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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

NUCLEAR ARMS RACE IN SOUTH ASIA (Senate - November 17, 1989)
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Dr. Abdul
Dr. Khan
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Statements on the Pakistani 5 Percent Enrichment Pledge
From the Washington Post, June 15, 1989
U.S. Relieves Pakistan of Pledge Against Enriching Uranium
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Mr. GLENN. Mr. President, I rise today to continue a series of statements addressing the dangers of nuclear proliferation to the national security of the United States and to its friends and allies around the world. These dangers arise from virtually all regions of the globe, from South America, North and South Africa, the Middle East, to East Asia. But it is in South Asia where a new nuclear arms race is brewing between historically hostile nations.

I am troubled by these developments and I have real concerns about the adequacy of our responses to them. Evidently, I am not alone in registering such concerns.


Last May, the Director of Central Intelligence testified before the Governmental Affairs Committee, which I chair, that a nuclear arms race was already underway in South Asia. Judge Webster stated that there are, in his words, `indicators that tell us India is interested in thermonuclear weapons capability.' He also said that, `Clearly, Pakistan is engaged in pursuing a nuclear capability.' Then he added, `Yet, there have been no real efforts in the international community to try to head off that race' between these two nuclear programs. Those were his words: no real efforts.

I doubt that the Director of Central Intelligence would appear before an open hearing and make such comments if he were not concerned about the significance of these developments. Judge Webster knows well, as do many of his colleagues in the executive branch, that a nuclear war or arms race in South Asia would further destabilize the region and jeopardize the security of all Americans.

We just cannot be indifferent toward such developments nor simply declare, `it's not our problem, it's a regional issue.' No, nuclear proliferation is indeed a problem that transcends the South Asian region, it is indeed a threat to international security, and yes, it is indeed our business to do what we can to stop it.

Now, I believe that India bears a heavy responsibility for much of the nuclear competition we are witnessing in South Asia. I cannot fathom how a country can detonate a nuclear explosive device, produce hundreds of kilograms of bomb-grade plutonium outside of international inspections or controls, spurn and criticize the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which now has 140 signatories, proceed with test launches of intermediate-range ballistic missiles that are nuclear-capable, engage in activities that can be reasonably interpreted as associated with thermonuclear weapons, lease nuclear submarines from the Soviet Union, reject international proposals for a regional nuclear test ban, boast the capability to enrich uranium `to any degree that the country requires,' be openly accused by officials of the Norwegian Government of illegally acquiring heavy water--and profess surprise at its neighbor's alarm.

At the same time, however, I have repeatedly reminded my colleagues how Pakistan has engaged in nuclear and missile activities that fly in the face of open and private assurances that have been provided to our government, at the very highest of levels. [See Congressional Record, June 22, 1989, page S782; May 16, 1989, page S5437; Dec. 18, 1987, page S18422; Dec. 11, 1987, page S17894; Oct. 8, 1987, page S13919; Aug. 3, 1987, page S11108; and May 8, 1987, page S6218.]


I am particularly concerned about the situation in Pakistan for several reasons:

First, where in that region do we have the greatest influence? Although we have close diplomatic relations with both nations, Pakistan is the world's third largest recipient of United States economic and military aid, which strengthens our potential diplomatic leverage should we ever chose to exercise it. Our direct bilateral aid to India is token by comparison.

Second, what has been the record of each nation with respect to international nuclear export controls? Pakistan has made it a common practice over the last decade to violate international nuclear export controls, most often in Western Europe but on several occasions in the United States as well, to acquire nuclear materials or technology for its bomb program. Although India has its own shaky record in this area, Pakistan * * *.

Third, which nation in South Asia has expressed a messianic commitment to share its bomb technology with others outside the region? Various Pakistani leaders, legislators, and scientists have made it clear that Pakistan's nuclear technology should be shared with other nations beyond South Asia. Former President Zia once put it this way in 1986: `It is our right to obtain the technology. And when we acquire this technology, the Islamic world will possess it with us.' [Interview in Akhbar al-Khalij, Mar. 13, 1986, translated in FBIS-SAS-86-053, Mar. 19, 1986, page F4.] What former Pakistani Prime Minister Ali Bhutto (the father of the current Prime Minister) once called, the `Islamic Bomb,' has no parallel in any Hindu Bomb. And in light of news reports that Pakistan has sought actual bomb parts from its agents in the Middle East and Europe, it is clear that we are looking at more than what many say is just a `Regional' problem.

Fourth, should we be concerned about a nuclear-armed but democratic Pakistan? While recent political developments in Pakistan are surely welcome, the restoration of democracy brings with it no guarantee of progress toward nuclear arms control or disarmament. In today's democratic Pakistan, let us not forget that the `voice of the people,' as reflected in the media and parliamentary debates, is calling for the bomb. Neither the flag of democracy nor the banner of the Afghan `freedom fighter' should be used as a cloak for proliferation. A wink today at Pakistan's Bomb could, in an instant, lead to a nightmare tomorrow. In response to those who argue that because we are on friendly terms with Pakistan we should forget about its bomb, I can only thank

God that no such reasoning had prevailed in shaping our relations with Iran a decade ago. How soon people forget.

Fifth, has Pakistan lived up to its commitments? Pakistan's leaders have repeatedly assured our leaders that their nuclear program is entirely peaceful, that uranium is only being enriched in Pakistan below the peaceful 5-percent threshold, and that Pakistan does not even have an intention to acquire a bomb. Yet Pakistan's record in living up to these assurances is so poor that it eroded those elements of basic trust and mutual respect that serve as cornerstones in the relations between friendly nations. How can we stablize a long-term relationship with a nation--any nation--that cannot fulfill its most solemn pledges to us?

Sixth, which nation cannot satisfy our basic nuclear conditions for foreign aid? Pakistan, unlike India, Israel, Argentina, Brazil or any other nation on Earth, requires a waiver of the Glenn-Symington amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act in order to receive United States foreign aid. These amendments do not `single out' Pakistan, except in the sense that Pakistan has benefited from past waivers of our laws--the amendments apply to all nations without discrimination. The fact that waivers are necessary stems from Pakistan's continuing illicit efforts to import bomb-related technology and components, and from Pakistan's failure to meet the act's requirements for safeguards and `reliable assurances' that its nuclear program is devoted to peaceful purposes.

In effect, a waiver of this provision says that the United States does not regard Pakistan's unsafeguarded trafficking in uranium enrichment or nuclear reprocessing technology as sufficient cause to interrupt our assistance. Under a waiver, for example, Pakistan could not only continue its illicit imports of bomb technology, but also export such technology to Libya, Iran, Iraq, or any other nation without incurring any cost under United States nonproliferation legislation. Obviously, such waivers should not be issued lightly or unconditionally.

Finally, for which nation does our law require an annual Presidential certification that it does not possess the bomb? Pakistan's notorious pursuit of the bomb led Congress in 1985 to require the President to certify annually, as a condition for providing aid, that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device, and that our aid `will reduce significantly the risk' that Pakistan will acquire such a device. This requirement, a bipartisan initative cosponsed by my colleagues, Senators Pressler and Boschwitz, has been increasingly difficult to fulfill. As President Reagan stated in transmitting his last nonpossession certification on November 18, 1988:

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* * * we remain extremely troubled * * * by the continued risk of a South Asian nuclear arms race. The Congress should be aware that as Pakistan's nuclear capabilities grow, and if evidence about its activities continues to accumulate, this process of annual certification will require the President to reach judgments about the status of Pakistani nuclear activities that may be difficult or impossible to make with any degree of certainty.

President Bush has recently submitted his own certification on this issue, adding that Pakistan has continued its unsafeguarded nuclear activities over the last year. Evidently our aid has not been quite as successful as the administration would like us to believe in slowing Pakistan's drive for the bomb. In fact, our multibillion-dollar policy of nuclear appeasement in Pakistan may well be the foreign policy failure of the decade.

Thus there are many sound reasons for us to reexamine our nuclear nonproliferation policy, specifically in regard to Pakistan. If we turn a blind eye to Pakistan's advancements toward the bomb, on what political or moral grounds can we base our nonproliferation diplomacy with respect to India? The more we accomplish in Pakistan, the stronger will be our hand in focusing worldwide attention on India's unsafeguarded nuclear program.


In this context, I was dumbfounded when I picked up the Washington Post on June 15, and read that unnamed `U.S. and Pakistan officials' were saying that the United States will no longer hold Pakistan to its long-standing commitment not to enrich its uranium beyond the peaceful 5-percent level.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to submit this article into the Record at the end of my remarks, accompanied by my recent correspondence with the State Department and White House regarding the allegations made in that article.

In my letter to Secretary Baker on June 21, I asked for a reaffirmation of United States policy with respect to the 5-percent enrichment pledge and requested a full record of all assurances that the United States has received from the Government of Pakistan concerning its nuclear program. Since the reply, which I received over 3 months later, on October 2, was completely unresponsive to my request, I wrote to the President on October 18 to seek his assistance in providing the relevant information.

Two days later, the White House responded by noting my `concern about Pakistan's uranium enrichment program' but providing no additional information. Then yesterday, I received a letter from Brent Scowcroft, the President's National Security Adviser, offering me a private briefing instead of a public reply. So as of today, I still have no formal statement of United States policy with respect to the 5-percent pledge and no official list of Pakistan's nuclear assurances.

Seen in this context, the Post's article becomes even more significant, since it offers a rare window into official thinking about United States policy toward Pakistan's bomb. The article, if true, suggests either a major and undesirable shift in United States nonproliferation policy, or a disturbing level of ignorance by some within the administration about the nature of the nuclear proliferation threat in Pakistan. At worst, it suggests both.

For example, the article quoted one official as saying that he was not clear `what particular significance' the 5-percent pledge had or `where it came from.' He added that

`Legitimate nonweapons needs is [sic] enriching to up to about 30 percent' and that any enrichment between 30 and 90 percent is, in his words, `sort of undetermined.' Mr. President, I submit that this is a policy that is seriously low in enrichment.

On the chance that this unnamed official may actually be in a position to influence the ongoing review of U.S. nonproliferation policy, I would like to take strong issue with many of these comments. I believe that:

First, the 5-percent level is significant.

Second, Pakistan indeed gave us a formal pledge that it would observe that peaceful threshold.

Third, Pakistan has violated that pledge and is probably still violating it even with a new government.

And fourth, Pakistan's actions cannot go without an appropriate United States response--something more substantive than, in Richard Perle's apt phrase, another `demarche-mallow.'


Contrary to the Post's quoted sources, it does indeed make a difference whether uranium is enriched to the 5-, 30-, or 90-percent levels. To understand this, let me take just a moment to explain what we mean by uranium enrichment.

When uranium is mined, it contains very little--less than 1 percent--of the rare uranium isotope called U-235, which is needed in low proportions to make peaceful nuclear fuel and in very high proportions to make bombs. Most civil nuclear reactors use low-enriched fuels with about 3 or 4 percent of the isotope U-235. Some reactors, however, operate with natural or unenriched uranium. The irony about Pakistan's whole multimillion-dollar uranium enrichment effort is that Pakistan's one nuclear power reactor is one of those that does not use enriched fuel. Pakistan's only known reactor, a very small research reactor provided by the United States 24 years ago and using United States-supplied highly enriched fuel, provides absolutely no technical or economic justification for Pakistan's uranium enrichment program. Even Pakistan's own energy plans do not call for the construction of power reactors using highly enriched uranium.

It is worthwhile noting that the International Atomic Energy Agency, for purposes of safeguards, defines a `significant quantity' of uranium enriched to less than 20 percent as 75 kilograms--165 pounds). A `significant quantity' is the IAEA's working number for the amount of material that a state would need to make its first nuclear explosive device, taking into account the waste and losses that the state would incur in manufacturing that device. Bombs could be made with less than that amount, as a result, for example, of repeated high explosive field testing or under-the-table technical assistance from other nations.

United States concerns about Pakistan's enrichment program are hardly new. On May 1, 1979, Assistant Secretary of State Thomas R. Pickering, who is now U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,

testified before a Senate Governmental Affairs subcommittee that I chaired, as follows:

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We believe uranium enrichment facilities or other sensitive nuclear facilities are not justified in terms of Pakistan's nuclear program which consists essentially of one research reactor . . . and one small heavy water power reactor . . . which does not require enriched uranium. We are concerned, therefore, that the Pakistan program is not peaceful but related to an effort to develop a nuclear explosive capability. (Italics added.)

One year later, in June 1980, the Department of Energy released the final report of the Nonproliferation Alternative Systems Assessment Program, which evaluated many civilian nuclear technologies in terms of their proliferation risks--DOE Report DOE/NE-0001/2, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, June 1980. This report makes it clear that once a nation has a stock of low- or medium-enriched uranium, it dramatically cuts down on the time and cost of producing bomb-grade uranium. And reduced time means less warning and greater strategic instability.

Here is what the Office of Technology Assessment had to say about this in its report to Congress on `Nuclear Proliferation and Safeguards,' completed back in 1977:

An enrichment plant presents a more attractive target to the diverter. Although the design output of commercial enrichment plants is only 3 percent to 4 percent U-235, and completely impossible (not merely impractical) to use directly in a nuclear fission explosive, much of the work to raise the enrichment to weapons grade has been accomplished. For 30 kilograms of 90 percent U-235, nearly 8000 kilograms of natural uranium hexafluoride feed and 6900 separative work units [SWU] are required, but if 3 percent U-235 is the feed, only about 1500 kilograms of uranium hexafluoride and about 2500 SWU are required.

This effort would be minimized even further, of course, if Pakistan stockpiled uranium enriched to levels above 5 percent.

In short, the greater the level of enrichment of the feed material at an enrichment plant, the easier it is to obtain bomb-grade uranium. Pakistan's nuclear energy program has absolutely no compelling civilian need to enrich uranium above the 5-percent level; the fact that it is nevertheless doing so is thus provocative and a legitimate cause for concern.


Pakistan has assured the United States that it would not enrich uranium above the 5-percent level. The pledge is clearly a matter of public record. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to place into the Record at the end of my remarks a collection of excerpts from several public reports on this pledge, as assembled by Todd Glass, a congressional intern with the Governmental Affairs Committee.

The first reports of this pledge appeared in the London Financial Times on December 7, 1984, and its newsletter publication, Foreign Report, on December 13, 1984. According to these reports, President Reagan sent Pakistani President Zia a letter in September stressing that United States economic and military aid could be jeopardized in Pakistan continued its pursuit of the bomb; President Reagan reportedly urged President Zia in this letter not to enrich uranium beyond the 5-percent level.

The later report claims that on November 16, 1984, Pakistani Foreign Minister Yaqub Ali Khan handed over Zia's reply to the September letter containing assurances that Pakistan would not exceed that level of enrichment. Records confirm the visit.

Both United States and Pakistani officials have repeatedly acknowledged that a 5-percent pledge was given. In an interview with Washington Post editors on July 18, 1986, then-Prime Minister Mohammed Khan Junejo explicity confirmed that Pakistan, in response to a 1984 letter from President Reagan, had pledged not to enrich uranium beyond 5-percent. The Post reported this on July 18th and again on November 5, 1986.

In the November 5 article, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary, Abdul Sattar stated the following about Pakistan's enrichment program:

Pakistan does not have and is not producing highly enriched uranium necessary for a nuclear explosive device * * *. Pakistan's research program aims at developing a low-level, fuel-grade enrichment capability for the Chasma nuclear power project. While some progress has been made in the direction, the enrichment level has remained well within limits of the research and development program for fuel.

In an unusual telephone interview with Simon Henderson of the London Financial Times, reported on July 16, 1986, Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Dr. Abdul Qader Khan stated that President Zia has made a commitment to the United States not to enrich beyond 5 percent and, in Khan's works, `we are keeping to it.'

Dr. Khan also told reporters in 1987 that `Pakistan's enrichment research is solely aimed at the development of fuel-grade uranium for our future power reactors.' (New York Times, March 2, 1987.)

On April 6, 1987, Defense Week interviewed President Zia and quoted him directly as stating:

We have the ability to enrich uranium, but only below 5-percent, so it can only be used for power generation.

On August 10, 1987, commenting on a recent visit to Pakistan by then-Under Secretary of State Michael Armacost, State Department spokesman Charles Redman stated:

Mr. Armacost also stressed the importance of Pakistan's compliance with their assurance not to enrich uranium above the five-percent level. (Emphasis added.)

And most recently, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Robert Peck, testified in February 1988 before a House subcommittee meeting to address yet another Pakistani attempt to violate our nuclear export laws, that:

The Pakistani government has not modified its position that its uranium enrichment activities are strictly peaceful and that it will not enrich uranium above the 5% level, nor has it given any new assurances with respect to its enrichment activities. (Emphasis added.)

Now if the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Under Secretary, and spokesman of the United States Department of State, and the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, and top nuclear scientist of Pakistan all go on record as acknowledging a Pakistani commitment not to enrich beyond 5 percent--then as far as I am concerned, that is good enough as evidence of commitment.


There is scarely anyone who follows nuclear proliferation developments that believes that Pakistan has complied with its pledge not to enrich beyond 5 percent.

On November 4, 1986, Bob Woodward cited in the Washington Post a classified Defense Intelligence Agency report purportedly stating that Pakistan had detonated a high explosive device in September as part of its continuing efforts to build a nuclear weapon. According to Woodward, `intelligence reports' also show that Pakistan has enriched uranium to 93.5 percent.

Woodward's information has had corresponding echoes in dozens of national and international press reports, which I will refrain from inserting here in the interests of brevity.

It is noteworthy, in this context, to recall a brief exchange between Congressman Howard Wolpe and Ambassador-at-Large Richard T. Kennedy at an October 27, 1987, hearing on Pakistan and U.S. Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy:

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Mr. Wolpe. Are they not continuing to enrich uranium beyond the 5-percent level?

Ambassador Kennedy. They----

Mr. Wolpe. In blatant violation of their own expressed explicit commitment to President Reagan?

Ambassador Kennedy. They may well be, and we are concerned about that, and it is precisely because of that, we are exerting all kinds of pressure on them.

Even more revealing of Pakistan's capabilities and intentions, President Reagan issued Presidential Determination No. 88-5 on January 15, 1988, in response to efforts by a Pakistani-born businessman to acquire a special steel used in making uranium enrichment centrifuges. In this unclassified document, which was provided to Congress in accordance with a

requirement in the Foreign Assistance Act, President Reagan formally determined:
* * * that material, equipment, or technology covered by that provision was to be used by Pakistan in the manufacture of a nuclear explosive device * * *.

Surely if Pakistan was keeping its uranium enrichment level under 5 percent, and if Pakistan's Nuclear Program was entirely peaceful, there would be no grounds for such a determination. The President, however, then went on to renew full U.S. aid, without any new nuclear conditions, claiming that `United States nonproliferation objectives' justified such a step. It is useful to recall that a key purpose of our massive foreign assistance was to `reduce significantly' the risk of Pakistan acquiring the bomb.

In recent years, Pakistani leaders have been stressing that Pakistan is not assembling a weapon. On July 17, 1986, the Washington Post quoted visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Junejo as having told congressional hosts that Pakistan was `abiding by the guidelines' established with the United States with respect to its nuclear program and that it is `keeping components separate.'

A simple question arises: If Pakistan is living up to its commitment not to enrich beyond 5 percent, what possible components would it have to assemble? Prime Minister Bhutto's professed commitments not to put together a bomb, while welcome as are all of Pakistan's peaceful assurances, would make more sense if Pakistan was living up to the 5-percent pledge.

Since you cannot make a bomb with components of 5-percent enriched uranium, the best way for Pakistan to clarify its peaceful intentions would be to keep its word on the 5-percent pledge.


I do not think for a moment that America can dictate solutions to the difficult, unstable nuclear stalemate that exists in South Asia. As John F. Kennedy once put it in another context:

We must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient * * * We cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity--and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.

This, of course, does not justify a policy of passive acquiescence to an Indo-Pakistani nuclear arms race. Nor does it support the view that proliferation is inevitable and that the time has come for us to help both countries make more safe and secure bombs.

I do not have an instant solution to this problem. And I, like virtually all of my colleagues and the American public at large, wish Prime Minister Bhutto well in her inspired efforts to restore democracy to a country ravaged by the social, political and economic effects of the protracted war in Afghanistan, not to mention the legacy of a decade of dictatorial rule.

However, as we review our assistance levels to Pakistan in the coming months, I want our discussions to be well informed. Let us embrace the restoration of democracy in Pakistan. But let us not reward proliferation or breaches of trust.

The administration claims that it is our massive foreign aid that is keeping Pakistan from openly going nuclear. I strongly disagree: Pakistan's nuclear choices will depend less on the absolute level of United States assistance than on Pakistan's own perceptions of its national interests. If--and I say if--our aid is at all relevant in shaping those perceptions--and I have my doubts that it is--clearly the basis for such restraint as may exist lies less in our aid per se, than in the credible prospect of Pakistan losing that aid. Unfortunately, this subtle distinction has been entirely lost in the administration's waivers-for-favors policy--a policy through which aid is routinely renewed virtually regardless of Pakistan's nuclear behavior.

Under the circumstances, many of which I have mentioned in today's statement, I just do not think Pakistan's nuclear track record--yes, even in the past year--can possibly justify an extravagant 3 1/2 -year waiver of the Glenn-Symington amendment, especially a waiver without any new and binding nuclear conditions, as the administration is proposing. Such a step, taken on the eve of a major international review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, would send a clear message to Pakistan and other nations that may be considering the bomb--and that message is, proliferation pays.

I do not like waivers of our nonproliferation laws, especially in the face of illicit nuclear activities and deceit by a close friend of the United States. I look forward to the day when we can end this waiver altogether.

Since that day is not yet here, however, what we need is a policy for issuing a waiver responsibly, without compromising our national commitment to nuclear nonproliferation. I recognize that Pakistan has made some unique contributions to our foreign policy objectives in South Asia and that Pakistan now has a democratic government. I also acknowledge that the administration and its supporters in Congress want to give the Bhutto government some additional time to match its peaceful nuclear assurances with concrete and consistent actions.

For that reason, I believe that the most prudent course would be for the United States to extend the Glenn-Symington waiver for only 1 year and to view any continuation beyond that time on the basis of year-to-year reviews of the status of the nuclear program. We should consider longer term waivers if and only if Pakistan takes concrete steps toward agreeing to international nuclear safeguards and toward ceasing its secret nuclear weapon procurement and development activities.

I am prepared to state today, however, that if Pakistan is still enriching uranium over the 5-percent level at this time next year, or is engaging in other activities that are inconsistent with a peaceful nuclear program, then I will strongly oppose--by legislation, if necessary--any further waiver for Pakistan of the requirements of the Glenn-Symington amendments. Similarly, if

India engages in the specific activities that are addressed by those amendments, or otherwise violates nuclear assurances that have been given to the United States, I would also fully support the denial of United States assistance to India. We must not allow ourselves to become a silent partner in any regional nuclear arms race.

There is, of course, no guarantee that a cutoff in aid--should it come to that--will prove any more successful in curbing Pakistan's appetite for the bomb than our current fruitless policy of nuclear appeasement. We did, after all, cut off aid to Pakistan in September 1977 and again in April 1979 due to Pakistan's illicit nuclear activities. But times have changed significantly since those last interruptions in our aid.

First, the aid we were providing to Pakistan at that time amounted to peanuts compared with what we are providing now.

Second, Pakistan is no longer facing an imminent military threat from Afghanistan. As recently stated by Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg, Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, `We are not faced with a two-front situation and a military threat does not exist from Afghanistan.' (Jane's Defence Weekly, October 14, 1989, p. 779.)

And third, one simply cannot judge the success or failure of such sanctions when they are imposed only for a brief time.

There is, of course, a way to resolve the issue of Pakistan's waiver that would serve the security interests of both of our nations: Pakistan could halt its illicit nuclear purchases and accept IAEA safeguards over its nuclear facilities--thereby verifying what Pakistan has already often declared to be its peaceful nuclear policies. If Pakistan's leaders are sincere in their expressed desire to build truly long term, stable relations with the United States, then I could think of no better way to begin that process. But until then, we should proceed cautiously, well aware that the `whole world is watching' to see how we handle this important challenge facing our nonproliferation policy.

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We must make it clear where nonproliferation stands, not just as a key factor in our relations with Pakistan, but on the foreign policy agenda of the United States. We should reconsider the wisdom of our past practices of extending massive military assistance on terms that ignore nuclear weapon development activities. We must move away from the naive assumption that U.S. military aid can, in and of itself, eliminate security concerns that allegedly drive countries to acquire nuclear arms--history teaches us that countries determined to pursue the bomb will only graciously welcome the aid, and have both.

As Gerard Smith, one of America's foremost authorities on nuclear arms control issues, stated in the summer 1989 issue of the journal Foreign Affairs, we must not turn a `blind eye' to proliferation. Nuclear proliferation inevitably adds instability and uncertainty into our relationships with our friends and allies, including Pakistan, India, Israel, and other nations with whom we desire long-term strategic ties. It also raises the risk of global nuclear war. That is why we should be concerned, and that is why there must be no carte blanche for military aid to nuclear nonproliferators, wherever they may be.

In other words: The reliability of our partner's peaceful nuclear commitments must be a key factor shaping our readiness to be a reliable supplier of military equipment and other military aid.

If Pakistan, for example, continues to violate its nuclear commitments--always just short of actual nuclear detonations--it should fully expect major delays in deliveries, or even nondelivery of advanced United States military equipment. Spare parts will be hard to find. Newer products and technologies will simply be out of the question. Inspections of previously transferred goods will be more frequent and intrusive. The prospect of a full aid cutoff must be a real one. There simply must be a cost to noncompliance--when a solemn nuclear pledge is violated, the solution surely does not lie in voiding the pledge. That is not our policy in other areas of arms control and it should not be our policy with respect to nuclear nonproliferation commitments.

Finally, with some sanity reintroduced to Pakistan's nuclear policies and the United States arms transfer practices, and with the bilateral United States-Pakistani relationship stabilized as a result, we can concentrate on addressing the real security problem facing Pakistan: meeting the needs of its poorest citizens. I ask my colleagues to join me in pursuing all of these objectives.

The submitted material follows:

Statements on the Pakistani 5 Percent Enrichment Pledge

1. A London press report claims that Pakistan has pledged not to enrich uranium over five percent Uranium 235: Letter from President Zia to President Reagan delivered 16 November 1984, cited by the London Financial Times on 7 December 1984. The letter was reportedly delivered by Foreign Minister Yaqub Khan, who also met with Vice-President George Bush, Secretary of State George Shultz, and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

2. `The most economical and proven nuclear power plants are of the light water variety which use uranium enriched to about 3 percent. That is the level of enrichment being sought at Kahuta.'--Embassy of Pakistan information release on the Pakistani nuclear program, October 1985.

3. `The modest exercise there [at Kahute] in uranium enrichment is on a research and development scale. It is solely motivated by a desire to achieve a degree of self-relience in the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle, i.e. a 3 percent enrichment of uranium . . . [Higher enrichment is] far beyond Kahuta's capability or Pakistan's intention.'--Statement of unidentified Pakistani official as reported by the Washignton Post on 13 July 1986.

4. Prime Minister Junejo stated that Pakistan's enrichment facility has not reached `even 5 percent' in its operations and denied reports published in London that the plant at Kahuta has enriched uranium to 30 percent or more: As reported by the Washington Post, 18 July 1986.

5. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan [Pakistan's top nuclear scientist] noted that President Zia had made a commitment to the U.S. not to enrich beyond 5 percent--Khan added that `we are keeping to it.'--As reported by the London Financial Times, 16 July 1986.

6. Pakistani Prime Minister Mohammed Khan Junejo tells President Reagan and members of Congress that Pakistan is abiding by its previous commitments regarding limitation of uranium enrichment: New York Times, 17 July 1986.

7. `The fact is that our enrichment program is up to the maximum limit of 5 percent, and that is going to be for special purposes.'--Statement by Prime Minister Junejo, 17 July 1986. Reported in Christian Science Monitor, 18 July 1986.

8. Foreign Secretary Abdul Sattar stated that Pakistan's nuclear program aims at developing low-enriched fuel for peaceful energy purposes, and that the enrichment level has remained well within the limits of a research and development program for such fuel. He said, `Pakistan does not have and is not producing highly enriched uranium necessary for a nuclear explosive device.'--Washington Post, 5 November 1986.

9. `As I so often publicly stated, Pakistan's enrichment research is solely aimed at the development of fuel grade uranium for our future power reactors.'--Statement by Dr. A.Q. Khan, as reported by the New York Times, 2 February 1987.

10. `. . . Pakistan has not enriched its uranium above the normal level required for peaceful purposes.'--President Zia, interview in Time, 30 March 1987.

11. `We have the ability to enrich uranium, but only below 5 percent, so it can only be used for power generation.'--President Zia, interview in Defense Week, 6 April 1987.

12. `The Pakistan Government has provided assurance both certainly in public as well as in private that it is not enriching above 5 percent.'--Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Rorbert Peck, statement before House Subcommittees on Asian and Pacific Affairs and International Economic Policy and Trade, 22 July 1987.

13. `. . . Mr. Armacost also stressed the importance of Pakistan's compliance with their assurance not to enrich uranium above the 5 percent level. . . . We've made it clear that we expect the Pakistanis to live up to their enrichment assurances. . . .'--State Department Spokesman Charles Redman, 10 August 1987.

14. `Rep. Howard Wolpe: Are they [Pakistan] not continuing to enrich uranium beyond the 5 percent level?

Ambassador Richard Kennedy: They--

Mr. Wolpe: In balatant violation of their own expressed explicit commitment to President Reagan?

Ambassador Kennedy: They may well be, and we are concerned about that, and is precisely because of that, we are exerting all kinds of pressure on them.'--Exchange at a hearing before House Subcommittees on Arms Control, International Security, and Science, on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and on International Economic Policy and Trade, 22 October 1987.

15. `The Pakistanis claim that the purpose of the Kahuta plant is to enrich to 5 percent for civil power reactors.* * *'--Nuclear Engineering International, February 1988.

16. `The Pakistani government has not modified its position that its uranium enrichment activities are strictly peaceful and that it will not enrich uranium above the 5 percent level, nor has it given any new assurances with respect to its enrichment activities. We continue to have very serious concerns about those activities.'--Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Peck, testimony before House Subcommittees on Asian and Pacific Affairs and on International Economic Policy and Trade, 17 February 1988.

17. On September 12, 1984, President Reagan sent a letter to Pakistani President Zia, warning that if Pakistan enriched uranium beyond the `red line' of 5 percent, that Pakistan would face unspecified `grave consequences.'--as reported by New York Times, 6 March 1988.

18. `. . . there is no legitimate need for such material [highly enriched uranium] in Pakistan's peaceful nuclear program.'--Assistant Secretary of State Janet Mullins, letter to Senator Glenn, 2 October 1989.



From the Washington Post, June 15, 1989


U.S. Relieves Pakistan of Pledge Against Enriching Uranium


The Bush administration has dropped a demand, inisted on over the past five years, that Pakistan pledge not to enrich its uranium above 5 percent, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials.

They said the administration did not ask Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was here on a state visit early last week, for a recommitment to the pledge that President Ronald Reagan first demanded of the last Pakistani leader, Gen. Mohammed Zia ul-Haq, in 1984.

The dropping of the demand means that Pakistan now could produce highly enriched uranium without risking a cutoff of U.S. economic and military aid, the officials said. But Bhutto promised during her visit that Pakistan will not produce `weapons-grade uranium'--generally considered to be material enriched above 90 percent--or take the final step to assemble a nuclear device.

The policy shift appears to stem from a desire to set a new marker for the Bhutto government and to give her the benefit of the doubt on her own pledge. Equally, however, it is a recognition of the fact that U.S. intelligence agencies concluded long ago that Pakistan had violated the 5 percent pledge and was enriching uranium to a level even above 90 percent.

One U.S. official said it was no longer clear `what particular significance' the 5 percent figure had or `where it came from' in the first place.

`Legitimate non-weapons needs is enriching to up to about 30 percent,' the official said. Anything between 30 and 90 percent is `sort of undetermined,' he added.

Some U.S. nuclear power plants use uranium enriched well above 5 percent. The U.S. government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), however, regard anything above 20 percent as `highly enriched uranium.'

Reports of the administration's easing of U.S. demands on Pakistan sparked a strong reaction from Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio), chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee who, has led the Senate battle for a tougher U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policy.

`When you give on that [the 5 percent level], where do you stop?' he said.

A commitment not to enrich uranium more than 5 percent was `certainly the most conclusive' statement the United States ever obtained from Pakistan as an assurance that it did not intend to build a nuclear bomb, according to Glenn.

He said it appeared that the United States had made `one more concession' to Pakistan in face of its repeated violations of commitments to the United States. `At each step along the way where there's been a transgression on their part, we just overlooked it,' he said.

In a September 1984 letter to Zia, Reagan threatened `grave consequences' for U.S.-Pakistani relations if Paklistan exceeded the 5 percent level at its secret and unsafeguarded Kahuta enrichment plant. Reagan did not spell out the consequences and while U.S. law calls for an aid cutoff if Pakistan builds an atomic bomb, Congress has never passed legislation setting the 5 percent enrichment level as a cutoff trigger.

But Zia apparently feared an aid cutoff, and in reply to Reagan pledged that Pakistan was not seeking to build a nuclear bomb. Pakistani officials now say that Zia, who died in a plane crash last August, never committed himself to any specific enrichment level, only to eschew production of `weapons-grade uranium.'

Leonard S. Spector, a specialist in nuclear nonproliferaton at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that it was `technically' possible for Pakistan to produce fuel for a bomb if the uranium was enriched at `anything over 20 percent.' But he added that `realistically speaking' such fuel has to be enriched above 90 percent to keep the amount of material small enough for a normal-size bomb or missile warhead.

Spector said it appeared that the Bush administration had decided to settle for `half a loaf.' He said that if Bhutto could hold to her commitment not to permit production of `weapons-grade uranium,' this could still create `a pause' in the Pakistani drive to build a nuclear bomb.

`In a sense you're building a time gap,' he said.

The U.S. official said that Bhutto, during her talks here with administration officials, had been extremely careful in her statements on Pakistan's nuclear intentions and `never mentioned 5 percent.' Instead, he said, she talked about `not enriching to weapons grade.'

U.S. and Pakistani officials said Bhutto had been extremely careful also not to commit her government to `undo whatever [nuclear] capabilities there may be' in Pakistan or to suggest that Pakistan would ever allow U.S. inspection of Pakistani nuclear facilities.

The officials expressed concern about whether Bhutto will be able to enforce her formal commitment, made before a joint session of Congress June 7, that Pakistan will not undertake to make a nuclear device.

They said she has until October, when President Bush has to make an annual certification to Congress that Pakistan does not `possess' such a device, to impose her control over the small groups of civilian scientists in charge of the largely autonomous Pakistani nuclear program. Otherwise, Pakistan stands to lose all further U.S. economic and military aid.

In making a delayed certification last Nov. 18, Reagan warned Congress that Pakistan's nuclear program had reached the point where another certification `may be difficult or impossible to make with any degree of certainty.'

U.S. and Pakistani officials said their main concern is not Pakistan's influential army, whose leaders are believed to fear losing 60 F-16 jet fighters the administration has just approved for Pakistan. The problem, they said, is more likely to be an individual who unilaterally decides to take some unauthorized action.

The `father' of the Pakistani nuclear program is the German-trained scientist. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who has bragged publicly about Pakistan's ability to make a bomb. Pakistani officials say he is too popular a figure in Pakistan for Bhutto to dismiss.

Both Bush and Central Intelligence Director William H. Webster told Bhutto at length of U.S. concerns about the advanced stage of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. In an highly unusual step, Webster told Bhutto what the CIA knows about the state of the Pakistani program, according to congressional sources. Later, Bhutto said in a Washington Post interview that she had told him she was ready `to work on any information or assessment' the CIA has on the program.




Committee on Governmental Affairs,
Washington, DC, June 21, 1989.

Hon. James A. Baker III,
Secretary, Department of State, Washington, DC.

[Page: S16108]

Dear Mr. Secretary: I am writing to express my deep concern about growing signs that the United States is retreating from its determination to limit Pakistan's nuclear program exclusively to peaceful purposes. Although I have expressed such concerns in the past, I believe that the time has come to strengthen the nation's resolve to hold Pakistan to its peaceful nuclear assurances, particularly with regard to its uranium enrichment activities.

Several Administration spokesmen, including the Director of Central Intelligence, have recently noted the existence in South Asia of a de facto nuclear arms race. I am especially concerned about the continued production of highly enriched uranium in Pakistan, a concern based on several points:

Pakistan's leaders have assured us that they would not permit enrichment above the five-percent level; Pakistan has no credible civil use for material enriched above that level (indeed, Pakistan's only power reactor does not even use enriched fuel); and Pakistan's continued production of such material is fueling a fissile nuclear materials race with India, whose unsafeguarded stockpile of plutonium is already a proliferation concern.

In such a context, I was dismayed to read in a recent Washington Post article (copy attached) several quotes from unnamed U.S. and Pakistan officials indicating that the United States will no longer hold Pakistan to its commitment not to enrich uranium beyond the five-percent level. The article quoted one official as stating that he did not know `what particular significance' the five-percent pledge had or `where it came from' in the first place. The same official said that `legitimate non-weapons needs is [sic] enriching to up to about 30 percent,' and that any enrichment to between 30 and 90 percent is `sort of undetermined.'

The last administration provided Congress with virtually no information about this pledge or U.S. efforts to seek compliance with it. It is my understanding that the pledge was sought by President Reagan in a letter to Pakistani President Zia in September 1984, and that a commitment to this effect was reportedly provided by Foreign Minister Yaqub Khan at a White House meeting on November 16th. The existence of such a pledge has been officially recognized on several occasions by State Department officials:

1. On August 10, 1987, in summarizing a recent visit to Pakistan by then-Undersecretary Michael Armacost, State Department spokesman Charles Redman said: `Mr. Armacost also stressed the importance of Pakistan's compliance with their assurance not to enrich uranium above the five percent level.'

2. At a hearing on October 22, 1987, Congressman Solarz asked Ambassador Richard T. Kennedy if Pakistan was enriching over five percent; Ambassador Kennedy responded: `We believe that there has been some occasion on which that has been the case ... [adding] we are concerned about that, and it is precisely because of that, we are exerting all kinds of pressure on them.'

I hope that the Post article does not accurately reflect the President's position on the five-percent pledge. If the Administration has in fact changed its policy with respect to that pledge, I request to be so informed. Otherwise, I urge you to issue a statement underscoring the firm determination of the United States to hold Pakistan to all of its peaceful nuclear assurances, including its pledge not to enrich over the maximum five-percent level required for civil reactors. We must not let our nonproliferation policy in South Asia become reduced to the mere prevention of nuclear detonations.

In addition, I request copies of the correspondence cited aboved and any other assurances that the United States has received from the Government of Pakistan concerning its nuclear program.

I look forward to working with you to ensure that the prevention of nuclear proliferation remains a top national priority.


John Glenn,



U.S. Department of State,
Washington, DC, October 2, 1989.

Hon. John Glenn,
Chairman, Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate.

Dear Senator Glenn: Secretary Baker has asked me to respond to your recent letter concerning United States policy toward Pakistan's nuclear activities.

This Administration shares your view that the United States must make every effort to prevent Pakistan from developing nuclear explosives. This policy has been a constant feature of United States foreign policy since Pakistan began to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. President Bush expressed his own commitment to combat proliferation very early in this Administration in his statement before a Joint Session of Congress on February 9th of this year, where he stated:

The spread of nuclear weapons must be stopped . . . Our diplomacy must work every day against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

We are actively following up on the President's commitment, with particular emphasis on South Asia, where the danger of proliferation of nuclear weapons perhaps poses the most acute near-term risks to regional and global security.

The recent visit to this country of Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto provided the opportunity for us to press for greater progress in reducing the dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation in South Asia. The issue was raised at the highest levels, not only between the President and Prime Minister Bhutto, but also by Secretary Baker and other high-level officials of the Department of State and other Cabinet agencies. We believe that the visit by Prime Minister Bhutto successfully enabled us to pursue a positive dialogue with the new democratic government of Pakistan on the nuclear issue. We intend to continue this dialogue at every future opportunity.

With regard to the specific issue you raise regarding Pakistan's uranium enrichment activities, we share your concern that production of highly enriched uranium by Pakistan represents a clear proliferation danger, since there is no legitimate need for such material in Pakistan's peaceful nuclear program. We made our view on this matter absolutely clear during the Bhutto visit.

I can assure you that the administration does not intend to let our nonproliferation policy in South Asia become reduced to the mere prevention of nuclear detonations. We recognize that, as important as preventing the actual testing of a nuclear explosive may be for preventing a destabilizing nuclear arms race in the region, our efforts must address the earlier stages of possible explosives development. As you know, the President is also required to certify every fiscal year that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device; and that in addition, the issue of enrichment is an essential one, and we will continue to strongy press the Pakistani government not to produce highly enriched uranium as a demonstration of the government's commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons.

The Department of State will continue to work with you and other concerned members of the Congress in advancing our shared nonproliferation goals.


Janet G. Mullins,
Assistant Secretary, Legislative Affairs.




Committee on Governmental Affairs,
Washington, DC, October 18, 1989.

The President,
The White House, Washington, DC.

[Page: S16109]

Dear Mr. President: On June 21st, I wrote to the Secretary of State to express my deep concern about our policy with respect to Pakistan's unsafeguarded uranium enrichment program. My letter was prompted by a recent article in the Washington Post alleging that the United States will not hold Pakistan to its pledge not to enrich uranium above the five-percent level needed for a civilian nuclear program. I sought an explanation of our policy with respect to Pakistan's commitment that it would not enrich uranium above the five-percent level, and requested copies of relevant correspondence and a record of past nuclear assurances that Pakistan has provided the United States.

I consider the Department's October 2nd answer to be completely unresponsive to my inquiry, especially in light of Congress' present mandate to determine our future assistance to Pakistan. I would be most grateful for your assistance in providing the information that I have requested.

Enclosed are copies of his correspondence and the relevant article. I look forward to your response.

Best regards,


John Glenn,


The White House,
Washington, DC, October 20, 1989.

Hon. John Glenn,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

Dear Senator Glenn: Thank you for your recent letter to the President expressing your concern about Pakistan's uranium enrichment program.

As you know, President Bush has expressed his commitment to combating the proliferation of nuclear weapons and has raised this issue with Prime Minister Bhutto during their recent meeting. I have taken the liberty of sharing your comments with the President's foreign policy and national security advisors, so that they, too, are aware of your interest and concern.

Thank you again for your interest in writing.

With best regards,


Frederick D. McClure,
Assistant to the President
for Legislative Affairs.

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