PAKISTANI ROLE IN NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION -- HON. FRANK PALLONE, JR. (Extension of Remarks - May 06, 1998)
HON. FRANK PALLONE, JR.
in the House of Representatives
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 1998
- Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring to the attention of the members of this House, and of the American people, some recent, disturbing information about the continued role of Pakistan in the transfer and proliferation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
- Last month, the U.S. State Department determined that sanctions should be imposed on Pakistan, pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act. This decision comes in the wake of the determination that entities in Pakistan and North Korea have engaged in missile technology proliferation activities. According to the notice published in the Federal Register of May 4, 1998, Khan Research Laboratories in Pakistan, and Changgwang Sinyong Corporation, also known as the North Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, are subject to sanctions including denial of export licenses, a ban on United States Government contracts with these entities, and a ban on importation into the U.S. of products produced by these two entities. The sanctions are in effect for two years.
- Although the sanctions seem relatively modest, I still want to applaud the Clinton Administration for imposing the sanctions on these companies. I hope that enforcement efforts against these and other firms involved in the proliferation of missile technology will remain strong.
- As if this recent disclosure about Pakistani nuclear missile technology with North Korea were not shocking enough, there are reports this week that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is investigating whether a leading Pakistani scientist offered Iraq plans for nuclear weapons. The information, first reported in Newsweek magazine, has been confirmed by the IAEA. According to the report, in October 1990, prior to the Persian Gulf War--but after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, while our troops were massing in Saudi Arabia under Operation Desert Shield--a memorandum from Iraq's intelligence service to its nuclear weapons directorate mentioned that Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist, offered help to Iraq to `manufacture a nuclear weapon,' according to Newsweek. The document was among those turned over by Iraq after the 1995 defection of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel, who ran Iraq's secret weapons program.
- The Pakistani Government has denied the report, and the IAEA has not yet made any determination. But this report is part of a very troubling pattern involving Pakistan and efforts to either obtain nuclear weapons and delivery systems, or to share this technology with other unstable regimes.
- Recently, Pakistan test-fired a new missile, known as the Ghauri, a missile with a range of 950 miles, sufficient to pose significant security threats to Pakistan's neighbors, including India, and to launch a new round in the South Asian arms race. I am pleased that the recently elected Government of India has demonstrated considerable restraint in light of this threatening new development, a view echoed by the U.S. Delegation that travelled to the region recently with our U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson.
- While I welcome the sanctions against North Korea, I remain very concerned that China is also known to have transferred nuclear technology to Pakistan. Our Administration has certified that it will allow transfers of nuclear technology to China--a move I continue to strongly oppose.
- Mr. Speaker, for years, many of our top diplomatic and national security officials have advocated a policy of appeasement of Pakistan, citing
- that country's strategic location and cooperation in Afghanistan. I think that the time has long since passed for us to reassess our relationship with Pakistan. The two developments I cited today--sanctions over missile technology proliferation with North Korea and allegations of efforts to provide nuclear weapon technology to Iraq--are only the latest developments. North Korea, a closed society, the last bastion of Stalinism, is also one of the potentially most dangerous nations on earth. The U.S. has been trying to pursue policies to lessen the threat of nuclear proliferation from North Korea. Now we see that Pakistan is cooperating with North Korea on missile technology.
- And, Mr. Speaker, I don't need to remind you and the American people of American concerns about Saddam's regime in Iraq. Yet, now credible reports have surfaced suggesting the possibility of nuclear cooperation between Iraq and a top Pakistani scientist.
- Concerns about Pakistani nuclear weapons proliferation efforts have been a concern for U.S. policy makers for more than a decade. In 1985, the Congress amended the Foreign Assistance Act to prohibit all U.S. aid to Pakistan if the President failed to certify that Pakistan did not have a nuclear explosive device. Known as the Pressler Amendment, for the former U.S. Senator who sponsored the provision, it was invoked in 1990 by President Bush when it became impossible to make such a certification. The law has been in force since, but we have seen ongoing efforts to weaken the law, including a provision in the FY 98 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that carves out certain exemptions to the law. Several years ago, $370 million worth of U.S. conventional weapons to Pakistan, which had been tied up in the pipeline since the Pressler Amendment was invoked, was shipped to Pakistan. And there is the ever-present specter of U.S. F-16s, the delivery of which was also held up by the Pressler Amendment, being delivered to Pakistan.
- Mr. Speaker, Pakistan has continued to take actions that destabilize the region and the world. Providing and obtaining weapons and nuclear technology from authoritarian, often unstable regimes is a pattern of Pakistani policy that is unacceptable to U.S. interests and the goal of stability in Asia. Pakistan is a country that faces severe development problems. Its people would be much better served if their leaders focused on growing the economy, promoting trade and investment and fostering democracy. U.S. policy needs to be much stronger in terms of discouraging the continued trend toward destabilization and weapons proliferation that the Pakistani government continues to engage in.