PAKISTAN'S UNACCEPTABLE POLICY -- HON. ROBERT MENENDEZ (Extension of Remarks - October 08, 1994)
HON. ROBERT MENENDEZ
in the House of Representatives
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1994
- Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Speaker, the U.S. Department of Commerce has identified India as one of the most important emerging markets in the world. India is currently opening its economy in ways that were unthinkable only 5 years ago.
- United States-India bilateral trade is increasing rapidly. Among other items, the United States is selling billion-dollar power plants and telecommunications equipment to India and in return India is selling the United States such products as clothing and computer software.
- It is in America's national interests to support peace, prosperity, and democracy in India to insure that the economic liberalization which we have encouraged for years stays on track. But the rapid improvements of the Indian economy must be accompanied by political stability. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I am concerned that our friend and ally, India, the world's largest democracy faces a wave of regional political instability.
- Recently, troubling reports have surfaced which allege that India's neighbor, Pakistan, is covertly promoting instability in the Jammu, Kashmir, and Himachal regions of India. Specifically, the allegations assert that Pakistan is supporting anti-India Kashmiri insurgents as well as radical veterans of the Afghan war who engage in terrorist violence in the above-mentioned regions. In fact, according to the U.S. State Department's `Global Report on Terrorism for 1994,' there were credible reports of official Pakistani support to Kashmiri militants.
- These terrorist gangs have forced some 250,000 Kashmiri Hindu Pandits and approximately 50,000 Kashmiri Moslems who openly support India into becoming refugees in their own land. Moreover, in recent comments, former Prime Minister of Pakistan and current opposition leader in Parliament, Nawaz Sharif, threatened India with the use of nuclear weapons should India more directly respond to the terrorism in Kashmir and the other provinces.
- Such tactics can only lead to greater insecurity in both India and Pakistan. Should the situation deteriorate, the consequences could be horrible. It is important that our government immediately impress upon the government of Pakistan that the subversion of other states through state-sponsored terrorism, as recent reports suggest, is unacceptable policy.
- India needs to focus on domestic issues such as the environment, literacy, health care, and continuing its progress in economic liberalization. In each field much work remains to be done. Countering subversion and terrorism takes the attention of India off these vital issues. America must help India focus its attention on domestic issues. It is my hope that all parties in the region would attempt to arrive at constructive solutions to these difficult problems.