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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 29, 2009 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT

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of social challenges which we face and, therefore, ensuring that not -- that we not only have growth but that growth is inclusive, which was also part of the government's agenda during its last will again be one of the priorities and for this, we expect a lot of concentration of focus on social sector spending. perhaps, an extension of some of the programs for social security like the national rural employment guarantee scheme which had offered to one person in each rural family categorized being below the poverty line 100 guaranteed days of employment in the year and that helped reduce vulnerabilities in the rural economy. certainly, stepped-up expenditure on education and health and in education, focus
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on school and primary education, secondary education, but also higher education and vocational training or skill development so the whole band. beyond this, we see the challenges of rural development and food security, energy security and sustainable development will be key challenges for the government. and finally, of course, the whole area of infrastructure, which has been an area where there are serious shortfalls and where we need to spend around $500 billion over the next five years. >> i suppose it's hard for me to press you to be controversial but i do want to push you on some trade issues, which i think will be of great interest in washington.
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one of the reasons that india has prospered and has had such unbelievable growth, which is really pulled so many above the poverty line is because at once the government has seen fit to change decades of regulation and licensing. but, of course, the other is that it has very much become part of the global economy. and in that regard, i was really sort of interested -- and i have to confess a little bit unhappy to see the president make a little stab at our tax code suggesting that the previous tax code got us jobs in -- got us jobs in bangalore but not in the united states as if somehow jobs in bangalore was a bad thing. and there has been a real undercurrent of protectionism of america first at least in the most economic sense of the word in the last few months. i don't want to ask you or to push to you speculate about american politics but i would like you to think about india's
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concerns, you know, if america, in fact, falls back in that direction, then there's some real risks that it will endanger not just the global trading system but your own growth rates. talk to me a little bit about that. >> well, certainly. i think india's growth has been a product of the opening up of the indian economy and its growing integration with the growing economy. so an open trading regime, which facilitates the flow of goods and services is certainly a key element conducive to growth in the developing world. but particularly in this situation of an -- an economic and financial crisis, retaining openness to trade and economic interconnections is one of the keys to pulling countries out of
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the slump that they are facing at the moment. it's also sometimes important to remember that these interconnections are not a zero-sum game and that they build prosperity in both ends, you know. for instance, our federation of indian chambers of commerce and industry has just done a study which shows that indian investment in the u.s., foreign direct investment in the u.s., which in recent years has been more than american foreign direct investment in india has directly created 30,000 jobs in the u.s. economy. this is in the last few years and many more jobs indirectly. and similarly, the confederation of indian industry has done a study which shows that the partnerships between indian and u.s. companies have added, you
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know, billions of dollars in value. in fact, they estimated that over $100 billion in value to the competitiveness and profits of american companies and thereby helped to generate jobs in the american economy so we see this as a very productive partnership and we would certainly hope that going ahead we can build on this and strengthen this rather than face constraints. >> i don't want to introduce the regional element too quickly, although, i have to confess my friends in the audience will know that's the part, a, i understand the best, and b, interest me the most. you know, for many, many years even i would say in the post-cold war era we saw that our relationship with india was never discussed as the u.s.-india relationship. we had an entirely hyphenated relationship in which we talked
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about indopak and we talked about the subcontinent as you suggested earlier the phrase as a zero-sum game. if we did it for india we had to do it for pakistan and if we did it for pakistan we have to do it for india. india has become a little bit of a after-thought and we have talked to afpa, which but at least in my mind it's highly regrettable. now, before we talk about some of the national security challenges. i just wonder on this hyphenated question how you feel we can sort of get past that, whether it's a perception in india as well and perhaps, you know, as you think about it, last week the -- last week the senate passed a kerry-lugar bill that has $1.5 billion in assistance per annum with very few restrictions to pakistan. i don't think that it's necessary for you to make a criticism of that or a comment
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on it, but i think it's interesting to see how the -- how it reflects american priorities. think a little bit about that for us. >> certainly, i think the india-u.s. relationship in the last few years has developed largely and it is a very important relationship for india, certainly. which we feel is essential for meeting our development aspirations as well as for enhancing global peace and security. and meeting some of the common global challenges that we face. it's a relationship which stands on its own merits, and from our point of view, has to be viewed as such. there's an economic element which has been growing substantially, trade has doubled in the last four years, investment flows now going both directions as i mentioned with indian investment,
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foreign-direct investment, in the united states being larger than u.s. foreign direct investment in india in recent years. and there are very interesting technology collaborations between our two countries and the u.s. is the larger collaboration for the indian companies who are looking up the value chain. there's this whole economic and business dimension. there is -- there are shared security challenges, for instance, terrorism, proliferation or -- there are shared global challenges of food security, energy security, so there are a range of areas where india and the united states work
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together. this is also underpinned by a very lively and vibrant relationship at the level of the people. for instance, there are 92,000 indian students in the united states of america today. there are 2.7 million indian americans in the u.s. and it's a community which has become very much more active and confident in recent years. and all this builds the relationship in a very substantive way. it's our effort to try to take this relationship to the next level, building on the gains which were made and on the strong bipartisan support within the united states for building this relationship as well as broad political support in the indian polity for building this relationship.
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as far as aid to pakistan is concerned, we certainly share the objective of the united states that we should, you know, help to stabilize afghanistan and pakistan and move them in the direction of both stability and modernization so there's a shared objective that we have with the united states. as to how best we can pursue the achievement of this objective, well, we support the flow of assistance to pakistan, particularly, economic assistance, which we think is essential at this stage given the very precarious state of pakistan's economy. security assistance, we feel, should b focused more specifically on building counterinsurgency capabilities rather than, you know,
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conventional defense equipment or provision of conventional defense equipment and, of course, we think that the pursuit of the objectives that we share would certainly be easier if there are benchmarks to ensure that the assistance is linked to deliverables on the ground and that there is both transparency and accountability in the process. >> and i'm going to open up the floor in just one second. i'm going to ask one last question of you. on the issue of china, it's interesting that on her first overseas trip, secretary of state clinton went to asia. she spent a good deal of time at least according to the american press reassuring the chinese about our relationship, not talking a lot about human rights or any other priorities. not talking about concerns in the indian ocean and pacific, anywhere else. really just talking about a lot of economic issues.
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which perhaps was appropriate in light of the economic circumstances. but something of a disappointment to those who have put -- who have put china's rise in a slightly different context. this is really -- again, it's not an either/or but it's interesting that india has seemed a little bit less of a priority perhaps to this administration than china has. and i wonder if you can just tell us how you see it. >> well, you know, we don't compare our relationship with the u.s.'s relationship with any other country. and as i said we would hope that the u.s. would give priority to india on its own merits. and the secretary of state is due to visit india in july, and we hope that visit will provide the basis for both countries, you know, announcing a roadmap to take the india-u.s.
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relationship to the next level. >> very good. we're going to open up the floor for just a few questions. if i can just ask our audience to be nice enough -- raise on your hand and i would call on you and if you would wait for a microphone. identify yourself and as i always say, please do put your brief statement in the form of a question to the ambassador. and wait for the mic. you know the rules. >> miles pomper from the james martin center for nonproliferation studies. a couple of questions. the first question there's two issues that are likely to be on nonproliferation issues and disarmament issues that are likely to be on secretary clinton's agenda for her visit. do you see any change in india's position -- obviously, the negotiations have gotten
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started, but how do you see that moving ahead and do you see india -- since the u.s. is now supporting the idea of ratification of the cbtb do you see any changes on that. and secondly, india is the reliance is one of the major petroleum refineries for iran. do you see any change in india's position on that especially given recent events in iran? >> not to speak of the passage of the kirk amendment. >> well, fmct, india's position has been fairly clear. we have always said that we are prepared to participate constructively in front multilateral negotiations for fissile material cutoff treaty. that is universal, nondiscriminatory and verifiable and indeed the delays in commencement of negotiations were because, i think, the u.s. was seeking a treaty without
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verification but now has shifted its position and is agreed to the common mandate that it should be a treaty with verification. and the other was i think the chinese and russian desire to link it to commencement of talks on outer space. so i think there also -- there has been some movement and so now as the negotiations for a fissile material cutoff treaty proceed, india will participate actively in those negotiations and as i said, the principles which have guided our disarmament policy and will apply to the fmct are that it should be universal, nondiscriminatory and verifiable and that is the agreed upon mandate on which the disarm has adopted. on the cbtb, india has a test moratorium in place and that is the position as of now.
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we are following developments in the united states, and that is what i can say at the moment. what was that -- >> on reliance. >> well, that's a private company so i can't say what the private company will do. it's not a government company. but we have a relationship with iran and what interests me is, you know, u.s. companies also through some of their subsidiaries have relationships with iran in the energy sector so i think singling out a particular company is not very good. we also see that pakistan and iran have signed an agreement on their gas pipeline. that doesn't figure as a continue for aid to pakistan. so there are double standards operating here. >> i think the audience is to make me look like a softie which is great. do you have any additional
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questions in the audience? yes, sir, back here. >> i'm from voice of america in the news service. my question to you, madam, you know recently pakistani prime minister gilani made a statement about kashmir and u.s. wanting the peace process to resume and possibly include kashmir as well. my question to you is, what will be india's position in this regard, whether bringing kashmir into dialog or whether starting the peace process, whether countering their terrorism if you could elaborate on that, please. >> you know, india had a composite dialog with pakistan which lasted three years. and that dialog made considerable progress on a range of issues including j confidence-building measures for increasing people to people
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contacts for opening new transport and trade routes including a link across kashmir by bus. but this whole process received a very severe setback with an increase in terrorism. first, there was the terrorist attack against the indian embassy in kabul, which u.s. sources also said had -- you know, there was evidence of direct involvement of elements of pakistan security agencies in this attack. at least so the news reports in the u.s. said. then and at that stage india still took a somewhat restrained view and we were willing to give the benefit of doubt to pakistan and we continued the dialog, but after the attack after the
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indian embassy in kabul there was the mumbai attacks, the scale of that impact, and the impact that it had on public opinion was very, very strong. it was with great difficulty that the government continued to follow a policy of restraint because there was public pressure that india should retaliate forcefully in the light of the terrorist attack, but as you know, the indian government's response was statesman-like and we chose diplomacy and diplomatic pressure rather than a retaliatory response. in the wake of the mumbai terrorist attacks, the composite dialog has been suspended and india has stressed that it is important for pakistan to ensure that the perpetrators of the mumbai terrorist attacks are brought to book and perpetrators
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of earlier terrorist attacks against india and that there are tangible steps towards dismantlement of the terrorist infrastructure in pakistan. our prime minister and president zadari met on the sidelines of zadari met on the sidelines of the sco meeting in russia and6 they have directed the foreign secretaries to meet and discuss the issue of terrorism and what steps pakistan is taking to deal with the terrorists who were involved in attacks in india in the past. i think it's important that there is some ernest of sincerity because in the absence of that it would be extremely difficult to have a constructive dialog, you know, terrorism and dialog cannot go hand-in-hand.
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so we would like to see an ernest of sincerity from pakistan on this issue. >> i promised the ambassador that i would release her at 9 0 9:30. i hope this is the beginning of a conversation that we can continue in the months and years to come. and let me thank the audience and ask you to remain @ earlier today come bernie madoff was sentenced to the maximum 150 years in prison for his multibillion-dollar fraud scheme. the district judge handed down the sentence in new york this morning. defense attorneys sought 12 years, prosecutors one of the maximum. federal probation program had recommended 50 years. the judge called a fraud staggering and noted it spanned
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more than 20 years. he said the breach of trust was massive. bernard madoff is 71-years old. the former nasdaq chairman, and he felt -- and he pled guilty in march and has been jailed since. later, admiral timothy keating will speak at the atlantic council, the topics include north korea's most recent nuclear and missile testing. live coverage of that at 5:30 p.m. eastern or hear on c-span. also earlier today, at the supreme court released its opinion in the case involving a promotional for new haven firefighters was rejected because very few minorities would receive promotions. white firefighters alleged that a bidding the exam at unfairly denies them promotion. the supreme court side -- sided
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with the firefighters in the 5-4 decision, overturning a lower- court decision. tonight you can hear a portion of the oral arguments before the second circuit court of appeals. that argument took place in december of 2007. we will have that tonight at 8 eastern here on c-span and on line. you can see transcripts and read about reaction coming to the supreme court decision. hillary clinton to address the situation and honduras, iran and iraq at today state department meeting. she said the ouster of the president of honduras over the weekend is a coup, and expressed confidence in the abilities of the iraqi security forces as the u.s. troops begin their withdrawal.
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i want to start with yesterday's unfortunate events in honduras. these were a test of the inter- american system ability to support and defend democracy and constitutional order in our hemisphere. the united states has been working in -- with our partners to fashion a strong consensus, condemning the detention and expulsion of president and calling for the full restoration of democratic order in honduras. our immediate priority is to restore full democratic and constitutional order in that country. today, foreign ministers of the rio group will be attending a
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meeting of central american leaders to address the issue of honduras. tomorrow the oas will hold an easterner general assembly. as we look for, all parties have their responsibility to address the problem that led to yesterday's events. in a way that enhances democracy and the rule of law in honduras. we will continue working with the oas and other partners to construct a dialogue and engagement that will promote the restoration of democratic order, a dresser is problems of political polarization in honduras, we " -- restore confidence in their government and ensure that hondurans moved successfully toward scheduled presidential election in november of this year. at the general assembly earlier this month, the united states
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insisted that the larger debate on cuba be framed within the oas's commitment to democracy and human rights. along with these were -- partners, we want a reaffirmation of the principles of democracy and constitutional order. the wisdom of are protesting was evident yesterday when the oas and the democratic charter were used as a basis for our response to the coup that occurred. we also -- let me also say a word about the detention of five british embassy staff in tehran. they are -- we are following this situation with great concern. we find that the harassment of embassy staff is deplorable, and will continue to support the united kingdom in calling for their release. finally, iraq.
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tomorrow, june 30th is smart -- is the end of u.s. troops present -- presence in to run. -- in iran. iraq. the ambassador provided updates on the security, political and economic situation in iraq, and we discussed a number of the challenges and opportunities that we are facing. this withdrawal is occurring under the so-called so far agreement -- status forces agreement. it is occurring in concert with the iraqis. there is another document that we will not be turning our attention to with even greater
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concern, the strategic framework agreement. it sets forth the way forward for the relationship between the united states and iraq. there is a lot going on, and i wanted to come down and talk about some of what we are doing. i will be happy to take questions. >> do you believe detention and expulsion, do you believe that a merritt -- military coup d'etat has taken place? does that triggered the appropriation aid cut off that is required under u.s. law? >> we do think that this has evolved into a coup. the president has been expelled.
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another person has been substituted for the president. we think this is a fast-moving situation that requires constant attention, which we are providing to it, along with our bilateral partners and through the oas. we are encouraging and a delegation going to honduras tomorrow to begin working with the parties to try to restore constitutional order. we are withholding any former legal discrimination. the reality is that having expelled the president, we have a lot of work to do to try to help the hondurans in the democratic path they have been on for a number of years.

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