Washington, DC -- Today, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Taskforce on Nonproliferation, released the following statement on a new technical assessment from the Institute for Science and International Security indicating that Pakistan is well underway with construction of a new nuclear reactor to produce plutonium and vastly increase its ability to build nuclear bombs:

Markey said, “The nuclear arms race in south Asia is about to ignite, and instead of doing everything possible to stop this vicious cycle, the Bush Administration is throwing fuel on the fire.  If either India or Pakistan starts increasing its nuclear arsenal, the other side will respond in kind; and the Bush Administration’s proposed nuclear deal with India is making that much more likely.

“Both Pakistan and India need to reverse their decisions to increase their nuclear arsenals, and take a step back from the brink.  And President Bush should seize the opportunity that this calm before the storm represents to take bold leadership on negotiating a verifiable treaty which would permanently cap global bomb-making material stockpiles.  Bush also needs to press both India and Pakistan to agree to suspend production of bomb-grade fissile materials while such a cut-off treaty is being negotiated.”

This Wednesday (July 26, 2006) on the House floor, the U.S.-India nuclear agreement will be debated. 

July 24, 2006

CONTACT: Israel Klein