Green Party urges cutoff in military aid to Pakistan

Greens urge support for civil society and democracy in Pakistan, cutoff in military aid

Green Party leaders and candidates called for national and global support for civil society, democracy, and the rule of law in Pakistan, an end to President Pervez Musharraf’s ‘national emergency’ declaration, and a cutoff in US aid to military dictatorships in Pakistan.

Greens especially criticized the Bush Administration’s use of Pakistan as a pawn in the
US’s ‘war on terror’ and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

“President Bush may press Gen. Musharraf to step down, but it’s naive to think that the Bush Administration’s goal is democracy in Pakistan,” said Rodger Jennings, Green candidate for Congress in Illinois (12th District) <>.

“It’s clear that Mr. Bush prefers another corrupt dictator or military strong man to take Gen. Musharraf’s place, if he steps down, and that Pakistan will continue to receive military aid from the US. The Green Party urges an end to such aid, and we call on the White House and Congress to support restoration of democratic elections in Pakistan,” added Mr. Jennings.

Greens have also called for international pressure on Pakistan to dismantle its nuclear
weapons program, as part of a global nuclear disarmament effort.

“It’s hypocritical for Democrats and Republicans to criticize Iran for human rights violations and alleged nuclear arms ambitions, while assisting a brutal dictatorship in Pakistan and giving a pass to Pakistani, Indian, and Israeli nukes — not to mention the US’s own nuclear arsenal,” said Steve Alesch, Green Party candidate for Congress in Illinois (13th District) <>. “It’s also well known that Pakistan’s military rulers provided assistance for the Taliban before 9/11, that officials in Pakistan, including the ISI [Pakistan’s intelligence service], have maintained support for the Taliban, and that the head of the ISI wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker. These facts and the current crisis in Pakistan show that US policy has little to do with the goal of democracy in Asia or security for America.”

The Green Party has received appeals from Pakistani Greens for help, reporting that Greens have been arrested for participating in peaceful protest and that all independent media have been banned in Pakistan.

“The US, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, has aided brutal military and repressive theocratic regimes in Pakistan and other nations over the past several decades. The current ‘war on terror’ alliance and military aid are mainly serving to line the pockets of defense contractors and other corporate war profiteers, while providing no real security for the US or democracy and stability in Pakistan,” said Romi Elnagar of the Green Party’s International Committee.

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