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Washington, DC - In a letter sent to Members of Congress, United States India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) Chairman Sanjay Puri expressed support for the Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007 (H.R.1) now under consideration by a Senate-House Conference Committee. Of particular interest to USINPAC is passage into law language contained in the bill that would ensure that military funds appropriated under the Arms Exports Control Act and Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 is tied to the defeat of the Taliban and not for procuring offensive weapons like F-16s.

The letter further expresses USINPAC's alarm at the conclusions reached in the National Intelligence Estimate Report released on July 17th where it is stated: "Al Qaeda not only poses the highest terrorist threat to the U.S. Homeland" but that "the group has protected or re-generated key elements of its Homeland attack capability, including: a safe-haven in Pakistan Federally Administrative Area, operational lieutenants, and its top leadership."

USINPAC advocates for U.S. economic aid to Pakistan for education and political reform, as well as to provide increased opportunities for US-Pakistan military-to-military contacts and training programs. USINPAC, however, opposed last year's sale of F-16s to Pakistan proposed by the White House and approved by Congress.

Mr. Puri's letter to Congress supporting the Implementation of the 9-11 bill reiterates his organization's concern over the Pakistani acquisition of F-16s: "If the current regime falls into the hands of religious fanatics as many American intelligence analysts have conjectured, then Pakistan - not Iran - would be the first Islamic country with an advanced capability to conduct suicide missions to America, Israel and India to deliver nuclear tipped missiles."

USINPAC strongly believes that the language specific to Pakistan in the 9-11 bill is an essential component of United States security interests and should remain in tact during negotiations between the House and Senate in the conference committee, especially during these times of political and security uncertainty in Pakistan.

Below is the the full text of the letter:

Dear Congressman:

I am writing to you as Chairman of the U.S. India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) which is the political voice of the over 2 million Indian Americans in the US.

As the Conference Committee between the House of Representatives and the Senate for Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007 (H.R.1) gets under way, USINPAC and its membership wishes to voice strong support for passage into law the language pertaining to Pakistan in Section 1442.

The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) Report released on July 17th concludes that "Al Qaeda not only poses the highest terrorist threat to the U.S. Homeland" but that "the group has protected or re-generated key elements of its Homeland attack capability, including: a safe-haven in Pakistan Federally Administrative Area (FATA), operational lieutenants, and its top leadership." This is of great concern to most Americans. But it is particularly alarming to the USINPAC membership which has a unique understanding and appreciation of the threat that America faces.

Let me also emphasize our disappointment that after six years of close working relationship with the current regime in Pakistan and billions of dollars of U.S. tax payer funded economic and military aid to that Government, with the express purpose of reversing Pakistani allegiance to Al Qaeda and related religious fanatic groups, Pakistan today is more unstable, its human rights record abysmal (especially with respect to daily atrocities committed against Pakistani women), education reform (particularly the madrassahs that continue to operate terrorist training camps) and political reform (including conducting free and fair elections) are non-existent. Moreover, Pakistan has resisted a full disclosure and due diligence of its WMD proliferation network led by A.Q. Khan, which included Iran, North Korea and possibly Saudi Arabia.

In such a volatile scenario, we are simply shocked at the White House and Congressional approval of the sale of F-16s to Pakistan. We understand that Pakistan has the capability of retrofitting such planes with nuclear missile delivery capability. If the current regime falls into the hands of religious fanatics, as many American intelligence analysts have conjectured, then Pakistan - not Iran - would be the first Islamic country with an advanced capability to conduct suicide missions to America, Israel and India to deliver nuclear tipped missiles.

We believe that American tax dollars are well spent in providing Pakistan with economic aid for education and political reform. However, offensive weapons sales - such as F-16s - that assist or improve Pakistan's ability to attack the United States, India and Israel - the sworn mortal enemies of religious fanatics based in Pakistan - is bad security policy since it fails to take into consideration the on-ground reality in Pakistan today and in the near future.

While passage of Section 1442 into law will be only a partial solution to this serious threat to our homeland security, it will ensure that military funds appropriated under the Arms Exports Control Act and Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 is tied to the defeat of the Taliban. We urge that you leave Section 1442, as is, during negotiations.

We thank you for your kind consideration.

Sincerely,


Sanjay Puri
Chairman

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