India: Chronology of Recent Events
India: Chronology of Events,
November 2006 - February 2007
K. Alan Kronstadt
Specialist in Asian Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
This report provides a reverse chronology of recent events involving India and
India-U.S. relations. Sources include, but are not limited to, major newswires, the U.S.
Department of State, and Indian news outlets. For a substantive review, see CRS Report
RL33529, India-U.S. Relations. This report will not be updated.
began a two-day visit to NewBJP:Bharatiya Janata Party
Delhi, where he discussed with topULFA: United Liberation Front of
Indian officials expanding bilateralAssam
trade, enforcement of intellectual
property rights, reducing
bureaucratic obstacles to commerce, planned civil nuclear cooperation,
and Doha multilateral trade negotiations. On the same day, Home
Secretary Duggal made a visit to Rangoon, where he discussed drug
trafficking and border security with Burmese officials, and requested
Burmese military action against separatist rebels operating in India’s
northeast. Also, state assembly elections were held in the Punjab state,
currently ruled by the Congress Party. Finally, two international human
rights groups issued a report critical of New Delhi’s efforts to end serious
discrimination against India’s 165 dalits, or “untouchables.”
mediating the Baglihar dam dispute under the 1960 India-Pakistan
Indus Waters Treaty submitted a report which both New Delhi and
Islamabad claimed upheld their respective positions.
02/09/07 — An Indian government survey found that nearly half of the country’s
children are malnourished. On the same day, at least six policemen
were killed by suspected separatist rebels in the Manipur state.
02/08/07 — New Delhi appeared to be renewing its previously suspended
disinvestment policies by joining a sell-off process involving three
publicly-owned power companies. On the same day, India’s air force
chief said New Delhi would soon purchase 40 Russian-built Sukhoi-30
combat aircraft for about $1.6 billion. Also, at least five policemen were
killed and another six injured in a landmine explosion in the Chhattisgarh
state. Maoist rebels were believed responsible.
chairs of the 184-member Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-
Americans. On the same day, an Indian official said that India would by
mid-2007 issue a tender for 126 combat aircraft it plans to purchase for up
to $10 billion.
02/04/07 — Moderate Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq urged armed
militants to declare a temporary cease-fire that could allow New Delhi to
reduce some of its troop strength in the region.
02/03/07 — Prime Minister Singh said the Pakistani government was “saying the
right thing” in recent statements rejecting armed militancy as a solution
to the Kashmir problem, adding that he had accepted an invitation to visit
Islamabad in the near future. On the same day, authorities in Kashmir
exhumed the bodies of five men who may have been civilians killed in
“staged encounters” with security forces. Shortly after, four policemen,
including two senior officers, had been arrested, and separatist groups
called for a protest strike which shut down most of Srinagar on 2/6.
02/01/07 — A top Congress Party leader in the Assam state was assassinated by
suspected ULFA rebels.
01/31/07 — India’s central bank warned that rising inflation and surging stock and
property markets were “signs of overheating” in the country’s economy.
On the same day, India’s Tata Steel won a $12.2 billion bid for the Anglo-
Dutch firm Corus, creating the world’s fifth largest steelmaker in India’s
largest-ever foreign takeover.
01/30/07 — India regained full investment-grade status after a 15-year hiatus
when Standard & Poor’s upgraded India’s sovereign rating.
01/28/07 — India’s air force chief said New Delhi was building an aerospace defense
command aimed at preventing possible attacks from space.
01/26/07 — Officials from India, Pakistan, and Iran reportedly agreed on a
pricing formula for Iranian natural gas, thus potentially clearing a
major obstacle to the planned construction of a pipeline to deliver such gas
to India via Pakistan. India’s oil minister later said he expected a final
deal by June. The U.S. government is opposed to the $7 billion project.
01/25/07 — Russian President Putin ended a two-day visit to New Delhi, where he
met with top Indian officials; signed several bilateral agreements on
energy, science, and space cooperation; and offered to sell four new 1,000-
megawatt nuclear reactors to India. On the same day, the Indian army
claimed that Pakistani and Indian troops had exchanged small arms fire
across the Kashmiri LOC. Also, several bomb blasts killed 2 people and
injured 7 others in the Assam state. Police blamed ULFA rebels.
where he announced a $100 million increase in Indian aid to Afghanistan.
01/21/07 — A series of bomb blasts and gunbattles left 2 people dead and 19 injured
in the Assam state. Police blamed separatist ULFA rebels.
01/20/07 — Two alleged Harkat-ul-Mujahideen terrorists were killed and a policeman
injured in a gunbattle in Kashmir.
01/18/07 — Moderate Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq arrived in
Islamabad for talks with top Pakistani leaders and called on armed
militants to support the peace process. On the same day, a coalition of
women’s rights groups accused the state-backed Sulwa Judum anti-Maoist
militia of raping and abusing many of the women they are supposed to
protect. Also, ULFA rebels warned all Hindi-speaking people to “stay
away” from Assam.
01/17/07 — The USS Trenton, a decommissioned American amphibious transport
dock purchased by India for $44 million, became the second-largest ship
in the Indian navy as it set sail with six surplus Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King
helicopters purchased for another $39 million. On the same day, India andst
China held a 31 round of talks to resolve their decades-old border
disputes. Also, New Delhi lodged a formal protest with Islamabad over
an alleged cross-border shooting incident that left two Indian soldiers
injured. Finally, two civilians were killed in a suspected ULFA-launched
bomb attack on a marketplace in the Assam state.
01/16/07 — Prime Minister Singh said his government was willing to negotiate with
any northeastern separatists who abjure violence. On the same day, seven
policemen were killed in a landmine blast triggered by Maoist rebels in
the Chhattisgarh state.
01/15/07 — Prime Minister Singh attended the 5th India-ASEAN summit meeting
in the Philippines, where he sought to forward India’s “Look East” policy
by calling for a Pan Asian free trade agreement.
01/13/07 — External Affairs Minister Mukherjee traveled to Islamabad to meet
with his Pakistani counterpart, the first such visit in more than one year.
The two men agreed to launch in mid-March a fourth round of the
Composite Dialogue that began in 2004. On the same day, ULFA rebels
issued a threat to kill Congress Party politicians in the Assam state in
retaliation for attacks on their cadres. Also, four Maoist militants were
shot dead by police in the Andhra Pradesh state.
Shyam Saran, warned that existing stipulations proscribing the
reprocessing spent fuel and further nuclear testing could kill the deal
altogether. On the same day, in a rare statement on policy, the Indian
Army called “dangerous” any proposal to demilitarize Kashmir, claiming
it would “dilute” India’s control of the region.
01/09/07 — Pakistan released from jail 115 India fishermen in a gesture of goodwill
ahead of foreign minister-level talks. On the same day, up to 13,000
Indian army and paramilitary troops fanned out across the Assam state in
what was termed the “largest-ever” operations against ULFA rebels there.
Also, Assam’s chief minister said there was “no doubt” that the ULFA
was working under the instruction of Pakistan’s main intelligence service.
Finally, the U.S. chapter of the Paris-based Doctors Without Borders
named India’s internal conflicts as one of ten “most underreported
humanitarian crises of 2006.”
01/08/07 — Prime Minister Singh said he hoped to someday conclude a treaty of
security, peace, and friendship with Pakistan. Islamabad said such a treaty
would be possible only after a resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
01/07/07 — Suspected ULFA rebels killed at least 65 people, most of them migrant
workers, in multiple attacks over two days in the Assam state. Thousands
of migrants began fleeing the region.
01/06/07 — Kashmiri separatist leader Sajad Gani Lone issued a document calling for
a unified Kashmir administered by Kashmiris with regional defense jointly
overseen by Kashmiris, India and Pakistan. On the same day, at least 1
person was killed and 30 others injured when a suspected separatist
militant lobbed a grenade into a crowded marketplace in Kashmir.
01/04/07 — Indian Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar claimed that
sections of U.S. legislation to permit U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation
(P.L. 109-401) sought to “cap and roll back” India’s nuclear weapons
program. On the same day, India’s main communist party, which holds
about 8% of the country’s parliamentary seats, said it would launch a
campaign against civil nuclear cooperation with the United States.
Mujahideen terrorist group were reported killed in a gunbattle with
security forces in Kashmir.
01/02/07 — India’s largest domestic airline, Jet Airways, said it was purchasing ten
Boeing 787-8 aircraft in a deal that could be worth $1.5 billion.
12/30/06 — The New Delhi government called the execution of Saddam Hussein a
disappointment and “unfortunate event” as thousands of protestors took
to the streets of several Indian cities shouting anti-U.S. slogans. Protests
in the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir state were violent and lasted
for days. On the same day, a policeman and a civilian were killed, and
three other people were injured, in separatist-related violence in Kashmir.
12/28/06 — Commerce Minister Nath said foreign investment flows into India were
expected to double to more than $11 billion in 2006-2007. On the same
day, nine people were killed and ten others injured in several incidents of
separatist-related violence in Kashmir. Also, a senior Maoist militant
leader was reported killed by police in the Andhra Pradesh state.
12/27/06 — A study by the Indian Ministry of Statistics found that more than 200
million citizens in rural areas subsist on less than 12 rupees (about 27
cents) per day. On the same day, two alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists
were killed in a gunbattle with Indian soldiers in Kashmir.
12/25/06 — Two suspected separatist militants, an army officer, and a civilian were
killed in a three-day gunbattle in Kashmir.
12/24/06 — New Delhi reiterated its position that Iran has the right to pursue a
peaceful nuclear program and said it was “studying the implications” of
a U.N. Security Council Resolution calling for sanctions on Tehran.
12/22/06 — Two days of India-Pakistan talks on the militarized Sir Creek dispute
ended with agreement to conduct a joint survey. On the same day, India
and Pakistan began a prisoner swap involving 57 Pakistani nationals and
70 Indians. Also, a task force on development in Jammu and Kashmir
submitted a report to Prime Minister Singh calling for urgent efforts to
improve power and infrastructure in the troubled state.
12/21/06 — Four people, including two policemen, were killed and six others injured
in landmine attacks by Maoist rebels in the central Chhattisgarh state. On
the same day, 23 people, including many women and children, were
injured in twin bomb attacks by suspected ULFA militants in the
northeastern Assam state.
12/20/06 — U.S. trade officials warned that India could be among six countries that
may lose some duty-free access to the U.S. market after recent changes to
the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences. The U.S. Trade
Representative said preliminary assessments indicated India would lose
duty-free access for gold jewelry exports to the United States (such
exports were worth nearly $2 billion in 2006).
12/19/06 — Defense Minister Mukherjee said India would “keep its options open to
conduct nuclear tests” in the future.
12/18/06 — President Bush signed into law H.R. 5682, the Henry J. Hyde United
States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006 (P.L.
109-401). Prime Minister Singh later told Parliament that “clearly
difficult negotiations lie ahead” in launching such cooperation.
12/16/06 — Several leading Indian nuclear scientists, including three former chairmen
of the country’s Atomic Energy Commission, published a statement of
opposition to recently passed U.S. legislation enabling U.S.-India civil
nuclear cooperation, saying its stipulations “constitute an intrusion into
India’s independent decision-making and policy matters.”
12/15/06 — Prime Minister Singh paid a visit to Tokyo, where India and Japan
inked 12 bilateral agreements to forward their “strategic partnership,”
including negotiations toward a future free trade agreement. Tokyo
withheld endorsement of India’s entry into the civilian nuclear club.
12/12/06 — A report of the U.N. Children’s Fund found that about 7,000 fewer girls
than expected are born each day in India due to female feticide.
12/10/06 — India’s main opposition BJP called on New Delhi to reject the act passed
by the U.S. Congress regarding U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation,
calling the conditions therein “humiliating.” A senior BJP figure later
promised to “scrap” the deal if the BJP were returned to national power.
India’s main communist party, which supports the Congress-led ruling
coalition, later said the deal was “not acceptable,” as it would “seriously
undermine India’s independent foreign policy.” On the same day, Defense
Minister Antony said terrorist training camps in Pakistan-controlled
Kashmir were still operational.
12/08/06 — Under Secretary of State Burns met with Foreign Secretary Menon in New
Delhi to discuss “progress in all the areas” of U.S.-India relations.
5682, enabling U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation. Congressional
conferees reconciled House and Senate versions of the legislation and
provided a 30-page explanatory statement. New Delhi welcomed final
congressional approval, while also noting the legislation contained
“extraneous and prescriptive provisions” which could complicate future
negotiations. On the same day, Under Secretary of Commerce and
Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Dudas told a New Delhi
audience that “further modifications are necessary” in India’s intellectual
property rights protection regime and that India’s copyright laws are
“insufficient in many aspects.” Also, New York-based Human Rights
Watch criticized New Delhi for offering to help arm Burma’s “brutal
military dictatorship” with sophisticated weapons that would likely be
used against Burma’s civilian population.
12/05/06 — The benchmark Sensex index of the Bombay Stock Exchange rose
above the 14,000 mark for the first time ever.
12/04/06 — Pakistani President Musharraf said Pakistan is “against
independence” for Kashmir, calling instead offering a four-point
proposal that would lead to “self-governance,” defined as “falling between
autonomy and independence.” Prime Minster Singh later welcomed the
proposals, saying they “contribute to the ongoing thought process.”
12/01/06 — At least 14 policemen were killed in a landmine attack by Maoist
rebels in the eastern Jharkhand state.
11/30/06 — Indian police named a Pakistani national as the main conspirator behind
the 7/11 Bombay terrorist bombings.
11/28/06 — Under Secretary of Commerce Franklin Lavin led a delegation of 250
American business executives to Bombay on a mission to explore new
opportunities to invest in India and develop new partnerships with
companies there. The delegation represented 180 companies from a
variety of sectors, including the nuclear sector, and was the largest-ever
to visit India.
11/27/06 — India successfully tested a rudimentary ballistic missile defense
system when a modified Prithvi II missile intercepted and destroyed
another missile over the Bay of Bengal.
11/25/06 — Seven security personnel and a militant were killed in separatist-related
violence in Kashmir.
11/24/06 — Indian and Japanese coast guard ships conducted joint exercises in the
11/21/06 — During a four-day visit to New Delhi by Chinese President Hu, the first
such visit by a Chinese president since 1996, India and China issued a
Joint Declaration outlining a “ten-pronged strategy” to boost bilateral
socio-economic ties and defense cooperation, and to “reinforce their
strategic partnership.” The two countries, which declared themselves
“partners for mutual benefit” rather than rivals or competitors, also signed
13 pacts on a variety of bilateral initiatives. The Joint Declaration notably
contained an agreement to “promote cooperation in the field of nuclear
energy.” On the same day, during a visit to New Delhi to discuss bilateral
and multilateral trade issues with top Indian leaders, Agriculture
Secretary Johannes urged India to “lead the way toward unlocking
the Doha negotiations by offering real market access.”
11/16/06 — The Senate passed H.R. 5682, as amended, to enable civil nuclear
cooperation with India, by a vote of 85-12. On the same day, Foreign
Minister Mukherjee met with Iran’s foreign minister in New Delhi, where
the two officials agreed that “the economic potential of the [India-Iran]
relationship needed to be actualized in the maximum.”
11/15/06 — U.S. Under Secretary of Defense Edelman met with Defense Secretary
Dutt in New Delhi for the eighth session of the U.S.-India Defense
Policy Group, where officials discussed bolstering bilateral cooperation
in military security, technology, and trade. On the same day, the India-
Pakistan Composite Dialogue resumed when Foreign Secretary Menon
hosted a New Delhi visit by his Pakistani counterpart.