US Lawmakers Ask Bush To Monitor Pakistan
1 August 2003
Washington DC: Sixteen US lawmakers have urged President George W. Bush to force Pakistan to end 'cross-border terrorism' in Kashmir before giving any more economic assistance to the country. In a letter distributed among Washington-based South Asian correspondents on Friday, the legislators accused Pakistan of moving 'terrorist camps from Azad Kashmir to Punjab.' Such a move, they said, was not enough. 'The camps, and the groups, must be dismantled, the terrorist financial networks must be eliminated and the terrorists must be arrested and prosecuted, not merely put under house arrest or other informal detention.' 'It is also time, however, to dismantle the terrorist networks that threaten Pakistan's internal stability and engage in terrorism across the Line of Control in Kashmir,' the letter to President Bush said. Signatories to the joint letter included prominent members of the India caucus on the Hill such as Frank Pallone, Gary Ackerman and Tom Lantos. Most of the signatories - Jim McDermott, Joseph Crowley, Harold Ford, Melvin Watt, Robert Wexler, Barbara Lee, Adams Schiff, Howard Berman, Edward Markey, Ellen Tauscher, Robert Matsui and Shefley Berkley - are from the opposition Democratic Party. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the only Republican on the list. Some of the signatories, such as Tom Lantos, also had given a tough time to President Pervez Musharraf when he addressed the House and Senate committees for international and foreign affairs in June. The lawmakers said that Pakistan presented the US with a plethora of policy challenges on each of these issues and asked President Musharraf to demonstrate real progress beyond the verbal commitments he has made.