Compiled by: Sonia Naz
Reviewed and Edited by: S. Sadia Kazmi
STRATEGIC VISION INSTITUTE (SVI), ISLAMABAD
Strategic Vision Institute (SVI) organized an In-house seminar on “Granting of Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) Status to India: Impact on Proliferation of Nuclear Weapon and Space Technology” on August 29, 2018.
The discussion was chaired by Dr. Zafar Iqbal Cheema, President/Executive Director, SVI. The guest speakers included Mr. Irteza Imam (International Relations Expert), Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal (Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, QAU), and Dr. Ghulam Mujaddid (Acting Dean, Faculty of Aerospace Sciences and Strategic Studies, Air University). Dr. Zafar Iqbal Cheema formally inaugurated the session with a warm welcome to the participants and expressed gratitude for their attendance. In his introductory remarks he stated that on July 30th 2018, the US Department of Commerce granted India the Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) status. India is now 37th in the list of countries to get the STA-1 status conferred by the US and has now become the third Asian country (following South Korea and Japan) to achieve this status which has generally only been granted to the NATO allies. This status provides access to a large scope of exports without separate licenses. It is part of the United States’ on-going Export Control Reform that permits special cases regarding the transfer of dual-use sensitive defence-related technologies and other military equipment. While discussing the criteria for STA-1 status he said that so far it has only been given to the countries that are members of all the four export control regimes i.e. Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), Australia Group (AG), and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The federal notification of the US regarding India’s STA-1 membership gained significance as Trump administration made an exception by permitting the access and export control of high technology to a state that is yet to acquire the membership of NSG. This action clearly shows the US preferential treatment in an effort to eventually elevate India as a great power. Not only does this undermine Pakistan’s national security but has direct implications for regional security along with having negative impact on the global politics.
After his introductory remarks, Dr. Cheema handed over the session to the first speaker Mr. Irteza Imam who presented a “Critical Appraisal of Grant of STA-1 Status to India: Non-Proliferation Issues and Regional Implications”. He opined that the promotion of India’s status is not an isolated event. Since early 2000s, the US has been extending preferential treatment to India when it comes to the issues of strategic importance, the chief example being granting India the NSG waiver in 2005. The two countries have also entered into strategic collaborations such as the Logistic Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA). Over the past few years India has also emerged as one of the biggest importers of US arms. There has been a marked shift in the Indian procurement policies where it has given multi-billion-dollar deals to the US armament manufacturers; moving away from Russia. He further explained that there are three levels of STA: STA 1, 2 and 3. It is also interesting to note that Israel is placed at STA-2. As part of ongoing Export Control Reform (ECR) Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA) is basically a relaxed export control measure implemented by the US that permits the export of a defined set of items on the Commerce Control List to allies and certain other friendly countries without a specific license. In addition to all this, the STA comes under the larger Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which came into effect on October 15, 2013. These guidelines are designed to facilitate trade between the United States and its allies. The revised license exception STA may greatly benefit companies that regularly supply 600 series items for end use by close US allies. These items include certain dual-use and other less significant munitions items, such as parts and components. However, the STA also imposes enhanced compliance requirements by requiring foreign importers to certify in advance of receipt of STA-eligible items that they will abide by the US export control regulations, including the need to obtain a US license to export or re-export outside of STA-eligible countries. This shows that although there is an ease of acquiring materials and technologies, there is increased responsibility and scrutiny of the recipient. The criteria for the allocation of STA-1 status is that a state should be the member of all the four export control regimes Once again the preferential treatment by the US is evident from the fact that India is not yet a member of the NSG but has been given this status. The relaxation granted by this status would fast track the transfers of technologies and items to India. Talking about the reasons of granting the STA-1 status and economic & technical benefits to India, Mr. Imam stated that there is a great interest among the US arms manufacturers to supply their wares to India. In the past few years, both Lockheed Martin and Boeing have offered India the complete production lines of F-16 and F-18 had they agreed to buy a specific number of said aircraft from the companies. These offers were made during the Indian program of procuring up to one hundred and twenty-six fighter aircraft commonly known as the MMRCA program. It is in the interest of the US military to have these production lines running although they are no longer buying these types but they still require spares etc. It is also important for the major defence players like Lockheed Martin and Boeing etc. to export their wares and keep their production lines open. Such exports are essential for the economy of the US which is the chief exporter of weaponry in the world. Boeing in particular has been an active supplier to India with the sale of Ah-64 Apaches and Chinook helicopters. The deal has been beneficial to India as it has paved the way for setting up of joint production ventures such as the Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited which is manufacturing the fuselages for the Ah-64s in India. Apart from the benefits of technology transfer, these joint ventures are also enabling Indian companies to become vendors of parts and components by major US defence manufacturers. STA-1 status would mean that India has a greater access to production capabilities such as aeronautical grade forging presses, jet engines, associated software and hardware etc. Such a development would be crucial for the Indian private defence industry as the influx of technology and production capabilities would allow India to not only meet its own demands but also emerge as a defence exporter under the ambitious “Make in India” program. Since the warming up of relations between the US and India, the US has been trying everything in its power to mainstream India in the global non-proliferation regime. The US fashions itself as the champion of non-proliferation although its actions are in direct contradiction of almost all the ECRs. There are efforts in place by the US in renegotiating the terms of MTCR to facilitate trade. Although the US has supplied weaponry that falls under the restrictions of various ECRs to NATO and major non-NATO allies, it is working towards making these transfers legal. The US officials presented a white paper during the plenary session of the MTCR in October 2017, proposing changes to the MTCR guidelines that any UAV that travels at a speed less than 650km/hr should be placed under Category-II. This proposal is designed to relax the transfer/sale of large armed/unarmed drones. It is pertinent to know that the US has authorised the sale of Predator and Guardian UAVs to India. Although, all ECRs are legally non-binding, the formulations of domestic laws in order to comply with the guidelines make it harder for the transfer of technology. The Trump administration is easing export rules through the Direct Commercial Sales process to fast track sales. The countries willing to buy can directly negotiate with manufacturing company rather than requiring a more formal Foreign Military Sales process (systems sold under direct commercial sales must still go through regulatory checks in the US State Department). India itself is now dwelling in newer technologies for jet and rocket propulsion systems that may benefit from this step taken by the US Technologies in their nascent phases such as the Solid Fuelled Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) etc. may be developed jointly and may find applications in air-to-air missiles. It is evident from history that non-proliferation goals take a back seat when it comes to political, strategic and economic benefits.
Talking about the regional implications of these developments he said that India’s STA-1 status can be seen in the context of the US’ Asia-Pacific Rebalancing Strategy wherein the US is increasingly propping up regional competitors to offset Chinese military, economic and diplomatic influence. Among the thirty-six countries that have the STA-1 status, apart from NATO countries, all others are located in the Asia-Pacific region and have political differences with China (Japan, South Korea and Australia). Operationally, STA-1 status to India would mean increased military technologies and capabilities that India can utilize in the naval and air domain to establish itself as a major military power in not only South Asia but also in the Far East/Asia Pacific region, particularly in the South China Sea where the blue water navy that India is aiming for could create problems for the Chinese navy. The US is also turning a blind eye towards the Indian developments of ICBMs and nuclear delivery capable cruise missiles such as the BrahMos with increased range and multiple attack characteristics that can potentially alter the naval dynamics of the Indian Ocean and beyond. Cooperation and collaboration in the space domain would also increase India’s ISR capabilities which have implications for the nuclear domain. A highly developed and effective ISR coupled with the recent shift of India away from its NFU can be potentially destabilising for South Asia when seen in the context of other capabilities that India is seeking such as the multi-tiered BMD system and India’s pursuit of counter force targeting capabilities. In recent times, India has pulled out of some major joint defence projects with Russia such as the Sukhoi T-50, which may indicate a shift in Indian policy to equip itself with the US made aircraft such as the F-35 in the future. Another interesting example of the US duplicity when it comes to export controls is that Turkey; another STA-1 member has faced severe criticism and blockage of transfers of F-35 for procuring the S-400 system from Russia, whereas India has received a waiver for procuring the same Russian armaments. While concluding, Mr. Imam stated that India is set to benefit from this newfound alliance with the US in its ambition of becoming a regional and global military and economic power. India’s ambitious military development programs such as development of BMD shield, blue water navy, and a strong air force would gain fruition. He highlighted that the development of a BMD and naval leg of the nuclear triad would ultimately be destabilising for deterrence in South Asia. For Pakistan the implications are great both in the conventional and nuclear domains. It is about time that Pakistan promotes public-private partnerships in the defence fields. Industrialization is the way forward, although Pakistan has a defence industry, it is still reliant on imports of essential components. The development of a strong defence industry is essential for Pakistan’s future. The fact that India is constantly increasing the conventional gap needs to be addressed. Given the meager resources that Pakistan possesses, indigenization is the way forward, which is also sanction free and cheaper.
Dr. Cheema quoted the United States Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ statement that “STA-1 provides India with greater supply chain efficiency both for defence and for other high-tech products. The reduced licensing will accelerate the sale of critical defence equipment from the US and more flexibility on part of India to adhere to tough licensing provisions. STA-1 will also result in increased trade in electronics, lasers and sensors, information security, computers and electronics, navigation, telecommunications, and aerospace equipment. The status will also facilitate the supply of advanced systems like Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMAL) for aircrafts, armed version of Guardian drones, NASAMS II (a networked medium to long range air-defence system). India’s security concerns with Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) will be better addressed with this status as STA-1 will enable sale of some communication and security equipment (COMSEC) without COMCASA.
Second speaker Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal talked about “Impact of STA-1 on India’s Nuclear Weapon Capabilities vs. Technologies”. He started off with raising two questions:
1. What are the drivers of the contract granting the STA-1 status to India?
2. What impact does it have on India’s nuclear weapons program and capability?
Identifying the drivers, he pointed out three factors: strategic transformation in global politics, American search for new market (India is attractive economic market), and global politics. The US search for the new market makes India an attractive economic destination. The US also perceives India capable of countering the rising China. In addition to this, India is not yet the member of NSG but it enjoys all the facilities and benefits which the NSG member states enjoy. The US justifies on the pretext that if other states can transfer nuclear technology, so should India. The US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated that the move to grant STA-1 status to India reflects its efforts to improve its own export-control regime, its adherence to multilateral export rules, and its growing status as a US defence partner. Ironically, he forgets India’s nuclear track record that reveals 152 theft cases of Uranium since 1984.
The US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross stated that “India’s status as a major defence partner led to its becoming a Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) Tier 1 country comparable to our NATO allies, under the Department of Commerce Export Administration Regulations.” Even before the status of STA-1 the US military sales to India went from zero to US $15 billion in the last decade. Now, the US is focusing on India’s US $13 billion budget, which India plans to use in the coming 6 years for the modernization of its armed forces. The Indian defence and civil
industry, especially nuclear and space programs are in the dire need of sophisticated technological assistance. Despite being a non-member of the NSG, New Delhi, currently, fully reaps the benefits of its major defence partner status. Under the STA-1, the Indian civil and military industries have license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies. “This type of the US government authorisation allows certain items to be exported under defined conditions without a transaction-specific licence.” As an STA-1 country, India is eligible to get all those kind of items which are under the control list of national security, chemical or biological weapons list, nuclear proliferation list and overall it includes more than 600 items which cover electronics, lasers and sensors, information security, computers, navigation, telecommunications, and aerospace etc. These can be employed in both space and nuclear industry. The Indo-US nuclear deal was signed in 2005 and entered into force in 2008. There were two important challenges within the deal: one is that the US demanded nuclear fuel allowed to be monitored by the US, to which India objected. India only allowed the monitoring by the IAEA and Indian organizations. Second issue was about possibility of any accident in the facility. However, both disputes were settled when Obama visited India in 2014, but still a problem remains as to how to deal with the dual use technology? In 2016, the US and India signed an agreement which enabled India to establish six reactors. Definitely, this agreement would increase the fissile material presence in India whether it is used for nuclear weapons or not. He concluded his discussion by saying that STA-1 would facilitate India to get nuclear technology and boost its peaceful nuclear program as well as enhance fissile material production and delivery vehicles. Dr. Cheema quoted Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) statement in which the spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal stated “a disturbing continuation of policies of discrimination and exceptionalism is further eroding the longstanding non-proliferation norms. Pakistan believes all states have the right to acquire and use advanced and dual use technologies for socio-economic development under appropriate safeguards and without discrimination.”
Third speaker Dr. Ghulam Mujaddid deliberated upon “STA-1: Impact on India’s Space Technologies vs. Capabilities”. He explained in detail the various dimensions of Indo-US strategic partnership and road to STA-1. He said that Indo-US Strategic partnership has a long and deep history which includes: the US-India Next Step Partnership i.e. NSSP Initiative that took place on 17 September 2004. It makes part of the space agreement. Similarly, the signing of the 123 Nuclear Agreement on 18 July 2005 and 10 Years Framework Agreement, which looks in the area of missile technology, communication and other technology, are all the continuation of Indo-US strategic partnership. He opined that all the joint statement by the two are significant part of the US-Indo strategic partnership. The US recognized India as Major Defence Partner (MDP) in the Joint Statement of 7 June 2016 titled “The United States and India: Enduring Global Partners in the 21st Century”. Then, India becomes member of MTCR in 2016, Wasenaar Arrangement in 2017, and Australia Group in 2018.
Simultaneously India has been exploring in the parallel field where the Indian space program began in 1962 and in 1969 the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was set up for the purpose of rapid development of space technology. In 1972, Indian Space Commission was established and in 1975 India launched its first satellite “Aryabhata” thus entered into the space age. In the last four and a half decades, Indian space program has made impressive progress through a well-integrated, self-reliant and collaborated program. Today, India has more than 100 satellites in various orbits and some are pursuing space missions. It includes more than 13 Remote Sensing Satellites for military observation, more than 30 satellites for communications and data transmission, and around 30 satellites for weather services and navigation. One ought to acknowledge that India created history by successfully launching 104 satellites on a single mission in 2017. The launch took place from Sriharikota Space Centre in South India. In 2016, India launched 20 satellites in a single mission. Russia at that time held a sound record of launching 37 satellites at one time and the US had a record of launching 29 satellites in a single mission. Talking about the history of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), he said that ISRO was set up at Ahmadabad in 1969 as an apex body to provide guidelines, formulate policies, and monitor implementation of national space policy. The objectives of ISRO were directed towards the self-reliant use of space technology for national development with the main thrust on mass communication and education via satellite, survey and management of natural resources through remote sensing technology, environmental monitoring and meteorological forecasting. The US and India have a long and successful history of space cooperation, beginning in 1963 when India first launched a US manufactured sounding rocket from Thumba to study the atmosphere above Earth’s magnetic equator.
Dr. Ghulam Mujaddid further elaborated on 12 years long Indo-US space cooperation where the US and other nations helped India build and launch more than 350 sounding rockets from Thumba which has now become a major site for meteorology and atmospheric research. ISRO and NASA, in 1970s, conducted the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE). SITE used NASA’s first direct broadcasting satellite to beam television programs to more than 2,400 villages across India, and set up TVs for community viewing to show programs on health, agriculture, development, and children’s programs etc. The SITE program led Indian space scientists to design and develop their own state-of-the-art multipurpose communications satellite in 1980s: the Indian National Satellite (INSAT). The first four INSAT satellites were built by the US industry, and three of them were put into orbit by the US launch vehicles. INSAT ushered a revolution in India’s television and radio broadcasting and connected people. The system is also used for search and rescue missions in the Indian Ocean. INSAT is now the largest domestic communication system in the Asia Pacific Region with more than 30 operational satellites in orbit. One of these satellites is GSLV-9, which is a communication satellite exclusively used by Indian navy to control and monitor ocean. Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to the moon, was launched successfully in October 2008. The spacecraft carried several scientific instruments built by international partners, including two by NASA. The satellite orbited the moon to map this body for chemical and mineralogical characteristics. One of the NASA instruments mapped about 90 percent of the surface of the moon in nine months of operation. Chandrayaan-1 mission produced data that led scientists to detect water on the moon for the first time. India-US cooperation in space missions was highlighted on 1st February, 2003. Columbia had an Indian astronaut among the team of 7 crew members. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft popularly known as MAVEN, arrived at Mars on September 21, 2017 and is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission or MOM arrived only two days later and made India the first Asian nation to “go to Mars.” The navigation and communication support to the MOM was provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. MOM is still orbiting today and helping scientists study the Martian surface and atmosphere. India and the US jointly established a Mars Working Group to investigate further cooperation for Mars exploration. The third face-to-face meeting of this working group concluded recently in August 08, 2017 in Bangalore. The Mars Working Group seeks to identify and implement goals that NASA and ISRO share for Mars exploration. NASA-ISRO synthetic aperture radar or NISAR is an on-going project. NASA and ISRO are developing joint satellite and plan to launch it from India’s impressive Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-GSVL- in 2021. The satellite will use advanced radar imaging to provide an unprecedented and detailed view of Earth (any object of the earth). In September 2015, for the first time India launched a US satellite from its trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which has launched satellites for twenty different countries. The US companies have sought launches on India’s PSLV, including a Google satellite. Many US companies continue to provide ISRO with satellite technology and components including role in India’s GAGAN navigation system. India and the US are working together to make GPS and the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System more compatible through the adoption of the same signal for civilian use. This creates the potential to harness satellite navigation data for more benefits to Indian society and defence sector. The US and India also have a deep, cooperative relationship in space based weather systems. India continues to enhance a weather forecasting model developed by the US government. It also provides data, technical assistance, and financial support to monsoon desk at the US National Weather Service. In June 2016, NASA released international climate model data for Indian Subcontinent to facilitate climate resilience cooperation between the US and Indian technical agencies to help each country assess and prepare for changing climate risks at the sub-national level. In future, the US and India plan to work with scientists from around the world to explore the far reaches of outer space. They will explore gravitational waves; the most exciting discovery in fundamental physics in this new millennium. India could become a partner in the ISS, opening the door for even closer collaboration in space.
He concluded the discussion by saying that beyond the outer atmosphere of this planet, India and the US aim to continue exploring Mars together. Further, they desire to build spacecraft to reach other planets or bodies in the solar system. The list also includes electronics, lasers and sensors, information security, computers, navigation, telecommunications, aerospace, spacecraft, and C4ISR equipment. Even though both states have been cooperating in space domain for last few decades, the STA-1 status provided to India will further boost the high-tech space, military-strategic and commercial trade and transfers. It would also likely destabilize regional power balance leading to enhanced arms race in space. The lesson here for Pakistan is to operationalize advantages of political, diplomatic, educational and commercial engagements with the world. Pakistan should continue activities to create a knowledge-based society because it is only through knowledge that other capabilities can be enhanced.
After the third speaker, Dr. Zafar Iqbal Cheema opened the floor for Question & Answer session. He posed the first question that how would this dual use technology undermine the equilibrium and deterrence between India and Pakistan. What can Pakistan do to negate the influence of such kind of cooperation between India and the US? Mr.Irteza Imam replied that the advance cooperation between India and the US affects Pakistan on a number of levels including operational, strategic, and political. Operationally, the transfer of technology would give India a sort of dominance over Pakistan. This cooperation increases the Indian naval capabilities and opens the new strategic front for Pakistan. Dr. Cheema interjected that implications of STA-1 would take time, so will the transfer of technology to benefit India. India is a slow country to absorb the technology as it evident from the fact that it started development of an aircraft in 1960, but still it is not capable to produce an aircraft as good as or equivalent to JF17-Thunder.
Mr. Atiq ur Rehman (Assistant Professor, IR Department, NUML) tated that India’s STA-1 status shouldn’t come as a surprise because the US scholars have been hinting on this probable development since the signing of NSSP. A recently published book of Larry Pressler referred to the American Military Industrial Complex as “Octopus”. The octopus is a combination of weapon industry and leading US officials from Governmental and non-governmental sector. This octopus is not in control of anyone and works for economic purposes. With regards to the civil nuclear deal with India, whether the US supplies nuclear reactor or essential equipment for reactor or not, the Octopus has started its function. It has established its strong connections with India seeing it as a potential market for the weapons. Indian geostrategic location in territorial and maritime sector compels India to buy massive amount of defence equipment from international market. He also opined that the US officials as active part of Octopus will not let New Delhi go beyond the US for weapon purchase. Indian position in international weapon market is very strong as it has established active relation with other nations. For instance four main weapon companies of Israel are attached to India and are busy selling weapons to New Delhi. Besides Israel, Japan is another trading partner of India; Japan has even signed a civil nuclear deal with India. Now their trading relations are covering every economic dimension. The two countries have also celebrated a year of economic cooperation under their diplomatic cooperation. Mr. Attiqur Rehman suggested that keeping these points in mind, we need to rationally focus on Pakistan’s position in the international community and evaluate if Pakistan is capable enough to see the world beyond the economic corridor project sponsored by China?
Ms. Asma Khalid (Research Associate, SVI) highlighted the political significance of STA-1 for India as she added that by placing India on the STA-1 list, the US has sent two strong political messages: first is regarding India’s membership of NSG and the US commitments; and second, it has acknowledged India’s status of special ally of the US in the Asian region similar to South Korea and Japan.
Lt. General (R) Syed Muhammad Owais (Former Secretary Defence Productions), appreciated efforts of the SVI and enlightening talks by the speakers. He opined that STA-1 carries implications for Indian space ambition and naval capabilities as it keenly looks for blue water navy to dominate the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It needs new technology for this purpose. On the other hand, Pakistan has limited resources, but its strategic and conventional industry is strong. Pakistan does posses the required talent and capabilities and it can do anything but the problem is finances. Nonetheless, Pakistan has to match up the standards with available resources. Another participant,
Mr. Iftekhar Ahmed stated that the granting of STA-1 status to India will destabilize the South Asian region. India is already enjoying special treatment as is evident from the recently concluded US exceptional agreement 123 with India. The US special treatment supports India in keeping its eight reactors out of IAEA safeguards that are producing fissile material in large quantities which is not counted towards Indian stockpile. Pakistan has no objection to the peaceful uses of space but with access to advanced dual use technology, India will increase the ranges of its Agni Missile. Time is not far when its ICBM would have a range up to the US mainland. Therefore, the US slogan of countering China by developing India needs a thorough assessment. The Indo-US agreements indicate that India is treated exceptionally and it is worrisome for Pakistan. Nevertheless, Pakistan is not in arms race with India. With its meager resources, Pakistan is trying to restore stability in the region. He appreciated Pakistan’s policy of restraint, responsibility and minimalism.
Mr. Abdullah Khan (Managing Director, Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) asked a question whether there is a possibility of cooperation between Pakistan and Russia to counter STA-1 in South Asia and any help from China in this regard to safeguard Pakistan’s interests in the region? Dr. Jaspal answered that Pakistan is increasingly becoming significant and has good relations with China, while at the same time it is improving relations with Russia, but it cannot sltogether forego its relations with the US and has to maintain economic, educational and technological channels open. One should also stay mindful of the fact that although China is a good partner of Pakistan, it is giving a very clear message that it is not looking for any contest with India. China and India share more than US $100 billion trade so it can be hoped that India would not ruin this equation. Pakistan should also explore other options and Russia could be good one in this regard. However, it cannot give Pakistan loans as Russia itself needs the hard cash.
Dr. Cheema appreciated the speaker’s presentations and concluded the seminar by saying that there is consensus that the STA-1 status given to India has serious implications for Pakistan. Therefore, it should be considered and addressed by the concerned authorities to respond to it as soon as possible, however, it should not be raising any alarms yet. He stated that there is a difference between acquiring the technology and acquiring the manufacturing system. The manufacturing system immediately becomes operational, but technology takes time to be consummated into a usable system, and the STA-1 is not about the manufacturing system. Hence, one can be hopeful that there is nothing in STA-1 under which India can immediately undermine Pakistan’s national security, thus, there should be cool minded response from Pakistan. He pointed out the need for Pakistan to explore alternate options. In this regard he highlighted one problem of banking system with Russia where there is no direct banking system between the two. Pak-Russia trade falls to the monopoly of the US dollar as all the trade has to be done through New York. He suggested that all three-armed forces in coordination with assistance from the joint staff headquarter should review the situation as to how Pakistan can maintain the credibility of current deterrence against India.
At the end of the Seminar Dr. Zafar Iqbal Cheema thanked the guests, scholars and participants for their kind participation
Proceedings of the seminar were widely covered by the print media, the details of which are given below: