Pallone Calls on Pakistan to Take Responsibility for Transfer of Nuclear Technology to Rogue Nations Encourages Pakistan to Follow Example Set by India's Nuclear Program

Feb 2, 2004

"Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening to urge my colleagues and the Bush administration to once again take a look at Pakistan through a critical and analytical lens.

"Pakistan is one of our strongest allies in the war against terror, yet I am deeply disturbed by our supposed ally's involvement with supplying nuclear technology to North Korea, Iran and Libya. There is ample evidence of these ties, and I find it very convenient that President Musharraf takes a position of denial and that he blames everyone besides the Pakistani government.

"Mr. Speaker, we must understand that Musharrafs response to these serious international violations of transferring nuclear weapons to rogue nations is simply inadequate. By blaming the scientists involved, and by detaching the Pakistani government's role in preventing further transfer of nuclear equipment, Musharraf is insulating himself when in fact, he should be proposing steps to ensure the world that Pakistan will no longer be participating in such criminal activities. As an ally in the war against terror, we deserve such assurances, commitment and action from Pakistan that their programs to assist in nuclear proliferation have been terminated.

"Unfortunately, Musharraf is in denial about his country's participation in aiding such countries as North Korea, Iran and Libya, but the denial must come to a close immediately. The same situation was true regarding Pakistani-fundamentalist infiltration into Kashmir. While cold-blooded murders of innocent Kashmiri citizens were taking place on a daily basis, Musharraf for years denied that he was providing anything but moral support to the infiltrators.

"While the murders have continued, Musharraf has recognized that infiltration is a problem that requires his intervention, and he has pledged to end terrorism in Kashmir. Although Kashmiri citizens continue to endure terrorism and infiltration at the Line of Control, the situation seems to have improved to a certain degree since the cease-fire between India and Pakistan, and the countries plan on holding talks within the next several weeks. Mr. Speaker, my point is that the issue of Pakistan transferring nuclear equipment requires as much focus and intervention on Musharraf's part.

"In contrast to the situation in Pakistan, I wanted to take a moment to highlight India's nuclear program. In reflection of what I saw earlier this month during my visit to India, I applaud the government for maintaining an open nuclear science program. The three most important ways in which India's program is a model to be emulated by Pakistan are the following: India's program is defensive in nature, civilian-controlled, and technology is shared in accordance with international nuclear transfer laws.

"As a result of Indias nuclear policies, India has a strong defense relationship with the United States and a strong science partnership with the United States. In fact, a recent agreement between the U.S. and India would call for increased exchange of scientists particularly in the area of nuclear technology. Moreover, as part of a new space and nuclear cooperation agreement between the U.S. and India, the two countries will work as partners to bring stability to South Asia and the world, including efforts to end proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"In order for there to be peace and stability in the South Asia region, it is necessary for Musharraf to move Pakistan forward by taking responsibility for its reprehensible actions such as transferring nuclear technology and infiltrating Kashmir. Until Musharraf's leadership is applied, and he is not only willing to accept responsibility and turn his words into actions, our safety is in jeopardy."