tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 17, 2015 3:00am-4:01am EST
over the course of the last year and a half. they have suffered enormously from terrorism, over 2,000 soldiers or service members killed and many thousands of individual pakistani citizens have died as a result of terrorist outrages. and the government has a stated commitment, articulated both by the prime minister and army chief to go after all terrorists without distinction. and we believe there is more that can be done with regard to groups and the taliban, including the haqqani network. that's a very active element of our dialogue. i think it's safe to say we have almost no meeting with the appropriate officials in which those topics are not raised in very, very vigorous, very vigorous terms. i think it is safe to say that the attacks that the clearing of north waziristan has resulted in disruption, if not elimination
of the haqqani network's operational ability. they have banned lashkar-e-taiba, but there is work to be done in this area. >> it does still appear from my perspective there's this co-existence that, you know, that they tolerate some of these terrorist networks. you know, looking at kind of projecting out, as india undergoes this dramatic growth in its economy and gdp, i do worry that pakistan seems to be stagnating. and as you see the ways of life change in these two countries that have a tense relationship, you know, it does worry me a little bit that pakistan doesn't
seem to be developing its economy, doesn't seem to be building those institutions that would create stability. and in many ways, the civilian institutions you would want to create a more stable pakistan, those investments certainly aren't occurring. i know we have over the years tried to create schools, tried to create civilian institutions that would create some stability. from your perspective, ambassador olson, where should the united states focus? i would say i'm critical that much our focus has been on military sales, which i don't think stabilize the region. in fact, i think they destabilize the region. if we were to focus on civilian
institutions, where would you suggest that we place our focus? >> well, thank you, congressman. first of all, let me just say a quick word, since you began talking about india, about the recent upturn in relations between india and pakistan, which i think is quite significant. as you know, the national security advisers met in bangkok and then foreign minister suarez attended the heart of asia conference and extended a hand of friendship to pakistan, and that was very well received. they have agreed to launch a comprehensive dialogue which will, i think, hopefully improve the relationship. one of the emphases we have placed in our assistant programs is to build regional connectivity. the relaunch of a comprehensive dialogue will hopefully exactly as you say lead to the possibility of increased trade, for instance, between india and
pakistan, which we think would be beneficial to both sides, and particularly help pakistan. it could do more, frankly, in some ways than our assistance programs to raise the level of prosperity. >> thank you. judge poe is recognized. >> i thank the chair, thank you, ambassador. as i mentioned in my opening statement, i want to be very specific about what i'm concerned about. that is the sale of american fighter jets to pakistan or the giving of american fighter jets to pakistan through military aid, that mill tear aid is then used in the united states to buy those jets. i use the example of osama bin laden, pakistanis, the military hid him out, in my opinion. united states didn't tell pakistan we're going after him because they would have moved him. we sent helicopters over there, the raid was successful. pakistan scrambles two
american-made f-16s to intercept the helicopters. americans were able to get away. and there could have been a confrontation. how ironic that would have been. american-made jets used by pakistan in a confrontation with american-made helicopters in a raid against osama bin laden. now, we're again in the issue of more military aid to pakistan. i understand that there's $660 million in aid going to pakistan, proposed. some of that's going to be military aid. supposedly, the eight fighter jets, f-16s, america makes the best fighter jets in the world. is in this package, and it's supposed to be used for humanitarian aid. now, i don't know how an f-16 with all of its hardware on there for combat can be used for humanitarian aid. if they were buying c-130s, which i used to be in a squadron of c-130s back in texas, i could see those being used for
humanitarian aid. f-16s, it's not really humanitarian aid they're built for or used for. are we going to be in the same situation with the sale of fighter jets for humanitarian aid where we were in the raid with osama bin laden that these jets will be used for other purposes? i don't trust pakistan. maybe you do. i don't. we had torr bassador of pakistan, mr. haqqani here, and testified before my subcommittee, and says that pakistan still ends up supporting terrorists. do they support them in any way? does pakistan support terrorist groups in any way? not just a little, not just much, but do they support them? are they free from doing that now, mr. ambassador? >> thank you, judge poe. with regard to pakistan does have a fleet of f-16s, and they have been developing a precision strike capability with those f-16s, which they have used to
considerable effect. in north waziristan and in the tribal areas, generally. this is within a framework of our security assistance to pakistan, which has six objectives, basically centered around counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. it's our belief that the f-16s have been used very effectively. the precision strike capability to take out terrorist targets, including safe havens that threaten our forces in afghanistan. >> reclaiming my time. my question -- >> yes. >> very specific. does the pakistan military, the government, do they still give a
safe haven or support directly or indirectly terrorist groups? i mean, they may go after some terrorist groups, but do they still give them a safe haven or a pass? whatever word you want to use. or are they after all of the terrorist groups? do we have any assurance one way or the other? >> well, congressman, with regard to these groups, we have had a very active dialogue with them where we have pressed them repeatedly to take action against those groups that have a presence on pakistani soil. including the haqqani network and the taliban in general. they have their operations in north waziristan have had a disruptive effect. they, for instance, uncovered arms caches that belonged to the
haqqanis and were associated with the haqqani mosque. i have been there and seen some of the results of these efforts. but we do believe that there is more that can be done. and that we continue to press them very hard on that matter. >> thank you, judge poe. ms. kelly of illinois is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. when you consider the future of u.s.-pakistan relations, what do you see as the key aims and drivers of our pakistan policy? >> thank you very much, congresswoman. we believe that the best way forward with pakistan is continued engagement, developing pakistan's civilian economy. its ability to be a stable and prosperous region, country. it's a country that faces many challenges, some of which we have already identified. it faces challenges from terrorism, from violent extremism. it faces a large demographic
challenge as the youth bulge comes into what should be their most productive years. we believe it's in our interest to continue engagement with pakistan so that pakistan is able to effectively harness the youth having them be educated and prepared for the job market. so that pakistan plays a more constructive role in the region as a whole. >> where do you think our policies have been most successful? and in looking back, if there was something you could change, what would that be? >> well, we -- i think that our assistance programs over the past five years, our civilian assistance programs have made a real impact on the life of ordinary pakistanis. we have, through the so-called luger berman authorization, added -- it has been focused on five areas -- energy, economic growth, stabilization, health,
and education. some of the accomplishments that we can point to include adding 1750 mega watts to pakistan's electricity grid. electricity is a huge problem for ordinary pakistanis. we have added 1,000 kilometers of roads. many of those in the western part of the country, connecting to afghanistan, so that there's greater regional connectivity and farmers can get produce to market. committed over $250 million to returning refugees from the north waziristan operation to their homes. we have extensive exchange programs. we bring many pakistanis to the united states for study, which we think will shape their future attitudes to the united states. we have the largest, most extensively funded full-bright program in the world, and we have funded schools and funded 15,000 domestic scholarships and 23 u.s.-pakistan university partnerships. in health, i would just say that we have launched a hospital and rehabilitated a major ob/gyn center at a medical center in karachi, so we're addressing and focusing on maternal health care, which is a very important issue in terms of the overall health of the population. >> then something you think should be altered? what would that be? >> well, i think that it's important for us to continue engagement with pakistan. despite the challenges of the relationship, which are many, we believe that it is in our international interest not to -- not to allow pakistan to become disengaged from us. and i think we can draw on the lessons of history there, especially the period in the 1990s and late 1980s when we did somewhat disengage from the region, and we paid, i think, a significant price as a country for that at the beginning of the
last decade. and i think that with all the challenges of the relationship, i think it's most important for the u.s. to be engaged and to still build a partnership with pakistan. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, ms. kelly. we have extensive exchange programs. we bring many pakistanis to the united states for study, which we think will shape their future attitudes to the united states. we have the largest, most extensively funded full-bright program in the world, and we have funded schools and funded 15,000 domestic scholarships and 23 u.s.-pakistan university partnerships. in health, i would just say that we have launched a hospital and
rehabilitated a major ob/gyn center at a medical center in karachi, so we're addressing and focusing on maternal health care, which is a very important issue in terms of the overall health of the population. >> then something you think should be altered? what would that be? >> well, i think that it's important for us to continue engagement with pakistan. despite the challenges of the relationship, which are many, we believe that it is in our international interest not to -- not to allow pakistan to become disengaged from us. and i think we can draw on the lessons of history there, especially the period in the 1990s and late 1980s when we did somewhat disengage from the region, and we paid, i think, a significant price as a country for that at the beginning of the last decade. and i think that with all the challenges of the relationship,
i think it's most important for the u.s. to be engaged and to still build a partnership with pakistan. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, ms. kelly. now we will move to mr. rohrabacher of california. >> thank you very much. mr. ambassador, you got a mighty tough job. and we have to respect you for that, and thank you for trying to do your best. unfortunately, what i'm about to say does not reflect on your commitment but on the feasibility of you succeeding in what you're trying to do. the fact is that pakistan has from its very beginning been plagued with corruption and oppression by its own government. the brutality and corruption in pakistan was so bad that early on in 1971, the people of bangladesh couldn't take it anymore, and their uprising was, of course, answered not by trying to reform their government but instead by brutal
suppression, which led to the independence of bangladesh. we see similar -- feel free to correct me if i'm wrong, but i see similar type of sentiments in a situation rising with the people of balochistan. there's now these f-16s that judge was talking about. those f-16s and the military equipment that we are providing pakistan are being used against their own people, just like they did against the people over there in bangladesh.
so am i mistaken in that we are using weapons that are provided that they are using weapons provided by us against their own people in balochistan and elsewhere? >> first of all, thank you, congressman, very much for your support. and your kind words. i appreciate it greatly. let me say, with regard to corruption, there have been as part of the national action plan that pakistan adopted after the horrific attack on the army school, there is an element of improving governance and going after corruption. and that has been particularly notable lately in some of the operations that have taken place in karachi. there has been an anti-corruption element to the government's action there. >> you know, mr. ambassador, this is about the third time that over the last 25 years that i have heard this.
it's always, they're now moving forward with anti-corruption drive. and i'll -- you know, i'll just -- i won't count on it, but if it happens, i will be very happy about that. and the american people will rejoice with the people of pakistan that the crooks finally got displaced in islamabad. the isi has been and the judge made his point, and i think that your answer suggests what's really going on. the isi is still engaged in terrorism for as a strategy for what they believe is going to defend their country or give their country leverage. and we saw that in attacks on india and attacks, and the efforts, of course, supporting the taliban, et cetera. until that changes, until the people of balochistan, for example, don't have to suffer with this, where their people
are being grabbed and then bodies are dumped in large numbers, this is a travesty. for the united states to provide weapons to a government like in islamabad, which is then used against them, but even worse, pakistan and these people who run that country, their approach to the united states. the judge was right. if we were thwarted in trying to bring to justice osama bin laden, it would have been because the pakistanis were using american jets to shoot our people down. we calculated on that. that was not out of the realm of possibility. and the fact that that is the reality of it, and we end up giving them billions of dollars of military equipment, no wonder they don't respect us. one last thing. dr. fritte, we know now osama bin laden was given safe haven in that country, the man who slaughtered 3,000 americans, was
given safe haven. the one guy who helped us make sure we could bring that monster to justice is now lingering in a dungeon in pakistan. this is their answer to us. this is what -- that's a message to the people of the united states. they are thumbing their nose at us and taking our money, and they are saying, here's the guy. yeah, we'll tell those americans, the guy who helped bring osama bin laden to justice. we're just going to throw him in that dungeon and that's the message to the american people. it's time for us to quit taking that and stand up for truth. and if we do, and justice, we'll
be siding with the pakistani people and not their corrupt brutal government. >> thank you, mr. rohrabacher. mr. higgins of new york. >> thank you, madam chair. mr. ambassador, a few minutes ago, you spoke of the hopeful signs of the relationship between pakistan and india. i want to focus on the more troubling signs of the relationship with india, but also with that of the united states. pakistan, let's be truthful about this, plays a double game. there are military partner, but they're the protector and the patron of our enemies. this has been going on for 15 years. since 2002, united states aid to pakistan economic and military, has averaged about $2 billion a year. pakistan's annual defense budget is only about $5 billion a year. so we, the united states, finances a major portion of their economic and defense military budget.
yet, by every measure, terrorism has become worse in both afghanistan and pakistan. in 2010, the most generous u.s. aid package to pakistan of $4.5 billion, $4.5 billion, and the united states suffered the highest level of casualties in afghanistan, almost 500 soldiers. also, pakistan is involved in an arms race against what it believes is its existential threat with india. in fact, according to the carnegie endowment for international peace. pakistan could have 350 nuclear warheads in the next decade becoming the world's third biggest nuclear power, outpacing india, france, china, and the united kingdom. there is no positive sign of any improved relations with india because pakistan justifies its nuclear proliferation as a deterrent against aggression from the outside. so the united states has to get tougher with pakistan.
we have to call them out on this double game that they have been playing, not this year, not last year, not five years, but for the past 15 years. i can appreciate, and you in your capacity must try to, i guess, deal with these issues as diplomatically as possible, but when you really look at the cold, hard facts, when you really look at the cold, hard facts, pakistan is not an ally to the united states. they have facilitated, they have encouraged, they have been a protector of the very enemies. so there's these two conversations going on. there's one when the americans are in the room. and the other conversation when we're not in the room. the one that is most detrimental to us, the american people, our american soldiers, is the one that's going on when we're not in the room. i would ask you to comment.
>> thank you, congressman. and i wanted to say that we do share your concern, particularly about the development of pakistan's nuclear arsenal. we're concerned both by the pace and the scope of pakistan's nuclear and missile program. including its pursuit of short range nuclear systems. we are concerned that a conventional conflict in south asia could escalate to include nuclear use as well as the increased security challenges that accompany growing stockpiles. i can tell you, sir, that we have had a very active dialogue
at the highest levels with the pakistanis in which we have made clear the nature of our very specific concerns. >> mr. ambassador, with all due respect, we have heard this for the past 15 years. you know, here's my concern. and i apologize for cutting you off, but i only have a -- i have a minute. if pakistan falls apart or if islamic extremists take over, it's a nightmare scenario for us. it's a big country. but 180 million people. it has a lot of islamic extremists and it has nuclear weapons. and to have islamic extremists with nuclear weapons is a primary goal, a primary goal of al qaeda. and it would be a major victory for them and the outgrowth of al qaeda, the islamic state, and a major defeat for us, the united
comments are things that i was going to address. i just want to follow through on that. i think mr. higgins made some great comments. i think we're all concerned country, in a shiite country. in your opinion, is there any possibility that pakistan would not just give the technology or anything else but actually sell nuclear weapons to the sunni states with money, particularly, and i won't name them, but i think we all know who they are, that this proliferation would
start on a scale that would just change the whole calculus of the region? >> thank you, congressman. and thank you for flagging the role pakistan had with other forms of support for our operations in afghanistan. i would say with regard to nuclear weapons, first of all, i want to assure you that we do agree that nuclear security is a key issue. we have confidence in the capabilities of the security forces, the pakistani security forces, to control and secure their nuclear weapons. we want to make sure that that continues to be the case. with regard to proliferation concerns, pakistan has made an effort over the past few years, and we have worked very closely with them to tighten export controls and to make sure that they are not in a position of proliferating nuclear materials.
this has involved a clean-up from a previous situation that existed a decade ago. our assessment is that they have made considerable progress in this area. >> thank you. switching gears a little bit. just like everybody on this committee, i'm afraid that there's one agency in pakistan that i think the vast majority of us are afraid of, and that's because of their past history. and that's isi. and their corruption, their agenda, and everything else. and more than that, the amount of influence that they have on the pakistani government in terms of -- i can go on and on, but just in terms of certain decisions. can you give me any warm and fuzzy feeling about an organization that i think most of us are very, very nervous decisions.
can you give me any warm and fuzzy feeling about an organization that i think most of us are very, very nervous about? i'm from san bernardino. i'm worried about the madrassas, again, one of the terrorists came from there. i just -- that more than anything else in terms of one of the power factors in pakistan, i am very, very, very nervous and cynical about. thank you. >> yes, thank you very much, congressman. and let me just mention a couple of things on isi. first of all, we do have a very robust engagement with isi. i met with the isi chief regularly during my tenure in pakistan. made the points that i described earlier about terrorism
directly. to him. isi does have a role to play with regard to afghan reconciliation, and we think that the role that pakistan at large played in bringing the taliban to the table last summer was quite important. and they need to do that again in our view following up on the positive statements out of the heart of asia conference. >> thank you very much. i know they're going to cut me off, but thank you for answering my question. >> thank you, mr. cook. thank you, mr. ambassador. ms. gabbard of hawaii. >> thank you, madam chair. following up on my colleague mr. cook's questions, the concern here is you are talking about robust engagement with isi. but there has been evidence time and time again of their direct and indirect connections with the haqqani network. in 2011, then chairman of the joint chiefs of staff admiral mike mullen called the haqqani
network a veritable arm of the isi. so as you're having these discussions, you talked a lot about how more must be done. discussions are taking place. but i'm wondering what action, what change in u.s. policy has occurred that would actually bring about a consequential shift? >> well, we continue to press at every point for action on the haqqanis. we have done this at the highest levels of our government. >> has there been any change in the aid packages or the funding we're providing? >> well, as you know, congresswoman, there was a decrement of $300 million from the coalition support funds. i believe under last year's national defense authorization act. i would have to refer you to the
department of defense for how that is being implemented. the $300 million was subject to a certification of cooperation from the haqqanis. i would have to refer you to the department of defense on that. >> i think the concern is that to say there are serious doubts is an understatement on pakistan's credibility when we talk about fighting these islamic extremist elements, terrorist elements, and even with nuclear cooperation. i think one of the greatest concerns as we look at how closely connected the haqqani network and others are to pakistan is the safety of the nuclear weapons that they have in preventing misuse. you've just said that you have
confidence in the pakistani security forces. but when you have these insider frets, when you have the hakani network being an arm of the isi, how can you have confidence that they wouldn't in any case gain access to nuclear weapons or traffic them or get them into the wrong hands? >> well, i think that pakistan has taken a lot of steps over the last years to tighten up its control of nuclear security. they're well aware of their responsibilities with regard to protecting. and i think that they have specifically taken into account the insider threat as well. >> can you speak with some specificity? >> ma'am, honestly, candidly, i would not be able to address these issuance in any -- in this
forum. but in another forum it might be possible to do so. >> can you speak specifically to what pakistan, the government, has done to crack down on the hakani network, these other terrorist elements that have been and are directly linked to them? >> yes, ma'am. the launching of operations in north waziristan in june of 2014 was something that the united states had actually wanted to see for quite some time. north waziristan is where many of these militants including the hakani network were based, in mirinshaw, which was completely cleared, including the hakani network facilities. armaments, tunnels, bunkers were uncovered, destroyed, and arms caches taken away, including 160 tons of precursors for
improvised explosive devices. this has had an impact not only on the pakistani taliban but also on the hakani network, as well as al qaeda who had some presence there as well. pakistanis have cooperated with us in taking down al qaeda cells, including adnan gentleman jinah who was wanted for his plotting against the new york city subway. so there has been quite a bit of counterterrorism cooperation between isi and the pakistan government writ large, and the united states. and we believe that's been to our national interest.
>> thank you. my time has expired, but i think as we look at u.s. policy towards pakistan, this is something that we need to carefully consider. thank you. >> the chair thanks the gentlelady. the chair recognizes himself. mr. ambassador, thank you for being here. i had the privilege of traveling to islamabad and then south waziristan. we couldn't go to the north because it was too dangerous. so we understand and appreciate the difficulty of your position and the tenuous circumstances of the relationship with pakistan. that having been said, do we as a department of state, as the united states government, have time-related series of metrics to determine success or failure of our relationship and the money that the american taxpayer is spending regarding that
relationship? can you tell me of any? >> mr. chair, thanks very much. and let me say it's a greatly pleasure to see you again after seeing you in islamabad. for the assistance parameters, that of course is the responsibility of our colleagues in usaid, by and large. and they do have an extensive program of metrics and tracking their development. >> let me cut to -- i don't mean to cut you off, but i'm trying to get to the terror situation, which is what we're really concerned about. we know we spend billions of dollars on military assistance, on humanitarian assistance. but what we're really getting to is this relationship why pakistan seems to be kind of walking the line, somewhere between terrorism and somewhere between the support of the united states government. and with all due respect, as long as we allow them to continue to walk the line, they're going to continue to
walk the line, because it's in their interests to do that. and i'll give you some of my metrics. are there any metrics regarding terrorism that are time-related, where american people can see some value out of the billions of dollars spent? >> i think there has been a shift in pakistan. during the time i was there, the three years that i was there, i definitely saw a shift in the public discourse on the terrorism issue. i think there is now a very broad consensus in pakistani politics that it is necessary to go after these extremist groups. there was a period i think of doubt about the efficacy of going after the pakistani taliban. and that ended with the operation in north waziristan in june of 2014. there was a broad consensus, and it was certainly reinforced by the horrific incident a year ago at the peshawar army school. >> do you know what the price tag is of the m-16? >> mr. chair, as a matter of
policy we do not discuss prospective arms sales until they have been -- >> all right. we know it's not cheap. let me just give you some of my metrics because my point is short here. in pakistan, you've got the al qaeda, the afghan taliban, the hakani network, the t.t.p. and l.e.t. operating, all terrorist organizations. over the past 14, 15 years, the american people have spent $13 billion on our relationship with pakistan. meanwhile a poll last year found only 14% of pakistanis expressed a positive view of the united states. pakistan seems neither particularly democratic nor tolerant regarding religious -- regarding their governance or their religious tolerance. and then you look at -- you
know, we talk about this individual, mr. afridi, who allegedly helped the united states get the number one terrorist on our list, and meanwhile the backdrop is that this terrorist organization, just one, for instance, the l.e.t., been active in pakistan, afghanistan, and kashmir since the 1990s, and pakistan funded the group, the isi agency, helped establish the organization's military structure, and almost all l.e.t. members are pakistani madrasa students. ten l.e.t. members conducted a coordinated terrorist attack on targets in mumbai, india, killing 160 people including four americans. in december 2008, pakistan arrested zaki raman, whatever
his last name is, the l.e.t. leader who organized the mumbai attacks. they arrested him. however in april of 2015 this guy was released from jail on a $2300 bond, and there's been no trial scheduled for this guy. meanwhile, the doctor, the good doctor afridi remains in a jail. and we're going to sell or make a deal with pakistan for f-16s, and we've got neighbors that are much better allies. we understand the tenuous circumstance, but when are we going to equate our relationship, our financial relationship with results about terrorism? do you see that happening any time? quantifiable results where the american people can seep the value of this relationship. sir. >> if i could respond to a couple of points, mr. chair. first, on dr. afridi, we fully agree with you that he has been unjustly imprisoned, and we've communicated this at the highest level. >> but why don't we tie it to their actions? why don't we tie it to his
release, tie it to the sale of these weapons systems? who is negotiating these deals on our behalf? >> mr. chair, we believe that -- and again, i can't talk about the details of a prospective notification, but let me say that we believe that the f-16s that we have already sold to pakistan or provided under security assistance have been used to advance our national interests. they have been used against terrorists in north waziristan and the tribal areas. the precision strike capability of the f-16s, and our programs are focused on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. >> mr. ambassador, i appreciate it. i understand the value of the weapons system and what it can do.
we appreciate that. we understand that. we are very frustrated that for the american people's involvement, we don't see a whole lot coming on the other side of the ledger. but that's my personal perception. with that, my time has expired. i would like to recognize the gentleman from california, mr. loewenthal. >> thank you, mr. chair. i want to deal with my own concerns, like congressman higgins and cook and others, i am troubled about the reports of pakistan's development of what i consider destabilizing tactical nuclear weapons at a faster rate than most other countries, if not than any other country. i really want to understand again a little bit more clearly your assessment of pakistan's progress in cooperating with the international community on nuclear proliferation concerns. and also, the second part of that question has to do with recent media reports suggesting
that our administration is considering some kind of nuclear arrangement with pakistan. i'm not really clear what is a nuclear arrangement. and if we are considering, is pakistan really a trustworthy partner, again, in that? again, like other members, the nuclear proliferation concerns are very troubling. >> thank you, congressman. and we share your concern about the scope and pace of pakistan's nuclear program. we do have an active dialogue on nonproliferation issues. we have a security -- >> has pakistan increased the rate of the production of tactical nuclear weapons? >> we continue to have concerns about the scope and pace, sir. i think that's probably all i can say in this particular
venue. but i did want to address one other issue that you raised. i can assure you, despite some press reports to the contrary, that we are not negotiating a one, two, three, agreement, a so-called one, two, three agreement, a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with pakistan. >> in any way? are we setting any preconditions or any conditions? this goes back to -- about -- or talking to pakistan about the reduction of its nuclear weapons? >> we've had a very candid discussion with the pakistanis about some of the concerns that we have, including about shorter range nuclear systems. and pakistan has been prepared
to engage with us in those discussions. >> and i gather over since for the last 60 years we've provided over $75 billion in assistance, primarily in military and economic assistance to pakistan, going back to the question asked by the chair, is any of our assistance that you know tied to changes in pakistan's behavior? >> there are some very specific metrics and conditions that we use in all of our assistance programs. i mean, specific to the nature of the program, particularly, and civilian assistance. with regard to security assistance, what we have done is negotiated a framework with the pakistanis in which our security assistance is focused on the
counterinsurgency and counterterrorism missions. and i think it's also particularly worth noting that two additional provisions, we obviously -- all of our assistance is subject to the leahy amendment. and we have a very vigorous leahy process. that addresses the question of human rights. and in addition to that, we have very stringent end use monitoring requirements on the pakistanis, especially with regard to high technology security assistance. and i can say that we are very strict on those, and the results have been satisfactory. >> what does that mean, the results have been satisfactory? >> that we believe that the end use monitoring systems have been effective.
>> thank you. and i yield back. >> the chairman thanks the gentleman from california. the gentleman recognizes the gentleman from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. ambassador, appreciate it. i was fortunate to go over to afghanistan with chairman ros-lehtinen. we had an informative trip. we've given $30 billion since 2001 to pakistan. when you look through the list here, there's at least five terrorist networks that we know that are operating in the fata area, along with isis is in that area. and we've heard over and over again, that is a no man's land, there is no rule. and in order to get peace in that area, there can't be the threat of terrorism. and as pakistan -- is their goal to get rid of terrorism? how serious are they? because i'm not seeing it. >> sir, thank you. we have agreed for many years that the threat from the tribal
areas was significant. in that regard -- >> how serious is pakistan about bringing this to an end? it's like my mom, i told her i wanted to play piano but i wasn't real serious about it and never learned how to play it. if you're serious about it, you'll do it. if not, you're not going to do it. with $30 billion of taxpayer money going into that area, and we rewarded pakistan by selling the initial f-16s as them helping us after 9/11, and then we suspended them because we've seen them complicit, working against us in afghanistan, but yet we hear they want to have peace in that area, they want to have talks and have the concurrent resolutions and talks with india. but if you're not willing to stand up and stomp out terrorism, you're not real serious about it. just yes or no, am i right or wrong about that?
>> congressman, pakistan has launched operations in north waziristan, reasserting their authority. >> we did sorties against isis a year and a half ago, but they weren't really meaningful. we were doing five to ten, maybe, a month. if you're serious, you go in and annihilate that. >> they have completely cleared the city of mirinshah, which was the headquarters of the hakani network and the taliban. i've been to downtown mirinshah, there is no one there. they cleared the city and cleared all of the networks. they've taken 488 casualties, deaths among soldiers just in operation zarbiaz. i think their commitment is serious to fighting terrorism. but the concern that we have, sir, and i have flagged this, is that we think that more needs to be done against the hakani network and some of the groups that threaten pakistan's
neighbors, not justly the ones that threaten them internally. >> and if you look at the react attack in california, tashfeen malik studied at an all women's islamic religious school in pakistan. it's still working against us, still creating terrorism. the debate largely borders on these f-16s, efforts by congress to place conditional requirements upon aid to pakistan due to the country's support for terror have consistently been waived by the administration, which argues that the assistance is essential to build pakistan's counterterrorism capabilities. in particular, what specific considerations have pakistan made to u.s. objectives?
what can you say that i can go back to the people i represent and say, no, this is a good thing because it's going to give us peace down the road? we've said this for 30 years and we're not seeing it, in fact we're going backwards. what benefits have these f-16s done? and i have a follow up question if you -- >> yes, sir. they've used the f-16s for precision strikes. they're a regular feature of their operations and we believe they've been effective in taking out terrorists that are of concern to us as well as to them. >> the administration has no real idea what policies pakistan will be pursuing against militants in the tribal area, when any new aircraft will be delivered, each of which will generally take three years to produce and deliver.
would you recommend selling them more airplanes with the results we've gotten so far? and the $30 billion, because you read off an impressive list of schools, education, fulbright scholarships. i'm not seeing the return on investment here to bring this to an end. you know where we are in america with american sentiment, they want this to end. >> sir, with regard to the f-16s, let me say that we believe they have been a very effective instrument of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. as i've said, out of respect for congressional prerogatives, we do not discuss prospective sales until they've been formally
notified. >> yet they protected osama bin laden all those years. there's no way they didn't know about that. nobody can convince me of anything different. so yeah, they're effective over here, hitting a beehive, they're treating a tumor, a malignant metastatic tumor over here, but the main tumor is over here, and we need to go after the main root cause of our problems brick support any sales of those. thank you. >> thank you. on november 18th, anwar lagari, the brother of the sindh activist who is a chief advocate here in washington, lagardi, was killed. there is an ongoing investigation. i want to thank you and the state department for the counsel general's focus on this. and it raises the bigger issue as to whether there are forces in pakistan that are simply hostile to any region of the country other than punjab. what percentage of the general officers of the military are
punjabi? i don't know if you have that available. >> i do not have that available, congressman. and we can take that back and see if we have that information. i can tell you anecdotally from my personal experience, it's a high proportion but it's not an exclusive proportion. >> okay. zero based budgeting. most people i represent feel that the roughly 2 billion we give pakistan could be better spent in the san fernando valley. if we're not willing to talk about simply a zero figure for aid to pakistan, we have no leverage. the doctor who helped us get osama bin laden will be rotting in prison. do we have a plan, as one of several options, to go to zero, and what would we expect the pakistani response to be?
is it considered an act of war to fail to give another country money? >> well, sir, we believe that engagement with pakistan is in our national -- >> other countries don't give them money and they still talk. i'm not saying we close our embassy. are you saying that the pakistanis would refuse to talk to us? does every other have to give them money like a party gift to have a conversation? >> we think our assistance programs, whether we're talking about the civilian or military, have actually done a lot to improve the conditions. in the case of civilians, the lives of ordinary pakistanis. and pakistan is facing an enormous demographic challenge. it has a youth bulge. the youth are about to come into the most productive years of
their lives, either they'll have jobs or not have jobs. >> i know we do some good for pakistanis. if we spent that money in india and congo, we would do an equal amount of good. what is the pakistani response if we simply say, zero? >> well, i really can't say what the government of pakistan would -- >> so we're spending $2 billion, much of it military, and if we eliminated the military aid, it's clear that the pakistani military does some good, it's also clear that the pakistani military does some harm. have we discussed with the pakistanis that perhaps congress would specify zero particularly if we don't see some changes in policy, specifically the release of the doctor that helped us get osama bin laden?
have you talked to the pakistanis that there is sentiment in the congress to go to zero? >> i will be happy to convey that sentiment, congressman. i think that's a point that we can we can make. the administration's position is that we believe that the assistance programs that we have are in our national interest. it's in our national interest to have pakistan be stable and prosperous rather than the alternative. and it is in our national interests to have pakistan conducting counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations in the western part of the country -- >> do we have assurance that the money we give them is not used for oppression and terrorism rather than prosperity and counterterrorism?
money is fungible. they may be confronting the hakani network or not. or they may be funding the organizations that killed people in mumbai. how do we know of which those two activities our money is funding? >> well, sir, we're very careful about how we spend our money and what we spend it on. with regard to the military assistance, it's subjected to a very intensive leahy amendment vetting process. and there is no question that we continue to raise these issues that you flag, the question of the hakanis, the need to do more on the hakanis, with the pakistani government on every indication. >> unless they think you're willing under some circumstances to recommend zero to the united states congress, you will not achieve our objectives. and the biggest weather vane is
the physician that helped us get osama bin laden. for us to ignore that they were harboring him in one of their safest and most military towns and then say we should ignore the fact that they have that doctor in prison, it begs the question of whether the aid we give them is warranted. i yield back. >> thank you. i'm going to return to the points that i made in my opening statement. i was absent for a while. we had three bills debated on the house floor that our committee put out, including the legislation authored by myself and elliott engel on targeting hezbollah, with several other co-sponsors like mr. sherman that we'll be voting on this afternoon.