Pakistan's Nuclear Program -- (House of Representatives - January 30, 2004)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues and the Bush administration to once again take a look at Pakistan through a critical and analytical lens.
Pakistan is one of our strongest allies in the war against terror, yet I am deeply disturbed by our supposed ally's involvement in supplying nuclear technology to North Korea, Iran, and Libya. There is ample evidence of these ties, and I find it very convenient that President Musharraf takes a position of denial and that he blames everyone besides the Pakistani Government.
Mr. Speaker, we must understand that Musharraf's response to these serious international violations of transferring nuclear weapons to rogue nations is simply inadequate. By blaming the scientists involved, and by detaching the Pakistani Government's role in preventing further transfer of nuclear equipment, Musharraf is insulating himself, when in fact he should be proposing steps to ensure the world that Pakistan will no longer be participating in such criminal activities. As an ally in the war against terror, we deserve such assurances, commitment and action from Pakistan that their programs to assist in nuclear proliferation have been terminated.
Unfortunately, Musharraf is in denial about his country's participation in aiding such countries as North Korea, Iran, and Libya; but the denial must come to a close immediately. The same situation was true regarding Pakistani fundamentalist infiltration into Kashmir. While cold-blooded murders of innocent Kashmiri citizens were taking place on a daily basis, President Musharraf for years denied that he was providing anything but moral support to the infiltrators.
While the murders have continued, Musharraf has recognized that infiltration is a problem that requires his intervention, and he has pledged to end terrorism in Kashmir. Although Kashmiri citizens continue to endure terrorism and infiltration at the Line of Control, the situation seems to have improved to a certain degree since the cease-fire between India and Pakistan and the countries' plan on holding talks within the next several weeks.
Mr. Speaker, my point is that the issue of Pakistan transferring nuclear equipment requires as much focus and intervention on President Musharraf's part.
In contrast to the situation in Pakistan, I wanted to take a moment to highlight India's nuclear program. In reflection of what I saw earlier this month during my visit to India, I applaud the government for maintaining an open nuclear science program. The three most important ways in which India's program is a model to be emulated by Pakistan are the following: first, India's program is defensive in nature; second, it is civilian controlled; and, third, technology is shared in accordance with international nuclear transfer laws.
As a result of India's nuclear policies, India has a strong defense relationship with the United States and a strong science partnership with the United States. In fact, a recent agreement between the United States and India would call for increased exchange of scientists, particularly in the area of nuclear technology. Moreover, as part of a new space and nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and India, the two countries will work as partners to bring stability to South Asia and the world, including efforts to end proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. Speaker, I include for the RECORD a statement that was made jointly by the President of India and by the President of the United States in that regard.
Next Steps in Strategic Partnership With India
In November 2001, Prime Minister Vajpayee and I committed our countries to a strategic partnership. Since then, our two countries have strengthened bilateral cooperation significantly in several areas. Today we announce the next steps in implementing our shared vision.
The United States and India agree to expand cooperation in three specific areas: civilian nuclear activities, civilian space programs, and high-technology trade. In addition, we agree to expand our dialogue on missile defense. Cooperation in these areas will deepen the ties of commerce and friendship between our two nations, and will increase stability in Asia and beyond.
The proposed cooperation will progress through a series of reciprocal steps that will build on each other. It will include expanded engagement on nuclear regulatory and safety issues and missile defense, ways to enhance cooperation in peaceful uses of space technology, and steps to create the appropriate environment for successful high technology commerce. In order to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, relevant laws, regulations and procedures will be strengthened, and measures to increase bilateral and international cooperation in this area will be employed. These cooperative efforts will be undertaken in accordance with our respective national laws and international obligations.
The expanded cooperation launched today is an important milestone in transforming the relationship between the United States and India. That relationship is based increasingly on common values and common interests. We are working together to promote global peace and prosperity. We are partners in the war on terrorism and we are partners in controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them.
The vision of U.S.-India strategic partnership that Prime Minister Vajpayee and I share is now becoming a reality.
Mr. Speaker, let me say in conclusion, in order for there to be peace and stability in the South Asia region, it is necessary for President Musharraf to move Pakistan forward by taking responsibility for its reprehensible actions, such as transferring nuclear technology and infiltrating Kashmir. Until President Musharraf's leadership is applied and he is not only willing to accept responsibility but turn his words into actions, our safety continues to be in jeopardy.