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U.S. Department of State

Daily Press Briefing


13-15Status of Sanctions on India and Pakistan/Prospects for Waiver of Sanctions
15-16Update on Situation in Pakistan/Whereabout of Nawaz Sharif

DPB #133
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1999, 1:10 P.M.


QUESTION: The business - I don't know how far into this you're prepared to go, but the notion of lifting any sanctions against India, keeping those on Pakistan - what I'm most interested in - but others have shown interest in other parts of this - is evidently this will block food aid to Pakistan.

MR. FOLEY: What are you referring to, in particular?

QUESTION: The waiver - the sanctions that are being waived now with India, but being kept on Pakistan. Maybe the White House is the place to do this - it's a presidential action.

MR. FOLEY: The waiver --

QUESTION: -- but the fallout is a humanitarian fallout.

MR. FOLEY: The waiver issued by the President on sanctions against India and Pakistan under the Glenn Amendment and related laws expires today. That's the problem. Provision to grant the President permanent comprehensive authority to waive sanctions under these provisions is contained in the pending Defense Department appropriations bill. We are working with Congress to see if there is a feasible way to address this issue, pending enactment of the new waiver authority.

QUESTION: But I thought sanctions that are being maintained on Pakistan - the intention is to ease or to remove those on India, and keep them on Pakistan. And one result --

MR. FOLEY: Well --

QUESTION: Some food experts said it'll deny $53 million worth of wheat going to India.

MR. FOLEY: The sanctions --

QUESTION: To Pakistan.

MR. FOLEY: The sanctions that were waived included EX-IM funding, OPIC, TDA -- trade development -- IMET, and those are the ones that are affected. Of course, because of the military takeover in Pakistan, though, we had to apply Section 508 of the Foreign Assistance Act, which denies - prohibits -- a broad range of assistance. And so things like what had been recently waived - OPIC, TDA, IMET - are now no longer possible with Pakistan.

QUESTION: Does the food thing --

MR. FOLEY: I'd have to --

QUESTION: Because you --

MR. FOLEY: You talking about humanitarian food donations?

QUESTION: Yes. Because the Administration's rationale - you're feeding North Korea. Your rationale has been that sanctions are designed to punish a government, not to punish people. And that indeed when it comes to North Korea the food assistance is separate from your other traffic with North Korea.

MR. FOLEY: Right. Well, what I can tell you --

QUESTION: But Pakistan - it looks like the Pakistani people are going to be hurt and I wondered how that's justified?

MR. FOLEY: You're raising something I haven't heard previously.

QUESTION: All right.

MR. FOLEY: I've not been made aware that there has been an issue of starvation or of humanitarian need in Pakistan.

QUESTION: It's food assistance.

MR. FOLEY: It's foreign food donations. I can look into that, but I've not heard that that's been --

QUESTION: I'm sorry - I didn't mean to blindside you but someone is raising - (inaudible) -- .


QUESTION: On Pakistan still - there are various publications that are saying that the General- (whose name I won't try and pronounce - who's now in charge in Pakistan, is going to announce a cabinet within three or four days. Have you all been told this? And do you have any sort of state of events?

MR. FOLEY: Well, General Musharaff announced that he was going to name a national security council: I believe a six-member national security council. To my knowledge that has not happened yet. I believe he was also going to be nominating the officials who would be running all the government ministries. I don't know if they'll continue to call it the cabinet or not, because the National Security Council appears projected to be the executive decision-making body. But I'm not aware that we have been informed, to this point, about who the nominees are going to be. I understand those nominations are going to be forthcoming, though.

QUESTION: Do you know the whereabouts of Mr. Nawaz Sharif? Where is he and --

MR. FOLEY: Well, when Ambassador Milam met with General Musharaff last Friday, I believe he was given assurances as to his well-being. I can't comment on his exact whereabouts, but we certainly hope that he is safe and secure. We understand that there is an accountability process that's underway, and we understand that there are preliminary investigations of Prime Minister Sharif underway, in connection with efforts to restore accountability in Pakistan.

We urge strongly that the rights of Mr. Sharif, and others who may be under investigation, are respected and that they receive fair and impartial treatment, in accordance with international standards.


(The briefing concluded at 1:55 P.M.)

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