India detonated five nuclear devices in May 1998. U.S.-India relations from that time through the end of 2000 were dominated by a nuclear dispute. Despite the upbeat mood following President Bill Clinton’s March 2000 visit to India, U.S. sanctions in response to India’s tests constrained defense and economic cooperation. With the inauguration of the Bush administration in January 2001, prospects for improved relations were promising. The Bush administration took office with misgivings about sanctions, a desire to enhance or develop security-oriented relations with “friends and allies,” concerns about China, and deep skepticism regarding elements of the nuclear nonproliferation regime such as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). If these predilections were translated into policy, the U.S. and India could likely move beyond existing constraints to good relations and forge enhanced ties (see “Stuck in a Nuclear Narrative,” Comparative Connections, Vol. 3, No. 1).
In 2001, progress in U.S.-India relations, at a pace and of a character “visible to the naked eye,” did occur. The two countries fashioned a less dominant, less contentious nuclear dialogue. The saga of sanctions came to an unexpectedly sudden, if incomplete, end. The U.S. and India revived defense cooperation. However, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., the renewal of U.S.-Pakistani ties in their wake, and subsequent India-Pakistan tensions clouded the horizon of U.S.-India relations.
A Nuclear Dialogue with Bush Administration Characteristics
The nuclear disagreements that dominated U.S.-India relations for years took a dramatic turn away from U.S. censure and demands for nonproliferation “milestones” India must meet (e.g., signing the CTBT) to discussion of President George Bush’s proposed “new strategic framework,” including missile defense (MD). India’s response to President Bush’s May 1 speech on missile defense was extraordinary in its swiftness and seeming receptiveness. However, in the astonishment abroad (and controversy within India) that attended Delhi’s response, the ambiguities of India’s actual position toward key elements of President Bush’s plan, including abrogation of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) and deployment of MD, were glossed over. In fact, India opposed U.S. unilateral abrogation and did not explicitly comment on MD deployment. Still, Washington received Delhi’s comment that it “believes that there is a strategic and technological inevitability in stepping away from a world that is held hostage by the doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD) to a cooperative, defensive transition that is underpinned by further cuts and a de-alert of nuclear forces” with enthusiasm. The Bush administration dispatched Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to New Delhi for further consultations, making India one of a select handful of “friends and allies” with which the administration discussed its intentions. Late in the year, when the Bush administration formally announced its decision to abrogate the ABM, there was nary a whisper from New Delhi despite its earlier, explicit objection to such a move.
How much the character of the nuclear dialogue had changed is also evident from U.S. Ambassador Robert Blackwill’s first major address on U.S.-India relations in September. Embedding nuclear weapons issues in the middle of his speech (the sixth of 12 subheadings), the only thing he had to say about U.S. views of India’s nuclear weapons was that the U.S. “has an equal interest in the shape and substance of India’s nuclear policy. This mutual preoccupation by our two countries seems entirely natural since each capital wants to be sure that the other takes no steps in the nuclear arena that could destabilize strategic and regional instability.” The statement implied no question of India possessing nuclear weapons and acceded India’s right to have an “equal interest” in U.S. nuclear weapons policies. The remainder of Ambassador Blackwill’s comments on nuclear weapons focused on U.S.-India points of agreement regarding President Bush’s “new strategic framework” proposal.
Adm. Dennis Blair, commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific Command, couched the U.S. move away from censure of and demands on India, as well as a de facto acceptance of India’s nuclear weapons status, in more “operational” terms. Saying that the U.S. has “some pretty strong views on the steps that India can take now that India has developed nuclear weapons [emphasis added] in terms of nonproliferation and safety of weapons and nuclear doctrine and so on,” Adm. Blair suggested that the “U.S. can work with India to keep those terrible weapons in as safe a condition as they can.” Blair also emphasized a cooperative approach to achieving U.S. goals: “I think the goals have remained the same for a high nuclear threshold and no counter proliferation, and responsible attitudes toward the weapons themselves … But I think you’ll see those goals reached by more cooperation with India rather than less.”
The Sanctions Saga Ends, Sort Of
Sanctions imposed on India after the tests were the subject of considerable to and fro during the year. India’s public posture, reiterated by External Affairs Minister (EAM) Jaswant Singh during his late April visit to the U.S., was that sanctions are “counter-productive both economically and otherwise,” but it was up to Washington to decide when to dismantle them. The Bush team, meanwhile, gave recurring assurances that, as Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia-designate Ms. Christina Rocca said during her Senate confirmation hearings, “sanctions have to go.” Still, as the administration prepared to complete negotiations with Congress on the matter, Deputy Secretary Armitage cautioned that the pace of progress would be “at a speed visible to the naked eye.” Constraints on swift removal of sanctions appear to have been both internal to the State Department (Armitage himself said that “State Department experts want the sanctions to erode incrementally over four or five months instead of eliminating them in one big bang”) and Congress. Indeed, a late July newspaper report claimed that some senior Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were upset that Armitage was “shooting his mouth off” about timeframes for lifting sanctions on India. In an Aug. 24 letter, Sen. Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote President Bush agreeing that sanctions have “outlived their usefulness” but linked a permanent repeal of sanctions, as opposed to a waiver, to nonproliferation steps by India. In the event, negotiations between the administration and Congress, and possibly between the U.S. and India on “nonproliferation steps” were rendered moot when terrorists attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.
Within 11 days of the attack President Bush issued a Presidential Determination waiving (but not repealing) sanctions on India (and Pakistan). The sanctions saga, though ending in a way beneficial to the improvement of U.S.-India relations, raises intriguing questions about alternative endings. If 9-11 had not occurred, would the lifting of sanctions still be a matter of continuing debate within the U.S. (e.g., between Congress and the administration) and between the U.S. and India? There is reason to give an affirmative answer. As late as Sept. 6, just two weeks before sanctions were waived, Ambassador Blackwill cautioned that the Congress would have to be consulted fully on the matter and that the administration would act “to be sure that no step it takes with respect to India and sanctions undermines the global nonproliferation regime.”
Defense Cooperation Revived
Then-Under Secretary of State Thomas Pickering, it may be recalled, stated in April 2000, “We also cannot and will not be able to concentrate on military issues until there is substantial progress on nonproliferation.” The Bush administration, on the other hand, made clear that part of its “big idea” for U.S.-Indian relations was “an expanding, intensified, focused, and mutually beneficial military relationship.”
To this end, throughout the year, there were numerous exchanges of high-level defense officials, as well as meetings on peacekeeping operations, search and rescue, disaster relief, and environmental security. An important milestone was the mid-July visit of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Gen. Henry Shelton to India. He became the highest ranking U.S. military official to visit India since its nuclear tests and the first chairman of the JCS to ever visit India. Of particular significance was the announcement to revive the meetings of the Defense Policy Group (DPG), the key institution providing overall direction to defense cooperation between the two countries.
The DPG met Dec. 3-4, 2001 in New Delhi and announced a number of cooperative initiatives including training for combined humanitarian airlift, combined special operations training, small unit ground/air exercises, naval joint personnel exchange and familiarization, and combined training exercises between the U.S. Marines and corresponding Indian forces. The long-troubled defense supply relationship was also addressed. It was noted that the removal of sanctions had facilitated approval of a number of export license applications for such items as weapon locating radars. The U.S. also agreed to “expeditious review” of Indian requests for engines and systems for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), radars, and multi-mission maritime aircraft, among others. As part of an on-going effort to provide greater transparency and efficiency for the transfer of dual-use and military items, the U.S. and India agreed to establish a separate Security Cooperation Group “to manage the defense supply relationship.” All in all, the actual holding of the DPG after a five-year lapse provided the basis for more substantive defense cooperation in the future.
The good progress toward military cooperation did not mean an end to outstanding issues (e.g., India still refuses as of this writing to sign a General Security of Military Information Agreement [GSOMIA], which the U.S. sees as a basis for further cooperation) or controversy over such cooperation within India. Leftist political parties within India continued to criticize even the smallest indications of cooperation, such as the refueling of aircraft. And India’s main parliamentary opposition warned against cooperation with any country that would run counter to the country’s nonaligned policy. Still, the Indian government, unlike in the past, did not flinch from continuing cooperation despite this domestic criticism.
Improved U.S.-India military cooperation also does not mean a defense alliance is on the horizon. For example, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Peter Rodman stated “India is not going to become an ally of the United States. I think India values its independence. It values its nonalignment. So I don’t think anybody should expect that India is going to collude with us.” Adm. Blair, traveling in India, noted that the U.S. “is not looking for a defense treaty [with India]. We are looking for cooperation in security matters that serves the interests of both countries.” Media reports alleging that the U.S. and India were about to sign a military alliance were rejected by EAM Singh as “fiction.”
U.S.-India Relations After 9-11: The Pakistan, Kashmir, Terrorism Nexus
U.S.-India progress on the nuclear, sanction, and defense issues was significant. However, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., the revival of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in their aftermath, and terrorist attacks in India on Oct. 1 and again on Dec. 13, with attendant India-Pakistan tensions, clouded much of the progress.
India’s immediate response to the attacks against the United States was overwhelmingly and unexpectedly helpful and was warmly recognized by the Bush administration. But, before long, U.S.-Pakistan relations, Kashmir, and the terrorism issue began to impinge seriously on the U.S.-India relationship.
Even prior to the post-Sept. 11 “about face” in U.S.-Pakistan relations, U.S. officials made a point of emphasizing that Pakistan would not be ignored. On July 10, 2001, Adm. Blair stated that U.S. “military relations with India will not take place at the expense of relations with Pakistan. We do not intend to shift from being seen as a friend of Pakistan to being seen as friend of India.” And in late August, Asst. Secretary Rodman was quoted as saying “Our relationship with Pakistan is valuable to us. And I don’t think this administration is going to lose sight of that.” The sudden, unexpected revival of U.S.-Pakistan cooperation after Sept. 11 inevitably raised concerns in New Delhi. These concerns rose considerably in the aftermath of an attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly building in Srinagar on Oct. 1 and on India’s Parliament in the heart of the country’s capital on Dec. 13. India considered Pakistan complicit in these attacks and viewed Washington’s response as insufficiently cognizant of Pakistan’s role. Despite the Bush administration’s efforts to assuage Indian concerns on the Pakistan score (President Bush, on Dec. 12, the day before the attack on India’s Parliament, said that India and the U.S. “are increasingly aligned on a range of issues even as the U.S. works closely with Pakistan”), India’s bitterness about U.S. favoritism to Pakistan did not subside. On Jan. 6, EAM Singh said “Pakistan is an ally of the United States of America. Good luck to the United States of America.”
The events of Sept. 11, Oct. 1, and Dec. 13 also brought to the fore a long-running, sensitive, and complex issue in the U.S.-India relationship: terrorism. Despite the establishment in 2000 of a U.S.-India Counterterrorism Working Group, in April 2001 in this journal I predicted that cooperation would be “playing on a potentially sticky wicket” (see “Stuck in a Nuclear Narrative,” Comparative Connections, Vol. 3, No. 1). For the U.S., the risk was that anti-terrorism initiatives with India would embroil the U.S. in the “net of narrow India-Pakistan hostility.” Indians, meanwhile, were increasingly critical of U.S. unwillingness to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism or militant groups operating in Kashmir (e.g., the Lashkar-e-Tayyba (LET) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JEM)) as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). To Indians, the U.S. approach appeared highly selective. As India’s outspoken Defense Minister George Fernandes eerily stated in January 2000 following President Clinton’s Aug. 1998 firing of missiles into Afghanistan, “when it comes to [Usama] bin Laden, the United States fires not one but scores of missiles with high-precision technology. What the United States and the world need to realize is that terrorism understands no country borders. To overlook what is happening across the borders in India at the hands of Pakistan is not addressing the question.” The “terrorism disconnect” characterized U.S.-India interaction for much of the year, through Sept. 11 and even following the attacks on the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on Oct. 1.
The U.S. State Department’s release, on Apr. 30, of its annual Patterns of Global Terrorism report did little to allay Indian criticisms. Pakistan was not declared a state sponsor of terrorism. Neither the LET nor the JEM was designated an FTO. The words terrorism or terrorists were not used once in reference to the situation in Kashmir. Representative of the Indian response was an editorial entitled “All Bark, No Bite” though even this article conceded “[h]owever, as barks go, it is a louder one.” During Indian Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer’s mid-May visit to the U.S., she noted that the United Kingdom had named the LET a terrorist group and expressed “hope [that] sometime it will be done here too.” A statement emanating from the third meeting of the U.S.-India Counterterrorism Working Group on June 26 subtly echoed an Indian goal of “globalizing” the terrorist issue, saying the “two sides unequivocally condemned all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomever committed, and whatever the considerations that may be invoked to justify them.”
Following Sept. 11, the U.S. announced a revised list of 27 organizations and individuals for terrorism. An Indian spokesperson responded with the “hope [that] the list will be expanded as investigations go further … They [the U.S.] have made a beginning. The U.S. has listed one of the terrorist organizations operating in Kashmir.”
An Oct. 1 attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly is blamed on the Jaish-e-Muhammad, and implicitly Pakistan, by India. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s statement on the attack points to “manifestations of hate and terror from across its borders.” And he warns “[t]here is a limit to India’s patience.
But the most dramatic, and as of this writing, on-going, episode derived from the attack on India’s national Parliament in Delhi on Dec. 13. Several aspects of Washington’s response to this event irritated New Delhi. First, U.S. calls for restraint were criticized in India with the retort that the U.S. had not exercised such restraint after Sept. 11. Second, U.S. calls, echoing those of Pakistan, for India to share evidence of Pakistani complicity as India charged, were rejected. A member of India’s ruling BJP party, Vijay Malhotra, responded saying “Did the Americans share their evidence with the Taliban on al-Qaeda?” A third and broader Indian criticism was that the U.S. has double standards on terrorism. This sentiment was implicit in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ response to President Bush’s statement marking the 100th day after Sept. 11. Though thanking Bush for condemning the attacks on India, it added “the obligation of all nations to join this battle without adopting a selective approach [emphasis added].”
A fourth Indian criticism emanated from the otherwise positive U.S. step of naming the LET and the JEM as FTOs. India strongly objected to Secretary of State Colin Powell’s statement that the two groups’ terrorism was aimed at both India and Pakistan. Even more infuriating to Indians was President Bush and other administration official referring to the LET and the JEM as “stateless” terrorist organizations, seemingly taking Pakistan off the hook for its past support to Kashmiri militants. A fifth Indian criticism relates to administration praise for Gen. Perez Musharraf’s anti-terrorism steps and nudge to India to acknowledge those steps. President Bush, for example, said “I’m pleased to note that President Musharraf has announced the arrest of 50 extremists or terrorists. And I hope that India takes note of that, that the president is responding forcefully and actively to bring those who would harm others to justice.” Responding the next day, Prime Minister Vajpayee brushed off President Bush’s request to “take note” and reiterated that Pakistan must put an end to cross-border terrorism.
Sixth, the Indian government was cool to the idea of the U.S. sending a special envoy to the region. In an especially barbed comment, EAM Singh retorted “The United States of America has missions in New Delhi and Islamabad. Unless the missions are not up to the task, I don’t see the need for a special envoy.” Finally, India continued to resist U.S. entreaties to hold talks with Pakistan.
These specific differences arising out of the handling of the Dec. 13 incident are, of course, reflections of more fundamental divergences in U.S. and Indian views of Pakistan, Kashmir, and terrorism. Bridging these differences is unlikely to occur anytime soon.
Still, some narrowing of differences are visible. First, after years of back and forth on the issue, two major militant organizations are now on the U.S. terrorism list. Second, the U.S. has publicly brought pressure to bear on Pakistan to restrain militant groups and to show progress on arresting their members. Finally, the issue of terrorism is now squarely on the agenda of the U.S.-India dialogue about what is happening in Kashmir, even if it represents only one aspect of the situation in the troubled region.
As events at the end of 2001 proved, U.S.-India relations remain brittle. Notwithstanding the positive progress in bilateral relations on the nuclear issue, sanctions, and defense cooperation, if the tangled nexus of U.S. anti-terrorism and relations with Pakistan and Kashmir is not handled with the utmost care, U.S.-India relations are likely to have a cloudy future.
April — December 2001
Apr. 3, 2001: Forty-seven Republican and Democratic Congressmembers sign a letter to President Bush stating “it is essential that the U.S. re-engage India in a policy dialogue to make possible the lifting of sanctions.”
Apr. 5-6, 2001: External Affairs Minister and Defense Minister Jaswant Singh meets with the Bush administration for talks on economic issues, proliferation, trade, and regional and international security.
Apr. 18, 2001: Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alan Eastham visits India.
Apr. 30, 2001: The Bush administration names India and 11 other countries under the Super 301 legislation as unfair traders. The notification is part of annual review conducted by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
Apr. 30, 2001: The annual U.S. report Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000 does not declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) is not designated as a foreign terrorist organization. However, two other Kashmir militant groups are listed in the category of “other terrorist organizations.” Pakistan is criticized for increasing its support to the Taliban and for providing assistance to militant groups active in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Apr. 30-May 1, 2001: India’s Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha meets U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill in Washington on the sidelines of the annual World Bank/IMF meetings.
May 2, 2001: India responds favorably to many elements of President Bush’s missile defense speech at the National Defense University saying the speech is “highly significant and far-reaching.” “India believes that there is a strategic and technological inevitability in stepping away from a world that is held hostage by the doctrine of mutually assured destruction to a cooperative, defensive transition that is underpinned by further cuts and a de-alert of nuclear forces.”
May 5, 2001: India begins its largest military exercises (Complete Victory) in 13 years along the Pakistan border.
May 10-11, 2001: Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage visits India to discuss missile defense.
May 16, 2001: India is named as one of 52 countries of “primary concern” on a U.S. money laundering watch list.
May 17, 2001: The U.S. Energy Task Force led by Vice President Richard Cheney suggests “U.S. energy and state secretaries should work with India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to help it maximize its domestic oil and production.” It also suggests that sanctions should be reconsidered for countries important to energy security.
May 17, 2001: Christina Rocca, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia-designate, says “[m]y personal perception is that these sanctions have outlived their usefulness and that we need to find a new framework, and a new way to accomplish our nuclear concerns and get rid of the sanctions. The sanctions have to go.”
May 17, 2001: Indian Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer, in Washington for consultations with Under Secretary of State of Political Affairs Marc Grossman, notes the U.S. has so far not labeled the LET a terrorist group even though the United Kingdom has already done so.
June 26, 2001: Third Meeting of the Joint U.S.-India Counterterrorism Working Group is held in Washington.
June 29, 2001: Second meeting of the Joint Working Group on UN Peacekeeping is held in Washington. Special importance is “attached to the development of institutional linkages between the two countries on education and training on peacekeeping issues…”
June 30, 2001: National Security Advisor and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Brajesh Mishra holds discussions with the Bush administration in Washington.
July 11, 2001: India announces that the U.S. Army will participate in its Counter Insurgency Jungle Warfare School.
July 18-19, 2001: Army Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), visits India. He becomes the highest ranking U.S. military officer to visit India since the May 1998 nuclear tests and the first chairman of the JCS to ever visit India.
July 23-25 2001: Asst. Secretary Rocca visits New Delhi.
Aug. 8-10, 2001: USTR Robert Zoellick meets with Commerce Minister Maran in India. The two officials renew the U.S.-India Working Group on Trade. U.S. also grants India preferential trade access, enabling India to access trade worth about $540 million.
Aug. 17, 2001: A report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom criticizes India for its treatment of religious minorities and recommends a linkage between the protection of religious freedom and economic cooperation.
Aug. 21, 2001: Asst. Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Peter Rodman says “Our relationship with Pakistan is valuable to us. And I don’t think this administration is going to lose sight of that.” He also predicts that “India is not going to become an ally of the United States. I think India values its independence. It values its nonalignment. So I don’t think anybody should expect that India is going to collude with us.”
Aug. 24, 2001: Sen. Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a letter to President Bush, writes that sanctions against India have “outlived their usefulness and may paradoxically by impeding nonproliferation efforts rather than aiding them.” Biden also emphasized that his call was for lifting sanctions only applied to the post-1998 Glenn amendment stipulations.
Aug. 30, 2001: Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Lalit Mansingh meets Adm. Blair in Hawaii to discuss military cooperation possibilities.
Sept. 11, 2001: Terrorists attack the U.S.
Sept. 14, 2001: India’s Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, in a nationally televised address, says “I have assured President Bush that we stand ready to cooperate in the investigations into this crime and to strengthen our partnership in leading international efforts to ensure that terrorism never succeeds again.”
Sept. 22, 2001: President Bush signs a Presidential Determination waiving sanctions on India and Pakistan.
Sept. 25, 2001: India welcomes U.S. decision to freeze the bank accounts and assets of 26 terrorist organizations but expresses hope that the list will be expanded as investigations go further.
Sept. 25-26, 2001: NSA Brajesh Mishra meets U.S. counterpart Condoleezza Rice in Washington.
Sept. 29, 2001: Responding to a report of a U.S. military transport aircraft landing and refueling in Delhi, India’s opposition Congress Party says, “We should not allow Indian soil to be used by foreign troops to attack a third country.”
Oct. 1, 2001: A car bomb attack is conducted outside the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly building killing 29 people.
Oct. 1-2, 2001: EAM Singh meets senior Bush administration officials in Washington.
Oct. 2, 2001: PM Vajpayee writes President Bush expressing “understandable anger” at the attack and “Pakistan must understand that there is a limit to the patience of the people of India.”
Oct. 16-17, 2001: Secretary of State Colin L. Powell visits India; India and the U.S. sign a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty to facilitate cooperation on law enforcement and counter-terrorism.
Nov. 5, 2001: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld meets Defense Minister George Fernandes in India.
Nov. 6, 2001:The USS O’BRIEN, patrolling the Arabian Sea in support of “Operation Enduring Freedom,” visits the Indian port of Chennai.
Nov. 7-9, 2001: PM Vajpayee meets with President Bush in Washington. The two leaders announce several measures to enhance relations, including the expansion and intensification of the U.S.-India Economic Dialogue through greater private sector interaction in the fields of energy and environment, a joint cyber-terrorism initiative, and the start of discussion on civil space cooperation.
Nov. 27-30, 2001: USCINCPAC Blair visits India to discuss defense cooperation, Adm. Blair says that joint U.S.-India military exercises might resume in the “near future, weeks and months, not years.”
Dec. 3-4, 2001: The U.S. and India reinitiate the Defense Policy Group (DPG) after a five-year lapse. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith leads the U.S. delegation. A Joint Technical Group meeting, bringing together officials from the defense research and production facilities of the two countries, is also held on the sidelines of the DPG.
Dec. 4, 2001: Director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State Richard Haass visits New Delhi.
Dec. 12, 2001: India tests an improved short-range, nuclear-capable Prithvi missile.
Dec. 12, 2001 President Bush, in a major address on U.S. defense and anti-terrorism policies, says that “India and the U.S. are increasingly aligned on a range of issues even as the U.S. works closely with Pakistan.”
Dec. 13, 2001: Five armed men attack India’s Parliament building in New Delhi. A total of 14 persons are killed including all five of the attackers.
Dec. 15-17, 2001: The U.S. and Indian navies conduct a joint search and rescue operation in the Arabian Sea, the first joint military exercise since sanctions were imposed following India’s nuclear tests in May 1998.
Dec. 21, 2001: President Bush says “I call upon President Musharraf to take decisive action against Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammed, and other terrorist organizations, their leaders, finances, and activities.”
Dec. 21, 2001: India recalls its envoy to Pakistan for the first time in 30 years and ends bus and train service between the two countries.
Dec. 24, 2001: Pakistan freezes the LET’s bank accounts. India accuses LET of involvement in the Dec. 13 attack on India’s Parliament.
Dec. 24, 2001: LET’s leader, a Pakistani national, announces he will step down in favor of a Kashmiri.
Dec. 25, 2001: LET closes its office in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Dec. 25, 2001: Pakistan’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Rashid Qureshi confirms that authorities have detained Maulana Masood Azhar, leader of the JEM. India has called for him to be extradited to India to stand trial.
Dec. 26, 2001: The U.S. places the LET and the JEM on the State Department’s terrorism list. Secretary Powell, in making the announcement, said that the two groups were responsible for “numerous terrorist attacks in India and Pakistan.”
Dec. 27, 2001: EAM Singh rejects Secretary Powell’s suggestion that India and Pakistan engage in dialogue, saying “It’s not practical or possible at this point and I’ve told him.”
Dec. 27, 2001: India reportedly moves short-range ballistic missiles, technically capable of carrying nuclear warheads, closer to the border with Pakistan.
Dec. 28, 2001 India announces the closing of transportation links with Pakistan. Pakistan responds in kind.
Dec. 28, 2001: President Bush praises Pakistan’s decision to arrest 50 militants and calls on India to recognize favorably Pakistan’s action.
Dec. 29, 2001: President Bush telephones Indian and Pakistani leaders. According to a White House spokesman, President Bush asks Pakistan to “take additional strong and decisive measures to eliminate the extremists who seek to harm India, undermine Pakistan, and provoke war.”
Dec. 31, 2001: Reportedly, Hafiz Muhammed Saeed, founder of the Army of Pure LET group, which India claims was involved in the Dec. 13 attack on the Indian Parliament building in New Delhi, is arrested “for making inflammatory speeches to incite people to violate law and order.” India’s response was guarded: “The arrest of the militant chief was for making inflammatory speeches against Pakistan. The bottom line here is terrorism.”
Dec. 31, 2001: President Bush says that President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan is “cracking down hard. The fact that [Musharraf] is after terrorists is a good sign.”