Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer
Minister for Defence Peter Reith
Joint Statement Announcing Resumption of Links with Pakistan
September 21, 2001
We are today jointly announcing the Governments decision to lift the measures
adopted against Pakistan following its nuclear tests in May 1998, which suspended
defence relations between the two countries.
Last weeks terrible acts in New York and Washington demonstrated graphically
the pressing need for the international community to make a strong and united
effort to combat terrorism. The Government of Pakistan has taken a forthright,
front-line stand in support of international anti-terrorist efforts. Australia
warmly welcomes this. Our decision to lift the measures is one way of demonstrating
Australias support for Pakistans stand against terrorism at this
In practical terms, the Governments decision enables the defence establishments
of the two countries to re-establish their links. This is absolutely vital in
current circumstances. Pakistan has agreed to the return of an Australian Defence
Attache to Islamabad.
The Governments decision also lifts the suspension of non-humanitarian
aid, but in current circumstances it is appropriate that Australias development
cooperation program with Pakistan continue to focus on humanitarian assistance.