilitate India’s admission into such international institutions as Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) easy and assure permanent membership of the UN Security Council. On the other hand, the U.S. looks at India as a good rising market for its goods both civil as well as military, as a balancing factor for the rising Chinese influence in the Afro-Asian countries, and share the burden of security at the regional level especially against potential strategic competition from China. The U.S. is willing to upgrade the strategic potential of India to achieve these objectives and extend active diplomatic support to India to get the membership of international institutions that may formalize the regional power status of India as a useful ally. That is the reason successive U.S. administrations especially that of Barack Obama have strongly supported India's case for the NSG and Security Council membership. At the domestic level the U.S. political elite has enthusiastically received support for the alliance with India. The U.S. Congress has passed the India "Defence Technology and Partnership Act" that provided a strong legal framework for the Indo-U.S. defence relations and formalized India’s status as a major partner of the U.S. On its part the Obama administration instituted the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and established an "India Rapid Reaction Cell" in the Pentagon to deal with bureaucratic hurdles in the way of strategic cooperation between the two states. Additionally, President Obama encouraged the coordination with India on an annual basis for the development of military contingency plans for addressing threats to mutual security interests of the two countries. India sees a great opportunity for the strengthening of its technological industrial base with the help of U.S. assistance and technology. The Indian flagship indigenous projects such as the aircraft and tanks have not been very successful; therefore, it would be happy to use facilities under the DTTI structure for the U.S.-India defence trade. The strategic cooperation with the U.S. will be difficult for India; it will generate an impression of India as a contract ally who is paid to protect the U.S. regional interest especially against China. India is internally a diverse soft-state that cannot afford to have open hostility with China and expose its national integration for others’ strategic gains. That is why it has accepted the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the U.S. that allows the two countries to access each other’s supplies, spare parts, and services from military bases and ports but has refused joint patrol of U.S. and Indian Navies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific waters. Despite certain reservations, the Indian strategic alliance with the U.S. can help India establish a regional hegemonic relationship.


The continuous increase in the Indian defence budget is not good news for Pakistan. India remains, in terms of its strategic capabilities, the principal threat to its security. The growing conventional asymmetry between the two states undermines the regional stability and negatively impacts upon the balance of strategic deterrence. The recent increase in the Indian defence budget has taken place when the Modi government has taken an increasingly belligerent stance towards Pakistan. It is repeatedly using hostile language and violent clashes are reported along the Line of Control (LOC) and the Working Boundary. The changed international strategic environment places Pakistan in a disadvantageous position. It uses to balance India in conventional term with the help of better trained manpower and western sophisticated weapon system. The U.S. tilt towards India disturbs greatly the strategic calculations of Pakistan. It is gradually finding it difficult to balance rising India with its mere 7 billion dollar defence budget and becoming more and more dependent on nuclear deterrence. The nuclear weapons are essential for the deterrence purpose and cannot be used for fighting a conventional war. In an asymmetrical conventional balance of power Pakistan is becoming more and more dependent on the nuclear weapons which limit the strategic options of a state to defend its autonomy. Therefore, military capabilities are essential for conventional defence and internal security of a state. India under the Modi administration is trying to seize the vulnerability of Pakistan to change its behaviour with reference to plebiscite in Kashmir and its demand for a fair treatment in the South Asian state system. It has refused to negotiate with Pakistan and is putting pressure through threats of hot pursuit in Kashmir in order to call, what the Indian strategic thinkers have described a nuclear bluff. At the international level, India under Modi is using its new-found economic power and closeness with the U.S. to create diplomatic difficulties on the issue of war against terrorism and is attempting to put constraints in the access to high-end technology. Though the Indian challenges are not very great at this moment but in future if the asymmetry in the economic strength continues to expand, India will be in a position to create serious problems for the security and extended national interests of Pakistan. Additionally, if the strategic tensions surge between the U.S. under President Donald Trump and China, then Pakistan will be forced to take the Chinese side and preserve its strategic alliance with China. This probability can greatly increase Indian access to the Western markets and technology and can hurt Pakistan’s strategic options.


The economic rise of India is a significant phenomenon for the regional and international political calculations. Gradually, it will have more resources available for investment in its armed forces, although it will still be treated at the international level as a trading nation and an almost insignificant strategic player. But at the regional level, its increased military muscle might create serious security risks for the sovereign existence of the medium and small states of South Asia. The states of South Asia will be forced to increase their defence budgets and look for external alliances or surrender to the Indian dictates. Pakistan, the second largest state of the South Asian state system, will face the same dilemma though at a lesser level. It will have to increase its resources and widen its cooperation with the regional powers. Before doing that, it must strengthen its domestic politico-economic and social structures and then develop alliances at the regional and international levels.

 

The writer is on the faculty of Quaid-i-Azam University (School of Politics and International Relations)

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