Speaking before Congressional staff on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) – who chairs the House subcommittee on Non-proliferation and Terrorism – introduced a special briefing about Pakistan's nuclear weapons development program by one of America's foremost experts, Ambassador Robert Gallucci.
Organized by the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC), the invitation-only event was hosted in the Rayburn House Office Building.
The two hour briefing, also included a presentation by AFPC Asia specialist Jeff Smith about the second of Pakistan's "twin dangers" – transboundary terrorism. James Clad, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia, moderated the discussion.
Known for his tireless efforts to list Pakistan as a terrorist state, Congressman Poe spoke about repeated but failed efforts to apply conditionality to billions of US aid to Pakistan. "It's way past time to apply serious focus on both threats – nuclear and terror – coming out of Pakistan," he said.
"Pakistan's production of nuclear weapons has accelerated in recent years", said Amb. Gallucci, a past president of the MacArthur Foundation. "While other countries have also sought nuclear weapons, Pakistan's headlong accumulation of so many warheads amounts to a unique non-proliferation challenge so far unrestrained by outsiders' diplomacy. Pakistan's government structure remains vulnerable to extreme ideologies."
Cong. Poe welcomed the renewed anxiety about Pakistan's direction, a worry reflected in recent analysis by foreign affairs scholars and government specialists. "The problem cannot be ducked any longer," he said, urging a new series of Pakistan-focused hearings on Capitol Hill in upcoming months.