[Page: E1989]



in the House of Representatives


[Page: E1990]

Whereas the military defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, in which more than 1,000,000 Afghans lost their lives, was a key contribution to the ending of the Cold War;

Whereas upon the Soviet Union's withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States generally lost interest in the region and Afghanistan's neighbors became more influential inside Afghanistan, and the various Afghan factions were thus unable to form a broad-based and representative national government;

Whereas in October 1994 a new force called the Taliban emerged in Afghanistan, pledging itself to establish a true Islamic government, disarm all other factions, eliminate narcotics cultivation, establish law and order, and restore peace;

Whereas since 1994 the Taliban movement has, often through force and terror, continued to expand its domination of more and more territory within Afghanistan, while the movement itself has become more and more militant and extreme in its actions and its interpretation of Islamic principles;

Whereas the Taliban movement, especially key members of its leadership, has become increasingly associated and deeply involved with individuals and groups involved in international terrorism, including, but not limited to, Osama bin Ladin, who was responsible for the August 1998 attacks on United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania;

Whereas those terrorist elements with which the Taliban are associated are not only focused on separatist activities in Kashmir but also significantly involved in anti-Western and anti-American terrorist activities;

Whereas over 95 percent of heroin produced in Afghanistan is from areas controlled by the Taliban and some large portion of that heroin is sold on America's streets and, in spite of United Nations crop substitution program in Taliban areas, poppy cultivation and heroin trafficking have increased dramatically;

Whereas linkages have been established between Afghanistan and terrorists who were involved in the World Trade Center bombing, the murder of Central Intelligence Agency personnel in Langley, Virginia, and the recent bombings of United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania;

Whereas the inter-Afghan dialogue initiative began in early 1997 and has successfully held 3 major meetings, concluding its last gathering of approximately 200 Afghans in Bonn, Germany, in July 1998;

Whereas the United States launched a limited attack against terrorist bases in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan on August 20, 1998;

Whereas the Taliban rule by fear and terror and systematically abuse the rights of all Afghans, especially women, and are intolerant to non-Sunni Muslim believers, especially Hazara, many of whom are Shiite Muslims;

Whereas the Government of Pakistan has been a vigorous defender of the Taliban's activities and tens of thousands of Pakistani Taliban have linked up with Afghan Taliban creating a transborder movement with growing influence inside Pakistan;

Whereas reports of the persecution of Christians, Shiites, and other religious minorities inside Pakistan are a growing concern to Congress;

Whereas the Central Asian States, especially Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, in addition to Russia and Iran have voiced alarm at the fall of northern areas of Afghanistan, where there has been almost no narcotics cultivation and where all the major groups have been interested in strong and close relations with the United States;

Whereas it is widely accepted in the region that the United States Department of State, and consequently the United States Government, supports the Taliban;

Whereas Congress has repeatedly condemned the activities of the Taliban regime and urged more vigorous support for efforts to form a broad-based government based on the inter-Afghan dialogue initiative, several of whose members have been executed by the Taliban for no apparent crime; and

Whereas there needs to be a fundamental reappraisal of overall United States policy toward Afghanistan and its neighbors: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of the House of Representatives and the Senate that--

(1) the United States should publicly condemn the Taliban regime for its reprehensible atrocities against human rights, in particular women's rights, its embrace of international terrorism, and its willing integration into a worldwide narcotics syndicate;

(2) the United States should recognize that it will be better served by a comprehensive regional strategy that addresses Afghan issues rather than its current one that relies primarily on Pakistan;

(3) the United States should explore its mutual interest regarding the danger of the Taliban with other countries of the region;

(4) the United States should not grant diplomatic recognition to the Taliban or assist in any way its recognition in the United Nations but rather should support the inter-Afghan dialogue efforts to form a truly representative broad-based government;

(5) the Department of Defense should conduct a vulnerability assessment of the Taliban regime;

(6) the United States should work to initiate through the United Nations Security Council a ban on all international commercial air travel to and from Taliban controlled Afghanistan;

(7) the United States should call on the Taliban regime to permit humanitarian supplies to be delivered without interference to all regions of Afghanistan;

(8) the United States should consider those Afghans, especially known friends of the United States, fleeing political persecution from the Taliban regime to be refugees eligible for consideration for asylum;

(9) the Department of State should urge the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to protect the rights of Christians and Shiite Muslims in Pakistan and should publish a special report to Congress on the human rights situation in Pakistan, especially as it affects religious minorities; and

(10) the Department of State should report to the Congress concerning whether the Taliban, which provides a safe haven for Osama bin Laden and other terrorist organizations as well as illicit drug monies which assist these terrorists, should be added to the list of designated foreign terrorist organizations.

[Page: E1991]