ARMS SALES TO PAKISTAN -- (House of Representatives - November 18, 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 this evening to express my deep concern about the proposed Pentagon arms sale to Pakistan.
Reports indicate that the Pentagon has proposed sales of the following weapons to Pakistan: eight P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft valued at up to $970 million and 2,000 TOW-2A missiles and 14 TOW-2A Fly-to-Buy missiles valued at $82 million. It is undoubted that Pakistan has been an ally in the war on terror; however, it is necessary to urge President Bush to block these proposed arms sales for several reasons.
A number of my colleagues and I were extremely disappointed to learn of the Major Non-NATO Alliance status that was bestowed upon Pakistan earlier this year because it allowed Pakistan to purchase military equipment that is not normally sanctioned to a country that is not under democratic rule. Pakistan unfortunately continues to remain under military rule and is not taking meaningful steps to return to a democracy; and therefore I support democracy sanctions that will prohibit military assistance to Pakistan entirely. Moreover, I feel that it is unprecedented for the Pentagon to be engaging in weapon sales with Pakistan due to its political instability.
Mr. Speaker, the Bush administration's policies with respect to military assistance and now military sales to Pakistan are contributing to increased security concerns throughout South Asia and particularly to India. Although Pakistan has been an ally in the global war on terror, Pakistan has not taken steps to end terrorism in its own backyard, and foreign military assistance to Pakistan has oftentimes been used against India.
I sent a letter today, Mr. Speaker, to President Bush urging him to reexamine the interests and priorities of the United States and to take a strong position against selling arms to Pakistan both now and in the future. The Pentagon is still in the proposed phase of selling these weapons to Pakistan. I urge my colleagues to block this inappropriate and unnecessary arms sales to Pakistan.
Mr. Speaker, the Bush administration and this Congress should be promoting peace in South Asia, not a war between Pakistan and India.