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    UK BAN on arm sales to India & Pakistan.

    Block on arms to India and Pakistan
    By Benedict Brogan and Neil Tweedie
    (Filed: 27/05/2002)


    Britain has suspended arms exports to India and Pakistan to try to avoid exacerbating the crisis that has brought the two nuclear powers to the brink of war.

    Patricia Hewitt, the Trade and Industry Secretary, signed an order last Thursday halting export licences.


    Escalation: Indian soldiers patrol past missiles deployed near Amritsar, close to the border
    The decision could prove fatal to negotiations between BAE Systems and India on the sale of 66 Hawk advanced training aircraft worth an estimated 1 billion.

    Whitehall sources confirmed the move as President Bush increased pressure on President Musharraf of Pakistan yesterday after two ballistic missile tests by Pakistan.

    Speaking at the start of a week of hectic international diplomacy to try to stop India and Pakistan going to war, Mr Bush told Mr Musharraf to do more to prevent Islamic militants crossing into Indian-controlled Kashmir.

    The suspension of arms exports underlines Downing Street's fears that the worsening dispute over Kashmir may lead to a nuclear exchange. Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, will explain the decision when he travels to the region this week.

    The suspension affects only arms and equipment which has already been sold to the two countries and is due for export. Government sources stressed that the issue was being treated on a "case by case" basis and did not amount to an embargo.

    Robin Cook, the Leader of the Commons who, as foreign secretary, promised an "ethical dimension" to foreign policy, said the suspension "makes sense". His stance is likely to be endorsed by Clare Short, the International Development Secretary, who has taken a tough line against weapons sales.

    But it is likely to be fiercely opposed by John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, whose Hull East constituency will benefit from the Hawk deal.

    It is understood that the suspension will be lifted if tension eases. It does not prevent companies from seeking to sell equipment to either country.

    Mr Cook said the decision was consistent with Government policy not to allow exports to areas where they might have a destabilising effect.

    He told the BBC's On the Record programme: "In the present circumstances it would be plainly wholly consistent with those criteria we set out that we would not provide weapons in places where there is a risk those weapons would fuel tension."

    The situation was "very grave and very worrying" and India and Pakistan must "step back", Mr Cook said.

    The Department of Trade and Industry drew a distinction between an embargo and the suspension of specific export licences.

    "There are no plans for an arms embargo," a spokesman said. "However, the situation in the region is taken fully into account in considering export licence decisions."

    George Fernandes, the Indian defence minister, is a strong champion of the Hawk deal. But support for the bid could vanish if Britain was seen to be an unreliable supplier.

    Although the suspension does not apply specifically to BAE, Russian, French and Czech aircraft manufacturers are ready to step in if the company is unable to deliver.

    The deal is considered crucial to the survival of the Hawk production line, which has been run down over the past few years as orders have dried up.

    The future of about 1,500 jobs at BAE's plant at Brough, in the heart of Mr Prescott's Hull East constituency, hangs on the successful outcome of negotiations, which appeared to be nearing fruition after years of wrangling over price.

    The order was expected to keep Brough in work for the remainder of the decade, compensating for a lack of new orders for Hawks from the RAF. Some 850 jobs were lost at Brough in the last round of redundancies in 2000.

    BAE appeared close to settling a deal with India last March when Mr Fernandes was forced to resign temporarily because of an alleged corruption scandal.

    After he was reappointed to his old job, BAE had hoped that the contract would quickly be signed and sealed, particularly after a visit to India by Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, last November.

    Brough makes the components for the trainer, with final assembly usually being made at BAE's plant at Warton in Lancashire.

    Under the proposed deal with New Delhi, Hawk components from Brough would have been shipped to India, with the aircraft being assembled there.

    If the Hawk deal does fail because of the suspension of the exports licences, it will do little to harm India's ability to deliver air-launched nuclear weapons in the future.

    Hawk does have a combat capability, but only as a close-support aircraft.

    The aircraft would not be suitable for deep-penetration missions into Pakistan, which would most likely be carried out by the Indian air force's mixed fleet of Anglo-French Jaguars, French Mirage 2000s and MiGs and Sukhois provided by Russia.

    "If the Hawk deals falls through, the Indians are very likely to turn to the Russians to fulfil their needs," said Tim Ripley, an aerospace analyst at Lancaster University's defence centre.

    "The Indians have assembled Russian aircraft in the past and Moscow's hard-pressed aviation industry would jump at the chance of getting hold of the Indian order."

    ------------------
    You can only paint with the colors you're given...
    ...so get what you like and like what you have.

    #2
    Note from the story that these aircraft are not really selling, not even the RAF is buying 'em. Wonder how much commision veggiepie and fernando took to give BAE the contract... Also note this:

    "Hawk does have a combat capability, but only as a close-support aircraft."

    ------------------
    You can only paint with the colors you're given...
    ...so get what you like and like what you have.

    Comment


      #3
      Smart indea on the part of the british.. Cant be trying to stop a war on the one hand, and selling weapons on the other..

      Comment


        #4
        Hold on there http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/biggrin.gif

        DTI rejects Cook's suggestion of Hawk ban

        Whitehall officials yesterday distanced themselves from comments by Robin Cook, the leader of the Commons, suggesting that the government is poised to block the sale to India of 60 Hawk jets, worth 1bn, as part of international efforts to defuse the crisis with Pakistan over Kashmir.

        But the Department of Trade and Industry, which leads on trade matters, said: "There are no current plans for an arms embargo; however the situation in the region is taken fully into account in considering export licence decisions."
        Poooof http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/hehe.gif http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/ok.gif http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/hehe.gif

        Comment


          #5
          Why does RAW send the worst dudes to gupshup? hmmmm...

          Here dumbo,

          Britain has suspended arms exports to India and Pakistan to try to avoid exacerbating the crisis that has brought the two nuclear powers to the brink of war.
          ------------------
          You can only paint with the colors you're given...
          ...so get what you like and like what you have.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by pakistan99:
            [b]Why does RAW send the worst dudes to gupshup? hmmmm...
            I know, he cannot even read the articles he post himself, especially the part about:-

            Officials made it clear yesterday that ministers hope the Hawk deal will go through eventually, but not now.

            Had he read your article fully he would have noticed it said:-

            Patricia Hewitt, the Trade and Industry Secretary, signed an order last Thursday halting export licences

            Comment


              #7
              pak99,

              Maybe they did not teach you "logic" in your Madrassa http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/biggrin.gif

              My report clearly says that the DTI DENIES that there is a ban.

              So, we have 2 contradictory reports.

              Go figure http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/biggrin.gif

              Read this:
              http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/may/27hawk.htm


              The British government on Sunday denied reports that it was planning an embargo on the sale of one billion pounds worth of Advanced Jet Trainers to India in view of the escalating tension between New Delhi and Islamabad.
              When contacted, a spokesman of the Department of Trade and Industry, in charge of arms exports, said, "At present there is no plan for an arms embargo. We are keeping a close watch on developments in the region."

              Comment


                #8
                I would prefer the telegraph over the press trust of india...

                ------------------
                You can only paint with the colors you're given...
                ...so get what you like and like what you have.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Whatever but you are not getting those Hawks http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/hehe.gif (btw report clearly says that its a BAN not Embargo and so does the topic)



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                  Jahaan Jahaan hay dushmani, sabab meen hoon
                  Jahaaan Jahaan hay mayra ehteram, Tum say hay

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I dont know what they are doing but its a good idea not to sell either side arms at the moment .britian thinks of both countrys as friends we dont want you to slide into a war that could destroy both of you .

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Don't worry Jhonny, read Western Military reports about the quality of Pak forces, esp our legendary Air Force. (no exxageration)

                      It will only be India that takes a beating!
                      http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smash.gif

                      Comment

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