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National Observer Home > No. 61 - Winter 2004 > Articles

America and South Asia Since September 11

Dr. Sharif Shuja

For fifty-five years, U.S. relationships with Pakistan and India have been a seesaw - as one goes up, the other goes down. Historically, Pakistan has had the closest relationship with the United States. Relations became strained because of Pakistan's nuclear programme and its role in the Kashmir issue. But since 11 September 2001, U.S. relations with Pakistan have blossomed. And over the past few years, India and the United States have also been getting on better than ever. So, for the first time, America's relationship with both sides is on the upswing at the same time, and also for the first time, both Pakistan and India are U.S. allies in the same war on terrorism. This gives Washington real leverage. Both these states are important in U.S. defence calculations.1

The United States cannot abandon a strategically important nation like Pakistan. Millions of dollars have been paid to Pakistan in repayment for its support for the U.S. attack on Afghanistan. U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan are still hunting for Al-Qaeda militants, while President Pervez Musharraf has already cracked down on madrassas (religious schools) and changed the country's electoral system.2 Washington hopes that Pakistan under Musharraf will not only continue to help its war efforts, but will also back away from being a centre of militant and political Islam.

At the same time the United States cannot ignore India, the world's biggest democracy. Joint exercises have been conducted between the United States and Indian forces near Agra and the United States has also indicated it will supply modern military equipment to India. Both countries have something to hope for. Musharraf is pulling Pakistan back from the brink of state failure, whilst India is aiming to be a major economic force and a key global power.

By analysing the role of the United States in the security of South Asia after the 11 September 2001 event, this article aims to demonstrate that the increasing U.S. involvement in South Asia has reduced the likelihood of a conflict between India and Pakistan.

U.S.- Pakistan Relations

With a total active armed force exceeding 600,000 and a reserve of more than half a million, Pakistan has one of the ten largest armed forces in the world. It also has the world's eighth largest nuclear weapons capability with its Ghauri missile having a range of 1500 kilometres. However, its nuclear command and control system is fairly primitive - it is vulnerable, has little redundancy and poor technical capability, and invites pre-emption in a crisis situation. It also raises the spectre of inadvertent or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons.

There is no denying the fact that anti-U.S. sentiments prevail in Pakistan stemming from a belief that the Americans have been unreliable allies. There is also widespread resentment against U.S. support for Israel and the U.S.-led bombing of Iraq. Thus, cooperating with the United States in the war on terrorism is unpopular in many parts of Pakistan, greatly adding to the political stress within the country. Recent bombings in Islamabad and Karachi illustrate these points.

Yet Pakistan's military regime appears to be stable. There is no imminent danger of the Islamists even significantly undermining the existing power structure. But years of bad governance, coupled with corruption and a feudal mentality, have created fissures within Pakistani society that could be exacerbated by the present conflict.

General Musharraf holds the liberal view that Pakistan's ills are a result of the presence of fundamentalists and a corrupt ruling class. The remedies are to disperse power, crack down on extremists, establish the rule of law and encourage private enterprise. It is possible that he shares the Western worry that, if reforms fail, extremists will take over. So the pressing need is to control huge numbers of Islamic militants within Pakistan. These groups initially were part of a conscious Pakistani policy of encouraging Jihad against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Educated in their respective brands of Islam, these groups have presented Islam as an alternative model of political organisation to Pakistani youth. Unable to find employment, a number of these are listening to the message and joining militant groups.

General Musharraf has taken steps to combat Islamic extremism, targeting key leaders and moving against the madrassas, which were a breeding ground for fighters in Kashmir and Afghanistan under the Taliban. He has also banned many extremist Jihadi bodies, and more recently, the military regime has begun to impose some controls on groups supporting Jihad in Kashmir with prohibition of public fundraising.

The fact that Pakistan's law enforcement agencies have been working in unison with their American counterparts in search of terrorists is a source of immense satisfaction for those Pakistanis who value freedom. In view of Pakistan's meagre resources and its relatively less sophisticated law-enforcement apparatus , its Government should consider the American offer of assistance as a blessing. It will go a long way towards the establishment of a terror-free society in Pakistan and should serve the national security interests of both countries.

Despite Pakistan's support for the United States in the war on terrorism and President George W. Bush's continuing public expressions of support for Musharraf, Islamabad faces mounting criticism from within the Bush Administration. The anti-proliferation lobby in Washington and some members of the U.S. Congress are reportedly demanding that Pakistan be punished for allegedly aiding North Korea's nuclear weapons programme. On 25 November 2002, Colin Powell stated Washington's viewpoint clearly: "I have made it clear to Musharraf that any, any sort of contact between Pakistan and North Korea we believe would be improper, inappropriate and would have consequences."3

For now, a rift between the United States and Pakistan is unlikely as long as the United States faces threats from Al-Qaeda and tensions between India and Pakistan exist. The United States will continue to figure importantly in Pakistan's foreign policy. The general feeling seems to be that Pakistan would like to have even closer relations with Washington. The latter can, after all, guarantee Pakistan's security as well as its economic well-being. General Mirza Aslam Beg, former chief of the Pakistan army, said:4

"We should try to develop good relations with the Americans, as there is no sense in antagonising them. We must learn to realise that there is no third force to intervene, if the United States decides to teach a lesson to Pakistan."

This indicates that the United States figures importantly in Pakistan's security matters. The South Asian region has witnessed a high level of insecurity ever since the region became independent from colonial rule. The main problem in Indo-Pakistan relations has been that of the security dilemma, a condition where any increase in a country's security arouses fear in the hearts of its adversaries, thereby leading to a reduction in its security. The long-running dispute between Pakistan and India over Kashmir threatened in 2002 to bring these two countries to war. The Indian government took an aggressive posture and deployed more than a million troops, backed by heavy artillery and a formidable array of air power, along the 2,880 kilometre Line of Control. Pakistan responded by similarly deploying troops along the border. As India threatened war, Pakistan declared its readiness to retaliate.

India declared a nuclear "no-first-use" policy, but Pakistan indicated it was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend its territory. In other words, the message clearly indicated that if Pakistan's existence were threatened, it was likely to use nuclear weapons. Alarmed by the rapid escalation in tensions, the United States and the international community called for restraint on both sides. U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, visited India and Pakistan in July 2002 to reassure South Asian leaders that Washington has their interests in mind. Powell met with the leaders of both countries, but came away with no concrete agreement to solve the Kashmir problem. However, the increased U.S. mediation and involvement did help to reduce the likelihood of a war between India and Pakistan, though he acknowledged it would take a long-term effort by the United States to help the two neighbouring countries bridge their differences over Kashmir.

The causes of the underlying hostility are political, not military or nuclear. Military and nuclear preparations add to the existing political hostility. They can never be the methods or mechanisms for the resolution of such political tensions. Only by first shifting the political foundations of this situation can we hope to decrease nuclear tensions, not the other way round. High-ranking military officers in Pakistan recognise that peace with India is a necessity.5 Indeed, it is often heard that only peace can enable both countries to develop to their full potential.

Three schools of thought on India have existed in Pakistan's decision-making circles. These are, (1) an orthodox school of thought; (2) an Islamist school of thought and (3) a moderate school of thought. As to (1), those belonging to the orthodox school of thought view India as being unconditionally hostile to Pakistan. Drawing upon examples from the tortured history of Indo-Pakistan relations, they argue that India has never accepted the reality of Pakistan. Nor is it willing to accept Pakistan as an "equal" in the region. As to (2), the Islamists in Pakistani decision-making circles have shared the notion of unconditional Indian hostility with the orthodox group. But their perspective expands to include the idea of a Hindu India collaborating with the Christian West and Jewish Israel to weaken Muslim states. Pakistan, as one of the most populous Muslim states with a nuclear capability, is seen as a primary target for this collusion. Countering this threat, in their view, requires multiple strategies at various levels. They advocate alliances among Muslim states at the international level. At the regional level, Islamic solidarity encompasses the notion of strategic depth acquired through close relationship with Iran and Afghanistan with an aim of countering the Indian threat. Kashmir occupies a special place in this Islamic perspective. It is seen as the arena of brutal Hindu suppression of Muslim demands for independence as well as evidence of international hypocrisy.

The Islamists argue that Pakistan has a religious and moral responsibility to support the Kashmiri struggle against the Indian occupation so that they can finally join Pakistan. Meanwhile, however, the support for the "freedom struggle" is seen as providing strategic value to Pakistan as well. Keeping India engaged and tied down in Kashmir is expected to reduce its ability to pose a threat to Pakistan's security.

These views stand in marked contrast to those held by the moderate/liberal elements in Pakistani decision-making circles, referred to in (3). The latter do not consider India to be "unconditionally hostile" towards Pakistan. Rather, in their view, Indian hostility can be modified and controlled by a mix of appropriate military capability and engagement with New Delhi. These groups have urged cooperation and engagement with India. The need for such engagement, in their opinion, has increased as Pakistan's economic situation has deteriorated. These groups have been concerned about the increased defence spending at the expense of social-welfare sectors of the economy, as well as the deterioration of the Pakistani economy and its repercussions for the stability of the state.

Focusing on the agenda of economic reconstruction, they have encouraged policies aimed at reducing the level of tension between the two states. In this context, they have supported increasing the frequency and scope of people-to-people contacts between the two societies. More importantly, they have suggested the need to amicably resolve the Kashmir dispute. The moderates have advocated a resolution of the dispute in a manner that satisfies both India and Pakistan and is also in line with the wishes of the Kashmiris. Instead of following a rigid stand, they support an exploration of alternatives that might enable the two South Asian states to reach a resolution. Such a policy, the moderates have argued, would enable Pakistan to focus on the agenda of economic reconstruction. Furthermore, it would ensure that Pakistan is not diplomatically isolated in a rapidly changing international environment. These views on India have been mirrored in Pakistani civil society.6

These views of the moderate/liberal groups on the nature of Indian hostility draw attention to Indian analysts. For a number of years, some Indian analysts have been arguing that a linkage exists between Pakistani and Indian security. A weakening Pakistan, in their view, could have repercussions for India including the revival of fissiparous tendencies among some states. To avoid such an eventuality, they have always favoured a correct if not cordial relationship between the two South Asian states.

This view is supported by business groups, which highlight the economic complementarity between the two states.7 They argue that an economically integrated or cooperative South Asia would be able to play a stronger role in the global economy than a divided region. These considerations have emerged as India is poised now to take up its role as an aspiring great power.

However, the process faces many impediments. In India, despite the emphasis being placed by the Indian government on adopting a moderate position, a number of opposing ideas continue to exist. For some, Pakistan has yet to give up its claim to the Two-Nation Theory. Others maintain that Pakistan has been meddling into Indian affairs, especially in Kashmir,8 and that it therefore needs to be either totally ignored or taught a lesson. Still others oppose the idea of finding a solution to the Kashmir issue in a manner that involves Pakistan as a party. They argue that the continuing violence in Kashmir has only harmed the Indian side and not the militants who have been spared targeting by Indian law enforcement agencies. Similar hard-line views also abound in Pakistan.9

It must be noted that, just as the Kashmir issue is deeply rooted in Indian domestic politics in the sense that its independence would not only radicalise other Indian Muslims but also encourage other separatist movements in India, it is also a very significant matter for Pakistan. It is so closely related to the national identity of Pakistan that no Pakistani political leader could refrain from backing the Kashmiri separatist cause and survive politically. Therefore, a resolution of the Kashmir problem is not easily attainable unless India respects the demand of the Kashmir people for free self-determination.

Indo-U.S. Relations

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War brought dramatic changes to the political and security alliances of India. Many years ago, India signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union and received substantial arms from Moscow, but India can no longer rely on Russia for economic assistance, military and diplomatic support. India made the decision in 1991 to begin the search for independence and new directions in its foreign policy - that is a "looking West" posture. Many Indians believe that its regional pre-eminence - in size, centrality, defence capability, substantial economic development, and political stability - is a positive factor that would help consolidate Indo-U.S. relations. In fact, India became an ally of the United States in the war on terrorism after 11 September 2001.

The United States wishes to gain free access to the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, which is possible only with Indian collaboration. America, therefore, feels that it is in its own interests to convert India into a powerful regional force, which suits India perfectly, as their interests are converging and supportive of each other. The latter is, therefore, making desperate attempts to seek a close military and economic relationship with the United States to recover from the setback it received as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

America's tilt towards India was first witnessed in December 1990, with the visit of a sizeable American defence delegation. It was led by Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security, Henry Rowen, who held talks with his Indian counterpart. This was followed in August 1991 by the visit of an Indian delegation to the United States, led by General Sunil Francis Rodrigues, the Indian chief of staff. The prospect of closer military cooperation between India and America received a further boost in October 1991, when Admiral Charles Larson, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific command, visited India. Again, in January 1992, discussion in Delhi between Lt. General John Crons, commanding general of the U.S. army in the Pacific, and Admiral Frank Kelso, chief of naval operations, and senior Indian military officers cleared the ground for a long-term "forces to forces" level relationship. In these exchanges, negotiations on a range of security areas, where both sides could cooperate for mutual benefit, were discussed and proposed.

To a significant degree, the strength of the relationship between India and the United States can be traced to the vigour of the relationship at the unofficial level. Migration of Indians to the United States, many of whom have become prominent in scientific, business and academic circles, has played an especially important role in the development of the relationship.10

At the official level, some influential Indian Americans who are currently serving the Bush Administration are helpful in further strengthening the relationship. The number of Indians serving the current administration in various capacities has steadily grown over the past year.11 "Washington wants to make New Delhi not just a regional ally, but a global partner",12 said the U.S. Ambassador to India, Robert D. Blackwill. In other words, the message is that the Bush Administration has sought to engage India on the wide range of issues that currently confront the international community. No matter what the issue, whether it be counter-terrorism, national defence, international commerce or preventing H.I.V./A.I.D.S., the President has looked to India as a partner.

The most topical area of this partnership is in military-to-military relations, and these offer an impressive illustration of the way in which Indo-U.S. ties are moving from the discussion stage to active cooperation. For example, near Agra, Indian paratroopers and American special operations forces recently participated in their largest-ever joint army and air exercises since India's independence. The specific goal of the exercise was to conduct joint parachute training and mutual familiarisation with small arms. Even though this joint exercise is an important milestone, it is only the latest indicator of the impressive growth in military cooperation between India and the United States. The U.S. and Indian Navies have also conducted exercises, and U.S. Navy ships have made seven port visits to India in the past few months. These indicate that Indian and U.S. military forces are now actively developing the capability to work together effectively. Such cooperative activity between military organisations is a normal aspect of relations between friendly countries.

The U.S. Defence Policy Group was also revived in December 2002. It provides the framework for planning and coordination of American military relationships. Within that framework, other bodies, such as the Executive Steering Groups for the Army, Navy and Air Force and functional working groups, have discussed technological, research and development cooperation, sales and licensing issues and peace-keeping operations. The defence supply relationship between Indian and American authorities has been notable in that it involves the private sector as well as government.

Clearly, the events of 11 September 2001 changed the dynamics of U.S.-India defence relations. This was reflected in an interview with The Hindu on 3 May 2003 by the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, who once again emphasised the growing bilateral defence relationship, saying that India had "been very helpful in assisting with logistics and flights, and that what was significant was that this relationship was now astronomically different from what it had been a year ago".13 He further said, "We love the idea of being able to call on occasion on Indian ports, naval ships . . . We hope it will be good for U.S.-India relations".14 The United States is also supplying India advanced military aircraft.

On the other hand, allaying apprehensions from some sections of Indian politicians, Ambassador Blackwill has made it clear that the United States has no intention of stationing U.S. troops permanently in India. Regarding Indian military acquisitions from Russia, the U.S. attitude is that "India was a free country and as such it was free to acquire defence systems from any country",15 Mr. Blackwill continued. India has maintained a pattern of dual supply: the bulk of the aircraft come from Russia, but the cutting edge component is supplied from the West. Old Soviet equipment from Russia is still value-for-money in India. India continues to develop its nuclear arms programme with foreign assistance, mainly from Russia. It relies on foreign assistance for key missile technologies, where it still lacks engineering or production expertise. India also continues to modernise its armed forces through advanced conventional weapons, mostly from Russia. New Delhi has received its first two MiG-21-93 fighter aircraft, and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd will now begin the licensed upgrading of 123 more aircraft.

Russia is the main supplier of technology and equipment. India concluded an $800 million contract with Russia for 310 T-905 main battle tanks, as well as a smaller contract for KA-31 helicopters. New Delhi is also negotiating with Russia for nuclear submarines and an aircraft carrier, having also signed a $270 million contract with Israel for the Barak-1 missile defence systems. In addition, Russia has proposed selling the long range S300V surface-to-air missile system to New Delhi. The offer was reportedly renewed during President Vladimir Putin's visit to India in December 2002. This defensive shield is claimed to be capable of detecting and destroying aerial targets, including missiles from a long distance in all weather conditions, to protect vital installations.

The United States no longer views its relationship with India primarily through the prism of its relations with other countries in the region. Given the improvement in U.S.-Russian relations, the United States now appears to have no objections to Russia being India's largest supplier of military hardware. In other words, the United States, finally, is acknowledging the legitimacy of India's pursuit of an independent foreign policy; while there will be close politico-strategic-military ties between India and the U.S., there will be no "alliance" relationship.

India is now interested in buying the Arrow Weapon System from Israel, which is being developed jointly by Israel and the United States to intercept short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles. India considers itself an ideal candidate for the Arrow system, given the possibility of missile threats from both China and Pakistan. A missile defence system could help prevent either country from blackmailing India on the nuclear issue. Since Arrow is defensive in nature, Indian officials claim, it would be unlikely to change the strategic balance in the region.

One obvious function of the system would be to defend against Pakistan's Ghauri and Shaheen missiles, which can be fitted with nuclear warheads. Although the Arrow is primarily a defensive system, it is also powerful enough to propel a 500-kilogram payload about 300 kilometres. Many South Asia analysts believe a decision to sell the Arrow to New Delhi would prompt Pakistan to boost its offensive capability to counter India's defensive shield, or begin seeking ways to get its own version of missile defence.

India disputes the contention that the sale has anything to do with proliferation, repeating that the system is defensive, not offensive. For some in New Delhi, the decision on the Arrow sale is a test of the U.S. commitment to better relations with India. However, many analysts argue that giving the Arrow to India would escalate the competition for arms in the region. This episode once more highlights the difficult path the United States faces as it attempts to deepen its relationship with India without upsetting Pakistan. Brahma Chellaney, an Indian strategic affairs expert and author of Nuclear Proliferation : The U.S.-Indian Conflict (1993) thinks that the United States is taking a pro-Pakistan stand in formulating its South Asia policy.16 But a close examination of U.S. policy in the past and present would reveal that the United States is neither pro-Pakistan nor pro-India, it is only pro-America. In the 1950s the United States recruited Pakistan as an ally in its cold war against the Soviet Union. But it also became a major aid donor to India. Indians remember how U.S. arms militarised South Asian politics, but they forget or, mostly do not know of, the massive U.S. assistance in modernizing the Indian education system and triggering the green revolution in agriculture. In 1980, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan compelled the United States to revitalise its failing relations with Pakistan. But even while bolstering and using Pakistan to fight its war against the Russians, the United States did not ignore India. Washington declared itself ready to export some weapons systems to India and offered to ease Indian access to some kinds of high-tech equipment, especially computers.

The United States now has a different kind of difficulty. The current Indian government is so pro-United States that Washington's problem is in keeping New Delhi at an arm's length so as not to alarm Pakistan. This was evident from two episodes in 2001. First, as soon as the Bush Administration declared it was developing a National Missile Defence, New Delhi rushed to be the first, anywhere in the world, to welcome its stand. Secondly, following the September 11 attack, when the United States readied to attack Afghanistan, the Vajpayee government beat Pakistan to the draw in offering Indian military bases and facilities to the United States. Though grateful, Washington declined since the offer would have been impractical and Pakistan, being willing, was much more important an actor as against Afghanistan.

So now, as U.S. forces operate out of Pakistani bases, the Americans ensure that New Delhi is kept happy by allowing Indian Navy offshore patrol vessels to escort American ships through the Strait of Malacca. The United States, as a truly great power, wants to be seen as being friendly to all South Asian countries, not just India or Pakistan. The United States is only taking a pro-American stand.


By examining the international dynamics of South Asia as well as the ongoing role of the United States in the security of Pakistan and India after September 11, we have demonstrated that the increasing U.S. involvement in the region has reduced the likelihood of conflict between India and Pakistan.

The Pakistani government's views are that it needs to engage the United States in a continuing positive and cordial relationship. The ultimate objectives of this engagement are manifold: they include preventing Washington from adopting an Indo-centric policy in South Asia, if possible playing a mediatory role between India and Pakistan, or at least introducing an element of restraint in New Delhi's foreign policy vis-à-vis Islamabad. Finally, a cordial relationship with the United States is seen as ensuring a continued supply of the necessary financial inputs for Pakistan's struggling economy.

The United States will continue to figure prominently in Pakistan's defence and security policies. The general view is that Pakistan would like to have even closer relations with the United States, which could help to guarantee Pakistan's security as well as its economic well-being. Washington hopes that Pakistan under Musharraf will not only help its war effort, but will also back away from being a center of militant and political Islam.

Similarly, Indo-U.S. relations will continue to grow. In India's view, its regional pre-eminence - in size, centrality, defence capability - is a positive factor that would help consolidate future Indo-U.S. ties. India, meanwhile, is aiming to be a major economic force and key global power. It needs U.S. support, and its closer diplomatic relations with the United States will serve the national security interests of both countries. The future basis of the triangular relationship between the United States, India and Pakistan should be dependent upon strategic cooperation.

 1. The importance of India and Pakistan in U.S. defence calculations was illustrated in a candid address given at Deakin University's Security Studies seminar in Melbourne on 18 July 2002 by Professor Aaron L. Friedberg. Professor Friedberg, who directs Princeton University's Research Programme in International Security, spoke on "Changing Great Power Relations in East Asia with the War on Terrorism". He said that following the September 11 events, the United States is improving relations with Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and India, while further strengthening relations with its allies such as Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Pakistan. He also remarked that the United States wants both India and Pakistan as U.S. allies, and has initiated a formula of keeping their Indian and Pakistani commitments out of each other's way - all activities in Pakistan are coordinated through the Florida-based Central Command, while India is handled by the Pacific Command, headquartered in Hawaii.

 2. Mir Zafrullah Khan Jamali, a politician who has served military regimes in the past as a federal minister and has pledged to continue President Musharraf's foreign and economic policies, became the country's first elected prime minister since Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999.

 3. Cited in Far Eastern Economic Review, 5 December 2002, page 23.

 4. General Mirza Aslam Beg, "Balancing of Power Paradigm and Pakistan's Security Problems", in Foreign Policy Debate: The Years Ahead, ed. Tarik Jan (Islamabad: Institute of Policy Studies, 1993), page 139. Also see Robert G. Wirsing, Pakistan's Security Under Zia (London: Macmillan, 1991).

 5. Interviews by the author with government officials and strategic analysts in Islamabad, February 2003.

 6. Interviews by the author with various Pakistani journalists, bureaucrats and think tank officials in Islamabad, March 2003.

 7. Interviews of the author with officials of the Pakistani Chamber of Commerce in Karachi, March 2003.

 8. See, for example, J. Mohan Malik, "The Kashmir Dispute: India and Pakistan in Conflict", Current Affairs Bulletin, Vol. 67, No. 6 (November 1990), pages 15-20; Sumit Ganguly, The Crisis in Kashmir (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), and K.S. Bajpai, "Kashmir: A Question of Nationhood", The Hindustan Times, 28 June 1990.

 9. For details, see Sharif Shuja, "The Conflict in Kashmir", Contemporary Review, Vol. 281, No. 1641 (October 2002), pages 220-226.

10. Many Indians who migrate to the U.S. retain close links with India. Many more receive their advanced education in the United States and then return to India. Such links are of considerable value in the development of India's more sophisticated technologies. For example, Abdul Kalam, who was in charge of the Agni rocket programme (now President of India), and five other scientists spent some time studying at N.A.S.A. An example of the significance of this type of interchange may be seen in the report of the U.S. National Science Foundation, Indian Scientific Strengths: Selected Opportunities for Indo-U.S. Cooperation (Washington D.C., 1987). The report advocated closer links in a number of important areas in science and technology. Its members included a number of U.S. Indians prominent in scientific and business circles.

11. Some of these key appointees are: Karan K. Bhatia, deputy under-secretary for industry and security, Department of Commerce; Neil Patel, Assistant to Vice-President Dick Cheney for special projects and staff secretary; Gopal Khanna, chief information officer and chief financial officer at the Peace Corps; Amit Sachdev, associate commissioner for legislative affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services; Dr Zach Zachariah, Commissioner on the President's advisory commission on Asian-Americans and Pacific islanders; Dr. Vijaya L Appareddy, Commissioner on the President's committee on mental retardation; Dr. George Thomas, member, national heart, lung and blood advisory council of the National Institute of Health; Dr. Anil Godbole, Commissioner, new freedom commission on mental health; Dinkerrai Desai, advisory member on the commission for environmental co-operation; and Mala Krishnamoorti, senior legislative officer in the office of congressional and inter-governmental affairs at the Department of Labour. For details, see Ashish Kumar Sen, "All the President's men and women", Sunday Times of India (Mumbai), 27 July 2003, page 3.

12. News Weekly, 31 May 2003, page 16.

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid.

16. Cited in Sunday Times of India, 27 April 2003, page 12.

National Observer No. 61 - Winter 2004