President Clinton: India Is Not For Sale!
President Clinton is visiting India in March 2000. Normally a visit by the Head of State of a country with which India has good relations would be a welcome event and part of state-to-state relations. However, the Clinton visit is invested with more than usual significance. The United States of America is aggressively pushing forward its plan for global hegemony and India is one of the prime targets in this global strategy of US imperialism.
An American President is visiting India after nearly 22 years. The last US President came in 1978. It is the first visit by a US President after the dismantling of the Soviet Union and the major changes in the correlation of forces in the world. The BJP-led government has assiduously worked for the Clinton visit to materialise. The Vajpayee government accords a special status to relations with the US and accepts the need for a strategic partnership with the USA.
Brutal Face of US Imperialism
The USA is no ordinary country. It is the most powerful superpower which heads a bloc of the most advanced capitalist nations, the Group of Seven (G7). It is the leader of the military alliance based in Europe, NATO, and it plays a dominant role in the international institutions like the IMF, World Bank and the WTO. The US multinational corporations in finance and industry are the most powerful in the world. The United States is the main force behind the imperialist driven globalised order and it provides the military might to police and enforce the dictates of international finance capital.
The history of the five decades after the Second World War, shows that the United States has time and again militarily intervened in different parts of the world to protect the interests of imperialism; to destabilise the governments which refuse to follow the American dictates and to prop up reactionary regimes imposed on the people against their wishes. The massive intervention in Korea in the fifties, the brutal war waged against the Vietnamese people in the sixties and seventies, the toppling of the Mossadegh regime in Iran in the fifties, the support to the coup in Guatemala and Chile, the repeated interventions in Central America, the most prominent being the financing of the Contras to wage a civil war against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, the support to the counterrevolutionary Unita in Angola and the attack on Lebanon are just some of the instances in the long list of military aggression by the US armed forces.
Even after the dismantling of the Soviet Union which was cited as the main threat to the United States and the end of the so-called cold war, the United States has over 250000 troops and scores of military bases abroad. The United States maintains a huge military base in Diego Garcia island in the Indian Ocean. Situated 1500 miles from the Indian coastline, the Diego Garcia base stocks nuclear weapons. It was used for refuelling planes and arming them with missiles for the bombing raids on Iraq in the 1991 Gulf war and the subsequent attacks. The existence of this military base in the Indian Ocean is a direct threat to India's security.
According to the United Nations, half the world's population in 75 countries were subject to the unilateral coercive economic measures or `sanctions' by the USA in the year 1998.
After the end of the Soviet Union, the United States has become more belligerent:
Iraq is repeatedly bombed and its sovereignty violated by imposing "No Fly Zones" in its own airspace.
The brutal sanctions prohibit medicines, food and other essential commodities being imported into Iraq. As a result, the worst sufferers are young children. The Unicef has estimated that if Iraq had sustained its child welfare programmes, half a million fewer children would have died between 1991 and 1999. For the US rulers, half a million children's lives is not a big price to pay to bring Saddam Hussein to heel.
Yugoslavia was savagely bombed for 78 days in order to dislodge the Milosevic government and to back the separatist forces in Kosovo. 3000 persons were killed in these attacks.
The most relentless economic and political warfare is waged against Cuba to subvert its socialist system. The United States even today maintains a military base on Cuban soil in Guantanamo against the wishes of the Cuban people. Apart from the economic and trade embargo, the US refuses to send back a eight year old child, Elian Gonzalez, back to his father in Cuba, as part of its inhuman blockade.
From the nineties, the United States has misused the United Nations Security Council repeatedly to launch military aggression against countries which refuse to accept its dictates.
The brutal face of US imperialism is seen all over the world today. In the dying children of Iraq, the destruction of Yugoslavia, the growing immiserisation of the people of the third world through the structural adjustment programmes imposed through the IMF, the trampling of national sovereignty to uphold a globalised capitalism and the toppling of popular governments by bribery and subversion.
It is with such a power that the BJP government wishes to enter into a "strategic partnership".
US strategic designs in South Asia
The United States' strategy towards India has changed over the last two decades. After the end of the cold war, the United States has identified one of its strategic objectives to be the containment of regional powers. India is among the medium powers who are seen to have the economic and technological capacity to develop as a regional power which can threaten the United States' global interests. After the dismantling of the Soviet Union and the toppling of the pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan, the United States began to change its approach to India. On the one hand, it wants to curb India's technological and defence potential and keep it under control, on the other hand, it wants to coopt India as a regional power under its hegemonic umbrella. The tactics of pressure and inducements, threats and conciliation are designed to coax and cajole India to accept the status of a junior partner in the US strategic plans for South Asia.
As part of this overall plan for the Indian subcontinent, the USA wants to yoke India and Pakistan together as two wheels of the US chariot. The tensions and hostility between India and Pakistan are sought to be utilised and balanced by the United States to serve its strategic goal. Such a plan is inimical to India's national interests and giving in to such pressures will erode India's sovereignty and decision-making capacities.
It is in this context that the US Congress for the first time adopted a near unanimous resolution calling for a strategic partnership with India in December 1999. The United States would like to capture the Indian market which is substantial by world standards, penetrate its economy and buy up its assets cheaply and enmesh India in a strategic military relationship.
This does not however mean that the United States is abandoning Pakistan while bidding for India as a strategic ally. The United States has always maintained strategic ties with the Pakistani State. Pakistan has been the most reliable ally of US imperialism in this region since the fifties. It was a member of the American military alliance, CENTO and it allowed the US armed forces to run military bases in the country. The Pakistan army has been trained and equipped by the United States. The Zia-ul-Haq regime was particularly close to the United States establishment and a client of the CIA. It was through the Pakistani military that the CIA funneled millions of dollars worth of arms and equipment to the Mujahideen fighting in Afghanistan. After the end of the Afghan war and dismantling of the Soviet Union, the United States continues to exercise strong influence over the ruling circles in Pakistan. Joint military exercises between the Pakistani and American armed forces are a regular feature.
Hostile Measures against India
The United States is the one country which has acted in a consistently hostile fashion against India's long term and vital interests. The current technology control regimes constructed by the United States is aimed against India too. While prohibition of transfer of nuclear technology have existed even before the Pokhran II tests, the US did not mete out similar treatment to Israel or the earlier racist South African regime. After Pokhran I tests in 1974, the US had prohibited transfer of any technology for designing, building or maintaining nuclear reactors and processing of nuclear fuel to India. Even safety equipment or equipment required for the nuclear plants supplied by the US such as Tarapur are not permitted to be supplied to India.
Technology which can be used for developing nuclear weapons or missiles and which have dual use i.e. application for civilian purposes are also in the prohibited list for India. Many of the technologies which can contribute to development of nuclear weapons and missiles have very large civilian applications as well. For instance, electronic devices for triggering nuclear devices are used in oil exploration. High-speed components required for climate modeling or designing modern equipment can also be used to design nuclear bombs. A modern pharmaceutical industry can be used to make biological weapons. In fact the weapons control regimes imposed by the US and its allies target a whole range of high technology areas which are essential for India's development.
The US has a huge list of Indian entities that cannot import items in its dual- use import list. All organisations involved with either aeronautical studies or nuclear engineering cannot import any item in this list. Before Pokhran I certain items could be imported by these entities with a license. Now, virtually there is a complete ban on all items considered of dual use by the US and its allies. The technology control regimes are operated through mechanisms such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Chemical and Biological weapons: Australia Group (AG) and the Dual Use Technology and Conventional Weapons: Wassenaar Arrangement (WA). India is the target country for all the above technology regimes except for the chemical-biological areas.
The dual use technology embargo is particularly burdensome for India. It reduces access for various technologies required for domestic industry. It also imposes additional costs on the Indian industry. In the field of electronic chip manufacturing and super computers, India is unable to get the state of the art technology due to the US embargoes. The Vajpayee government instead of strongly opposing such illegal controls only shows concern about the "violation" of these regimes by Pakistan. The Vajpayee government has not questioned the legitimacy of any of these embargoes in any forum including the WTO.
Even while the Jaswant Singh-Strobe Talbott talks were on, the US announced the "entities list" in November, 1999 which put 200 Indian institutions and companies on the prohibited list to stop them having normal transactions with US companies. On the eve of the Clinton visit, sanctions have been lifted on only 51 of these entities.
The Clinton Administration is constantly threatening India with hostile measures for developing its missile technology, like the Agni missile. But its hypocrisy and double standards are evident in its joint missile development project with Israel. Since Israel is the reliable agent of US imperialism in West Asia, the US is jointly developing the Arrow Missile II with Israel. This anti-ballistic missile defence system was tested in Israel in November, 1999. Outside the US-led alliance, no else is supposed to develop missiles.
The United States is working to destroy the substantial drug industry built up in India through the protection offered by the Patents Act of 1970. India had been able to produce bulk drugs using innovative process technologies. Now India is required to buy process patenting for a period of twenty years which in one sweep will make the R&D infrastructure in the pharmaceutical structure largely infructuous. The WTO regime is being utilised by the United States and the multinationals to destroy the indigenous research and development process of drug production. The interests of the MNCs would be better served if they directly import and earn super profits through the time-tested method of "transfer pricing". Thanks to the American pressure, MNCs like Ciba Geigy, Pfizer, Boots, and Hoechst who control new technology would be in a position to take over the Indian market and fix drug prices and drug availability at will.
It is argued that compulsory licensing provisions would prevent the creation of monopolies when India amends its Patents Act. However, the United States government and the US pharmaceutical industry are trying their best to prevent compulsory licensing of drugs in developing countries. According to Dr. Amit Sengupta "When the Thai government wanted to invoke a compulsory licensing provision to produce DDL -- an anti-AIDS drug at cheaper costs, the US government persuaded the Thai government not only to drop its plans for compulsory licensing but also to change is patent and trade laws to outlaw compulsory licensing altogether. It threatened to reduce Thailand's access to the US markets for its jewellery exports, one of Thailand's major sources of foreign exchange, while at the same time offering to cut tariffs on wood products entering the US market."
Dangers of Military Collaboration
The Indo-US military cooperation treaty signed in January 1995 during the visit of the then US Defence Secretary William Perry, marked a new stage in Indo-US relations. From the 1980s military cooperation between the two countries was initiated with joint naval exercises. This was followed by the setting up of an Indo-US Army steering committee in 1992. Following this, joint steering committees of the two navies and air forces were constituted. After that for five successive years upto 1997 joint exercises were conducted by the two armies on the ground and by the two navies in the sea.
The BJP-led government which came to power in 1998 was not opposed to military cooperation with the USA. Infact the then BJP President, L.K. Advani, had welcomed the first Indo-US joint naval exercises in 1992. After the nuclear tests, the growing military cooperation came to a halt temporarily. The US suspended joint activities between the two armed forces as part of the sanctions imposed on India.
Significantly, the first measure announced by the US in relaxing the sanctions in November 1999 was the resumption of training of Indian armed forces personnel under the International Military Education Training (IMET) programme. It is under this programme that the Pentagon conducts joint training programmes with the armed forces of other countries. The most reactionary military officers of South America were trained under this programme in the notorious School of Americas run by the Pentagon. It is one of the major instruments by which the United States penetrates the armed forces of the third world countries and suborns its officer corps and entrenches itself in the higher echelons of the armed forces. India is now subject to such subversion.
BJP -- Subservience to American Interests
The BJP as a party has always been inimical to the principle of non-alignment as the basis of India's foreign policy. The BJP and its earlier incarnation, the Jan Sangh, has hankered for recognition of India by United States and expressed repeatedly their willingness to be the junior partner of the super power provided it abandoned its strategic relationship with Pakistan.
The visit of President Clinton comes as the culmination of a long process of negotiations between the BJP-led government and the US administration. These talks have gone on for nearly two years beginning in June 1998. What has come to be known as the Jaswant Singh-Strobe Talbott talks constitutes a unique and disturbing character in the annals of India's foreign policy. Ten rounds of talks have been held so far between India's foreign minister, Jaswant Singh and the US Assistant Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott. These talks were held during the first thirteen-month stint of the Vajpayee government, the four-month caretaker government period headed by Vajpayee and resumed after the elections with the coming of the Second Vajpayee government. The Vajpayee government has set a new precedent by holding these talks in a clandestine manner with the venue being on most occasions not in India or the USA, but in third countries. Frankfurt, Geneva, Rome and London have been the venues where the talks were held to ensure secrecy.
Firstly, Prime Minister Vajpayee wrote to President Clinton citing the threat from China as the reason for the nuclear tests in May 1998 and seeking US approval. After the United States mobilised the G7 and the Security Council to condemn India for the nuclear blasts, it imposed economic sanctions. In response to India's pleadings it then began the talks which have continued till now.
It is through these talks that the United States has pursued its twin aims of trying to impose a nuclear non-proliferation regime on India and Pakistan and to extract concessions from India for lifting of sanctions and allowing India to maintain a minimum nuclear deterrent in the form of keeping US approved stockpile of nuclear weapons.
By engaging in secret negotiations with the United States on the terms set by it, the Vajpayee government has succeeded in putting India in the same bracket with Pakistan. It has allowed the United States to play the role of the arbiter in the nuclear equation between India and Pakistan.
Just as the United States initiated strategic talks with India, it simultaneously began talks with the Pakistan government in its quest for its non-proliferation agenda, reducing tensions between the two countries including the Kashmir issue and pushing forth its economic agenda. While the BJP led government was being secretive about its talks with the United States, the Nawaz Sharief government was more open about the nature and the content of the talks with the United States. This is because the US-Pakistan relations have been on a stable plank for a long time and there is nothing to hide.
The BJP-led government on the other hand while reversing India's traditional policy of non-alignment has got to cover up and obscure this process. The CPI(M), in its 16th Party Congress in October, 1998, had warned that "The BJP's nuclear policy has made India more vulnerable to imperialist pressures. A situation of instability in the region will only help imperialist strategic designs." The events subsequently have completely confirmed this conclusion.
Despite the veil of secrecy behind which the Vajpayee government surrendered India's vital interests to America, the facts about the nature of the deals struck have emerged mainly from the public statements and media interviews given by the American side.
First of all the Vajpayee government agreed to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) within six months after the Pokhran tests. The decision to sign was taken in the shadow of coercive action. The BJP-led government compromised India's sovereignty by offering to join the CTBT while being subjected to sanctions imposed by the United States and other G-7 countries.
India had always maintained that following the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, a CTBT is not a genuine disarmament measure. The US sees the CTBT as a non-proliferation measure to ensure that nuclear weapons remain with the five countries in the nuclear club and also ensure overwhelming American nuclear superiority.
Pro-Imperialist Foreign Policy
In its quest for American recognition as a nuclear weapons power, the Vajpayee government has expressed its readiness to accept the United States as a hegemonic power and willing to act within the framework of the US strategic designs for South Asia and the world. The shift in foreign policy is more than evident with this pro-US stance:
· The Vajpayee government refused to condemn the US missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan in 1998
· It only formally deplored the US bombardment of Iraq and the continuing efforts to dismember the country
· During the NATO aggression of Yugoslavia, the Vajpayee government refused to mobilise world opinion against the savage attack.
· In the United Nations, the BJP-led government has no record of opposition to the US steps for aggression and hegemony.
The BJP leadership extended support to the American attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan in the hope that the US would reciprocate by adopting a similar stand on Pakistan sponsored terrorist activities in Kashmir and India's right to retaliate. But the BJP government's policy of justifying such brazen attacks violating the sovereignty of independent countries in the expectation of US support boomeranged.
Soon after the BJP leadership claimed that it has a right to take action against cross border terrorism in Kashmir, Thomas Pickering, the US under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, told the press that while the US would reserve the right to go after terrorists anywhere, it is opposed to India exercising a similar option on the Kashmir issue. He warned India against any preemptive action in the region. This led to a volley of protests from the BJP leadership. But the Americans made it clear that only the superpower has to right to counter "terrorism" anywhere in the world.
The disastrous course adopted by the Vajpayee government for nuclear weaponisation has played into the hands of the United States. The Kargil conflict underlines how Pakistan has been able to internationalise the Kashmir issue utilising the new situation where both countries have declared that they will go for nuclear weapons. The Vajpayee government sought American help to end the Kargil conflict. Though the Vajpayee government studiously avoids terms like mediator, facilitator or third party role, it has become a reality that Kashmir has become internationalised and the United States has been accorded a role in facilitating negotiations on Kashmir between India and Pakistan. The joint statement issued by President Clinton and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief for ending the Kargil conflict contained a commitment by President Clinton that he would take "personal interest" in India and Pakistan resolving the Kashmir problem. In the run-up to the Clinton visit, Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State has made it amply clear that nuclear non-proliferation and the tensions because of the Kashmir issue between the two countries India and Pakistan would figure in the agenda of Clinton.
The pathetic attempts by the Vajpayee government to forestall a visit to Pakistan by President Clinton, shows their desperation to project the Clinton visit as a great achievement for India. If the Americans do not oblige them by ignoring the military regime in Pakistan, the whole misleading portrayal of a special relationship developing with India will come unstuck. The surrender on all vital questions will be all the more difficult to conceal.
Surrendering Vital Interests
While the foreign policy has been re-oriented to meet American concerns, the concessions given on the domestic front are equally harmful. One of the first concessions extracted by the United States in the Strobe Talbott-Jaswant Singh talks was a reaffirmation of the commitment made by previous governments to open up the insurance sector. The BJP which had earlier opposed foreign capital coming into the insurance sector agreed to this demand in 1998 itself. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Bill which could not be passed by the first Vajpayee government was finally adopted in the first session of the new Lok Sabha after the elections. The bill provides for 26 per cent foreign equity for the private insurance companies which will be set up in India. It also provides sufficient loopholes for foreign run insurance companies to be registered in India as Indian companies.
The BJP which had mounted a big campaign against the Enron project at Dabhol, Maharashtra and accused the Congress government of striking an unprincipled deal with the US multinational has now become the most ardent advocate of such multinational companies. The thirteen-day government of Vajpayee in 1996 tried to surreptitiously approve the terms of the Enron agreement by holding a cabinet meeting just before the vote of confidence when the fall of the government was due. After coming back to power in 1999, the BJP-led government has now extended counter-guarantees to power projects in which American multinationals are involved. The now aborted Congentrix involved project in Karnataka was also given a counter-guarantee. The previous BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra not only approved Phase I of the Dabhol project but also re-negotiated an expanded project with Enron including Phase II. The consequences of this deal is now unfolding. The bill for the first six months presented by the Dabhol company indicates that the cost of power has been Rs. 4.64 per unit. The cost of supplying this power would be around Rs 6.00 per unit which means that the Maharashtra State Electricity Board would lose around Rs. 2.50 per unit on Enron supplied power.
The Vajpayee government has now decided to be more generous to foreign capital. It has now proposed automatic entry of foreign capital upto 100 per cent equity in all sectors of the economy except for a small negative list of items. This was announced on January 31 by the Union Cabinet to create the right atmosphere for the visit by President Clinton who is being accompanied by a large delegation of top business executives from the US.
The US has been relentlessly pressurising India to liberalise imports by drastically cutting down import duties and remove all quantitative restrictions on imports. The World Trade Organisation has been used to decree that India cannot impose quantitative restrictions. While the European Union agreed to India lifting such restrictions by 2003, the US did not agree. Under US pressure, an agreement was signed in December 1999 by the two countries by which India will remove all quantitative restrictions on imports. 1429 items which have been on the restricted list can be freely imported from 1st April 2001. This will include all agricultural commodities including wheat, rice, vegetables and milk products. The tariff bindings for some of these items will be low as per the WTO requirements. What this means is that there will be a flood of goods into India which will out price the agricultural commodities produced by Indian farmers and threaten their livelihood. Indian agriculture itself will undergo a major transformation with food security being threatened and self-reliance in food production being destroyed.
India and the developing countries posses a majority of the world's genetic resources, but over 95 per cent of the patents are held by the rich countries. The agreement on intellectual property rights (TRIPs) allows patenting of life forms. The US is pressing for a system much more vigorous than what exists in the WTO agreement; it wants included all life forms that are genetically modified. The patenting of plant varieties will endanger the bio-diversity of all countries and the rights of local people to these resources. The US is in the forefront of this campaign against the third world interests.
The threat to India's bio-diversity and biological resources by the American multinational corporations working in this area is already unfolding with the patenting of neem and the copyrighting of the use of the name Basmati. American companies like Monsanto and Cargill are already in business in India in seeds and running research farms. The pressure to dilute land ceiling laws originates from the entry of these agri-business firms.
The US is the prime mover in the WTO to include social and environmental clauses. This will mean that minimum labour standards will have to be met otherwise goods from those countries will attract sanctions in the form of import barriers. This is a form of protectionism of the interests of the rich countries and is not motivated by any genuine concern for the conditions of workers in third world countries.
Web of Bribery and Subversion
The US corporations will not come to India merely to do business. They will make it their business to influence and interfere in the government and politics of the country. The notorious role of how these corporations bribe and suborn politicians of the ruling classes is well documented in the Lockheed Corporation's bribery of top Japanese politicians. More sinister was their role in Chile in toppling the Allende government in 1973. Commenting on President Nixon's order in 1970 to the then CIA Director Helms to prevent Allende taking office, Bob Woodward the US journalist, comments: "The key to the order was Nixon's relationship to Donald Kendall, chairman and chief executive officer of Pepsico which had a Pepsi-Cola bottling plant in Chile…..The anti-Allende operation was essentially a business decision; Kendall and other US firms didn't want a Marxist leader in Chile." (Bob Woodward, VEIL: the Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-87)
Whether it be the Enron Corp (one of its directors is the ex-US ambassador to India, Frank Wisner) or, the Betchel Corporation, US big business is interlocked with the State, military and the CIA.
An example of how American corporations operate to corrupt the governments and ruling establishments is offered by the Enron operations in India. According to one of its executives, Linda Powers, who testified before the US Senate, the Enron spent $ 20 million for "educational expenses" to facilitate the agreement to set up the Dabhol plant. This small investment in "educational expenses" is paying rich dividends. For each paisa of excess tariff charged by Enron for the Dabhol power, it earns an extra amounting to Rs. 5.5 crores per year for Phase I, going upto Rs 18 crores per year for Phase II. According to Vivek Montiero, the illegal earnings by Enron in Phase I, it will go upto Rs 800 crores per year and go upto Rs 2000 plus crores after Phase II is commissioned.
The BJP reared on virulent anti-Communism has no qualms about open identification with the US ideological interests. That is why the BJP-led government has taken a brazen and shocking decision to join the "Community of Democracies" sponsored by the State Department of the USA. This announcement was made after Jaswant Singh met Madeleine Albright in Singapore in July 1998. The Vajpayee government has now joined the select group of US client states from Latin America and Eastern Europe to sing the praises of the American version of "democracy" and "free markets". India is to be one of the eleven core members of this community. During the recent visit of the Indian Foreign Secretary to Washington in February in preparation for the Clinton visit, the proposed meeting of the Community of Democracies to be held in Poland in June this year was discussed.
This platform was first mooted by the US in Latin America so that the goals of US business and free market interests could be inculcated and consolidated in the "backyard" of the USA. For the US, the BJP seems an ideal partner in this ideological venture. But the Indian people have been given no information by the government. The hush-hush manner in which the BJP-led government has been drawn into this dubious American game needs a full explanation from the Foreign Minister.
No to Clinton's Agenda
Clinton will bring his own agenda for India, an agenda which is shaped by the interests of American big business and the ruling establishment. He will demand that India sign the CTBT, stop development of missile technology, discuss Kashmir with Pakistan under US auspices, open up further for American companies and liberalise imports for American goods. He will press that India accept more stringent provisions under the WTO regime, including labour and environmental standards. He will offer closer military and security collaboration. Any concessions offered will be subject to the Vajpayee government accepting the role of a junior partner in a strategic alliance.
Vajpayee has no right to barter away the country's interests. There can be no strategic partnership with the United States on these terms. President Clinton must be firmly told that his agenda is not acceptable and he is not welcome to come to push this agenda.
President Clinton must get this message loud and clear when he comes to India: the Indian people are not prepared to surrender their hard-won independence and sovereignty. India is determined to develop its economic, scientific and technological resources without being dictated to by the United States and other imperialist powers. Friendship and cooperation with the USA can only be on the basis of equality and mutual and reciprocal interests. There can be no relations of dominance and subservience of superpower arrogance and interference in India's internal affairs.
The anti-imperialist charter of the Indian people must be the basis for a powerful manifestation of India's patriotic sentiments. Clinton has to be told: India is not for the sale!
The people of India present the following anti-imperialist charter to Clinton on his visit:-
The US administration should immediately withdraw all sanctions against India; restrictions on dual-purpose technology being exported to India should be lifted forthwith.
The US should stop using the IMF, World Bank and the WTO for its selfish interests in favour of its multinational corporations and banks.
The US should stop coercing India to liberalise imports particularly in the agricultural sector. The agreement with the US government to lift all quantitative restrictions on imports by April 2001 should be annulled.
The US should immediately lift all curbs on the legitimate flow of skilled Indian personnel and professionals to the US.
The US government should stop efforts to block compulsory licensing of essential drugs in developing countries which will affect the Indian people badly.
The US should stop demanding that the WTO make the TRIPS and TRIMS agreement more stringent which will work against India and the third world. The US and the rich countries should stop pressurising for a multilateral agreement on investments (MAI) which would prohibit all regulations on foreign investments in any country.
The US agri-business corporations like Monsanto, Cargill and others should be prohibited from buying/leasing land in India for their operations.
Immediately cancel all counter-guarantees to Enron and other MNCs in the power sector.
Prohibit the sale of shares of public sector units to foreign companies and foreign financial institutions.
The US should stop pressurising India to sign the CTBT and instead commit to complete nuclear disarmament and adopt a timeframe alongwith other nuclear weapon powers for the elimination of all existing nuclear stockpiles.
The Indo-US military cooperation agreement signed in 1995 should be scrapped. The Vajpayee government should not accept any programme under the American International Military Exchange Programme.
The US should remove all nuclear weapons from Diego Garcia and close down its military base there. The Diego Garcia is an island in the Indian Ocean which is within striking range of India.
The US should stop interfering in the Kashmir issue. It is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is the internal security organisation of the US, should not be allowed to open its office in India as contemplated by the Vajpayee government.
The US should stop the blockade of Cuba and lift all embargoes on trade, economic relations and travel.
The US should stop using the United Nations for continuing with sanctions on Iraq. It should respect Iraq's territorial integrity and withdraw all aggressive measures.
The US-led NATO should get out of Kosovo and let the UN negotiate the issue with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The US should come out with a solemn pledge that it will not violate the sovereignty of any country, contravening international laws and norms on the pretext of human rights or countering terrorism. The new NATO doctrine advocating global intervention should be rescinded.