Non-Conventional Threats to Security: Threat from the Proliferation of Light Weapons and Narcotics

-Tara Kartha, Research Officer, IDSA


Defining the Problem

The nature of war appears to have undergone a change. While most officers of regular Armies can expect to retire without ever having "fought a war" in the conventional sense, yet enlisted men in over 40 countries are engaged in a debilitating and manpower intensive contest against rag-tag groups of men armed with weapons that are of low technology and low cost. Some of these have been carrying on for the span of a state's existence, but have recently acquired new lethality. State forces accustomed to fighting militants armed with .303s or the odd SLR (self-loading rifles) that they could steal, are now definitely at a disadvantage as irregulars are able to use rapid fire automatic rifles and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) which leaves the serviceman at a definite disadvantage.

While the nature of war has indeed brought in that new entity "the non-state actor" fighting with weapons that were once considered by strategists as beneath notice, other factors that contribute to war remain depressingly similar to the well worn practices of the past. In Southern Asia, covert arming as "an extension of policy by other means" continues--indeed, the war in Afghanistan has gone on for nearly two decades with more than $8 billion worth of weapons of all kinds being supplied by interested parties. Even more repetitive of past strategies is the fact that narcotics, once the weapon of the British to maim the Chinese, while making money besides, continue to be used to fund war and covert operations. The beginnings of systematic drug production in both Myanmar and Afghanistan can be traced to the policies of intelligence agencies, who worked hand in glove with militant groups in getting the deadly opiates out into international markets. Myanmar can thank the Americans for having given narcotics a truly international reach, while in Afghanistan, drug production continues to rise as the war reaches a crucial phase.

Governments everywhere, especially in developing countries (perhaps encouraged by academia) call these conflicts "non-military threats" thus passing the buck to Home Ministries who try to handle the problem with the limited forces entrusted to them. At present in Southern Asia, more than two hundred and sixty thousand1 troops are engaged in fighting these "non military threats." This paper uses the term "non- conventional threat" to more adequately describe the nature of the threat now facing the state, from a variety of actors that includes not only militants bent on separatist activity, but a whole host of others of criminal leaning. Where once para-military forces like the Border Troops had to confront only intrepid smugglers armed with a few pistols, now the list includes a wide variety of criminals all well armed--poachers, smugglers, drug runners, often operating in close proximity with militants returning from safe havens in other countries. Such forces that the state can muster, are usually unequipped and untrained to handle the virtual "small armies" that such actors are now able to field. This results in the regular Army being called in to "aid the civil authorities"--a move that most Armies dislike intensely, due to the fact that once these militants and criminals cross the border, their natural environment is the town, where their peculiar form of urban warfare leaves even mechanised infantry completely at their mercy. What is essentially a police operation, turns into a military one because the militant has now armed himself beyond the capability of the para-military forces.

The basic problem, therefore, remains one of a massive availability of light weapons that allows free rein not only to the activities of intelligence agencies, but also to a network of organised crime and other transnational actors, whose tentacles reach well beyond this region. In the process, the two become intertwined, making it difficult to see where the activities of the one stop and of the other begin. The response to non-conventional threats naturally, therefore, has to be diverse, traversing the entire gamut from border controls to global measures to limit the flow of weapons to the international market. This paper looks firstly at the nature of the problem in Southern Asia, and then deals with the sources of the diffusion of weapons and drugs and its effects on conflict in India. Clearly, the problem of proliferation is hardly limited to India or this region, and indeed the Indian Ocean region seems to be rife with conflicts generated at least in part by the proliferation of drugs and weapons that is seriously affecting the growth of entire nations. Thus, the objective is not only to focus attention on the problem in national security terms, but also to evolve policy alternatives at regional, bilateral or international levels.

The Indian Ocean Region and Southern Asia

Southern Asia encompasses within it three of the top narcotics producers in the world-Myanmar, Afghanistan and Pakistan (Laos remains outside the regional framework). Within it are produced at least 3,405 metric tons of narcotics worth an estimated $205 billion in the international market. All the conflicts in Southern Asia are intertwined with the movement of narcotics. In the post-Cold War world, regional actors like Pakistan have opted for the policies of the "Cold War warriors," using narcotics to fund proxy wars in the neighbourhood, even while intelligence agencies profit from their spread. With the considerably enhanced funding available to them, intelligence agencies have expanded their activities to include a whole network of smugglers and drug runners involved in operations that are necessarily transnational in their scope. For instance, the criminal mafia in Bombay are linked to networks in the Middle East, Singapore and Bangkok, while drug cartels in Pakistan liaise with Russian and Middle Eastern networks. Given that these smuggling networks operate into neighbouring countries, it is no surprise to observe that almost all armed conflicts, especially in Southern Asia,* occur on the borders of countries. Myanmar, the largest producer of opium in the world had until recently no borders to speak of, in as much as Rangoon certainly did not control them. The Pakistan-Afghanistan border has almost ceased to exist, while in Kashmir and Punjab, the most concentrated militant activity was found along the borders.

Within Southern Asia are also at least two "weapon warehouses." Afghanistan remains the world's largest repository of weapons not produced by itself, while Thailand continues to be a source for the weapons now flowing out of Cambodia and Vietnam. All conflicts in the region owe their present sources of weapons to these two arms markets which are basically the result of irresponsible Cold War policies. These policies have led to basically tow end effect. Firstly, weapons have predictably diffused into neighbouring countries and beyond, and secondly, the involvement of regional actors as "frontline states" in the arms infusions has led to intelligence agencies benefitting from a plentiful supply of weapons and funding (from narcotics) that has considerably increased their clout and reach. For instance, the Pakistani ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) that was the primary actor in the infusions of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) supplied weaponry, is reported to have at least 3 million Kalashnikovs at its disposal (see below). Thus, seven out of eleven conflicts being fought in 1994 owed their original source of weapons--the rifles, grenades and rockets--to covert supplies by foreign governments (Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kashmir, Punjab, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar's two conflicts),*1 two are the result of regional diffusion of weapons following massive supplies under poor controls (Pakistani Sindh and Pakistani Punjab) and two (two conflicts in the Indian north-east) the result of a healthy black market, itself the result of a global diffusion of weapons.

The largest movement of narcotics out of the region continues to be by sea through the Indian Ocean to markets in Europe and the United States. However, in the process, several IOCs (Indian Ocean countries) have become transit states. India has become a major transit country for Afghan and Burmese opiates, while Sri Lanka has also moved into this bracket. At least one terrorist group, the Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have a small fleet of ships which they use to transport weapons from the markets of Thailand and Singapore and are recently reported to have established themselves in South Africa. Nigerian cartels access Thai sources to transport narcotics from that region into Kenya and South Africa, while Mandrax from India continues to enter South Africa, with Mozambique an entry point to various drug cartels. Involved in all this are the underground banking systems of Singapore and Bangkok, with Bangladesh and India increasingly meriting the attention of crime syndicates to launder money. To evolve controls, therefore, it would be necessary to involve the affected countries in the Indian Ocean region. It is worth noting that out of the 14 countries signatory to the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) Charter, seven2 are at present involved in the issue of dealing with the problem of weapon availability and drug movements.

The Source Country--Afghanistan

The story of Afghanistan is one of covert arming (beginning in 1973) of groups that were essentially made up of those seeking refuge in Pakistan. Weapon aid that came to around $1 billion by 1989,3 was routed through Pakistan in a pipeline that was supplied by the American CIA and controlled by the ISI, the premier agency within Pakistan. War strategy demanded that Islamist leaders calling for a jehad supplant traditional and nationalist elements who had little sympathy with Pakistani ambitions. Again and again, leaders enjoying little popularity within the traditional societal structure of Afghanistan were foisted on the country, with the result that infighting and disunity marked the "war effort," a process that continues to date, with regional actors involved in supplying weapons to their respective proxies.

The Pipeline

Weapons arrived by ship and sometimes by air, after which they were then effectively under the control of the Pakistani ISI. Weapons were then trucked from Karachi to arms dumps at Ojhiri, and Peshawar. From there "ISI passes" ensured that a steady stream of trucks pushed the weapons to the border, from where again they were moved on by various sources of transport (mule, truck or human loads) by contractors who were often known to supply all sides in the war. The pipeline was marked by seepage and diversion all along its not inconsiderable length. The several transfers, haphazard storage, and the sheer extent of the weapon infusions all made for theft and corruption. Resistance leaders are believed to have stolen or sold hundreds of millions worth of weaponry, while at least 20-30 per cent was assessed to have been skimmed off with Zia's forces claiming a fair share.4 Pakistani Foreign Office personnel reportedly put this at as much as 60 per cent going astray, a figure upheld by other sources who maintain that Pakistani Generals were siphoning off millions.5 Apart from these were freewheeling black marketers who supplied weapons from across the Amu Darya, from China and from diverse other sources. Journalists report of an unending convoy of mules entering Afghanistan from the north and from China, leading to a pot pourri of an amazing variety of weapons flowing into the markets of the Frontier regions of Pakistan. By 1989, prices of weapons took a plunge, according to reporters, with the AK-47 falling from Rs. 30,000 to a mere Rs. 17,000. The arms bazaars of Pakistan began to swell with anything from multi- barelled rocket launchers, the famed Stalin's Organ, RPGs, sniper weapons, and gelatine sticks sold by the gross and ammunition sold by weight.6

Mission Creep in Weapons Supplies

Even as the allocation of aid increased, so did the technology that each backer inducted in order to give his particular proxy a leading edge. Thus, the increasing use of Soviet airpower led to the now well known induction in late 1986 of the (FIM-92) Stingers, and various other makes of anti-aircraft weapons including the SA-7, Hongying-5, Sakr eye, Blowpipe and the Redeye. Similarly, the Soviets by 1990 supplied a reported 1,700 Scud missiles, with more arriving till end 1991-early 1992.7 Multi-barrelled rocket launchers, range finders, smart mines, VHF radio communications sets, and later, as Congressional funds began to be cut back, captured weapons from Iraq worth $30 million continued to be supplied by the US.8 From World War II weapons and jezails, therefore, the rebels in Afghanistan graduated in less than five years to rapid fire assault weapons, high powered rifles, RPGs, communication sets, and shoulder fired anti-aircraft weapons.

Drugs and Weapons

During the period of the Afghan conflict, drug labs and weapons bazaars began to mushroom in neighbouring Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan itself. The moving in of weapons was accompanied by the moving out of narcotics into Karachi in Pakistan, and from there into international markets. The operation thus provided a classic case of the "arms and drugs nexus" with the same actors involved in both. The operation of moving heroin from the Frontier to the ports of Karachi involved the Pakistani ISI, even as the Army Logistics Cell was pressed into service to provide the transport. Courageous reporting from the Pakistani Press records these transactions, which became increasingly obvious as Army officers were charged with drug trafficking (and then mysteriously released) even as the operation began to involve all sections of the state--the airlines, the judiciary, tribal leaders, intelligence, and even reportedly the Navy with operations along the Makran coast. Soon there were an estimated 40 cartels (or sub-cartels) in Pakistan infiltrating every section of government, and the country was accountable for 70 per cent of the world's high grade heroin. Alongside came up a bank--the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)--that was not only to "launder" the drug money, but was also inextricably linked to the ambitions of the regime for a nuclear weapon capability. The story of the BCCI, and the tentacles that spread to the heart of the US banking system has been told elsewhere, but underlines the transnational nature of such activity with banking operations spread into at least five countries including the US, and opium blocks appearing in the US market marked with the crossed Kalashnikov label attesting to its Afghan origin. In less than a decade, Afghanistan was, from a zero base, one of the largest producers of heroin in the world. Though the climb has been fairly steady, what is noteworthy is that drug production almost doubled between 1986-889 the period when it was becoming clear that the superpowers were moving towards dialogue. The fact that Pakistani warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, turned to the systematic cultivation and refining of drugs in league with Pakistani cartels during this period is noted by analysts.10 Clearly the requirements for the continuation of operations by cash strapped regional actors was a vital input in the meteoric rise in narcotics cultivation in Afghanistan.

By 1989, as others followed the example set by Hekmatyar, large parts of Afghanistan were under the control of the "mullah warlords" who with the clout and money from narcotics cultivation, took over from the traditional leadership.11 Local farmers were often forced to grow poppy, while the rest of the process (transport, sale, refining, etc) were contracted out to organised crime networks in Pakistan. With their own sources of funding, petty warlords were soon independent of outside direction, and apparently uninterested in the factional fighting that brought all pretenses of a jehad to a close even as the Soviets withdrew. By the end of that year, the route from Pakistan to Iran and Turkey was affectively closed, as freewheeling warlords taxed and attacked caravans coming from Pakistan. Drug traffickers turned increasingly to Pakistani cities and ports, even as India on the other side began to construct a fence to ward off the traffickers who had made the border state of Punjab a vital transit route. By 1992, both Karachi and Kashmir were seeing massive levels of violence. The next phase was almost predictable.

The Rise of Regional Actors

Once Soviet and American aid was cut, the Arabs continued to provide an estimated $400 million in aid per year, while regional actors were apparently finding it relatively easy to access huge amounts of weapons from the international black market. For instance, Pakistan was able to supply 40,000 rockets and 700 trucks of ammunition to its favourite warlord Hekmatyar after August 1990.12 Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and others rushed in to provide their respective proxies with fresh infusions of weapons, and the all important ammunition.

With the war stagnating to an endless shelling of Kabul, and traffic through Afghanistan remaining uncertain, a shift in thinking led to the creation of the "super-fundamentalist" student warriors, the Taliban. Emerging in July 1994, with brand new weapons that were the envy of the other groups, they benefitted from the supply lines that ran into Pakistan, from where fuel, ammunition and communications lines were refurbished. The student warriors who drove armoured personnel carriers and flew Mi-35s seemed to experience a mysterious "stop start" element to their military operations--now falling back in total disarray and at another time surging forward as an unstoppable force, apparently suddenly gaining military acumen in place of rudimentary "human wave" tactics. There are few within Pakistan who do not credit the Interior Ministry for raising the student group, as there are few observers who contest the presence of Pakistanis in the fight for Kabul. What is clear is that drug cultivation has since risen, while the Talibs themselves collect a 4 per cent tax on traffic. The "clean up force" as it was once touted to be, has gone the way of its predecessors, and within its ranks are such luminaries as Mulla Akundzada a drug lord of note, and Mullah Rocketi--a well known arms dealer who is said to have gifted the Taliban with his armoury of weapons that included a selection of shoulder launched missiles.

Pakistan: Increasing Instability

The effects on Pakistan of these short-sighted policies were diverse, and are still to "mature" fully, especially where the sociological effects are concerned. But they can be briefly identified as the following:

* Weapons diffused rapidly into Pakistani society--today, political parties, feudal lords, drug traffickers, and common criminals are able to pursue their respective objectives with weapons that filtered in from the pipeline. The Frontier was assessed to have more than one million weapons, while Karachi alone was assessed by police officers to have around 100,000 during the height of the violence.13 Ethnic and political violence in Sindh has claimed more than 2,000 lives in 1995 and sectarian violence in Punjab continues with a deep Shia-Sunni divide. Along the Frontier, separatist conflicts began to rise, a trend that also witnessed calls for the imposition of Islamic courts and jurisprudence. Urban violence has been marked by a plentiful and open use of automatic weapons, RPGs and grenades.

* From the original weapons bazaars of the Frontier, famed for their gun production and repair, weapons bazaars began moving into urban areas from 1987 onwards. "Goths" run by Pathans were established under the noses of police forces outside and within Karachi. There are no apparent ethnic loyalties where the trade is concerned, and traders will supply to anyone with the money to pay. Abilities of gunsmiths increased, with impeccably copied AKs produced in the Darra bazaars, and repair and refurbishment of all kinds of weapons.

* As the centre for training Mujahideen of different nationalities and beliefs, Pakistan is now left with an unknown number of these men trained for nothing other than war. One indicator of the possible trained manpower within Pakistan is the figure of 80,00014 annually that has been given by Brig Yousaff, the man who was in charge of the whole operation. Many of these trainees were the "undesirables" of other countries attracted either by the money, or by the "cause" espoused by Pakistan. Today, many are known to be footloose, and have offered their services to various political groups within Pakistan. One solution has been to push these men into other conflict areas, through training camps like the Markaz Dawat ul Arshad which sent Afghans into Kashmir, Tajikistan, and, according to sources, as far away as Chechnya and Bosnia. At least 20 camps in 1994 were training Kashmiri, Tajik and other fighters.15 Pakistan has already come under pressure from Egypt and other OIC countries to curb the activities of these groups.

* The "Islamic" underpinnings of the jehad in Afghanistan has led to a rash of madrassas, which now impart military training to their students. While many of the more established ones owe their lavish organisation to state funding during the Zia period, at least 23,000 (around 1,600 officially registered) were reported by the Pakistani Press, who were at one in calling for an end to military training in religious institutions.16

* Pakistan's economy remains hostage to the production of drugs (see Fig. 1). Drug export earnings estimated at about US$1.5 billion annually, are equivalent to more than 50 per cent of its current account deficit in recent years.17 The negative growth in human development and output is possibly the worst long-term economic fall-out.

* From a zero base in the mid-1970s, Pakistan now has a 2 million drug addicted population of whom 1.4 million are heroin abusers.18 Many of the Mujahideen are themselves understood to be "hooked" to heroin, contributing to the rise of drug related violence.

* During 1993, the close nexus between politicians, drugs trafficking and intelligence activity, with the whole linked to militancy in India (Kashmir and Punjab) was brought out in a detailed analysis by the CIA and published in a Pakistani paper.19 The analysis confirmed what Indian intelligence agencies had been crying themselves hoarse about-that the Lahore mafia were arranging arms for heroin deals for Sikh terrorists, with the Karachi city mafia equally involved.

* Government agencies have reacted to the violence by issuing thousands of gun licences. According to Pakistani sources, the Sindh government issued 92,000 licences since 199220 in Karachi alone. Similarly, in Punjab, licences worth Rs 6 crore have been issued to political groups of various hues.21 Seized weapons are also sold off at "sale" prices to important personages, resulting in these being ploughed back into society. Additionally these weapons may be used to arm pro-government armed groups in Karachi and Punjab.

* The intelligence agencies, accustomed to running the Afghan policy, now tended to become a law unto themselves. As analysts note, as the ISI's power grew, so did its efforts to subvert a positive role by Pakistan's Foreign Ministry at the United Nations, in spite of an overwhelming public support for negotiations and an end to the Afghan conflict.22 Unlimited money was available from narcotics, and control of a massive arms pipeline, soon began to give diehards within a greater reach than before. Lt Gen Hamid Gul's dedication to the jehad is almost legendary, and his concern about violence in Karachi stemmed mainly from the fact that it had begun to affect operations in Kashmir. The former head of the ISI was also in active conclave with Tajik rebel chiefs together with the head of the Jamaat-i-Islami, Quazi Hussain, both of whom earned warm praise from the Islamic Resistance. The February 1997 violence in China's Xinjiang province that killed more than 200 in two separate incidents, is reported to be linked to activities by the Tableegh-e-Jamaat in Lahore which is headed by a former intelligence chief. While it is uncertain how much political control is exerted over the agency, the possibility of their acting independently of the Army is ruled out. An intelligence source confided to an independent analyst that the agency had in reserve more than 3 million Kalashnikovs packed and greased.23

Weapons and India

Proliferation in India

The peculiar aspect of proliferation in India is that of the over 30,000 guns of different types seized in militant hands, none have been made within the country. No healthy "cottage industry" exists that can produce creditable copies of sophisticated weapons, and the .22s and .38s manufactured are now scorned within militant circles, as are .303s, though the odd SLRs are still retained among militants in the east. India does not produce the AK series of any type, and is now in some difficulty trying to acquire ammunition for the imported Kalshnikovs that had been bought for equipping the security forces.

India entered the mid-1980s with militancy on the rise in Kashmir, Punjab, and massive refugee inflows from the raging conflict in Sri Lanka. In the north-east, armed militancy was on the rise, even as Chakmas fleeing instability and repression in Bangladesh began to flow into the adjoining areas of India. The country seemed to be hemmed in from all sides by conflict and shifting refugee movements that ran into several tens of thousands.

In Punjab, low level militancy (that culminated in June 1984 in "Operation Bluestar") received a boost after existing smuggling networks based in the border districts (Gurdaspur, Taran Tarn) were strengthened by Pakistani intelligence agencies. The Human Right Watch Arms Project noted that where earlier there had been 12 gauge shotguns, .303s and a few stens, the influx of sophisticated weapons resulted in a dramatic increase in instances of violence on the unarmed civilian population.24 Seizures began to rise, with 398 seized in 1988 to none two years earlier. (See Table 1). By 1990, posters calling for recruitment to the ranks of the militants offered Rs 3,000 and an AK-47.25 The victims, overwhelmingly civilian, began to complain that where one government ruled in the day, another held sway at night. Forced recruitment, abuse and desecration of religious shrines holy to the Sikhs, and deliberate targetting of civilians in mindless massacres all turned a new page in violence. While in 1985-86, there were an estimated 40 hard core militants, (and 200 understood to be in for the fight) in 1990, there were an estimated 229 so-called hard core militants, 941 fighters and around 5,000 unlisted ones.26 Even more interestingly, the most concentrated incidents of violence were around the border, around a triangle that sits across the only road into Kashmir. Gurdaspur and Amritsar accounted for 75 per cent of all activity by July 1988,27 and remained so till the close of the conflict in 1992.

The types of weapons included an overwhelming number of Darra made AKs with Urdu markings, Russian AK-47s, a few M-16s, the M-3 of Chinese origin, Uzi carbines, G-3s with reportedly POF (Pakistan Ordnance Factories) markings, RPGs (Chinese, Russian or Pakistani), the SVD Dragunov sniper rifles, stenguns stolen from security forces, three inch mortars, and landmines. Around 200 groups were operating, each one with different signatures of violence and in a close imitation of Kashmir, grouped and regrouped depending on advantage to the recruits. One analyst reported that every fifth militant killed in 1990 died due to inter-gang violence.28 Training camps in Sialkot, Lahore, Daksa, and other areas, often had both Kashmiri and Punjab recruits and joint training. The state government moved to tackle the conflict, and the police force went up from 35,000 to 60,000, while the para-military companies came down from 400 to half. As the Army patrolled the border, and the police dealt with the militants, smuggling routes changed, even as it became impossible to access weapons. By 1993, there were less single digit figures in civilian deaths where there had been more than 200 a month in 1988. Oddly enough, the number of Sikhs killed has been much higher than Hindus (7,113 Sikhs to 4,374 Hindus)29 in indiscriminate violence that was partly a result of criminalisation, as well as the real objective of the whole exercise which remained one of creating mayhem rather than any ethno-religious divide. Also interesting was that many militant leaders caught during this period had confirmed narcotics or smuggling links. Their commitment to a "cause" was found to be a negligible factor, unlike those who had been part of militancy in earlier periods.

Table 1. Arms Recovered in Punjab, 1986-93

1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993

AK Rifles -- 73 398 295 646 475 479 131

Other Guns 739 1,522 1,182 935 961 1,622 1,660 265

RPG-7 -- -- 20 28 33 23 4 11

LMG/GPMG -- 3 9 17 50 33 26 2

Source: Manoj Joshi "Combatting Terrorism in Punjab," Conflict Studies, 261, May 1993.

With the revelation of a strong narcotics link, and the trans-border nature of the whole enterprise, the government cleared the funding for the construction of a border fence that was to be reinforced by patrolling, and lighting along selected stretches of the border (1,051 km of fencing and 1,084 km of flood lighting was carried out in the Punjab and Bikaner-Ganganagar region of Rajasthan and also Jaisalmer and Barmer regions). Work still continues, with maintenance of the fence and lighting costing the government the not inconsiderable sum of Rs. 943.21 lakhs a year.30

Trouble in the Valley--Weapons and Training

Trouble in the Valley started slowly, peaking after 1990 in a burst of concentrated violence. The Afghan scenario was followed almost completely with a strategy of "bleeding the Indians" according to noted Pakistani columnist and writer Mushadid Hussain, a strategy confirmed by General Aslam Beg.31 Groups of Kashmiri youth were sent to POK (Pakistani Occupied Kashmir) in tens and twenties, for basic training in handling weapons. In 1987, Border Security Forces seized contraband worth Rs. 51.44 crore, but recovered a mere 33 rifles and 92 pistols while on internal security duties.32 In 1989, this figure on border seizures alone had jumped to 98 AKs (AK-47 and AK-74) and included 9 rocket launchers, 64 rockets, 185 guns, and 181 detonators, and significantly 77.5 kg of explosives. The situation was serious enough for a Home Secretary level meeting with Pakistan which agreed on measures like point patrolling to seal the border. However, lacking any cooperation from the Pakistani Rangers, the scheme came to nothing.33

By the end of 1990, there were more than 60 small groups, rising to 180 in 1992, and 206 in 1994.34 The rapid rise of groups and splinter groups was in part a result of the heavy arming (which attracted criminals of all hues) inter-gang rivalry, and partly the fact that Pakistani controlled groups tended to go out of the control of their "handlers". Initially, around 30-40 training camps were set up, in and around Muzzafarabad. Selected groups were later sent to Hekmatyar's camp, and yet others to Jallaluddin Haqqani (training at Ilaka-i-gaur on the Pak-Afghan border). The operation was marked by considerable efforts and cost. For instance, a group of thirty would typically have around 30 AKs, 30 pistols, 6 LMGs, an assortment of explosives (with at least two persons being sabotage experts) detonators, anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, and kits that included winter clothing and parka coats.35 In early 1992, the first Afghans were transferred to POK with around 1,000 functioning under the aegis of the MDA (Markaz Dawat ul Arshad, with instructors from the Arab Ikhwan ul Muslimeen). Neutral observers note the presence of large numbers of heavily armed groups (chiefly the Hizbul Mujahideen, the Muslim Jaanbaaz force, the Allah Tigers and the Ikhwan ul Mulsimeen).36 In October 1993, the deadly Harkat ul-Ansar, designated a terrorist group by the US, came into being. The Harkat is active in Tajikistan, Myanmar and Bosnia, and is based at Muzzafarabad. With several thousand cadres of different nationalities and a considerable armoury (MNG, LMG, rockets, explosives, and AKs in plenty) it turned upon local groups in a bid to achieve control and access the best extortion area which was inevitably the business centre of Kashmir--its capital. By 1993, the number of "Afghans" began to rise with Pan Islamist terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e Toiba operating mainly in terrorist actions, with the use of explosives, RPGs and mines and IEDs.

Inter-gang violence, and a sudden rise in kidnapping, bank heists and other criminal activity was apparent. Groups vied with each other in creating local empires, with maximum activity apparent around the borders. Progressively, attacks on security personnel went down (from 3,413 in 1990 to 1,473 in 1996)37 with groups preferring to avoid a head- on clash, while attacks on civilians went up (from 485 in 1990 to 1,260 in 1996) as did explosions and incidents of arson. The gun became a valued commodity, and often recruits went to Pakistan simply to acquire a weapon that could be sold for a good profit. A study by a team of professional psychologists and others observed that most militants were from financially deprived backgrounds, and found the gun emotionally and financially gratifying, with religion remaining an unimportant factor.38

The Afghan factor came into prominence when some 150 militants of the Harkat ul-Ansar, Hizb ul Mujahideen and al Fatah force under the command of Mast Gul (an Afghan national) took over a holy shrine (the Charar-e-Sharief) in an operation that caught the attention of Islamic states, and earned considerable publicity for the "cause". Throughout the action, the militants remained in constant consultation with contacts in Pakistan. The presence of 26 Pakistani militants in this action was confirmed by the chief of the Harkat-ul Ansar in Muzzafarabad, while after his safe return to Pakistan, Mast Gul was feted by a crowd that proclaimed him the hero on the hour. Significantly, he was accompanied by the chief of the fundamentalist Jamaat-i-Islami, who was also the regional head of the Khartoum based Armed Islamic Movement.39

The government responded to the rise in armed violence by creating village defence units, sending in an additional infantry division, and beefing up the intelligence apparatus. A National Human Rights Commission was set up which began inquiries into incidents where violation by security forces had been alleged. Pre-induction training was given to troops to ensure that they did not violate citizens rights. All Army personnel were required to carry with them the basic "commandments" of Human Rights. A modest "buy back" programme was initiated, that, however, suffered from the fact that it was never able to offer the prices that were prevalent in the black market. Weapons began to move out of Kashmir, bound for other locations like Bombay and the north-east, even as militants began to be pushed into the more inaccessible mountainous areas. By mid-1995, the modus of violence was shifting to explosions, and classic terrorism. The most sensational kidnapping was that of six foreign tourists (July 1995) by a shadowy group called the Al-Faran, a militant detachment of 16 (twelve from POK, two from Afghanistan, and two Indian guides) who appeared to be part of the Harkat, and one that was floated possibly due to intelligence inroads into the original group. The fact that Maulana Fazlur Rahman (of Taliban fame) was nominated to negotiate with this group, revealed the extensive links that Pakistani groups enjoy with such terrorist factions.

The "hijacking" of the jehad by strangers, the rising crime, and incidence of rape and abuse led to protests from moderate sections, and the coming together of local groups to fight off the better armed Afghan dominated groups. The situation was one that was taken advantage of by local Army officers who helped them along with weapons and protection. These anti-terrorist militias proved extremely effective, and with their ground level intelligence, and now beefed up firepower, they were able to seize the initiative. Many subsequently supported the National Conference in the election in October 1996. While this was hailed as a success for the state, inadequate deomobilisation measures could yet push them back to a life of crime.

Weapons seized in Kashmir include 16,772 AKs (Chinese, Russian, unmarked) Dragunov sniper rifles, 660 rocket launchers (Chinese, Russian) 958 light machine guns (RPD and RPK) 2,083 rockets (including Katyushas) and around 11,473 kg of explosives.40 Since 1992, more and more explosives have been finding their way into Kashmir, and indeed into the main commercial centres of India.

The Smuggling Nexus, and Present Networking by Groups

An unforeseen fall-out of the availability of arms and the conflicts that encircle the country has been the fact that criminal networks seem to find the movement of guns profitable enough to merit serious attention, even as interest in narcotics increased following the liberalisation of the economy and the freeing of gold and silver imports. On the other side of the border into Pakistan, the networks that had once supplied weapons to Sikh militants under the patronage of the ISI, continued to operate, though they had to shift operations further down, as the security fence came up. (See Maps 2&3.) As a result, at present the writ of the state runs lightly in Pakistani Punjab, while gang violence has been rife as groups "poached" on each other's territories in the Gujarat sector with local parliamentarians offering protection.41 Groups swear allegiance to different political parties at different times since this depends on which gang is being sheltered by whom. All are known to be aligned with opposite smuggling gangs. A similar case is that of the Lahore mafia, who networked with militant groups at the behest of the ISI. There is nothing to show that these networks have wound down.

Some of the routes identified are

-- Khokrapar (Pakistan)-Baamer-Jodhpur-Bombay

-- Sukkur (Pakistan)-Kishangarh-Ramgarh-Jodhpur-Bombay

(Rahimyar Khan, Sahiwal in Pakistan are other nodal points, all of which are on the route to Bombay).

The arrest of a Sikh militant (Lal Singh) with AKs brought out the importance of the Gujarat route, though this was not realised until India witnessed one of the world's worst incidents of terrorism. On March 12, 1993, twelve blasts tore through India's commercial centre of Bombay. Investigations revealed the connivance of a Bombay based smuggling don, who fled to the Middle East via Pakistan, and the existence of large though not coordinated criminal networks that operated from right across the country. At least three of the four landings of arms and explosives for the blasts had come from Gujarat, and the 40 boxes of explosive (RDX) were brought in by the usual silver smuggling rings. Enmeshed in the operations of the mafia don were several former militant gangs who were involved in a range of activities that included bank heists, robbery, and sensational kidnapping cases. A close nexus was found between ex-militants, organised crime and sections of the political elite. Narcotics dons of Bombay like Haji Ismail who hails from Baruch in Gujarat, are thought to be involved in the Gujarat route which has since recently come under increased scrutiny following further seizures of explosives in Mehsana. This revealed links between a fundamentalist Karachi based organisation and silver smugglers, even as the arrest of Assadullah, the head of the JKIF (Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front) revealed that due to the fact that Kashmiris were easily identified in Gujarat, local criminals had been provided special training in transportation of arms and ammunition by Pakistani intelligence. The fact that the militant leader and his cohorts had moved in and out of the country through Nepal, and later the seizure of 48 kg of RDX in that country42 focussed attention on the northern borders of the country.

Networking into the North-East and Neighbouring Countries...

Action against Punjab militants and their subsequent dispersion had another unforeseen fall-out. With many concentrated around the deserted and lowly populated regions of the Terai bordering Nepal, a thriving route for narcotics and weapons began that supplied AKs to militants in the north-east. North-east militant groups intially had training and assistance till 1990 from the Kachins of Burma. After this link was cut, the militant leaders began to explore other sources for camps and "safe houses." Bangladesh provided both, since getting through the extremely porous borders proved easy. From this point, some top leaders were flown into Pakistan, where they were offered training (professional and superior to the Kachin effort according to the militants).43 But getting arms across proved difficult, since the militants were asked to arrange their own transport. An alternative source, therefore, was the smuggling ring set up by Punjab militants who agreed to supply weapons to an arms dealer (who supplied all insurgent group regardless of affiliation) who in turn trucked it across to Assam without encountering any difficulty. An alternate source has often been the arms bazaars of Thailand, coming in through Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh. Following cooperation between the countries involved, these routes are under pressure, but at present, networks supplying Indian militants not only criss-cross the country but also encompass Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand and possibly Singapore.

...and into Africa

Other smuggling networks are even more extensive. The smuggling of Mandrax to South Africa via Kenya and other routes remains a major problem. Following a DEA tip-off, NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau) officers in Bombay seized 2.8 tons of Mandrax bound for South Africa. In 1990, the seizures were only around 2,141 kg rising to 15,004 kg in 1993. In the first quarter of 1994, seizures went up to 7,000 kg in only six swoops. India had banned the drug in 1984, but illicit production continues. Linked to the Mandrax smugglers are antique smugglers, confirming that smuggling networking has increased, with different actors taking on different cargo. Most of the seizures so far have been in and around Bombay. Following stepped up vigilance in Bombay, Gujarat has emerged as an alternative for this trade also. Here country boats called "hodas" move close to the coast to Pakistani areas, or alternatively move out the cargo to waiting ships. The extent of the trade involving African nationals has yet to be appreciated. Concerned officials comment that this may mean the first inroads of organised crime in this area.

Other shipments of Mandrax were caught on the way to Tuticorin (south India) with Sri Lanka a possible trans-shipment point.44 Sri Lanka is fast emerging as a transit country to South Africa, and it now appears that the Tamil Tigers have established liaison offices in South Africa and Namibia (besides networking with Kashmiri, Afghan, and African militant groups). A modest Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) shipping capability is known to navigate across the Indian Ocean, while the Tigers are reported to be cultivating cannabis in the heavily forested Idduki region of Kerala. In 1991 crop worth an estimated Rs 244 crore was destroyed in this district but officials feel that this is only the tip of the iceberg. The Idukki-Madurai axis may have become an important supplier of good quality cannabis under the aegis of Sri Lankan gangs.


While this analyses is restricted to the spillover of weapons and narcotics from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region into India, the effects of these on the entire region also need to be noted, since this creates its own dynamics which not only leads to a spiralling of violence within the region as a whole, but also contributes to the expanded reach of drug and weapon networks that play a major role in fomenting disturbances and violence. UN sources have warned that Central Asia risks becoming another Columbia, with drugs pushing their way towards these areas, where the infrastructure offers a better route to the markets of Europe or the United States,45 and increasingly China. As heroin moves into inland China, carried by the Uighurs and others, the country has seen a spiralling rise in drug related crime, as well as separatist activity in Xinjiang. Weapons began to move into China from 1990 onwards, causing ethnic tension, and instability in her Han Chinese dominated provinces. The most recent incidence of violence was at the end of Ramzan in 1997, when at least a hundred people lost their lives in sustained ethnic violence. Separatists are said to have been well armed, and are suspected to have been part of the Tableegh-e-Jamaat based in Lahore and controlled by an ex-chief of Pakistani intelligence46 Bomb blasts followed killing seven and injuring 67. In a related incident, Muslim protesters burned cars and baited Chinese in Kazakhstan.47

The Afghan conflict has had its effects on violence in Egypt, Turkey and other countries where Islam is perceived to be under threat, while specifically violence in the Philippines following massacres by the Abu Sayaff gang in 1995, was directly linked to training and possibly weapons from Afghan camps, particularly those run by Rasool Sayyaf, an extremist Mujahideen group. While concrete data on this is not yet available, the call given by the Taliban chief in support of Tajik Islamists is an indication of which way the wind is blowing. With the Taliban showing every sign of following in the footsteps of those whom they now fight, narcotics production has increased in Taliban controlled areas, according to US sources48 even as the border with Pakistan remains at best notional, with supply and communication lines running into that country. If the patronage of jehad is to be continued, there are certainly increased revenues available to do so.

That controls and measures to deal with the problem have to encompass countries well beyond the "South Asia" region is obvious. The Southern Asia construct offers more in the area of potential networking among police and intelligence forces. However, some regional initiatives in the South Asian region have proved beneficial.

Existing Regional Initiatives

The benefits of a "regional" approach were underlined by the visit of the Indian Foreign Minister to Bangladesh, which resulted not only in solving a contentious water dispute, but was also preceded by considerable help from the Bangladesh government in rooting out militant hideouts. The SAARC "Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism" (Nov 1987) remains an umbrella organisation for developing regional cooperation in this area. Though it remains fairly strong on paper, its considerbale potential has not been realised. Pakistan has not yet translated it into national law, while the dislike of constituent organisations of sharing information wholeheartedly (which remains at the heart of the Agreement) prevents it from being as effective as it might have been. The Agreement envisaged the setting up of a SAARC Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk (23 Nov 1990) (STOMD) which would collate relevant data on terrorist activities, tactics strategies, methodologies, and profiles. This is still to be "operationalised." Similarly a Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances has also been signed. This also led to the setting up of a Drug Offences Monitoring Desk. Narcotics officials and other concerned officials concerned with internal security meet once a year. The designated Liaison Officer's recommendations are considered by a SAARC Council of Ministers who would then be expected to implement it in their respective countries. These Conventions are basically the basis for future cooperation. For instance, senior police officers of SAARC countries met in July 1996 to apprise each other on the security situation in each country. This could be a valuable input for dealing with terrorists fleeing across the border. The emphasis on coordination which seems to have been underlined at all meetings is beginning but the organisation on the ground has yet to take place. Some work is in the pipeline on coordinating strategies to deal with money laundering, but as officials note, the implementation can only be done by the concerned agencies.

Of significance is the bilateral agreement with Myanmar for cooperation in preventing drug trafficking and other "related matters." This agreement facilitated cooperation on the ground between the Myanmar and Indian Armies that led to some important seizures. With the realisation that insurgency can best be dealt with economic opening up and better opportunities, border trade with Myanmar was opened up in April 1996, with Indian assistance offered to beef up communications to the roadhead to Kalemyo. This move is bound to be resisted by insurgency groups, while many police officials fear that this could result in a massive increase in drug smuggling. On the obverse side, better road communications will enable Rangoon to police the border better.

Since 1993, there has been a spate of bilateral agreements with neighbours and with other countries to facilitate extradition and legal assistance. This includes the Russian Federation, Canada, Britain, Bulgaria, Romania and Egypt. Similar agreements are on the anvil with other countries.

Tackling the Problem: Policy Options

Other initiatives at the national, regional and international levels offer considerable gains to national interest. Measures essentially have to be found feasible by bureaucrats and government officials who quite naturally will only respond to (short to medium term) perceived gains for policy. At another level, measures may be needed to target commercial interests, thus providing another vital input to jog the state's elbow on occasions.

Tackling the problem of light weapons proliferation and drug trafficking suffers from the fact that the problem tends to be seen separately from the conflict itself. While governments are ready to throw in everything to fight a separatist challenge, few such strategies target the causative and contributory factors to the conflict. Most measures are short-term, targetting interdiction of weapon supplies for the period when the conflict reaches a high level of intensity, but leaving off long- term measures. Thus, usually the conflict begins again when supply lines are revived. Initiatives on micro-disarmament have been fairly well tried in the East. Yet again, follow up action was lacking, and many have rejoined militant gangs. In an unlooked for complication, often militant gangs are formed with the sole purpose of being able to take advantage of government initiatives and funding. Greater and more careful attention needs to be paid to this "vital point" in the fight against proliferation. A state level nodal agency for information collection would help, with eminent sociologists tasked with handling what is essentially a human problem. Since this again is a transnational problem, coopting states within the region would help immensely not only in exchanging information, but also in providing what governments are always wary of--the funding to carry it through. The state may even use such measures to its own advantage to bolster an existing relationship.

India's gun laws are among the most stringent in the world, and perhaps this is one reason why societal proliferation has been slow. No "cottage industry" of sophisticated guns exists in India, and certainly it is extremely difficult for the ordinary man to access a weapon source even in the black market. So cautious is the government against arming anyone other than the security forces, that it even balks at creating effective self-defence units in Kashmir. Those that exist are armed with .303s which make any resistance to militant action dangerous rather than effective. Indian legal experts may be sent to advise on law making, and creating stringent controls in countries where such legislation is either non-existent, or poorly implemented. National gun control laws, however effective will inevitably be under pressure as illegal societal proliferation rises. Therefore, it is in India's interest to see that uniform gun laws are followed by as many countries as possible.

Border controls on land remain one of the most problematic, and therefore, the only solution for India must remain a regional one. In the north-east, for instance, policing is poor on the Indian side with border control on the Burmese side at best notional. Each border post is about 65 km apart, with no communications at all in between, including roads. During the rainy season, the posts have to stock up for five months, since they remain inaccessible. In the west, the fence has certainly improved matters, in that large scale smuggling has been controlled. But smugglers are reported to throw sacks over the fence which are then picked up later. Others bribe farm workers, who cross the LOC (Line of Control) or the international border, and hide the drugs in tractors or in headloads, most of which are carried out by women. That female constables are not always available means that most of these get through. Rivers often change course, while in Rajasthan shifting sand dunes may sometimes completely obscure the fencing. Borders in India, however, can never be "sealed," with the best will in the world--they can only be controlled, with the active help of neighbours.

Commercial communication industry in India needs to be involved in creating better border policing technologies. Since this is clearly a remunerative project, involving as it does several thousands of square miles of territory, and different climates and landscapes, the task appears to be commercially interesting, though this cannot be ascertained without a full fledged project analysis in different sectors. Aerial reconnaissance is a possibility on sea, with communications linking it to ground patrols or alternatively using IFF systems to control fishing boats.

Global Initiatives and Cooperation: South Africa and India

While South Africa faces a problem of retrieving existing weapons proliferation (linked heavily to rising crime), as well as controlling the border to prevent fresh infusions, India faces a continuing problem of covert funding and arming, even while she finds herself unable to stem the flow of weapons from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and the Thai-Cambodia-Singapore region. India, in other words has not yet reached the extent of societal proliferation that South Africa has, but she faces serious and continuing problems in ongoing militancy. Both have a continuing problem with narcotics and have experienced some limitations in regional initiatives, in part due to the fact that each is seen as dominating its particular region.

Clearly, given the urgency of evolving border controls, India may like to cooperate with South Africa in evolving new methods where both countries' technological capability may be useful, in that the basic operational requirements of both would be similar. India also needs to be able to check incoming containers, from harbours, airports and roads. Joint training programmes for police and border officials would be beneficial, since it is increasingly clear that the basic methodology that traffickers use is not very different. Neither are the initiatives used to deal with them. At the regional level, there might be some benefit in approaching the problem together from different points, in that an enlarged community concerned with such trafficking would perhaps dilute the "largeness" of South Africa and India. In short, a broader approach may make constituent countries less bitter about "domination."

At the international level, there should be a clear and unambiguous stand against linking human rights to a vague concept such as "ethnic" self-determination. Few concepts have caused such misery and casualties in the past few decades. Rapidly expanding information channels as well as the rising educational standards apparent in most developing countries ensures that citizens are now well aware of what is their due, a realisation which in turn will bring demands for speedy attainment of goals well within one man's life-time. Thus, developing countries are going to be under increasing pressure to deliver. Therefore, more instability can be expected before states turn out to be "nations". Meanwhile, it is clear that the spread of "ethnic conflict" has done nothing to improve the world security climate-rather it is the one phenomenon that threatens to unleash further violence, thus giving a fillip to arms transfers and black market health. War needs to be brought back within the control of the state.

Keeping the requirements of both countries in mind, both may need to pressure the international community to evolve a common law on gun control. This will clearly be an uphill battle, and may possibly take longer than the process which led to the chemical weapon convention. But it remains important to initiate the process. Yet for too long states have pleaded the "right to carry a gun" as part of Constitutions which were framed in a different time for different requirements. States need to beef up their own abilities to protect their citizens, (thus reducing the demand) which in turn is tied to curbing proliferation. Thus, the vicious circle that develops needs to be broken with authority handed to the state in dealing with internal security. In some societies, the carrying of a gun is more a part of an ethos, which may be understandable, but if the laws of a country transgress the security of another, then it is high time that country thought of changing it. This move can only be expected to yield some results in the long term, but the battle has to begin, if the future has to be made safe for each nation.

Similarly, joint "adoption" programmes of drug producing areas is a possibility. Such programmes should aim at crop substitution, with bordering areas first targetted. Clearing of border areas of criminal activity and turning them into settled communities has an "inflow" effect in that controlled borders immediately raise problems for traffickers. States that have few recourses to such action (like Afghanistan) or states that want to regain control (like Myanmar) may like to deal with schemes that are not tied to other aspects of state behaviour. Interdiction of drug shipments is a waste of effort and resources. Less than 10 per cent gets caught at any time according to narcotics officials. While "fire fighting" efforts have their place, more needs to be done to tackle the problem at source.

Cooperation between the South African Narcotics Bureau and the Indian Narcotics Bureau have been extremely cooperative in the past. Yet officials here feel that this cooperation has its limitations, especially since the follow up involves other countries within the region, who may not have the legislation in place to take concrete action. Therefore, it is seldom possible to deal with narcotics on a strictly bilateral basis. It would be beneficial to bring in the issue of common drug and guns laws into as many regional fora as possible, keeping in mind that the level of knowledge (and, therefore, efficiency of action) remains poor to middling in most countries along the Indian Ocean arc, who are primarily the transit states in the flow of both drugs and weapons.

The problem regarding related issues like money laundering, terrorism, and a host of other issues is similar. Each country has a different interpretation on what constitutes an economic offence, as there are differing methods of financial investigation, while there are no clear criteria for dealing with trans-border terrorism, or mercenaries. While action at the international level must of necessity be slow, regional initiatives to coordinate laws and actions in dealing with such threats can be set in motion.

Since the problem of state patronage of terrorism continues, states need to be made to realise that the so-called "boomerang effect" (when guns return to a transit/supplier state) will adversely affect their own security. The fact that is does not constitute the "cheaper option"--a notion that was firmly established during the Cold War--in the long run needs to be pushed through by sustained studies and research. State behaviour can only be changed if state interest is involved. Dissemination of information, second track diplomacy, and regional workshops all have their place in creating greater awareness and norm setting.

It needs to be clearly realised that the myriad problems related to gun running and narcotics trafficking (organised crime, mercenary action, money laundering, etc) cannot be dealt with at a national level, nor at a bilateral level, where this relationship is not interwoven into a larger cooperative sphere. At the same time, it is clear that at the international level (for instance at the United Nations), action will of necessity remain hostage to the various diplomatic postures of countries. The twin problem of narcotics and gun running are, however, assuming serious proportions, and there is little likelihood at present that either of them is at all likely to reduce in magnitude--on the contrary, both phenomena are slated to further adversely affect the development of countries. Rising armed crime, erosion of state control, and intrusion of organised crime are all steps down a ladder that leads to economic and social upheaval. The trouble is that the dangers inherent in this "slippery slope" are not always discernible, relative the more clearly perceived threat from conventional war or other external threats. The problem is a deadly serious one, with its insidious effects permeating all sections of government and society. Once proliferation takes place in society, the possibility of reversing it remains one of the most difficult tasks that the modern state has yet faced. Controls at all levels are, therefore, vital, and must be pushed through with the energy that the state can bring to bear when it chooses.



1. This figure includes the following: 35,000 in Kashmir, around 8,000 in the north- east (I Division +1mt bde, 74,000 troops in Myanmar, 120,000 in Sri Lanka and 25,000 CIS Peace-keeping Forces in Tajikistan. The 23,000 para-military troops deployed by Pakistan in Karachi are not included, nor the fighting forces in Afghanistan, where who constitutes the "government troops" is still a moot question.

2. These are India, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, South Africa, Yemen, Indonesia, and Australia. The last has seen a particularly active debate on gun control.

3. Barnett Rubin, The Fragmentation of Afghanistan (Yale University Press, 1955) p. 257.

4. Marvin G. Weinbaum, Pakistan and Afghanistan: Resistance and Reconstruction (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994), p. 31.

5. This figure is cited by Christina Lamb, Waiting for Allah (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1991) p. 223.

6. Emma Duncan, Breaking the Curfew (London: Penguin, 1989) p. 156.

7. Ibid.

8. Selig Harrison and Diego Cordovez, Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal (Oxford University Press, 1995), n. 2, p. 110.

9. Figures from the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 1986, 1990.

10. Rubin, n. 3, p. 257.

11. See also Selig Harrison "Containment and the Soviet Union in Afghanistan" in Terry L. Diebel and John Lewis Gaddis eds., Containment: Concept and Policy, vol. 2 (Washington, DC: National Defence University Press, 1986) pp. 457-480.

12. n. 2, p. 115.

13. See Jasjit Singh ed., Light Weapons and International Security (New Delhi: Pugwash Conferences, BASIC et al, 1995).

14. For a detailed account of the arms pipeline, see Mohammed Yusossaf and Mark Adkin, The Bear Trap (Lahore: Jang, 1992).

15. US State Department, Patterns of Global Terrorism, April 1995, p. 3. Also see Herald, April 1993.

16. Dawn, January 30, 1995.

17. "The Illicit Opiate Industry of Pakistan," UNDCP, Islamabad, February 1994.

18. Ibid.

19. "Sowing the Wind," Friday Times, September 3, 1993.

20. Navaid Hussain in Dawn, March 31, 1996.

21. For more details, see The Herald, December 1995.

22. Harrison and Cordovez, n. 8, p. 161.

23. See Human Right Watch Arms Report, July 1994.

24. Human Right Watch Arms Project, September 1994, vol. 6, no. 10.

25. Frontline, December 2-21, 1990, p. 4.

26. Ibid.

27. Indian Defense Review, July 1987.

28. UNI Report in International Defense Review, July 1990, p. 9.

29. Times of India, November 12, 1995.

30. Ministry of Home Affairs Annual Report, 1995-96.

31. Mushadid Hussain in Frontier Post, May 29, 1991. Also see Salman Khurshid, Beyond Terrorism (New Delhi: UBSPD, 1994).

32. Ministry of Home Affairs, Annual Report 1987-99, p. 12.

33. Ministry of Home Affairs, Annual Report 1989-90, p. 12.

34. IDSA Data files.

35. Kashmir Governor G.C. Saxena in interview. See Frontline, September 28-October 12, 1990, p. 18.

36. n. 30.

37. IDSA Data files.

38. India Today, December 31, 1994, p. 120.

39. Yossef Bodnasky "Pakistan, Kashmir and the Trans-Asian Axis" (Freeman Centre for Strategic Studies, Summer 1995).

40. Ministry of Defence "Annual Report" 1995-96, p. 116, Annexure IV.

41. Friday Times, July 25-31, 1996, in POT (Pakistan) August 9, 1996.

42. Assaddulah was arrested in June 1996, and the seizures followed soon after. See Indian Express, March 4, 1997.

43. In interview with Pakistan returned militant.

44. India Today, May 31, 1994, p. 129.

45. International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (US State Department) 1996.

46. For a commentary, see C. Rajamohan "Taliban in China's Wild West" The Hindu, February 20, 1997.

47. Times of India, February 27, 1997.

48. n. 46.