extending their long-standing relationship through 2010. --Stephen V Cole
November 19; The new military led government has broken new ground in both domestic matters and foreign affairs. Pakistan has offered to hold high level talks with India on all the issues that currently divide them. Within Pakistan, an unprecedented anti-corruption crackdown has led to the arrest of dozens of the wealthiest and most powerful who were involved in a a major bank fraud.
India and Russia signed another defense cooperation pact on 5 Nov, this one
November 17; INDIA has decided to replace most of its artillery with new 155mm howitzers by 2020, and has specified that it wants both towed and self-propelled versions of guns with 52-caliber barrels. Bofors of Sweden has the inside track since India already uses its towed FH77, and the Indians are starting tests on a mobile version of the gun mounted on a 6-wheeled truck with a cab armored against shell fragments. The Indians will need about 200 battalions of artillery, meaning a massive order for as many as 3,600 weapons. It has invited Bofors, GIAT of France, LIW of South Africa, ODE of Singapore, Patria Vammas of Finland, Santa Barbara of Spain, and Marconi of Britain to participate, but not all will. (Some doubt they could get the contract, others do not trust the way India does business.) The Indians want mostly self-propelled guns, although they are thinking more in terms of truck-mounted rather than armored and tracked gun systems. South Africa sent a turret to India to mount on an Arjun tank chassis, but the Indians cooled to that idea when they saw the $3 million price tag for each turret.--Stephen V Cole
November 16; Pakistan is seeking better relations with Burma, having sold it $2.5 million worth of weapons earlier this year and having sent numerous teams of military officers on good will tours. What the Pakistanis want is a contract to build a modern new airbase at Haka, in Burma's Chin state and near the border with India. Such a base (with a semi-permanent Pakistani presence) would then be used to funnel aid and weapons to the numerous insurgent groups operating in India's far eastern provinces. India has responded with trade initiatives to the Burmese, and is paying to build a road that would link the Indian and Burmese highway systems. Such a road could, of course, one day support an Indian military move to clean out the rebel bases in northern Burma.--Stephen V Cole
November 16; Relations between India and Bangladesh are far from harmonious. At a recent meeting between the respective border guards commands, none of the problems that have caused tension along the border were resolved and in fact the meeting broke up after several "unfriendly exchanges". India complains that Bangladeshi tribesmen raid farms and villages inside India, while Bangladesh complains that Indian troops often launch reprisal raids into Bangladesh.--Stephen V Cole
November 15; Russia launched the tenth Kilo-class submarine built for India in early October. The boat will be delivered next summer.--Stephen V Cole
November 13; Several different incidents in Kashmir left fifteen people dead, including twelve Moslem separatists and three security troops.
November 12; In Islamabad, Pakistan, six rockets were fired from crude launchers at UN and US occupied buildings. All the rockets missed, but several people were injured. Afghan sympathizers were suspected, given the large number of Afghans in Pakistan and the November 14 UN deadline for Afghan to hand over terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.