The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I want to stress my concern this evening over 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, and this decision comes in the wake of a determination that entities in Pakistan and North Korea have engaged in missile technology proliferation activities.
According to the notice published in the Federal Register on May 4 of this year, Khan Research Laboratories in Pakistan and the North Korean Mining Development Trading Corporation are subject to sanctions, including denial of export licenses, a ban on U.S. Government contracts with these entities, and a ban on importation to the U.S. of products produced by these two entities. The sanctions are in effect for 2 years.
Now, although these 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, though, about Pakistani nuclear missile technology with North Korea was not shocking enough, there are reports this week that the International Atomic Energy Agency, or the 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 of 1990, prior to the Persian Gulf War, but after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, while our troops were massing in Saudi Arabia under Operation Dessert Shield, a memorandum from Iraqi'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.' The document was among those turned over by Iraq after the 1995 defection of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Lieutenant General 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 in efforts to obtain nuclear weapons and delivery systems or to share this technology with unstable regimes.
Recently, Pakistan tested a new missile known as the Ghauri, a missile with a range of 950 miles, sufficient to pose significant security threats to 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.
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. But I think the time has long since passed for us to reassess our relationship with Pakistan. The two developments I cite today are only the latest developments. North Korea, the last bastion of Stalinism, is also one of the most potentially dangerous nations on Earth and the U.S. has been trying to pursue policies to lessen the threat of nuclear proliferation from North Korea, but now we see that Pakistan is cooperating with North Korea on missile technology.
Mr. Speaker, we do not need to be reminded of American concerns over Saddam's regime in Iraq. 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. policymakers 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 nuclear explosive devices.
This is known as the Pressler amendment. And 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 Pressler amendment, including a provision in the fiscal year 1998 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. There is also the specter of U.S. F-16s, the delivery of which were also held up by the Pressler amendment, being delivered to Pakistan.
Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I want to say that 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 and really they should not be involved in this continued proliferation of nuclear weapons.