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Case Studies in Sanctions and Terrorism: Pakistan

Case Studies in Sanctions and Terrorism

<< Case Studies Index

Case 79-2:
US v. Pakistan (1979– : Nuclear Missile Proliferation)
See also Case 99-3
US, Japan v. Pakistan (1999–2001: Coup, restore democracy)

| Chronology of Key Events | Goals of Sender Country | Response to Target Country |
Attitude of Other Countries | Economic Impact | Assessment | Author's Summary |
Bibliography |

Chronology of Key Events

March 18, 1976

Pakistan signs agreement with France for purchase of nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. (Tahir-Kheli 90)

August 1976

US Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger tries to convince Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to withdraw from reprocessing agreement. He offers to sell Pakistan 100 A-7 jet fighters (sale is later rejected by President Jimmy Carter) in return for canceling deal, warns Bhutto to negotiate with "understanding Republican administration" rather than wait for Carter, who will "make a horrible example of you." Meanwhile, administration of President Gerald R. Ford quietly urges France to cancel fuel reprocessing agreement. (Tahir-Kheli 124, 126)


Under leadership of Senators Stuart Symington (D-MO) and John H. Glenn (D-OH), Congress amends Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2429) to require suspension of economic, military assistance to countries that either buy or sell facilities for enrichment or reprocessing facilities that are not signatories of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or have not accepted full-scope safeguards. (See Legal Notes.)

July 5, 1977

General Mohammed Zia ul-Haq deposes Bhutto. (Tahir-Kheli 93)


France delays transferring blueprints to Pakistan, raises price, pressures Pakistan to shift from reprocessing to coprocessing technology. Pakistan, however, refuses to cancel or modify agreement. (Tahir-Kheli 128-29)

August 24, 1978

After France refuses to go through with reprocessing plant sale as originally negotiated, Pakistan pronounces it officially dead. (Tahir-Kheli 130)

Early 1979

Evidence of Pakistani construction of enrichment plant, detected by European intelligence sources in late 1978, is confirmed by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (Evidence includes identification of Pakistani spy who obtained lists of enrichment plant components from UK, Netherlands, West Germany.) US suggests International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as alternative to sanctions under Symington amendment, but Pakistan refuses to acknowledge existence of plant. On 6 April 1979, US discontinues all military, economic aid, totaling $80 million to $85 million. US reaches understanding with France not to ship reprocessing plant to Pakistan; US blocks Pakistan's attempts to buy components of reprocessing or enrichment plants elsewhere. (New York Times, 7 April 1979, A1; Spector interview; Spector 1988, 122-26)

April 17, 1979

Changing tactics in hopes of avoiding Pakistan-India nuclear arms race, President Carter offers fighter planes, nuclear power development assistance if Pakistan will restrict nuclear weapons program, open nuclear facilities to international safeguards. (New York Times, 17 April 1979, A3)

January 1980

After Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Carter offers to resume aid at level of $400 million, divided evenly between economic, military. Pakistan rejects offer as inadequate. (New York Times, 14 January 1980, A1)

June 15, 1981

US State Department, under new administration of President Ronald Reagan, announces agreement on $3.2 billion aid package over six years at $400 million per year for military purchases (including at least 15 F-16s), $100 million per year in economic aid. (New York Times, 16 June 1981, A1)

September 15, 1981

Pakistan formally accepts aid package after adjustment to provide equal amounts of economic, military aid within same total; F-16 sale increased to 40 planes. (New York Times, 16 September 1981, A1)

December 1981

Congress approves 1982 foreign assistance authorization that includes aid to Pakistan, along with six-year waiver of Symington amendment sanctions. However, Congress strengthens portion of nuclear nonproliferation law banning economic, military assistance to countries that explode nuclear devices. (New York Times, 15 December 1981, A29; Smith and Cobban 58; Spector 1988, 125)

January 1983

IAEA official reports that "Pakistan is building, or has completed, another nuclear plant, not under IAEA inspection, theoretically capable of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel into weapons-grade plutonium." Agreement is reached, however, to increase IAEA surveillance over existing power station. (Financial Times, 13 January 1983, 4)

July 16, 1984

Federal grand jury indicts three "Pakistani nationals for trying to ship parts for nuclear weapons to Pakistan. ..." Officials in Pakistan deny accused smugglers are employed by Pakistani government, reiterate commitment to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. (Washington Post, 17 July 1984, A3; New York Times, 16 July 1984, A1)

September 12, 1984

President Reagan sends personal letter to Zia warning him that US-Pakistani security assistance relationship is endangered by apparent nuclear-weapons development program. He also informs Zia that enrichment of uranium above 5 percent, which would be weapons grade, will not be acceptable, requests assurances that such capability is not being pursued. Similar assurances are obtained in each of next four years. Senator Alan Cranston (D-CA) and unnamed Arms Control and Disarmament Agency officials press administration for stronger action. (Wall Street Journal, 25 October 1984, 37)

July 1985

Congress approves another installment of six-year Pakistani aid package but adds a provision, the "Pressler amendment" (named for Senator Larry Pressler [R-SD]) requiring president to certify annually that Pakistan does not "possess a nuclear explosive device" before additional aid can be disbursed. Responding to smuggling attempt of previous summer, Congress also adds provision "prohibiting aid to any non-nuclear-state found to have smuggled items from the United States for use in a nuclear explosive device." (Spector 1988, 128)

Fall 1986

US intelligence reports conclude that Pakistan has enriched uranium to weapons-grade levels; nonproliferation experts assert that Pakistan is anywhere from two weeks to "'two screwdriver turns' from having a fully assembled bomb." Pakistan reiterates denials that it is seeking to develop nuclear device. Reagan certifies to Congress that Pakistan "does not possess a nuclear explosive device," thus enabling passage of another $4 billion, six-year aid package. (Washington Post, 4 November 1986, A1; 5 November 1986)

Summer 1987

Congress considers cutting off aid after Pakistani government issues arrest warrant for former military officer accused of involvement in scheme to illegally import a high-grade alloy steel from US for use in enrichment facilities. While conceding that its citizens may have been involved, Pakistan claims it was "rogue operation" without government support or approval. (Washington Post, 22 July 1987, A1)

December 1987

Congress approves another $480 million aid package for Pakistan, extends waiver of Symington amendment for another two and a half years. Administration also waives restriction prohibiting aid to countries engaged in nuclear smuggling. (Smith 58; Spector 1988, 142)

August-Fall 1988

Zia is killed in a plane crash. Opposition party wins in elections held shortly thereafter; Benazir Bhutto becomes prime minister.

November 18, 1988

Reagan belatedly certifies that Pakistan does not possess nuclear weapons, but warns that its nuclear program has reached stage where another certification "may be difficult or impossible to make with any degree of certainty." (Washington Post, 15 June 1989, A38)

June 1989

During visit by Bhutto to Washington, President George Bush does not demand assurances that Pakistan is not enriching uranium beyond 5 percent. In speech to joint session of Congress, Bhutto promises that Pakistan will not produce "'weapons-grade uranium' ... or take final step to assemble a nuclear device." (Washington Post, 15 June 1989, A38)

October 1989

In carefully hedged letter to Congress, Bush certifies that Pakistan does not "now possess a nuclear explosive device" but that "Pakistan has continued its efforts to develop its unsafeguarded nuclear program." He emphasizes that finding is narrow one that does not address whether Pakistan "is attempting to develop or has developed various relevant capabilities." (Washington Post, 12 October 1989, A17; New York Times, 12 October 1989, A1)

February 21, 1990

French President François Mitterrand announces in Islamabad that he has approved sale to Pakistan of nuclear power plant. He also says Pakistan is entitled to compensation for reprocessing plant deal that fell through in 1978. Bhutto still refuses to sign NPT until India does so, but says plant will be used solely for commercial purposes, will be subject to international safeguards. (Washington Post, 22 February 1990, A25; Financial Times, 22 February 1990, 4; Far Eastern Economic Review, 8 March 1990, 17)

October 1990

Pursuant to the 1985 Pressler amendment, US terminates economic and military assistance (including sales of military equipment) to Pakistan, after President Bush says that he cannot certify that Pakistan does not possess nuclear weapons. This action freezes ongoing military sales projects with Pakistan, including a 1989 deal for 28 F-16 fighters for which Pakistan has already paid. According to Congressional Research Service (CRS), the termination affects $564 million in new aid for FY1991. (Washington Post, 1 December 1990, A12; Associated Press, 21 September 1995; CRS 1992, 195)

October 9, 1990

In a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Yaqub Khan, US Secretary of State James Baker reportedly tells Yaqub he cannot recommend certification under Pressler amendment unless Pakistan ceases enriching uranium to weapons-grade levels and destroys any existing weapons cores. Yaqub says Pakistan would freeze program but not destroy existing assets. (Kux 166)

July 30, 1992

US Senators accuse Bush administration of violating spirit of Pressler amendment by continuing to grant licenses for arms sales to Pakistan. The administration argues that commercial sales are not forbidden by Pressler amendment, which targets only contracts with the US government or special financial arrangements such as the Foreign Military Sales program. (International Trade Reporter, 5 August 1992, 1351)

July 25, 1993

Despite US intelligence suggesting otherwise, Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen tells his American counterpart that China has not sold M-11 missiles to Pakistan. He refuses, however, to comment on allegations that China has exported M-11 missile components. (New York Times, 26 July 1993, A2)

August 24, 1993

The US prohibits for two years exports of satellites and other advanced technology to China and Pakistan to protest the transfer of M-11 missiles to Pakistan. Both Islamabad and Beijing decry the move. Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar claims that past acquisitions of Chinese missiles were limited to short-range defensive weapons in response to SCUD attacks from Afghanistan. (Washington Post, 11 November 1993, A39; Financial Times, 27 August 1993, 4; International Trade Reporter, 1 September 1993, 1444)

November 28, 1993

Pakistan's foreign minister tells parliament that the government will not abandon efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, despite US sanctions. (Financial Times, 29 November 1993, 4)

March 23, 1994

The Clinton administration proposes sale of 38 new F-16 fighters worth $658 million to Pakistan in exchange for proof that Pakistan has capped its nuclear program. (Associated Press, 23 April 1994; Washington Post, 23 March 1994, A27)

October 4, 1994

The US agrees to lift satellite and satellite-related technology sanctions on China in exchange for Beijing's commitment not to sell missile technology to Pakistan. (International Trade Reporter, 12 October 1994, 1563)

January 10-11, 1995

US Defense Secretary William Perry visits Pakistan and India in an effort to reduce nuclear tensions in the region. The talks focus on preventing the spread of missile technology. (Nuclear Non-Proliferation News, 17 February 1995)

April 12, 1995

President Clinton tells visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto that it is "not right" for the US not to reimburse Islamabad for the cost of undelivered military equipment. He pledges to work with Congress to improve bilateral relations and resume military and economic cooperation. (Associated Press, 12 April 1995)

May 25, 1995

Pakistan hails the decision by Senator Pressler to support the sale of the embargoed F-16s to third countries, such as Taiwan and the Philippines, to raise revenue to repay Pakistan for its original purchase. (Financial Times, 26 May 1995, 4)

July 21, 1995

The Pakistani Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee issues a report urging the government to speed up its nuclear weapons program to make up for the damage done to Pakistan's conventional military forces by US sanctions. (Associated Press, 21 July 1995)

September 21, 1995

The Senate passes (55-45) the Brown amendment, which grants a one-time waiver for Pakistan under the 1985 Pressler amendment and permits the delivery of $368 million in weapons and components to Pakistan (Navy Orion aircraft, Harpoon and AIM-9L missiles) that have been suspended since 1990. The delivery of 28 F-16s that Pakistan paid for, however, remains suspended. India warns that the US decision to ease restrictions on the transfer of military equipment to Pakistan will upset the balance in the region. The Brown amendment also allows for resumption of limited forms of military assistance such as International Military Education and Training, counternarcotics, and counterterrorism as well as humanitarian assistance. (Associated Press, 20 September 1995; Inside U.S. Trade, 1 March 1996, 22; Financial Times, 21 March 1996, 4; Congressional Record-Senate, 21 September 1995)

February 1996

US intelligence officials disclose evidence that Pakistan has recently offloaded Chinese-made components for enriching uranium. A few days later, Britain deports a Pakistani diplomat on charges that he was attempting to illegally obtain nuclear equipment. Pakistani officials deny the charges. (Financial Times, 13 February 1996, 4; Reuters, 6 February 1996)

April 18, 1996

The US releases the $368 million of "non-strategic military equipment" purchased by Pakistan before 1990, as permitted under the Brown amendment, as well as $120 million in cash for orders never completed. However, US State Department spokesman Glyn Davis says, "... this release does not constitute the resumption of a [permanent] US military supply relationship with Pakistan." (UPI, 18 April 1996)

June-August 1996

The Clinton administration negotiates a deal to sell the embargoed F-16 combat jets to Indonesia and then transfer the fund to Pakistan. The sale, however, is postponed over human rights abuses and political repression in Indonesia (see Case 91-4, Netherland/US v. Indonesia [1991- : Human Rights in East Timor, Political Repression]). (Agence France-Presse, 21 August 1996, 5 September 1996; International Herald Tribune, 23 August 1996, 2)

December 1996

President Jiang Zemin announces that despite US and Indian concern, China will not stop helping Pakistan develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. (International Herald Tribune, 2 December 1996, 4)

April 8, 1997

Pakistan announces plans to buy 32 Mirage 2000-5 combat aircraft from France to replace the embargoed US F-16s. (Reuters, 8 April 1997)

May 24, 1997

Islamabad declares its intention to sue the United States in the US court system if no progress is made on repayment of the $650 million Washington owes Pakistan for the undelivered F-16s. (New York Times, 24 May 1997, 3)

July 1997

The Senate passes an amendment allowing for the resumption of Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Trade and Development Agency assistance, and democracy-building programs such as the National Endowment for Democracy. US economic and military assistance to Pakistan is still barred except for humanitarian and counternarcotics programs. (Congressional Record, 25 July 1997, H5818)

April 7, 1998

Pakistan successfully tests its new medium-range missile. The missile, named "Ghauri" after a 13th-century Muslim warrior, is capable of reaching deep into Indian territory. According to experts, the missile is based on smuggled North Korean technology. In a bid to prevent Pakistan from conducting this test, the US allegedly offered to resolve the F-16 dispute by reimbursing Pakistan. (Financial Times, 7 April 1998, 6; New York Times, 11 April 1998, A3)

May 4, 1998

After Pakistan's missile test, the US imposes sanctions against a Pakistani laboratory and a North Korean company, barring them from US government contracts for two years. Pakistan's government criticizes sanctions as unjust and claims that they bear no practical consequence since the targeted laboratory has no dealings with the US. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 4 and 5 May 1998)

May 11-13, 1998

India conducts a series of five nuclear tests. The US imposes sanctions against India as required by the Glenn amendment (Section 826-a of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1994). The Glenn amendment provides for sanctions against nonnuclear states that detonate nuclear devices. The Clinton administration also threatens Pakistan with similar sanctions if it responds in kind. (USIS, 11 May 1998; New York Times, 12 May 1998, A10)

Mid-May 1998

In an effort to encourage Pakistan not to conduct nuclear tests, members of the US Congress and the administration propose to repeal the Pressler amendment. Bilateral talks, which aim at preventing Pakistani tests by answering some of Islamabad's security concerns, start between Pakistan and the US, as well as with China. Japan offers to shift its India aid to Pakistan if Pakistan refrains from nuclear testing. (USIS, 17 May 1998; Washington Post, 20 May 1998, A21; International Herald Tribune, 4 September 1998, 8)

May 18, 1998

At summit meeting G-8 nations condemn India's nuclear weapons test, call on India to refrain from further tests and to adhere to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), but are unable to agree on sanctions, because of opposition by France, Britain, and Russia. Government sources in Pakistan say the failure of G-8 to take stronger action against India strengthens those who advocate an immediate nuclear test. (USIS, 17 May 1998; Financial Times, 18 May 1998,1; Washington Post, 18 May 1998, A12)

May 21, 1998

India announces a moratorium on nuclear tests; expresses its willingness to adhere to some parts of the CTBT. US demands full and "unconditional" adherence to the treaty. (Washington Post, 22 May 1998, A35)

May 28 - June 1, 1998

Pakistan announces that it has conducted five nuclear tests; US intelligence sources report only two tests were conducted. A few days later Pakistan conducts another nuclear test. President Clinton deplores the tests and announces the imposition of sanctions under the Glenn amendment. Sanctions include a ban on financial assistance except for humanitarian purposes, a ban on financing from the Trade and Development Agency, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Export-Import Bank, restrictions on US exports of high-technology products, opposition to loans from international financial institutions, and a ban on US bank loans to the government of Pakistan. Japan freezes most development aid and refuses to back new loans for Pakistan in international bodies. (USIS, 28 May 1998; International Herald Tribune, 29 May 1998, 1; Christian Science Monitor, 1 June 1998, 1)

May 31, 1998

India offers to negotiate a no-first-use treaty for nuclear weapons with Pakistan. Pakistan expresses willingness to enter talks with India but will not commit to such a treaty. (New York Times, 1 June 1998, 1; Wall Street Journal, 1 June 1998, A12)

June 4, 1998

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council condemn the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan and call on them to halt further actions. (New York Times, 5 June 1998, A8)

June 11, 1998

Pakistan announces a moratorium on nuclear testing. (Washington Post, 12 June 1998, A18)

June 12, 1998

G-8 nations agree to freeze all nonhumanitarian lending by multilateral agencies to both India and Pakistan. (Financial Times, 2 February 1999, 8)

June 13, 1998

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Tariq Altaif warns that the country will not abandon its nuclear program and that sanctions against Pakistan are "unrealistic and based on a fictional notion of the realities in South Asia." (International Herald Tribune, 15 June 1998, 6)

May 31, 1998

India offers to negotiate a no-first-use treaty for nuclear weapons with Pakistan. Pakistan expresses willingness to enter talks with India but will not commit to such a treaty. (New York Times, 1 June 1998, 1; Wall Street Journal, 1 June 1998, A12)

June 18, 1998

Pending the issuance of regulations for implementing sanctions, the US Department of Commerce announces that it will approve licenses for exports of restricted goods and technologies on case-by-case basis, but with a presumption of denial for items controlled for nuclear or missile proliferation reasons. Bank loans to privately owned firms and investment by US companies are allowed, details on banned public sector transactions remain undefined. (USIS, 18 June 1998; Washington Post, 19 June 1998, A29; Journal of Commerce, 19 June 1998, 3A)

June 23, 1998

US Commerce Department announces that all sales of computers with speeds over 2,000 MTOPS to India and Pakistan require a license. (Journal of Commerce, 24 June 1998, 3A)

Late June 1998

In order to pay off debts due in June, the government of Pakistan borrows $110 million from the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank and $50 million from the National Bank of Pakistan. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 1 July 1998)

July 14, 1998

Standard & Poor's downgrades Pakistan's credit rating and warns that Pakistan could go bankrupt within two months. (Financial Times, 15 July 1998, 6)

July 15, 1998

President Clinton signs legislation that exempts for one year export credits for farm products from the Indian and Pakistani nuclear sanctions. Both houses of Congress had voted for legislation under pressure from US farmers fearing heavy losses due to sanctions. Immediate effect of legislation is to allow for the continuation of purchase negotiations for 385,000 tons of wheat by Pakistan. Previously approved credit guarantees include $250 million of credit for Pakistan and $20 million for India. (Financial Times, 15 July 1998, 5; USIS, 15 July 1998; Washington Post, 15 July 1998, A10)

July 18, 1998

The Pakistani government increases nondiesel gasoline prices by 25 percent in an effort to raise funds for budgetary shortfalls due to sanctions. (New York Times, 19 July 1998, 11)

July 21, 1998

Given Pakistani's tenuous financial condition, US says it will not veto International Monetary Fund (IMF) support for Pakistan. A US State Department spokesman insists that abstaining from an IMF vote on funds to Pakistan would still comply with the Glenn amendment. A few days later, G-8 nations agree to ease sanctions on Pakistan and allow for a loan by the IMF to avert a crisis. Negotiations begin between Pakistan and IMF on rescue package. (Financial Times, 3 August 1998, 3; New York Times, 22 July 1998, A3; IMF Morning Press, 24 July 1998)

July 23, 1998

Financial Times reports the architect of Pakistan's nuclear program as saying that the nation's nuclear weapons are "fully operational." (Financial Times, 23 July 1998, 5)

Late July 1998

Pakistani Commerce Minister Ishaque Dar admits Pakistan needs $4 billion to cover a financing gap over the next 12 months. Pakistan has a foreign debt of nearly $42 billion, and only around $500 million in hard currency reserves. (Financial Times, 3 August 1998, 3; 23 July 1998, 5)

Late July 1998

Pakistan's central bank institutes a dual exchange rate due to severe pressure on the rupee. (Financial Times, 28 July 1998, 6)

September 16, 1998

Pakistani Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz announces Pakistan will not sign the CTBT while sanctions are in force against it. (Tribune News Services, 17 September 1998)

September 20, 1998

Pakistan Ministry of Finance officials say the nation is seeking $4.5 billion in loans from IMF. Previously IMF had put on hold $1.56 billion in loans to Pakistan. (Journal of Commerce, 21 September 1998, 3A)

September 23, 1998

A few days after meeting with President Clinton, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tells the UN General Assembly Pakistan will sign the CTBT if India will also sign it. Sharif also calls for the removal of "arbitrary restrictions and discriminatory sanctions." (Washington Post, 24 September 1998, A27, A34)

September 24, 1998

Indian Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee indicates to the UN General Assembly that India is ready to sign the CTBT. (Economist, 3 October 1998, 46; Associated Press, 24 September 1998)

September 24, 1998

Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura says Pakistan imported a missile tested in April from North Korea. Pakistan denies the accusation, claiming the missile was built in Pakistan. Komura holds that Japan will withhold development aid "to countries that import missiles from North Korea." Japanese officials say sanctions will remain until Pakistan signs the CTBT and takes steps to comply with it. But Komura states that Japan will still consider backing loans to Pakistan from international institutions such as the IMF because of Pakistan's troubled economic situation. (Financial Times, 25 September 1998, 1; Yomiuri Shimbun, 7 October 1998)

September 29, 1998

President Clinton cancels his scheduled November trip to India and Pakistan as a sign of disapproval of the May nuclear tests. (Washington Post, 30 September 1998, A18)

Mid-October 1998

Despite the IMF's recommendation to raise electric power rates, Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif lowers them by 30 percent. "I cannot make anti-people decisions that might burden the lives of common people," he states. (New York Times, 20 October 1998, A4)

October 20, 1998

Congress passes omnibus spending legislation bill that contains a provision giving the president the right to waive sanctions against India and Pakistan for up to one year, except for the prohibition against arms sales. (USIS, 19 October 1998; Financial Times, 21 October 1998, 6)

November 7, 1998

Clinton administration waives provision of sanctions against India and Pakistan that bars the US Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Trade and Development Agency from operating there. International Military Education and Training programs also resume for both nations. US will continue to oppose nonhumanitarian multilateral development aid to India. Arms sales to both countries are still banned, as are exports of certain dual-use technologies to certain end-users. (Financial Times, 9 November 1998, 6; Washington Post, 7 November 1998, A14; Financial Express (India), 9 November 1998)

November 25, 1998

IMF announces that, pending board approval, it will resume sending the $1.3 billion left of its current loan package to Pakistan. Pakistani government announces steps it will take to shore up the economy, including increasing sales tax, fighting corruption, cutting spending, and strengthening the banking system. Pakistani government hopes that the IMF money will be part of a broader $5.5 billion in funding to shore up its financing gap. (New York Times, 26 November 1998, A17; Wall Street Journal, 27 November 1998, A9)

Late November 1998

On the eve of Prime Minister Sharif's visit to Washington, DC, Pakistan's leading nuclear scientist claims the nation has started producing a new missile. (Journal of Commerce, 1 December 1998, 8A)

December 1, 1998

US officials announce that New Zealand will take the 28 F-16 fighters bought by Pakistan but held up by Congress in 1990. The lease-buy arrangement will cost New Zealand about $105 million. Pakistan had already paid $650 million for them, $157 million of which the US reimbursed through sales to other parties. Pakistan wants $501 million more back. (New York Times, 2 December 1998, A5; Washington Post, 3 December 1998, A34; Wall Street Journal, 3 December 1998, A17)

December 21, 1998

US and Pakistan reach agreement regarding F-16s that Pakistan purchased but were not delivered owing to the imposition of sanctions under the Pressler amendment. US will pay $324.5 million to settle dispute. (USIS, 21 December 1998; Journal of Commerce, 25 January 1999, 1A)

January 1999

World Bank and IMF renew lending to Pakistan; World Bank approves a $350 million loan for reform efforts, IMF clears a $545 million payment from a $1.5 billion loan package. (Journal of Commerce, 25 January 1999, 1A)

February 2, 1999

After talks in Islamabad, US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad reaffirm their commitment to resolving the conflict over nuclear testing. Talbott stresses US support for strengthening the Pakistani economy and for talks between Pakistan and India, including on Kashmir. (USIS, 2 February 1999; Financial Times, 3 February 1999, 8)

February 1999

Pakistan's government tells the US it expects an end to restrictions on weapons sales under the Pressler amendment if it is to sign the CTBT. (Financial Times, 17 February 1999, 6)

February 21, 1999

After meeting in Lahore, Pakistan, the prime ministers of India and Pakistan agree to transparency measures regarding nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. The two rivals will provide each other information on amounts of nuclear warheads and their deployment. They will also share information on amounts of ballistic missiles and warn each other in advance of ballistic missile tests. (Washington Post, 22 February 1999, A9)

April 11, 1999

India tests the Agni-II, a ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers that can carry a nuclear warhead. The government gave advance warning to Pakistan and the world's "major powers." A US official says the test will not affect US sanctions. (Financial Times, 12 April 1999, 18; 13 April 1999, 6)

April 14, 1999

Pakistan tests its Ghauri-II missile, which has a range of up to 2,300 kilometers. Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh assures the world that India and Pakistan's actions do not constitute the beginning of an arms race. (Financial Times, 15 April 1999, 10)

April 15, 1999

Pakistan tests the Shabeen-1 missile, which has a range of 600 kilometers and can carry a nuclear warhead. India declares the test will not hinder bilateral talks. (Financial Times, 16 April 1999, 4)

End April 1999

Indian government collapses, new elections are scheduled for September 1999. This reduces the likelihood of either India or Pakistan signing the CTBT before 24 September 1999 as required under the terms of the treaty for it to enter to force (see Legal Notes). (New York Times, 27 April 1999, A14; 9 May 1999, A4)

July 4,1999

President Clinton meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Washington to resolve an escalating crisis between India and Pakistan over Kashmir following the incursion of Pakistani-backed forces into Indian-controlled territory. Sharif promises to withdraw forces, to de-escalate crisis. (USIS, 6 July 1999; Washington Post, 26 July 1999, A1, A15)

September 8, 1999

In response to India's announcement of a "nuclear doctrine," Pakistani Foreign Secretary states that Pakistan may find it harder to sign the CTBT despite promises made by Sharif to adhere to the treaty. (Financial Times, 8 September 1999, 4; 9 September 1999, 6)

October 12, 1999

Prime Minister Sharif is ousted by General Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup. Over the course of the next few days, General Musharraf declares state of emergency, suspends parliament and the constitution and pronounces himself the country's chief executive. US Department of State condemns the coup and calls for "the earliest possible restoration of democracy in Pakistan." (New York Times, 13 October 1999, A1, A10; Washington Post, 15 October 1999, A1) (See also Case 99-3 US, Japan v. Pakistan [1999-2001: Coup, restore democracy])

October, 14 1999

Republican-dominated US Senate votes 51 to 48 against ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) after majority leader Trent Lott (R-MS) schedules a surprise vote. Clinton administration warns that unless Senate ratifies the treaty countries such as Russia, China, Pakistan and India will renew nuclear testing. (Washington Post, 14 October 1999, A1; 15 October 1999, A1, A16)

October, 14 1999

Senate approves Department of Defense appropriations bill containing a provision that gives the president authority to permanently waive all economic sanctions imposed against India and Pakistan in response to the nuclear tests, including for the first time, sanctions relating to military assistance and exports of high technology items. However, in light of the recent coup, Clinton administration invokes Section 508 of Foreign Operations Appropriations Act that requires US aid be cut off to any country whose democratically elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree and does not renew military and economic aid to Pakistan. (Inside US Trade, 15 October 1999; International Trade Reporter, 13 October 1999; CRS 2002a, 3; Washington Post, 15 October 1999, A24; 16 October 1999, A21)

October 26-27, 1999

During visit in Islamabad, Japanese State Foreign Secretary Ichita Yamamoto announces that official development aid will only be resumed once Pakistan gives a date for elections and signs the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Japan cut off between $300 million to $500 million in annual aid and loans in response to the 1998 nuclear tests. (Dow Jones, 27 October 1999; Reuters, 27 October 1999; Japan Economic Newswire, 27 October 1999)

October 27, 1999

President Clinton waives restrictions on Department of Agriculture export credits to Pakistan as well as on loans and credits to the Pakistani government by US commercial banks. Other restrictions are not waived a second time and sanctions under Section 508 of the annual foreign appropriations act as a result of the coup remain in place. (Presidential Determination 2000–04, 27 October 1999; CRS 2002a, 3; CRS 2003, 13)

March 25, 2000

President Clinton makes a 6-hour stopover in Pakistan during a weeklong visit of the region. General Musharraf makes no new concessions on Kashmir, signing of the CTBT or restoration of democracy in two-hour meeting with President Clinton. However, Musharraf agrees to put pressure on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan over Osama bin Laden. (Washington Post, 26 March 2000, A1; New York Times, 26 March 2000, A1) (See also Case 99-1 US/UN v. Afghanistan (Taliban) [1999–2002: extradition of Osama Bin Laden])

September 1, 2001

Bush administration imposes sanctions against National Development Complex of Pakistan for allegedly buying missile technology from China. (Washington Post, 3 September 2001, A17; Asian Wall Street Journal, 3 September 2001, 12)

September 11, 2001

Four hijacked planes on suicide missions crash into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC and a field in southwestern Pennsylvania. Part of the Pentagon and the two World Trade Center towers collapse; more than 3,000 people die in the attack. US officials and investigators quickly identify Osama bin Laden as mastermind behind the attacks. Bin Laden denies that he is responsible. (Washington Post, 14 September 2001, A9; New York Times, 21 September 2001, A1, B3)

September 22, 2001

President Bush waives all remaining nuclear related sanctions as well as prohibitions on Export-Import Bank credits in recognition of Pakistan’s cooperation with the US-led war against terrorism and imminent military action in Afghanistan. Coup-related restrictions on economic and military aid as well as sanctions imposed against specific Pakistani entities over missile related concerns remain in place. US and Pakistan sign an agreement on the rescheduling of $379 million of Pakistani arrears. Pakistan is also in negotiations with IMF for a $2.5 to $3 billion three-year IMF program. (Financial Times, 24 September 2001, 4; Wall Street Journal, 24 September 2001, A26; CRS 2003, 13; Presidential Determination No. 2001-28, 22 September 2001)

September 28, 2001

President Bush determines that the release of $50 million in emergency aid to Pakistan is “important to the security interests of the United States.” (Presidential Determination No. 2001-31, 28 September 2001; Washington Post, 2 October 2001, A12)

October 16, 2001

Following Senate approval, US House of Representatives approves legislation allowing the president to waive restrictions on US aid to Pakistan imposed after the coup for two years, if he determines it to be important for US counterterrorism efforts. (International Trade Reporter, 11 October 2001, 1607; 18 October 2001, 1651; PL 107-57; CRS 2003, 13)

October 26, 2001

Japan lifts its sanctions against both India and Pakistan in recognition of their support for the US-led war on terrorism. Previously Japan had conditioned the resumption of its aid program on signing of the CTBT and restoration of democracy. (Yomiuri Shimbun, 27 October 2002; BBC Monitoring, 29 October 2002; CRS 2002b, 10)

February 13, 2002

President Bush meets General Musharraf in Washington. Bush praises Pakistan’s contributions to the war on terrorism and offers to work with Congress on providing Pakistan about $1 billion in debt relief in FY 2003. Administration also increases market access for Pakistani textile exports worth about $142 million. Offers fall short of Pakistan’s requests. (White House Fact Sheet, 13 February 2002; Financial Times, 14 February 2002, 4)

July 2002

Administration notifies US Congress of two pending arms sales to Pakistan, the first such sales in more than a decade. (CRS 2003, 15)

March 24, 2003

Administration bars all US trade with Pakistan’s Khan Research Laboratories for two years for allegedly purchasing missile-related technology from North Korea. Sanctions are largely symbolic because company has no business ties with the US. Despite recent threats to do so, Bush administration does not impose tougher sanctions in response Pakistan’s alleged assistance to North Korea’s nuclear program and waives all coup-related sanctions against Islamabad for FY 2003. (Presidential Determination No. 2003-16, 14 March 2003; Washington Post, 31 March 2003, A4; Financial Times, 1 April 2003, 6; CRS 2003, 15)

June 24, 2003

During meeting with President Musharraf in Camp David, President Bush announces a five-year $3 billion aid package for Pakistan. Aid will be conditioned on Pakistan’s continued cooperation with the war on terrorism, commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and progress toward democracy. US and Pakistan also sign a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. (New York Times, 25 June 2003, A10; Washington Post, 25 June 2003, A1; USIS, 26 June 2003)

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