Statement on the Deaths of President Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan and United States Ambassador Arnold Raphel

 

August 17, 1988

 

I am deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of President Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan and the American Ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, and others in the crash of President Zia's C - 130.

 

In these 7\1/2\ years, I met with President Zia several times, and we worked together for peace and stability. His commitment to the independence and security of his country always came through. President Zia also believed in freedom for Afghanistan. He had the courage to host millions of Afghans who fled to Pakistan to escape a brutal war and to provide support for the Afghan resistance. The people of Pakistan followed his lead, incurring sacrifices to do so.

 

The United States was fortunate to have such a friend in President Zia, but our support for Pakistan is not dependent upon any individual. Our close relations with Pakistan go back three decades, as does our commitment to its security and stability. Our strong support for the people of Pakistan and the security and territorial integrity of Pakistan will continue. We will give our full support to acting President Ghulam Ishaq Khan.

 

Nancy and I want to convey our deepest sympathy to Begum Zia and the family at their great loss.

 

Ambassador Raphel was a distinguished officer of the Foreign Service. He worked tirelessly to build and preserve the ties between our two countries. He will be missed. Nancy and I extend our sympathy and prayers to Mrs. Raphel and to the Raphel family and to the families of the others who lost their lives.

 

Note: President Zia-ul-Haq, Ambassador Raphel, and accompanying American and Pakistani military personnel were killed when the President's plane exploded and crashed in Pakistan on August 17.