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National Security Strategy 2001

The President stressed the importance we place on reconciliation between India and Pakistan and our encouragement of direct dialogue between them to resolve all their outstanding problems. He urged also that they respect the Line of Control in Kashmir, reject violence as a means to settle their dispute, and exercise mutual restraint.
We seek to establish relationships with India and Pakistan that are defined in terms of their own individual merits and reflect the full range of U.S. strategic, political and economic interests in each country. After the President’s visit to India, we are working to enhance our relationship with India at all levels. We look forward to more frequent high-
level contacts including meetings between our heads of government and our cabinet officials. With Pakistan, a long-standing friend with which we seek improved relations, we are constrained by the lack of a democratic government since the October 1999 military coup. We have urged Pakistan’s leaders to quickly restore civilian rule and the democratic process. The President’s visit to Islamabad signified our intent to stay engaged with Pakistan and work to promote that return to democracy.
We seek, as part of our dialogue with India and Pakistan, to encourage both countries to take steps to prevent further proliferation, reduce the risk of conflict, and exercise restraint in their nuclear and missile programs. The United States does not believe that nuclear weapons have made India or Pakistan more secure. We hope they will abandon their nuclear weapons programs and join the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states. Indian and Pakistani nuclear and long-range missile tests have been dangerously destabilizing and threaten to spark a dangerous arms race in South Asia. Such a race will further undermine the global nonproliferation regime and thus threaten international security.
In concert with the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, the G-8 nations, and many others in the international community, the United States has called on India and Pakistan to take a number of steps that would bring them closer to the international mainstream on nonproliferation. These include: signing and ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, joining the clear international consensus in support of a cutoff of fissile material production, strengthening export controls, and refraining from an arms race in nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. We have also urged them to resume their direct dialogue and take decisive steps to reduce tensions in South Asia. In that regard, we have urged India and Pakistan to agree to a multilateral moratorium on the production of fissile material, pending the conclusion of a Fissile Materials Cutoff Treaty (FIVICT).
Afghanistan remains a serious threat to U.S. worldwide interests because of the Taliban’s continued sheltering of international terrorists and its increasing export of illicit drugs. Afghanistan remains the primary safehaven for terrorists threatening the United States, including Usama bin Ladin. The United Nations and the United States have levied sanctions against the Taliban for harboring Usama bin Ladin and other terrorists, and will continue to pressure the Taliban until it complies with international requests to bring bin Ladin to justice. The United States remains concerned about those countries, including Pakistan, that support the Taliban and allow it to continue to harbor such radical elements. We are engaged in energetic diplomatic efforts, including through the United Nations and with Russia and other concerned countries, to address these concerns on an urgent basis.
Promoting Prosperity
The United States has two principal economic objectives in the region: to promote regional economic cooperation and development, and to ensure an unrestricted flow of oil from the region. We seek to promote regional trade and cooperation on infrastructure through the peace process and our Qualifying Industrial Zone program, which provides economic benefits for certain countries that enter into business arrangements with Israel. In South Asia, we will continue to work with the region’s countries in their efforts to implement market reforms, strengthen educational systems, and end the use of child and sweatshop labor.
Although the United States imports less than 15% of the oil exported from the Persian Gulf, the region will remain of vital strategic importance to U.S. national security due to the global nature of the international oil market. Previous oil shocks and the Gulf War underscore that any blockage of Gulf supplies or sudden changes in price would immediately affect the international market, driving up energy costs everywhere — ultimately harming the U.S. economy as well as the economies of our key economic partners in Europe and Asia. Appropriate responses to events such as Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait can limit the magnitude of a crisis in the Gulf and its impact on world oil markets. Over the longer term, U.S. dependence on access to these and other foreign oil sources will remain important as our reserves are depleted. That is one of many important reasons why the United States must continue to demonstrate commitment and resolve in the Persian Gulf. We will continue our regular dialogue with the oil-producing nations to ensure a safe supply of oil and stable prices.
Promoting Democracy and Human Rights
We encourage the spread of democratic values throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Southwest and South Asia and will pursue this objective aided by constructive dialogue with countries in the region. In Iran, for example, we hope the nation’s leaders will carry out the people’s mandate for a government that respects and protects the rule of law, both in its internal and external affairs. In Pakistan, we have pressed the new military rulers to provide a detailed roadmap with a timetable for a return to elected civilian government. In India, during the President’s visit, we supported the establishment of an Asian Center for Democratic Governance, which would seek to promote the forms and substance of democracy throughout Asia. We will promote responsible indigenous moves toward increasing political participation and enhancing the quality of governance, and we will continue to challenge governments in the region to improve their human rights records. We will work with the governments and human rights organizations of the region to promote tolerance for the diverse religious groups present in the Middle East and South Asia. In particular, we have sought to encourage and end to violence against minority religious groups, and a repeal of “blasphemy laws” which are used to discriminate against minorities.
Respect for human rights also requires rejection of terrorism. If the nations in the region are to safeguard their own citizens from the threat of terror, they cannot tolerate acts of indiscriminate violence against civilians, nor can they offer refuge to those who commit such acts. We will continue to enforce UNSC sanctions against the Taliban for harboring terrorists such as Usama bin Ladin and look for other ways to pressure the Taliban to end its support for such groups.
Our policies are guided by our profound respect for Islam. The Muslim religion is the fastest-growing faith in the United States. We recognize and honor Islam’s role as a source of inspiration, instruction, and moral guidance for hundreds of millions of people around the world. United States policy in the region is directed at the actions of governments and terrorist groups, not peoples or faiths.

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