Johns Hopkins Gazette: April 17, 1995

Bhutto Urges U.S. To Maintain Alliance Honor Arms Contract

By Lisa Mastny

     Addressing an audience of dignitaries, faculty and students,
and quoting liberally from U.S. presidents Kennedy, Lincoln and
Franklin Roosevelt, Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto made
an impassioned plea to strengthen U.S. relations with her country
in a recent speech at Hopkins' Nitze School of Advanced
International Studies.

     The 45-minute presentation last Monday, Ms. Bhutto's only
public appearance in Washington while on a working visit to the
United States which began April 5, came after several days of
lobbying on Capitol Hill and one day before the prime minister's
scheduled meetings with President Clinton and members of

     "We have honored our Contract with America," Ms. Bhutto
said, reminding the audience of her country's unwavering
commitment to freedom and the containment of communism throughout
the Cold War.  "We want America to honor its contract with us."  

     The United States owes Pakistan more than $1 billion in
military equipment, including 28 F-16 fighters, but has barred
delivery of the supplies since 1990 after uncertainties arose
about the direction of that country's nuclear program.
U.S.-Pakistani relations have also been tense following recent
terrorist attacks and the murders of two American diplomats in
the capital city of Karachi last month.

     The prime minister warned the United States not to overlook
the breadth of Pakistani sacrifices over the past 47 years,
including her country's virtually single-handed support of the
almost 2 million Afghan refugees who took sanctuary in Pakistan
after the 1985 war and who are now depleting financial and forest
resources as well as taxing the social infrastructure.  

     Pakistan has also suffered the most casualties of any nation
in UN peacekeeping efforts in Cambodia, Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti
and around the world, Ms. Bhutto said.

     "On democracy, human rights, international peacekeeping,
Afghan refugees, drug trafficking and terrorism, from the 1940s
to the 1990s, Pakistan continues to honor its contract with the
civilized world, and its Contract with America," she said. "Our
steadfastness and consistency must be remembered as we go through
a remarkable period of political transition."

     Ms. Bhutto told the audience of more than 450 people that
the end of the Cold War places Pakistan in an extremely important
geostrategic position as a role model for the newly independent
states of Central Asia. She also considers her country to be the
most progressive Muslim nation on issues of human rights, the
free market and democracy.

     Despite its strong human rights record, Ms. Bhutto said,
Pakistan is not without its lingering problems, especially with
neighboring countries such as India.

     "It would be irresponsible, and yes even immoral, for me to
come to the capital city of the free world and not raise the
pressing political and human rights issue which divides South
Asia," she said. "In the age of political miracles--from Gaza to
South Africa--Kashmir remains a political nightmare, a symbol of
the abuse of power, the denial of self-determination and the
denial of political choice."

     Her country's dispute with India over the Kashmiri territory
has raged since the division of the Indian subcontinent and the
creation of Pakistan in 1947. Throughout her visit and in her
speech, Ms. Bhutto sought to clarify her government's position on
the conflict as well as to gain reassurances that such tensions
would not jeopardize a Pakistani-U.S. partnership for the future.

     "Just as Pakistan and the United States have been allies
during the last half-century, we must be partners in the new
millennium," she said. "That is why I am here.  That is why I am
in America. That is why I am in Washington, and at SAIS."

     Following her speech, the prime minister responded to a
number of questions drafted by SAIS students and read by Dean
Paul Wolfowitz. Students expressed concerns about issues of
population control, relations with India and issues of
international security, including efforts to fight fanaticism and
religious extremism.

     After the question and answer period, Dean Wolfowitz
presented the prime minister with the President's Medal of The
Johns Hopkins University, recognizing her unwavering support of
democratic principles and financial and economic reform, as well
as her efforts to improve the quality of life of women and
children in her country.

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