Title: "Administration Backs Military Sales to Pakistan." John Malott, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs told a Senate panel July 30
that current US policy, which allows limited private commercial sales of military equipment to Pakistan, is both legal and an important means of promoting nuclear non-proliferation and other goals in South Asia. (920731)
ADMINISTRATION BACKS MILITARY SALES TO PAKISTAN (Text: Malott Statement to SFRC, 7/30/92) (930) Washington -- Current U.S. policy, which allows limited, private commercial military sales to Pakistan, is both legal and an important means of promoting nuclear non-proliferation and other goals in South Asia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs John Malott told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee July 30.
"We are trying to maintain some degree of access and influence with a government whose cooperation is essential to meeting key American objectives in the region, from non-proliferation to counter-narcotics to stability in Afghanistan," said Malott.
The following is the text of Malott's testimony, as prepared for delivery. (BEGIN TEXT) Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to have this opportunity to appear before the Committee to testify on United States policy toward Pakistan and the importance that continued commercial military sales have on our ability to achieve our policy objectives with that country and the region as whole.
The Administration's highest priorities in the South Asia region are first, to encourage peace and reduce tensions among the nations of the region and second, to prevent the development, acquisition, and use of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. These two goals are closely linked.
When it became clear in 1990 that the President could no longer make the required certification under the Pressler Amendment, we terminated our military and economic assistance. Although our decision caused outrage in Pakistan, the Administration has remained firm in its position that Pakistan must roll back its nuclear program.
Our concerns about Pakistan's nuclear program dominate our discussions with senior officials of the Pakistan Government. There is no doubt in the minds of Pakistani government leaders what our position is. We have enforced fully the Pressler Amendment, and Pakistan has paid a very heavy price. In particular, it has had a major impact on the Pakistani military, which is heavily dependent on U.S. assistance and sales. There have been economic costs as well.
We are permitting only a limited number of commercial military sales to proceed. We are not licensing any equipment or technology that will allow Pakistan to acquire new military capabilities or to upgrade existing ones. We are not licensing the sale of any significant military systems, or "big ticket items."
What is our policy interest in licensing these limited sales? After the invocation of the Pressler Amendment, our relationship with Pakistan has been severely strained. We are trying to maintain some degree of access and influence with a government whose cooperation is essential to meeting key American objectives in the region, from non-proliferation to counter-narcotics to stability in Afghanistan. We believe that if we are to promote a regional solution to non-proliferation, then cooperative ties with both India and Pakistan are essential. We believe that it is important to maintain a working relationship with Pakistan and ensure that regional security is not destabilized.
Instead of helping us accomplish our non-proliferation and other policy objectives, a termination of all sales could work against their achievement. It would undercut those in the Pakistani government who are seeking to improve their government's relationship with the United States. Rather than cave in, Pakistan more likely would look for other options.
Invocation of the Pressler Amendment has sent a clear message to Pakistan about the seriousness with which we view their actions in the nuclear field. The fact that we continue to permit limited private, commercial military sales should not be seen by anyone -- especially by anyone in Islamabad -- as an indication that we are not serious about getting Pakistan to walk back across the line they traversed in 1990. We are not accepting this as a new plateau from which they can continue to move forward. As the President indicated in his recent statement on non-proliferation, we intend to use the entire range of political, diplomatic, economic, intelligence, regional security, export controls, and other tools available to us to achieve our objective.
In addition to our bilateral dealings with Pakistan, we recognize that a broader approach also is necessary, with our ultimate goal some form of a regional nuclear non-proliferation regime. We recognize that achieving such an agreement is not likely in the near term. Consequently, we are encouraging India and Pakistan to take actions now, aimed at building confidence and reducing tensions. We are willing to help in any appropriate way.
We also have proposed a 5-party conference involving the United States, India, Pakistan, China, and Russia as another possible means of addressing the proliferation problem. The conference could address the security concerns of states in the region and help establish a framework within which to address proliferation and other security concerns.
The United States has had a cooperative and beneficial relationship with Pakistan for the 45 years of its history. Despite the current tensions in our relationship, the United States continues to have important interests with Pakistan. Pakistan occupies a pivotal position in that broader region that includes South and Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. We must continue to work together to assist the return of the Afghan people and encourage the political process in Kabul to arrive at a broadbased, representative government. We want to support the institutionalization of democracy in Pakistan and the government's efforts to liberalize the Pakistani economy.
Finally, we want to encourage Pakistan to continue its cooperation with us to stem the flow of narcotics.
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