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Foreign Relations- Pakistan & U.S.A. - Clinton

The long and close security relationship between the United States and Pakistan persisted into the Clinton Administration, although the 1954 Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement on which the relationship was based was increasingly regarded by some in the United States government as outdated and thus less pertinent to the post-Cold War period. Moreover, despite Pakistan's differences with the position of the United States on nuclear and other issues, both countries were determined to maintain friendly relations.

In 1992, Pakistan was placed on the State Departments Watch List of nations suspected of supporting terrorism. But in 1993, the State Department dropped Pakistan from its watch list. At least 317 Indian citizens were killed in March, 1993, in a series of bombings of the Bombay Stock Exchange and other sites in Bombay in one of the worst acts of terrorism in the twentieth century.

The President on September 27, 1993 established a framework for U.S. efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles that deliver them. In South Asia, the US will encourage India and Pakistan to proceed with multilateral discussions of nonproliferation and security issues, with the goal of capping and eventually rolling back their nuclear and missile capabilities.

In the mid-1990s, dozens of press articles covered the issue of whether Chinese M-11 missiles had been covertly transferred to Pakistan. If missiles had been acquired, Pakistan could be found in violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) to which it was a signatory. Under the National Defense Authorization Act, US law mandates sanctions against proven MTCR violators. Reports in the Washington press claimed that US intelligence had indeed found missiles in Pakistan, but that the information, apparently, was not solid enough to trigger sanctions.

Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif stated publicly that the Government of Pakistan, for several years, has possessed nuclear weapons in direct contradiction to repeated assurances to the United States Government that Pakistan does not possess and is not attempting to develop nuclear weapons.

President Clinton signed the Brown Amendment into law in February 1996, authorizing the resumption of certain U.S. military assistance for Pakistan.6 However, the Symington Amendment, which prohibits the provision of most U.S. economic assistance to countries determined by the President as having transferred or received nuclear enrichment equipment, materials, or technology, remained in effect with respect to Pakistan.

Following the detonation of nuclear devices by Pakistan and India in May 1998, President Clinton called for wide-ranging sanctions as mandated under Section 102 of the Arms Export Control Act. However, there was disagreement within Clinton's cabinet as to whether credits, which are used solely for agricultural exports, are exempt from the sanctions. On 14 July 1998, the President signed the Agriculture Export Relief Act (S. 2282), legislation with language introduced by Chairman Smith providing a one-year exemption to the Pakistan-India embargo for agricultural products and USDA financial assistance.

This marked the first time the Glenn Amendment had been triggered. The Glenn Amendment requires that the President impose the following economic sanctions when a nonnuclear country detonates a nuclear explosive device. US companies most affected by the Glenn Amendment sanctions were those involved in the sale of certain agricultural products; industrial machinery; transportation, construction, and mining equipment; electronics products; and infrastructure development services. The Glenn Amendment sanctions appeared to have had a relatively minimal overall impact on India, while they appeared to have had a more pronounced adverse impact on Pakistan. However, for both countries it is difficult to isolate the effects of the U.S. sanctions from other concurrent economic events.




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