Kerry, Biden Introduce Pakistan Resolution Condemning State of Emergency
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs, which includes Pakistan, and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) today introduced a resolution, urging President Musharraf to end Pakistan's state of emergency and reinstate the Constitution. The Kerry-Biden Resolution urges that United States military assistance to Pakistan should be subjected to careful review. The resolution asserts that assistance for the purchase of certain weapons systems that are not directly related to the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban should be suspended if President Musharraf does not revoke the state of emergency, restore the Constitution, follow through on the pledge to relinquish his position as Chief of the Army and allow for free and fair elections to be held in accordance with the timeframe announced today by the Government of Pakistan.
"It is important to send a strong message to Pakistan that we will hold them to their word when it comes to getting back on the path to civilian democracy," said Sen. Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs. "The Resolution I have introduced with Senator Biden today provides a real incentive for General Musharaff to restore the rule of law and move forward with crucial democratic reforms while preserving our core interest in fighting terrorists in Pakistan."
"This resolution sends a strong message on the need for a speedy return to the democratic path - a message that I sincerely hope President Musharraf will take to heart. Musharraf should immediately release the lawyers, journalists, and human rights activists he's arrested since imposing de-facto martial law; restore the independent judiciary he's subverted by firing Supreme Court justices unwilling to sign a loyalty oath to him; make good on his pledge to hold free and fair elections in the legal timeframe; and restore rule of law and constitutional government to Pakistan," said Sen. Biden, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "This resolution backs up the Administration's statement that military aid for Pakistan will now be placed under review. It also puts Musharraf on notice that if the current crisis continues and President Bush declines to take action, Congress will."
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