SOUTH ASIA IN 1985--A YEAR OF DECISION

Created: 2/15/1985

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01RECTORAH Cf ISlELLlGEHCf ISS

South Asiaear of Decision

South tall In th* Comingresent both substantial problems and significantopportunities for US poilcymaMrs. Developments during the yearbe crucial to the future of ther the neit several years.

n India, Rajiv Gandhi seems prepared to inprove relations with the united States, but real progressbe difficult because of close us ties to Pakistan and OtlM'i deeply rooted links to Moscow.

- In Pakistan and Bangladesh, leaders are preparing, for elections Wilcn flay lead to substantial turmoil.

in hti

In SM Lanka. President Jayt-erdene is likely to place first eo*>haHs on owl TingeolT Insurgency while trying to emnare the United States

rncy writ le tryii problems. IBJ

believe We fighting hi Afghanistan will Increase in thtwo years. The insurgents* greater aggressiveness as they receive better .capons and

FOP RHUS! DATE1

oore training. The Soviets probably tooshow sign*o re aygress've posture. They will ecehasHe halting insurgentt eapect trten to dep*nd"ore on greater use of airpo-er along the Pakistan 0arder. JJJJj

Rajiv, bolstered by his historic electoral victory, apparently willore pregnatic tone Into Indian foreign policy. His Initial comients to the press and to his aloes suggest he -ants to remove US olsgtvtngs efeevt an Indian tilt toward Koscow. He probably also will provide norein India for US and Ueslern firm, especially ttiose offering advanced technology. One early clue to Rajiv's intentions toward the United States will be New Delhi's response to the US provision to Pakistan of further sophisticated military equipment, such asarly warning aircraft. Reputed public and private condemnations would suggest that he intends to ht-nre closely to nilpolicies.

Indian dependence on Soviet military aid, the Soviet aartat for Indian manufactured gooas. ana hew Oolhl's perception of Moscoweliable friend, in our view, will keep Rajiv froir backing too far away from the Soviets. Rajiv probably OUepgroves of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, but *tMew Delhi to publicly crltlctie Soviet policy in Afghanistan.!

Rajiv has said he Hants to Improve relations between Mew Delhi and 3'jt both pro-Sovtet and right wing oolitic! ansj|2bJ&ly will

Internally, continuing unrest In the Punjab problen during the next year. Rajiv knows that Increased disaffection amongIn Mtthey coraprlseuerter ol the Amy officer corps end aboutercent of the enlistedham corOat Moreover, most of India's Sikhs are concentrated in tha key border state of Punjab. At the same time, Hindu opposition to appeasing the Sikhs rant New Delhi Is unlikely to offer the Sikhs political concessions adewiate

to defuse otrwlst oeissnas for autonomy. Accordingly, Sikh dlis'dence--ineluelng possible assassination attempts against

-iHtW: rucial veer

The SoriBti probably will increase military and political pressures on Pakistan this year, especially if theyubstantial increase in casualtiesInses-perticularly aircraft. Increased Sovietpressure would probably take tht form of deeper, more frrouenl cross-border attacks, but the Soviets would carefully calibrate and rev law any escalation to avoid an increased US presence In the region. The Soviets almost certeiily will continue to enco.'JCfostility toward Pakistan through disinformation and other leans.f*JJ

lit seens confident he can withstand any foreseeble Soviet pressure and, in our .lew, willno morehow of negotiating with Moscow. Islamabad will use increased Soviet pressure, however, to make fresh approaches for US sophisticated weapons. At the sane time, the Pakistanis still see Indiaar more serious threat. |

:ia Is riding high politically for the time being and will use real or Imagined external threats to bolster hit position. With political opposition in disarray and the military ans bureaucracy behind him. he appears headed tawara success In upcaaing parliamentary election. The econcey couldrouble spat In theyear, however, with rtnlttances from overseas -oriers falling, and Zia will have to manage the transition to civilian rule carefully. Postelection periods in Pakistan have twice ledajor chanoi in0

'fghanistan-aieak Soviet Prospect!

The Insorgents are stronger than ever, and we expect gutrrH'a leadership, tactics, numbers, and weaponry to continue to lap roveotivation ana morale In theju'stance also will remain high.j^

Soviet frustrations are likely to grow, and they probably will pursue the war more vigorously. Maintaining or stepping up preisur* on Pakistan through cross-oorder attacks would be part of this strategy. Further increases In Soviet forces art likely, but they probably will bemore0 additional troops,odest increase in Air Force capabllt-ties, tt Is possible, but less likely, that reinforcements could reachtof fcascow chose to move decisively to neutraltie recent gains by tht resistance. The Soviets will continue tactical adjustments, such as more aggressive reliance on small-unit actions, although thty will be constranel by Mosco-'s desire to hold casualtlfjUhmkellnliwn and by Soviet officers' lack of flexibility and initiative.!

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Sri ljn<j; Coinwul Crisis

Centunal problees between Sinhalese andin Sri Lanka will aVws: certainly lead to man violence The security situation in the north has deteriorated dramaticallyecent months, and President Jayewardene's recentndri' of proposed legislation to provide greater autonomy to Sri Lanka's Tamil minority has ended the political dialogue, at least tenpo-rarlly. Jayewardene faces the strong possibilityituation he has tMcfl for seven years toamil state within Srimilitant Tamil separatists try tom facto autonomous homeland in the north. |

Jayewardeno's appeals to the United States for more sophisticated entiguerrllla weapons are likely to continue. The Sri Lankan President Is not only interested In the materiel, but In associating himself and his policies with the vest. In the eyes of the Tamil community, the United States already has become identified with the central government, In part because of Jayewardene's recent visit to Washington, aidelieve US interests could become the subject of Taoll insurgentp*J|

Rajiv Gandhi probably will maintain his mother's carrot-end-stick approach toward Colemoo In the near term, although his overwhelming election win has widened his options. We believe India would only intervene militarily in Sri Lantaast resort.

it ical Ccn'mlpw

We believe President Ershadetter than even chant* of holding pawerut we do not believe even parliamentary elections this year, with or without participation of th* opposition, will provide himomfortable political mandate. The military will probably continue suoportErshad because they do not see better alternatives and they wish to avoid providing opportunities for leftist. pro-Indian opposition parties, jmaeemma

Erthad's position would be threatenedreakdown of law and order. This would tempt hardline generals to intervene, suppress thearties, and perhaps remove the President. Increasing discontent mcng younger officers over corruption in the regimeshed's politiciiatlon of th* officer corps would alio pose problems for tha President, another potential source of instability Is the slowly growing strength of Islamic fundamentalist parties, supported by Iran and LlOya. |fS*j

ind of Stability

Wc dc not expect tne King or the legislative system, which he deninates, to ba challenged seriously over the next year. The Palace will probably continue to balance pressure from the still-outlawed political parties for tncrtited democratization against the Palace's perceived need for strong central control to guarantee national security, wt believe .the 'a lata will continue to provie* coportuntties for political expression by potential antlregime elementsafety valve. Th* Ring is encouraging moderate activity among district legislative bodies and allowing small political demonstration! In districtfj

SWJtCT: ticrlpi.

TB1WTTIOV

Di.it rlbut ion:

ttesvidor Bidard HirphyAS ArnoldAS Jkm. A. PlackeAS Bobort. PellotiMU

tCan 1

A to

ional Security (OougUs Milhollaftd]

eputy for Middle East. Nejpti.tions ViUIm A. Kirtryewth D. Burn*ock Cover (NSC)

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