The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. McNulty). Under a previous order of the House, the gentlewoman from Michigan [Mrs. Collins] is recognized for 5 minutes.
Miss COLLINS of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I rise to discuss an issue imperative to United States foreign policy--United States and Pakistan relations.
Mr. Speaker, we currently face a crossroad between our nation's relationship with one of our longtime allies, Pakistan.
The State Department is considering classifying Pakistan as a terrorist state because of allegations that Pakistan has given material, weapons, personnel, and training support to Kashmiri militants who have committed acts of terrorism in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Allegations have also been made that Pakistan lends support to Sikh militants engaged in terrorism in Indian Punjab.
A classification of being a terrorist state would have a devastating effect on Pakistan. Pakistan would be ineligible for any United States aid, including humanitarian aid, and Congress would be required to vote against any loans to Pakistan from multilateral lending agencies. In addition, under section 505 of the International Trade and Security Act of 1985, Pakistan would also be banned from importing goods and services to the United States as a nation supporting terrorism.
Pakistan has worked hand in hand with the United States in the quest for democracy. They were vital during the cold war in fighting the spread of communism. The CIA, in cooperation with Pakistan intelligence, trained Afghan guerrillas to combat Soviet aggression in Afghanistan.
Most of the complaints against Pakistan have come from India. Pakistan and India are involved in a longstanding and deeply rooted dispute regarding the State of Kashmir. Pakistan insists that it only lends diplomatic and moral support to separatists groups in Kashmir and Punjab and it denies backing Sikh militants.
Kashmir, the only majority Moslem state in India, was recognized by the United Nations as a disputed territory and Pakistan agrees to resolve this conflict based on the resolutions approved by the Security Council and United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan. In addition, Pakistan has offered to negotiate this issue bilaterally in accordance with the Simla agreement.
As a matter of fact, Pakistan has been deeply concerned about its being viewed a terrorist state. The Pakistan Government has deported Arab fundamentalists who have been connected to anti-Government terrorist activities in India, Algeria, and Egypt. They also offered full support to India in apprehending perpetrators involved in a series of bombings on Bombay. In addition, they replaced the director of Pakistan's interservices intelligence who was allegedly involved with supporting militants in Kashmir and Punjab.
Their actions have been in response to a statement released by the State Department on January 8, 1993, that Pakistan would be placed under active continuing review because of alleged terrorist activities in Kashmir and Punjab. If placed on the terrorist list, Pakistan will have the same status of countries such as Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, and Syria. Countries that have perpetuated anti-American sentiment throughout the Moslem world, propaganda that Pakistan has consistently disregarded. In fact, Pakistan has supported the United States and provided a positive view of our nation to their Moslem counterparts.
This is a disturbing classification for Pakistan considering their longstanding alliance with the United States and the fact that they were not named in the April 1993 U.S. State Department annual report to Congress, Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1992.
The State Department can place a country on the terrorist list at any time. But, placing Pakistan on this list when it didn't appear in the recent report to Congress would be a rash decision.
In layman's terms the Pakistan economy would be dealt a severe blow and Pakistan-American trade relations would simply deteriorate. There would be restrictions on movement of Embassy staff thereby delaying visa processing and other services. Limitations would be placed on United States-Pakistan flights. Pakistani citizens would no longer be able to attend United States colleges and universities and Pakistan-Americans would have problems traveling back to the country to visit relatives and friends.
Many disagree with the State Department on considering Pakistan as a terrorist state. Pakistan has not shown to be involved in anti-Western propaganda and terrorism like Iran or Libya. To classify it as such strains the good relations that have existed between our two countries for decades.
Pakistan is still contending with the problems brought on during that time. According to Molly Moore and John Anderson in an article in the April 21, 1993, Washington Post:
A nation that once was a linchpin of American foreign policy has become a casualty of post-cold war political realignments. Amid domestic political turmoil, Pakistan is struggling to cope with the refuse of a superpower battle: A glut of weapons in the marketplace, large numbers of restless, combat-experienced foreign guerrillas, millions of Afghan refugees, and an unbridled drug trade.
Also in the same article Pakistan's Secretary for Foreign Affairs Shahayar Khan said:
We fought the Afghan war for 14
years, and now people who were committed to our side are suddenly seen as villains and branded as terrorists.
In addition to their vital role in ending Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, they assisted in developing our relationship with China when they offered their diplomatic services to then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who flew to China from Pakistan in July 1976. This shows the ability of Pakistan to pave the way for United States relations with other countries who may have anti-American sentiments.
Pakistani troops served with our troops in Operation Desert Storm. They joined United States troops in assisting the United Nations in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. Pakistan risked its own national security when it allowed the United States to use espionage aircraft to fly from its bases over the Soviet Union during the 1960's.
Pakistan has been instrumental in denuclearizing south Asia and plays a stabilizing role in central Asia and the Middle East. They have advocated the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in south Asia. Their proposal has been endorsed by the U.N. General Assembly. In 1979, Pakistan expressed its readiness to accede to Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT] simultaneously with India.
Pakistan is also essential to the United States for its stand in the Moslem world. Pakistan is the world's third largest moderate Moslem country and has consistently supported America serving as an example to other Moslem nations. With many Moslem countries perpetuating anti-American sentiments, Pakistan serves as our one and best opportunity to develop and change the relationship America has with Moslem nations.
The United States has made economic and intellectual investments in Pakistan that should be cultivated. We must continue to foster this relationship and not make hasty decisions that would hurt both American and Pakistan interest.
Declaring Pakistan a terrorist state would not only be a slap in the face but it would only further strain relations between Pakistan and India. Pakistan, after all its years of service to the United States, would be a virtual outcast. It would interrupt the stabilizing force that Pakistan has offered and would cause them to ally themselves closer to their nearest neighbor, Iran. The United States should be working diplomatically to resolve the differences between the two nations.
This issue must be thoroughly investigated and debated before the United States makes such a strong decision. Prof. Thomas P. Thornton of the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University wrote an article in yesterday's Christian Science Monitor. I quote, `Pakistan is * * * a large and very important country that plays a key role in the Moslem world--a place where we need friends. We need to get beyond the disillusion and embitterment that have characterized United States-Pakistan relations and find a middle ground where we can build a relationship that meets specific, limited mutual interest. Declaring Pakistan a terrorist state is not the way to start.' End quote.
I agree with Professor Thornton and those Washington and Islamabad officials who feel this decision would be counterproductive and unfair. We must work with both India and Pakistan in seeking a fair solution. If Pakistan-India relations are to improve we must play the role of the impartial facilitator.
I urge the administration to remove Pakistan from active continuing review and to cease the threat of making Pakistan a terrorist state. I urge my congressional colleagues to contact the administration to voice their concern over the treatment of Pakistan. We cannot nor should we, lose a loyal and valuable ally. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.