IT'S TIME TO TAKE A SECOND LOOK AT PAKISTAN -- HON. JIM MCDERMOTT (Extension of Remarks - September 22, 1994)
HON. JIM MCDERMOTT
in the House of Representatives
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1994
- Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing a sense-of-the-House resolution regarding several recent troubling developments in Pakistan. As our colleagues know, in 1992 Pakistan was placed on the State Department's `Watch List' of countries suspected of exporting terrorism. In 1993, however, the State Department dropped Pakistan from its `Watch List.' Since the State Department took this action, there have been several startling revelations which suggest our State Department needs to reexamine its decision to drop Pakistan from its `Watch List.'
- First, the Washington Post recently reported that former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated publicly that his former Chief of Staff and the former head of the Inter Services Intelligence Agency [ISI] informed him while he was Prime Minister that they had several covert actions in other countries in dire need of funding and they wanted to pay for these activities from the profits of large-scale narcotics transactions.
- Second, a suspect recently was arrested in the March 1993, terrorist bombings of the Bombay Stock Exchange and other sites in that city. Killed in one of the most terrible acts of violence ever were 317 innocent people. The suspect has implicated the ISI in the bombings, claiming the ISI provided his associates and him with money, weapons, and explosives, as well as directions on where to place the bombs. The suspect, an Indian citizen, possessed a number of incriminating items, including a Pakistan passport and identity card. The suspect's brother and family now reside in a lavish residence in Pakistan.
- Third, Indian security forces in Kashmir in recent months have arrested numerous Pakistani, Afghani, and Libyan nationals in Kashmir. Those arrested have said they were trained, funded, and armed by ISI-backed elements in Pakistan.
- Finally, and most disturbing, former Prime Minister Sharif recently told the world that Pakistan has for some time possessed nuclear weapons. This admission comes after more than 7 years of assurances to the contrary by Pakistan to the United States Government.
- Mr. Speaker, these developments come at a time of heightened concern about terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and nuclear proliferation throughout the world. The Government of the United States has spent many billions of tax-payer dollars during the past decade fighting each of these menaces. In light of these four developments, it is vital for the Congress to go on record in favor of a review of the State Department's decision last year to drop Pakistan from the `Watch List' of nations suspected of supporting terrorism. It is also important for Congress to reaffirm the validity of the Pressler amendment, which Congress adopted in 1987. The Pressler amendment states that Pakistan will not receive foreign aid from the United States unless the President of the United States can certify that Pakistan does not have a nuclear device.
- I urge my colleagues to join me in cosponsoring this important resolution. The questions raised by the recent developments on the Asian subcontinent simply are too important for our Government to ignore.
Whereas the United States Government has longstanding policies opposing the spread of terrorism and advocating the destruction caused by narcotics trafficking;
Whereas the United States Government has devoted tens of billions of United States taxpayer dollars during the past decade fighting terrorism and drugs both within our borders and throughout the world;
Whereas, in 1992, Pakistan was placed on the State Department's Watch List of nations suspected of supporting terrorism;
Whereas, in 1993, the State Department dropped Pakistan from its watch list;
Whereas former Pakistani Prime Minister Narwaz Sharif recently publicly admitted that his Chief of Staff, General Beg, and his head of the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) Agency informed him while he was Prime Minister that the Pakistani Army and ISI planned to conduct covert acts of terrorism in other countries and fund these activities through large scale narcotics sales;
Whereas 317 Indian citizens were killed in March, 1993, in a series of bombings of the Bombay Stock Exchange and other sites in Bombay in one of the worst acts of terrorism in the twentieth century;
Whereas a leading suspect in the bombing, Yakub Memon, has publicly implicated the ISI in the bombings by accusing the ISI of providing arms, money, and explosives for the attack, and directing Mr. Memon, his brother and their associates on where to place the bombs and by providing Mr. Memon and his brother with transportation to and from Pakistan and a large and lavish house in Pakistan for his brother and his family;
Whereas Indian Security forces in Kashmir have arrested numerous foreign nationals in Kashmir who have confessed to having been trained, funded, supported, and armed by ISI-backed elements across the border in Pakistan;
Whereas former Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif has recently stated publicly that the Government of Pakistan, for several years, has possessed nuclear weapons in direct contradiction to repeated assurances to the United States Government that Pakistan does not possess and is not attempting to develop nuclear weapons;
Whereas in 1987 the United States Congress enacted and President Reagan signed into law the Pressler Amendment banning foreign aid to Pakistan until the President
- certifies that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear weapon; and
- Whereas President Bush and President Clinton have been unable to certify that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear weapon: Now, therefore, be it
- Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
- (1) the United States, condemns the involvement of Pakistan in acts of terrorism in other countries;
- (2) the United States condemns any involvement by Pakistan in the illegal manufacture, sale, transportation, or distribution of any narcotic substance;
- (3) the United States urges Pakistan to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in the United States to reduce and eliminate the growing heroin trade in Pakistan, which currently accounts for 20 percent of all the heroin sold in the United States;
- (4) the United States urges the Administration to review the State Department decision in 1993 to drop Pakistan from the Watch List of nations which are suspected of supporting terrorism; and
- (5) the United States reaffirms the validity and wisdom of the Pressler Amendment prohibiting foreign assistance to Pakistan in light of Prime Minister Sharif's public admission that Pakistan has possessed nuclear weapons for several years despite repeated assurances to the contrary to the United States.