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Sunday, July 03, 2005

A critic of the new India-US relationship says, "India surrenders Ocean to US"

The International Herald Tribune publishes an attack on the growing India-US cooperation here. The author, one Seema Mustafa, doesn't like it, especially India's involvement with the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI):
Some of the provisions of the PSI allow the 11 nations and other potential members to take the initiative to board and search any vessel under their jurisdiction in another state's waters suspected of carrying targeted cargoes, allow its own vessels to be boarded and searched by other states when targeted cargo is suspected, take steps to board and search other states' vessels in a state's territorial waters and harbours as well as inspect the suspected cargo craft and seize such cargo in their ports, airfields or other facilities. In other words, under the PSI a nation's sovereignty over its waters is given up entirely with Indian ships, ports and aircraft all being as liable for search and action as any other on the mere hint of suspicion.
The actual language of the PSI reads:
Take specific actions in support of interdiction efforts regarding cargoes of WMD, their delivery systems, or related materials, to the extent their national legal authorities permit and consistent with their obligations under international law and frameworks, to include:

Not to transport or assist in the transport of any such cargoes to or from states or non-state actors of proliferation concern, and not to allow any persons subject to their jurisdiction to do so.

At their own initiative, or at the request and good cause shown by another state, to take action to board and search any vessel flying their flag in their internal waters or territorial seas, or areas beyond the territorial sea of any other state, that is reasonably suspected of transporting such cargoes to or from states or non-state actors of proliferation concern, and to seize such cargoes that are identified.

To seriously consider providing consent under the appropriate circumstances to the boarding an searching of its own flag vessels by other states, and to the seizure of such WMD-related cargoes in such vessels that may be identified by such states.

To take appropriate actions to (1) stop and/or search in their internal waters, territorial seas, of contiguous zones (when declared) vessels that are reasonably suspected of carrying such cargoes to or from states or non-state actors of proliferation concern and to seize such cargoes that are identified; and (2) to enforce conditions on vessels entering or leaving their ports, internal waters or territorial seas that are reasonably suspected of carrying such cargoes, such as requiring that such vessels be subject to boarding, search, and seizure of such cargoes prior to entry.

At their own initiative or upon the request and good cause shown by another state, to (a) require aircraft that are reasonably suspected of carrying such cargoes to or from states or non-state actors of proliferation concern and that are transiting their airspace to land for inspection and seize any such cargoes that are identified; and/or (b) deny aircraft reasonably suspected of carrying such cargoes transit rights through their airspace in advance of such flights.

If their ports, airfields, or other facilities are used as transshipment points for shipment of such cargoes to or from states or non-state actors of proliferation concern, to inspect vessels, aircraft, or other modes of transport reasonably suspected of carrying such cargoes, and to seize such cargoes that are identified. (source)
I don't read the PSI in the same manner as the author noted above, and think it would have been useful for the IHT to provide the actual wording along with the criticism.

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