4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
1400 - 1499
1500 - 1599
1600 - 1699
1700 - 1799
1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
House of Representatives February 12, 2002
Mr. Hyde. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 324) commending President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan for his leadership and friendship and welcoming him to the United States.
The Clerk read as follows:
H. Con. Res. 324
Whereas President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan has shown courageous leadership in cooperating with the United States in the fight against terrorism;
Whereas President Musharraf has shown great fortitude in confronting extremists and outlawing terrorism in Pakistan;
Whereas the efforts of President Musharraf in fighting terrorism are both in the national interest of Pakistan and of great importance to Pakistani-American relations;
Whereas the war against terrorism underscores the importance of strengthening the historic bilateral relationship between the United States and Pakistan;
Whereas President Musharraf has worked to improve the political representation of minorities in Pakistan; and
Whereas the Pakistani-American community in the United States makes important contributions to the United States and plays a vital role in developing a closer relationship between the peoples of the United States and Pakistan: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress commends President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan for his leadership and friendship and welcomes him to the United States....
Mr. Hyde: Madam Speaker, I am pleased to call up the resolution to welcome President Musharraf on his most important visit to Washington. I am a cosponsor of this resolution that was introduced today by the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. PITTS), a member of the Committee on International Relations.
Pakistan has been in the forefront of the war on terrorism, and their efforts to assist the United States have been essential to the great successes to date. The importance of the growing relationship between our two countries is the prevention of further terrorist attacks, and hopefully it will contribute to economic development and stability within Pakistan.
President Musharraf has taken many steps to arrest al Qaeda members and has been working diligently on the release of kidnapped journalist Daniel Pearl. He has undertaken other efforts to curtail the detrimental activities of extremist Islamic groups and has shown particular leadership in trying to take his country in a new direction.
Through this resolution we acknowledge President Musharraf's sincere efforts to improve the security in the region and give hope for a bright future for his country and its deserving people.
I urge the support of my colleagues as we welcome the President of Pakistan to our country....
Mr. Lantos: Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution.
I would first like to commend the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. PITTS) for introducing this important resolution, and I want to thank my friend the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. HYDE), the chairman of the Committee on International Relations, for allowing it to move so expeditiously to the floor of the House.
Madam Speaker, 5 months after September 11, we now fully understand the long-term impact of that fateful day. The patterns of international power have been scrambled, and the United States has reexamined its bilateral relationship with almost every nation on the planet.
Today, all the great powers are united against the forces of barbarism. Not since the end of the Second World War have all the nations of the civilized world, including China, Russia, Japan, India, Pakistan and the nations of Europe, joined in common cause against a common enemy.
For some nations in this historic alliance, there was never a doubt that they would be with us in this struggle. For other nations, it was not to be an easy decision. The leaders were buffeted by competing pressures, and the course of least resistance would have been to duck and cover.
Madam Speaker, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf made a strong and courageous decision to stand with the United States in this battle against terrorism. As a result, Pakistan has become an important ally in this epic struggle.
While all the nations in the global alliance have made some contributions to the battle against terrorism, Pakistan, by virtue of geography and history, has had to shoulder a uniquely heavy burden. It is true that Pakistan had a hand in creating the Taliban, and we cannot forget this, but it is also true that Pakistan is playing a critical role in ensuring that Afghanistan and Pakistan are no longer used as a base for international terrorism.
In his historic speech on January 12, President Musharraf made an eloquent and compelling call for an end to the extremism and terrorism that has plagued Pakistan for the past decade. As we laud him for making the right choice, we must acknowledge that it will not be an easy commitment for him to keep.
Indeed, the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, an American journalist working in Pakistan, is only the latest manifestation of the life-and-death struggle that is being waged for the future of Pakistan. It is a battle against the anarchist forces of Islamic extremism and violence which seek to capitalize on the despair of the poor. It is a battle that Musharraf must win if he is to restore hope to the people of Pakistan and secure a future for the children of Pakistan.
Madam Speaker, it is vital that the United States demonstrate to the people and Government of Pakistan our commitment to help them secure that future as long as Pakistan continues its commitment to eradicate international terrorism from within its borders.
Finally, I want to reiterate to the people of Pakistan our continued support for a return to democracy in Pakistan. President Musharraf has given his word that he is committed to democracy, and we in the Congress intend to hold him to his word.
I urge my colleagues to support H. Con. Res. 324....
Mr. Pitts: Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak in favor of this resolution welcoming President Musharraf in his visit to the United States this week. He has shown very bold leadership in cooperating with the United States in the war against terrorism. He has made some very difficult decisions, which were politically risky for him to do. Had he chosen the politically easy path, the great successes of the past months would not have been possible.
I think history will describe him as a courageous leader. Despite great risk to himself, to his government, he stood up for what was right and against what was wrong. He has cracked down on the extremists, the terrorists in his country. He has publicly spoken out and cracked down on the leaders guilty of hate speech. He shut down some of the madrassas which were teaching children to hate. He has acted to reform the education those young people receive.
He has put his military into tribal areas along the western border where military forces have never been in their history, as under the British arrangement tribal law supersedes national law. He had to make special negotiations and arrangements to put his military along the western border to interdict the terrorists, the al Qaeda network, as they sought to flee Afghanistan, and he has turned those al Qaeda terrorists over to the United States. In my mind these actions are the definition of courage.
It is no secret that Pakistan is an important ally of the United States. It has been for years. Yet Pakistan faces many challenges. President Musharraf has made good-faith efforts to weed out extremism, restore democracy and the rule of law, to ensure stability in a region that is torn by conflict.
In addition, President Musharraf has led historic change in his country by abolishing the separate electorates that disenfranchised minority ethnic and religious groups and boldly mandating a joint electoral system.
The joint electorate will help ensure that elected officials must respond to the needs of all people in Pakistan instead of ignoring the important issues, particularly fundamental human rights issues, facing ethnic and religious minorities.
I applaud President Musharraf for bringing one of the biggest steps forward for human rights in Pakistan, and I encourage President Musharraf to continue in this direction bringing further reform to eliminate discriminatory laws and procedures, such as the blasphemy law, and to protect and uphold the fundamental human rights of all people in Pakistan.
I thank the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos) for cosponsoring this resolution, and I urge my colleagues to join me in recognizing the courage, the leadership, the progress of President Musharraf of Pakistan as he visits the United States by voting for this resolution....
Mr. Ackerman: Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the resolution commending and welcoming General Musharraf of Pakistan. It is fitting that we should commend him for his support of the U.S.-led war on terrorism. Mr. Musharraf has accommodated our requests for bases, allowed us to use Pakistani airspace and otherwise provided us with logistic and intelligence-related support for our operations in Afghanistan. For that we are truly grateful.
Rhetorically, Mr. Musharraf has aligned Pakistan with the nations opposed to terrorism, he abandoned his support of the Taliban in Afghanistan and recently met with Hamid Karzai the interim leader of Afghanistan offering his support for the new regime. In his speech of January 12, Mr. Musharraf pointed Pakistan away from Islamic extremism and back toward the goal of the founders of Pakistan: a secular, moderate, democratic, Muslim state. but there is a long way to go before Pakistan reaches that goal.
For too long, terrorist groups that operate across the line of control in India have been given safe haven in Pakistan. The authors of the attack on the Indian parliament last December and on the state assembly building in Srinigar last October found aid and support in Pakistan. White a series of high-profile arrests and the announcement of a formal ban on militant groups operating in Pakistani are good beginnings, the jury is still out on whether infiltrations across the line of control have stopped.
The steps taken to date are helpful but some recent backsliding is also in evidence. Last week, Mr. Musharraf claimed that the Indian intelligence services where behind the kidnapping of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Such allegations are baseless and do not help either find Mr. Pearl or lower the level of tension between India and Pakistan.
Beyond this, Mr. Musharraf has returned to the formulation that the terrorist groups in Pakistan are ``freedom fighters''. This is not acceptable. Pakistan can no longer say it is simply giving ``political'' support to Kashmiri groups while secretly aiding their infiltration into India. The point of U.S. policy since September 11 has been to oppose all terrorists, not just those who are conveniently or easily opposed. Mr. Musharraf must choose, he is either with the terrorists or he is with us, he cannot have both.
On the subject of democracy, Mr. Musharraf has also said the right things. He has laid out a timetable for Pakistan's return to democracy and has held village level elections. Provincial and national assembly elections are scheduled. But we must not forget that Mr. Musharraf is the reason that Pakistan is again off the democratic path. For him to receive full credit for restoring democracy elections at all levels must be held, including elections for his office. All of this is admittedly difficult to accomplish against the backdrop of Islamic extremism, but it is Mr. Musharraf's own timetable and he should be urged to keep it.
Mr. Speaker, it is appropriate for us to welcome Mr. Musharraf and thank him for his support, but we should also be mindful of how much further Pakistan has to go....
Mr. Gilman: Mr. Speaker, we want to welcome President Musharraf to Washington. President Musharraf has been a brave ally in our war against terrorism. Our nation thanks him for his efforts to find Daniel Pearl the missing Wall Street Journal reporter. We also wish to thank him for closing his nation's borders to members of the Taliban and al Qaeda who are fleeing our armed forces.
Mr. Speaker, nearly 90 constituents of mine died as a result of the September 11 terrorist attack. Accordingly, the visit this week of President Musharraf is significant for our 20th district of New York. The reason is that for many years a number of us in the Congress were concerned about the support that Pakistan gave to the Taliban and, of course, the Taliban sheltered the terrorists who attacked our Nation. President Musharraf is now reining in his countrymen who were responsible for many of the problems in Afghanistan and Kashmir and we commend him for the risks and hard decisions he makes.
Our nation is providing Pakistan significant military economic assistance so that its citizens will feel secure and its society can thrive. We are doing this in the belief that if the people of Pakistan have hope then the extremists will be less able to recruit among the poor.
We feel certain that with President Musharraf's guidance his government will achieve these ends. We know that his efforts to end terrorism will enable all Americans and especially New Yorkers to rest assured that all those innocent people who died in New York did not die in vain.
In like manner, we urge Pres. Musharraf to help resolve the trouble issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan....
U.S. Government Website