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Musharraf's Role in Nuclear Exchange

Location: Washington, DC

MUSHARRAF'S ROLE IN NUCLEAR EXCHANGE -- (House of Representatives - February 04, 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 again discuss Pakistani government transfer of nuclear technology to rogue nations such as North Korea, Iran and Libya.

Pakistan's behavior has been publicized for months and months, but all of the blame for nuclear exchange has thus far been placed on the scientists involved, particularly Abdul Qadeer Khan at the Khan Research Laboratories. Although criminal action has been pursued against Khan, I have remained very concerned over President Musharraf's and his senior advisors' direct role in assisting covert nuclear weapons programs in North Korea, Iran, and Libya.

In the past few days, scientists involved in the Pakistani nuclear program as well as opposition leaders in the Pakistani Parliament have charged that Musharraf, in fact, had knowledge of the nuclear exchange, and the Pakistani military was directly involved. Mr. Speaker, I am simply outraged. Musharraf likely knew that the exchanges took place, and is not being honest about his connection to the activity at the Khan Research Laboratories. He is stretching the truth in order to protect himself as well as his relationship to the United States, and to guarantee the continued flow of military funding from international sources, including the United States.

In the past, I have requested that President Bush reimpose Symington sanctions on Pakistan. Under the 1977 Symington amendment, these sanctions were imposed banning Pakistan from receiving economic and military assistance as a result of importing uranium enrichment technology. After 9/11, this ban was waived by President Bush. Given the evidence, in combination with Musharraf's intent to deceive us about his knowledge of Pakistan's exports of nuclear technology, I feel that it is more important than ever for President Bush to reimpose Symington sanctions.
Furthermore, it is imperative that the United States stop providing military assistance to Pakistan until democracy is restored and terrorist violence in Kashmir comes to an end.

Mr. Speaker, Pakistan has been an ally in the war against global terror, but the United States and Pakistan are at a crossroads. Pakistan's government's participation in nuclear exchange, under Musharraf, has helped to create a nuclear black market in Iran, Libya and North Korea to thrive. I shouldn't even have to mention the devastating effects of uranium enrichment materials falling into the hands of terrorist groups, but this in fact is a concern that has been facilitated by Pakistan.

The Bush administration has been praising Musharraf for removing Dr. Khan from his position as advisor to the Pakistani Prime Minister, but it is high time that the administration open its eyes to the reality of the situation and take immediate action against Pakistan.

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