tv Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Institute of Peace CSPAN March 5, 2019 1:38am-3:07am EST
it reaches his desk. you can follow the house live on c-span and the senate live on c-span2. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 it c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies, and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. ♪ not a conversation with the pakistani ambassador to the u.s. as we're a peace institute, we relations and recent cross-border violence between india and pakistan in the disputed kashmir region. this is one hour 20 minutes.
[indiscernible] >> i think we'll go ahead and get going. thank you for coming. my name is andrew wilder. >> i'm the vice president of the asia center here at usip. thank all of you for coming. thanks those of you who are joining online. a word of apologies. you'll not be surprised to hear that over the last week, we've had a surge of interest in this event. so many of you have maybe ended up in the overflow space, so apologies for that. for those of you who are new, usip was founded in 1984 by congress as an independent national institute dedicated to
the proposition that peace is possible, practical, and essential to u.s. and global security. usip has been working in pakistan for many years. we have a focus on trying to increase tolerance for diversity in pakistan, working with a broad range of civil society actors, innovators, scholars, policymakers, but what we do back here in washington we feel is also important in trying to keep the american public informed and policymakers informed about what's happening in pakistan as well as in all the other countries in which usip is working overseas. it's a pleasure today to invite ambassador asad majeed khan to usip. he is no stranger to washington. he has served here before. this event is proving to be very timely and again, much more so than we envisioned when we originally scheduled it. this past week has witnessed what some are describing as the most serious military confrontation between two
nuclear states in recent history. so we are pleased to have the ambassador with us today to discuss this crisis, but not just this crisis, but the u.s. and pakistan relationship. as we're a peace institute, we like to hear perspectives from all parties. also therefore reached out to the indian embassy in the hopes that we'll have an opportunity for the indian ambassador to speak at usip at some point in the not too distant future. ambassador khan has a long and distinguished career in the foreign service of pakistan spanning from -- nearly three decades. his most recent assignment was as pakistan's ambassador to he served from 2017 to 2019. again, to stranger to d.c. as he was here at the dcm at the em
bassy. he earned his docktorate from kyushu university in japan. after that, my colleague, who's the associate vice president here at usip, will join the ambassador on the stage for moderated discussion and question and answer. but i wouldn't be doing my job if i doesn't use this opportunity to put in a plug for maweed's book, "brokering peace : u.s.lear environments crisis management in south asia," published by stanford about a year ago and this certainly very relevant to the happenings of the last couple... -- couple of weeks in south asia. understandly want to what's been happening and how to respond to crises like this in south asia. with that, i invite you, ambassador, to the stage, and thank you again for coming to
usip. [applause] >> thank you, andrew. distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for having me over at the united states institute of peace to speak about pakistan's policy responses to recent developments in our region. -- for building a strong and sustainable partnership between our two countries. establishede has itself as the first port of call for all newly arriving ambassadors for pakistan. we are thankful to the institute's leadership for their continued engagement with pakistan. we value it greatly. beensure all of you have
closely following the recent developments in our region. however, before sharing my thoughts and perspectives on the recent developments, i would like to start by talking about my priorities for the bilateral relationship and how it could be transformed into a long-term partnership built on mutuality of benefit. asistan u.s. relationship, most of you are well aware, is as old as pakistan itself. over the last seven decades, we have pursued common goals inspired by shared ideas and objectives. we have achieved remarkable success is whenever we have worked together. successes when we have worked together.
, spanningtic career over 30 years, i have seen good times and challenging times. despite occasional turbulence, the need to stay engaged has never been lost on either side. for pakistan, our relationship with the united states demands a consequential and significant -- we are the fifth largest country in the world in terms of population. a vibrant democracy, nuclear power with a strategic location and proximity to the croatian gulf. active and well respected pakistani american community that enriches all facets of american society. the united states is also pakistan's leading trading
partner and a significant source of foreign direct investment. unsurprisingly, given pakistan's status as a major english-speaking nation, american colleges and universities remain a destination of choice for young pakistanis looking to fulfill their dream. all of this makes pakistan a significant player in its own right and a natural partner to the united states for building a longer, sustainable, and long-term relationship encompassing security, economy, business, and people to people contact. we therefore do not see our relationship with the united states through the prism of another country and would not want to be seen through the prism of another country. in this backdrop, i arrive in washington determined to work
towards building a relationship that is broad-based and comprehensive, as well as long-term and predictable. such is the relationship we are convinced was not always serve our two countries, but would also act as a linchpin for the future system -- stability and prosperity of the region. distinguished guests, my arrival in washington is also auspiciously timed, as i come here after pakistan has gone through a historic democratic transition with a new government in place. is committedthat to assure pakistan into a new era -- usher pakistan into a new era. the government wants to build a new pakistan in order to pursue a people friendly development driven and eccentric agent --
peace-centric agent. an government will create enabling environment that will allow the people of pakistan to pursue their dreams and aspirations of personal growth, social mobility, and economic development and prosperity. the government has already put into place a comprehensive plan designed to provide better success, axis to help and education for the people of pakistan. other important steps are promoting austerity, fiscal ,iscipline, and mobilization improving doing business, enhancing competitiveness and productivity. we believe that with that much improved security environment, better control over our energy aisis, and development of
massive connectivity and transport infrastructure pakistan is open for business. u.s. businesses and investors have historically had a significant presence in pakistan . despite all the challenges we confronted over the last decade, in terms of security, they have not only maintained their equities in pakistan, but enlarged them. exxon mobil has come back to pakistan recently in a big way. we want to see more u.s. companies coming to pakistan. with its huge middle class and potential to emerge as a manufacturing hub for the entire region, pakistan offers a captive market for u.s. retailers and rich investment opportunities for the u.s. manufacturers. i am here to seek and explore those opportunities, recognizing fully now is the time to come to pakistan. sooner, the better.
as the prime minister recently told business investors in the middle east, pakistan is on the upswing. you do not want to miss the boat. ladies and gentlemen, a prosperous, pluralistic, pakistan is at the heart of the vision for pakistan, and it is this people and developments in the city that are driving the government's peaceful neighborhood agenda. the prime minister is convinced that pakistan will not be able to pursue its development goals and aspirations until an unless we have a peaceful neighborhood. the new government, therefore, wasted no time in reaching out to all of our neighbors, particularly afghanistan to seek dialogue, cooperation, and engagement. indeed, the prime minister held out a hand of friendship to india in his very first speech after the july 2018 elections, declaring that if india were to take one step, pakistan will take two.
since then, pakistan has opened up its corridor for sikh pilgrims from india. pakistan has also made peace overtures, which unfortunately on reciprocating -- are on reciprocated. -- unreciprocated. this past decade the pakistan/u.s. relationship has come to be seen through the afghan prism, notwithstanding the fact we have been partners before and hope to be friends long after the afghan crisis is out of our way. of course, we can understand u.s. concerns in afghanistan. after all, pakistan has paid a high price for the conflict in afghanistan. over 780,000 pakistanis, including around 77,000 of our troops lost their lives in fighting terrorism since 2001. pakistan, therefore, wants to see the u.s. succeed in bringing peace to afghanistan. pakistan wants to see an afghanistan that is at peace with itself and peace with its neighbors.
happily, there is today a fundamental convergence between pakistan and the united states on the need for achieving political settlement in afghanistan. prime minister khan has been advocating peace through dialogue in afghanistan long before it became fashionable. pakistan, therefore, supports president trump's broad vision for peace in afghanistan, and our cooperation has been critical to the important progress being made by the ambassador in doha. while pakistan will continue to extend its support for the doha process, peace in afghanistan is ultimately a shared responsibility. it is therefore, important to take all the stakeholders onboard and to guard against any spoilers who may not be invested in the success of the u.s.-led peace process. pakistan also agrees that a dialogue that brings together the taliban and the national
unity government is essential for evolving a roadmap for sustainable peace in afghanistan. it is ultimately up to the afghan people and their representatives to determine their political future. pakistan does not, however, want to be left holding the bag in the region. we hope the international community and particularly the u.s. will remain economically engaged in afghanistan. pakistan has also been host to the afghan refugees for almost 40 years. we hope that the peace settlement would result in the repatriation of afghan refugees. ladies and gentlemen, as you know, the past few weeks have witnessed a serious escalation between india and pakistan in the aftermath of the attack. kashmiree carried out an
attack against a convoy in occupied kashmir on 14th february. india pointed the finger at pakistan within minutes. the indian government and media went into overdrive ,whipping up war hysteria against pakistan. india paid no attention to the available evidence. all of it pointed to the indigenous origin of the attack. while rejecting the indian allegations, the prime minister offered india an investigation and dialogue and promised to take action against anyone involved in the attack if india could provide credible and actionable intelligence. the prime minister also asked india to introspect about what was driving young people to lose their fear of death and give up their lives fighting the indian occupation. he also warned india that pakistan will be forced to respond if india commits aggression against pakistan. unfortunately, india neither
took up the prime minister's offer for dialogue. on february 26th, india in violation of the u.n. charter, law, andonal , showedte norms aggression by attacking pakistan. clearly india chose to act as jury, and executioner. -- of having hit a so-called terrorist camp inside pakistan and killing over 300 militants. these claims, as you know, have been totally debunked by neutral onbservers as well as element within india. india aggression against pakistan on 27th february, pakistan struck six sites inside occupied kashmir. however, when two indian aircraft violated our space, they were shot down.
our sole objective was to demonstrate that we had the right, will, capability to act in our self-defense. we also made it clear that we do not wish to further escalate and are ready to give dialogue a chance to resolve issues like a responsible and mature democratic nation. pakistan also called upon the international community. they ignored india's irresponsible actions of 26th and 27th february that had seriously imperiled peace and stability in south asia, and to urge india to deescalate. prime minister hahn once again stressed the importance of dialogue and engagement pointing out all wars start from miscalculation and once they start, they are not in anyone's control. to reinforce pakistan's commitment to peace and dialogue, and as a good will gesture aimed at deescalating the tensions between india, pakistan announced the release of the captured indian pilot who has already safely returned to india.
the indian pilot handed over by pakistani officials at the border. nearly hours later, pakistani officials were back at the border, this time to receive the dead body of a pakistani who had been beaten to death in an indian prison. ladies and gentlemen, prime minister emron hahn has been consistent from day one in seeking peace and dialogue in india. he has shown courage, vision, and restraint as befits a leading nuclear power. we do hope that the worst is behind us and that some sense and sanity will prevail in india allowing the previous government to see the escalation with pakistan. beyond the political domestic considerations and the serious threats it posed to peace and security in the region and beyond. however, it is a matter of concern that the frenzy that the indian government whipped up around the attack resulted in those being attacked and hungry
around india, even as leaders are being rounded up and by indian forces. this is happening on top of the unspeakable atrocities that the kashmiri and people have suffered, particularly since 2016, that are now documented in the reports. the international community cannot afford to continue getting it wrong. it must recognize that real regional stability in south asia is the unresolved dispute of kashmir. it's time to address the oldest dispute on the u.n. security council table. ladies and gentlemen, before i conclude, let me reiterate the importance pakistan attaches to its relationship with the united states and our desire to build a long-term and broad-based partnership between the two countries. i thank you very much for your patience.
[applause] >> thank you, ambassador. as always, very comprehensive and eloquent. we'll do here is have a bit of a chat, and then open it up for questions from all of you and could i request my colleagues to see if we could get questions from the overflow room as well. we have a large crowd in a couple of other rooms as andrew mentioned, this was an oversold event, so i want to make sure they can be part of this. ambassador, let me first begin by the only soft ball i'm going to give you today. ambassador: ok. >> how's it to be back in washington? [laughter] ambassador: i'm very happy and delighted to be back. although, on paper, i presented my credentials on 11th january, but i had to go back to japan to
basically do my farewell call in tokyo. so i arrived here in early february and then i was in germany when it happened. so, and we've been at it, so i still have to go out to cd-- -- cdc to be able to revise what it was like -- realize what it was like. , quite honestly, by asking you, you've had some of your official calls, i know. is this a really different d.c. than what you left in 2015? definitely a new administration, but the relationship, also.
ambassador: i think, yes, d.c., at least this is what i hear from everybody, and i would say that i have still, or i have yet to find it out for myself because i have only done a few calls so far, that d.c. is different from what it was before. but so far, i have been -- i was certainly very warmly received by the president for my credentials and i've also been very warmly received by senior state department officials. so the challenges in the relationship, it never was an easy relationship and there never was, or there never is a dull moment in this relationship. from that perspective and point of view, i, frankly, still don't see much of a difference, but the jury is still out. i frankly still do not i may be in a position to -- >> so let me sort of stay on the u.s./pakistan for a bit anding a -- and ask you you've mentioned , in your opening remarks the importance of pakistan and the
u.s./pakistan relationship's history. quite honestly, the way the world is moving, there's an obvious new geostrategic outlook. the u.s. and china seem to be now the obvious competitors moving forward in terms of great powers. pakistan, for many in this town, has already made a decision, a choice, which is to be in the chinese camp. there's a china/pakistan economic corridor. there are billions of dollars flowing from that. many would argue that courting pakistan at this point for washington makes no sense because ultimately, it's the u.s. and india strategic partnership that's much more important. how would you respond to that? ambassador: you know, i think when you say this, you are, perhaps, looking at the world in terms of the classic hard alliances that the world had during the cold war where, you
know, you existed in silos and where you were either one bloc or against that bloc. think the -- i think the world has changed tremendously and today china is the united states' largest trading partner. today china is a major trading partner with india also. despite there being strategic competition, these relationships are not seen or perceived as either either/or relationships and i think for pakistan, it is wrong to see our relationship and that's the point that i made in my presentation also that we don't want to be, you know, we are a very important and significant country in our own right, and our friendship with china is not something that started yesterday. it's been a relationship that has always been there. even when, you know, china and united states were in completely opposing camps and they did not have the kind of trade and investment linkages and
connections that they have today. in fact, pakistan played a role know, in bringing china and united states. so it's -- and then in the context of cpacc also, think that does not mean that the chinese investments are to the exclusion of everyone else. i think if you look at our investment regime, and that's the point that all be making extensively -- that i will be ining extensively washington, d.c., that those investment packages are available on a most favored nation status basis, and that china came to pakistan, frankly, when no one was ready to come to pakistan. today the situation has changed fundamentally and remarkably in terms of the security turnaround that we have achieved in pakistan, in terms of what we have done in overcoming the energy crisis, in terms of cpacc
creating that basic infrastructure. that should allow us and enable us to move to the next level. where the process of starts.alization, we have a 210 million population with 45% middle class, with 40% increase in their consumption power, you know, so all this opens up avenues for manufacturing and using pakistan as a connectivity hub in the wider region. so i really don't think that the -- the ghost of the cold war is the right thing to do and conceive the relationship and realignment strictly in the manner they were seen or perceived 40 years or 30 years
ago. i think this is a new world. this is where countries are basically looking for opportunities with friends and with their strategic competitors alike and pakistan doesn't want be any -- want to different. >> fair enough. one more on this then we'll switch to a harder topic. ambassador: i thought this was the harder one. you make the point about the sort of economic space, the market, the size. that's taken. the problem with pakistan, of course, you sit next to two giants, two of the largest economies in the world and that, in fact, is also not going to change. apart from economics, isn't part of the problem in the relationship is that all the issues the two sides have discussed the last three, four years, at least, have not been positive? there's afghanistan, where there's tension, there's nuclear, where there's been an issue. there is terrorism which i will
come to. where is the positive convergence that should create champions of the pakistani relationship in this town? i'll be honest with you, one of the big changes from when you were here previously, i think those champions are gone because there's a lot of frustration with the relationship. ambassador: i think you're not following -- and what he has said about the relationship and, again, obviously, and i think you are right, the challenge in this relationship i would say for the past whole decade has been the centrality of the afghan issue as a part of the conversation and that has in a way influenced everyone here in d.c., and, therefore, i think the convergence, and i think i would like to say that president trump has shown a lot of courage and vision in seeking peace or trying to achieve peace in afghanistan and on this particular score, i think he is on the same page with our prime minister and we are determined to work with him.
and on that, i think would at least remove that elephant in the room that consumed all energy in the relationship and did not let us focus on issues other than that, but let me also say that, you know, there is a conversation in the public domain. >> sure. ambassador: but then there are also realities on the ground. i mean, procter & gamble made
six times profits than their global average in pakistan. pepsico and coke doubled and tripled their investments while, you know, this all happened during the last 10 years. >> sure. ambassador: so, you know, the businesses have their own sense and appreciation of a country and its potential, but then that conversation doesn't get reported in "the new york times." that conversation doesn't get reported in the "washington post." so therefore, it is not part of, perhaps, yusuf's focus, also, but the thing is that nuclear, yes, i mean, that has been part of our bilateral conversations for as long as this issue has been in the village. >> i think that's a fair point and one of the critiques i have in the conversations here is that, yes, it is not as broad as it should be because there are other things that are happening in pakistan, but since afghanistan, you mentioned afghanistan as sort of the issue that's holding things back.
there seems to be positive news out of afghanistan and for the past two months, three months, some of the narratives have changed on u.s./pakistan in terms of what's happening in afghanistan. what is pakistan's vision for afghanistan beyond saying it should be peaceful, you know, independent, and everything else? does pakistan, if somebody were to come to you today or the pakistani state and say, what is your ideal scenario out of this entire peace process, what would that be? ambassador: i think, you know, i mean, the facts speak for themselves. there's no country after afghanistan that has suffered as much as pakistan on account of the conflict in afghanistan. so we have huge and direct stakes in seeing peace return to afghanistan. we would like afghanistan to be a stable place with no ungoverned spaces that are used by elements against pakistan or anyone else.
pakistan has also been home to almost 2.7 million refugees and much more for the past 40 years. so we would want them to return to their country and to be able to pursue their, you know, aspirations for economic growth, personal security, and all of that. so for us, and really, if you look at -- and i recall time back in '91 and, you know, early '90s, when there was this possibility of peace returning and pakistan and the wider region looking at the connectivity potential and how we could reach out to central asia and the wider region as soon as we are able to achieve peace. so we have an economic stake. we have a security stake. we have a stake as a neighbor who has shared the burden of refugees for that many years, so
in that way, you know, we would like to have peace return to afghanistan. and enable us basically, you know, to also pursue our economic and development goal. >> could i press on something that has been the talk of this town for a while? and i understand it's a difficult issue, but the future of the taliban seems to be becoming clearer in this peace process and perhaps there have been more. there's also the haqqani network. where does this conversation end up whether there's a peace deal in afghanistan or not? because as far as i can tell, that issue still remains.
ambassador: i think, well, the peace process, i suppose, has overtaken all of the conversations and since u.s. is in direct conversation with the taliban leadership, and ambassador zaud has a fully empowered delegation, and i'm sure all these issues must be on the table for the two sides to discuss directly. >> okay. switching gears to india. since that i'm sure is on everybody's mind here and spending a little bit of time on that. and i promise to leave enough time for everybody to ask questions. maybe that's the hardest part, actually. last week you talk about escalation, you talk about the dangers, absolutely. everybody was sort of looking at this horrified. first, explain to us where you
see india/pakistan going from here. explained the dialogue that the prime minister of pakistan offered. clearly that hasn't worked, but you still have a situation where tensions are high, the line of control is hard in kashmir. india and kashmir is not doing very well at all. and terrorism remains a very sort of realistic possibility. is there any scope for india and pakistan to do better in terms of at least preventing or managing the next crisis? or are we going to see a repeat which is going to be worse because tempers are high and emotions are high? ambassador: yes. i think the situation is serious. we have returned from the brink, at least for now, but finding
-- but you are right in pointing out that as soon as the indian pilot was handed over to the indian side, we have seen a marked escalation on the line of control. we have lost two of our soldiers and there are civilian casualties also. so that's the difficult part and that is something that is keeping us on our toes. and the whole point really, is -- and this is something that actually predates -- you know, prime minister in one of his first speeches, and this is driven by his view and commitment that, you know, the only way forward is through dialogue and engagement. by force, you cannot resolve anything.
and unfortunately, that conversation track is not there and that leaves a vacuum where some kind of miscalculation, so consistently, you know, even at the cost of being seen as a country or as a leader craving for peace, you know, he has been time and again asking for dialogue and the whole point, really, is to avoid any kind of miscalculation that could seriously endanger peace and security. ambassador, i take your point, but let's be honest. i think, you know, andrew mentioned my book. i spent seven years looking at this. i can tell you that there is a movement in terms of the global opinion on these crises.
10 years ago, 15 years ago, the only conversation was denuclearization. nobody wants nuclear war. i think you're seeing a discernible shift in this capitol and others where people are now having a conversation about the crisis trigger more than deescalation. so even if this crisis, in early 2016, there was the last major crisis, actually there were public statements that said india had the right to defend itself, this time it was counterterrorism. are we not in a situation where we are hostage to terrorist groups who are doing this, creating nuclear crises and what the world internalizes is that pakistan has not done anything about it? ambassador: you know, there is always a true story underneath the bluster, underneath the layers of disinformation that is created. and i think the test of any
leadership is to basically be able to have those communication channels that would actually allow you to go deeper into that and address the issue that you want to address because if you basically take a position that you are going to do this, this, this, this, if this, this, this, happened, you are essentially leaving the entire situation hostage to one, two, or a couple of individuals who may be rogue elements acting on their own, trying to basically create a warlike situation. and in that sphere -- again, i mean, within minutes of this incident, india spoke about incontrovertible evidence. >> no, i take that point.
ambassador: and that evidence should have been presented. i take that point, but how -- how do you explain jesud muhammad's claim of responsibility of this attack? i read yesterday that pakistan sort of, there was a meeting and it was reported in the press that pakistan is going to take action and make sure that all these sort of organizations are under the state control, et cetera. isn't the finger again and again being pointed at pakistan because of these groups? and if they're claiming responsibility to poke pakistan in the eye, isn't it even more necessary that this chapter close once and for all? no. sador: i think, again, we are at it. you know, and you spoke -- you asked me about how different the conversation is today than what it was when i was here last. and i've been part of this conversation now for almost 12 years continuous.
>> sure. ambassador: and i strongly urge you and those in the audience revisit some of the u.s. talking points back in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014. >> sure. i have read "new york times" editorial in 2009 declaring that taliban are 70 kilometers away and they're going to soon take over islamabad. please come visit pakistan. i will take you there, which is now today the most popular tourist destination in pakistan once again. we heard about clearing the agencies, the tribal belt. we heard about dismantling networks. we have done all of that. you know, since 2017 alone,
pakistan has carried out 20,000 intelligence-based operations in pakistan. >> sure. ambassador: and the improved security situation would speak for itself. there's no organized presence of any terrorist group in pakistan. i can say that with a responsibility. >> one more, and then i promise to move on and open it up a couple of more questions. isn't it true that one of your biggest challenges as ambassador or pakistan's challenge, is to correct some of the negative perceptions about pakistan or the image problem, as some would call it. -- it? and wouldn't you agree that there is an inherent contradiction between trying to do that and the world's microscopic focus on the leadership of some of these groups, due to which pakistan keeps on getting the blame. how do you actually move away
from that if that conversation continues to be where it is? no. sador: i mean, as i said, we are at end. and we will do what is in the best interest of pakistan, and the point i am making is that we have done a lot already, and i described this as a linear progression in the right direction. i think we are continuously moving. and there have been -- it was part of the national action plan. it may not have been implemented the way it was supposed to have been implemented, but we have taken a series of factions against these outfits, and we are determined to take it to the logical conclusion. >> so could i ask a yes or no question? is pakistan's approach to this issue indiscriminate? ambassador: it is. >> one question on the economy, and we'll move on. we've heard a lot about saudi arabia, the uae, other people coming in and supporting pakistan financially in recent times, both through cash
infusion, but also through investments. there's been a lot of debate about the imf, going to the imf, not going to the imf. and this question i quite frankly ask you more from a pakistani perspective than any other. all of this, to me, to be very honest, as an analyst, is irrelevant. the money has come in, especially the cash infusion, all of that has happened through the current crisis. but the conversation keeps coming back to when pakistan will make the structural reforms that take away the need for the pakistani prime minister to go around and then come back and report to his nation. -- to his nation that we have gotten a lot of money to get out of the crisis. ultimately, here is how i ask the question. if there were no imf, and if x- pakistanis e sending money back, what is the
plan to get pakistan on the road to progress without falling back into the crisis over and over again? yes. ador: i think there are two parts to what you just said. first of all, i think going to imf is not that big of a stigma as it is usually presented to be, i think, as a member of imf, we have a right to explore that option. and we have done that several times in the past. >> sure. ambassador: and if need be, we will do it once again. but i think if you look at the steps that -- and, yes, we need to do -- undertake steps and those hard reforms that would basically -- and, in fact, last time this was for the first time
that we availed all the aid transfers and actually told the imf that we don't need you any more. so we would like to get to that point, and for that already you know, be it tariff rationalization, be it exchange rate adjustments and making it more realistic, be it expanding the domestic tax base and a range of measures are already in the pipeline. obviously, it will take time for everyone to see the results, either doing business, enhancing productivity. so there is a slew of measures that the government is already looking at and has already taken also. so the bottom line is that we are ready to take those hard -- make those hard choices and take those hard decisions that you would require to stall the possibility of resorting to this again. >> sure. my final question. ambassador: oh. >> and it ties to something
close to our -- all of our hearts at usip and this whole field. and it goes back to the image question. and i put this very question to the pakistani foreign minister when he was here. the issue of international nongovernment organizations. i completely take the point, it's not a pakistan-specific. i know india is doing this, and everybody else. my question to you is about pakistan. we talk about the image, we talk about opening up to the west. on the other hand, we also see, you know, this sort of crackdown on ingo's perhaps. there are 38 ingo's on the list. now very recently. i completely understand the legal issues and all of that. how do you square this with the image issue? because, you know, being in this field, i can tell you, the organizations on the list, the ones i know, are not what
they're being labeled as. you know, there are respected names in this field. what is the mechanism? and let me just frame it by saying that i had a recent conversation with somebody and i thought they made a very important which was other point. countries do this, as well. it's a global trend, a number of countries in the region are kicking out ngo's. but this was an ngo person telling me, at least we know what we have to do to stay or be kicked out. we are not clear on the benchmarks of what being used to make this decision. ambassador: first of all, i think i would not describe -- >> wrong word. i knew you were going to go there. sorry, sorry. ambassador: we are engaged in -- >> requesting them to leave. ambassador: no, no. i think we are -- in fact, we have cleared most of them. perhaps they also face the same image problem that we face. and -- but, again, i think the --
and this is something that we used to always discuss in new york. during my second committee days in terms of the necessity to let the country determine the development priorities. >> okay. ambassador: and then to request our international partners and friends to come and support and help us where will we need that help. ngos want to work, have already -- we, as i said, a large majority of the ngo's want to work, have already been cleared. consistent with the priorities that the government has laid out. there are issues with some of the advocacy-related ngo's.
we are also working on that framework, and we are in conversation with them and dialogue with them. and i tell you, there is no riori exclusionp of anyone. and we will give reasons for exclusion, and we hear it from ingos interested in working in pakistan. and i have heard this before also, that they want to know the reason why. so we are engaged in that conversation. we would continue to stay engaged. and i want to say that we value -- greatly value the good contributions that some of the ingo's have made, including yusef, which is not an ingo. >> no, actually, we have a very good partnership. thank you for that. just as somebody who works in this field and cares about this, i would very much request to look into this. this is not helping pakistan, this is not helping the field. and at least not to declare any of these very reputable organizations as security issues.
because i don't think that goes down well. let me open it up to the audience and take some questions. jay e-mailed me yesterday and said i must ask a question. so i will not forget you, jay. but let me start from the front and come back. yes, please. india and i am currently a student at johns hopkins. inng a dual concentration economics and management. it is my opinion that a leader's -- yusef: could we stick to questions? -- if thetion is india and pakistan were seated in this audience today, what steps would you recommend between now and when they take office to hit the
ground running? yusef: thank you. ambassador asad majeed khan: we could take a few questions. yusef: ok. >> thank you. .ana marshall welcome to washington, mr. ambassador. dividend that with indiaght expect when things settle down and with the united states post afghan deal. let me give you a question from one of our guests in another room. f-16s -- pakistan denies this. what restricts pakistan from using a f-16? can it not use them against india?
one more from the audience to , yes, please. wait for the microphone because we are being covered live. , mr. ambassador i work for global peace. i was born in afghanistan. 18 years, pakistan was an ally with the united states and afghanistan was recognized. -- overat the trend 3000 american soldiers died. 52,000 injured or disabled. in 100,000 killed in afghanistan. it may be higher. anddo you think afghanistan the u.s. trust pakistan? talking with the taliban? and what are the rules of the country in the process? ambassador asad majeed khan: think the un i
security council resolutions ask leaders to go back and pull the resolutions adopted and all of it is laid out in terms of how this issue needs to be resolved. that youace dividend , as i said, i think wemy presentation, because want to start looking inward. huge pretension in our bilateral relationship and through that in terms of exploding wider economic possibilities in the region.
and it is only after you are able to bring security in pakistan, peace in afghanistan and peace in the wider region, even in india, that we will actually be able to explore and fully harness the peace dividend you are alluding to. and there is, as we said in the beginning, you know, pakistan is sandwiched between two huge economies and countries. that is also our strength. we might come across as small when looked at from new delhi or beijing that pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world. and theential possibilities are unlimited but only if we are able to deal with the perpetual conflict and tension in the region
bilaterally and in the wider region. on the f-16s -- i don't know. india has been alleging so many other things so we do not get into every single part of them. and i am not aware of any requests from the u.s. side about the f-16 being used. yusef: i think the question is whether pakistan is being prevented by -- ambassador asad majeed khan: i have not seen that so i'm not in a position to comment on that. yusef: ok. two of the questions from -- ambassador asad majeed khan: my apologies. could you please repeat your question? i did not quite get it. pakistan is allies with the
united states. the peace process started after 9/11. since then, i can give you the number, over 3000 american soldiers have died. 50,000 were injured or disabled. over 100,000, it might be higher, afghan forces died in the process. and over 100,000 or more civilians died in the country. and it all happened while pakistan was allied with werenistan and america and trying to bring peace to the region. now that there are peace talks, are you incentivized for anything? for white we have to trust another country? crystallize the question. think, if i am right, you mentioned the high price pakistan has paid for the in afghanistan.
shouldn't pakistan take responsibility? 's neighbors make claims about this. vis-à-vis pakistan. ambassador asad majeed khan: i think really -- not really a question of pakistan taking responsibility. because, if we start talking 70,000umbers, we have citizens in pakistan also in the war on terror that were lost. who will take responsibility for the losses we have lost -- we have severed? -- suffered? they were being financed by somebody and this has been going conflictis unfortunate -- and that is why i said at the beginning, it is really for us
and absolute imperative to see peace and that is why we are making every effort that we can to facilitate peace and we are happy that today u.s. and pakistan are on the same page and frankly, in october or september, nobody could've imagined that the process would come this far in a matter of a few months. and we are also, actually, basically, we believe that there until everyone is on board. to that extent, pakistan -- whatever it can do it is doing and that is perhaps our way of making a contribution to a conflict that we want to see and soonerthan later -- end
than later because after afghanistan, pakistan has suffered the most. when we talk about responsibilities, someone will have to take responsibility to whatever has happened in pakistan. we are a changed country. i come from a generation that grew up in the 1970's. we were a much different country. and we hosted the refugees. we imported the culture. and thehe narcotics drugs. someone will have to take the responsibility for that also. yusef: let us go all the way back and then we will work our way. >> thank you. know about the u.s. response during the pak -india and tensions. recently you said the u.s. did not condemn indian airstrikes and it is seen by the pakistani
[indiscernible] and that has emboldened them even more. >> welcome, mr. ambassador. i am an american citizen of indian origin. -- the un security council question that has been raised. a three-step process. please do not misunderstand. pakistan step was that [indiscernible]. army would have a limited there. isn't the ball in pakistan's court of asking the un security ?ouncil to intervene
yusef: and right behind. >> my question to you is your predecessor has quoted -- is quoted saying that the jihad was rooted in the ideology of the carefullyislamist nurtured by the pakistani military. how do you respond to that and the -- why has the ambassador not censored various ministers who have direct religious overtones targeted towards hindus? yusef: right here. one more. just this one. right here. writers wer -- reuters has -- the pakistani
process that could have been impacted. it have been harmed or delayed from that perspective when you talk about the current escalation on the borders? ok.ssador asad majeed khan: think what i i when a the embassy was ofntry commits an act blatant aggression as was committed against pakistan, then the international community must come out clearly in condemning that act and that lack of condemnation would then embolden resulting in that aggression. in whichthe context
what i said was reported. in terms of the u.s. role, yes, i think the u.s. has of late made an important -- played an important role in counseling restraint and in using its good offices to derail the situation. on the un security council that is as, i think discussion and debate that we can have in terms of sequencing and their is a lot -- and there is a lot of history and context available in terms of who did what and who did not do what and why we are there but the important line is that this issue is a dispute that is still pending resolution and it is one of the oldest disputes before
the un security council resolution. once the two leaders decide to basically engage to resolve, and i am sure we will be able to fix the nuances and differences in terms of who should of done what to solve the issue, but first of all, we need the commitment to seek dialogue and then to engage to resolve the issue. my predecessor's --what can i say? [laughter] it is an issue that has always been there since pakistan existed.
frame it as a jihad only is a disservice to the sacrifices that the people, the unarmed people are making particularly over the last three years. and i think he perhaps is not following up on the repression that is unleashed in the indian .op -- indian occupied region in the last two years, 780 people have been killed and many have been blinded. how ori do not know where this can be justified, whether it is jihad or not, and i have not heard him speak about the atrocities that i think you should also be speaking about. yusef: just one more.
ambassador asad majeed khan: i always forget about the last one. yusef: pakistan's role in afghanistan -- did pakistan say it would be affected by the crisis? ambassador asad majeed khan: oh yes, sorry. you know -- and that is why we it could not have come at the worst time. -- by our western border. there were 750 border posts that we man on our border with afghanistan. essentially deal with the allegation of elements crossing from pakistan. come on unfortunately the afghan side, the border posts are just a little over
100. we have already elected -- fence on this defensible border. there is escalation on the eastern border, i think it will certainly divert the attention of pakistan and in these past few weeks, i have done nothing interacting with the media, there was only one question about afghanistan. are dealing with a real-life security situation. obviously, once the peace and are violated, it will have an effect on the overall stability in the region which would affect all of the processes going on. this has been a very
male-dominated q&a session so i want to make sure that we have -- yes, please. just give us a word about pakistan-around early -- pakistan-iran relations. yusef: yes, right here. let me balance out. just -- where is do the human rights violations such as forests disappearances --where dol killings they rank on the list of priority? yusef: back there. , a graduate student from georgetown university. , particularly since the peace talks in afghanistan seem to be excluding for now the government of
role would, what pakistan like to see the taliban play in the future afghanistan and how would that impact pakistan? yusef: one, right behind you. yes. >> my name is jennifer with bluemont. and the of the ngo registration applications and how they were denied/rejected -- might there be a reconsideration ngo'suld the reapplied? ?- reapply yusef: yes. ambassador asad majeed khan: [laughter] i encourage you to take the other three on. yusef: that is what i need. [laughter] ambassador asad majeed khan: pakistan around? n-iran?stan
centuries old relationship and an important one that pakistan. and we value this relationship. -- i do not know what specific aspect you want to hear about but yes, this is an important relationship for pakistan. and anllow member of nyc immediate neighbor with deep, historic ties. enforcedestion of think,arances -- i whether it is the government's priority or not, it is the priority of the independent judiciary and they have been following up on these cases.
also -- things get ,eported in the government whether in the provinces or at the federal level, has to act. i really do not think that it is that big of a problem in pakistan as sometimes the media takes it look like. on the taliban's role in the of the afghan government, it is not for us to determine what role they would play but i can tell you that, as i said before also, that a comprehensive reconciliation is a reconciliation where all of us are able to get to a point where they can agree on a peaceful afghanistan post-reconciliation.
i think you are responded on the ngo's. take one final round of questions and then we will have to close it because the ambassador has to leave. let us start from here and tried to get as many as we can. please make it short so we can get as many as possible. i am a human rights activist. she took my question so i'm going to make another question. yusef: short. time and aeen a long religious militant organization has killed some from the community and activists. [indiscernible] i have been there. yusef: the question please.
>> what is your role in the peace process with the u.s. and afghanistan in the negotiations with these organizations working there? >> connor dinwiddie with the asian development think tank. what does barling look like in pakistan? what does the future of utility and infrastructure borrowing and investment look like? yusef: you need an economic counselor. ambassador asad majeed khan: yes. yusef: the gentleman here and the lady there. that will be at. >> ambassador, since you were recently ambassador to japan, what is the geopolitical role of japan going forward as to this conflict but other conflicts in
southeast asia? i write for the express tribune. thinking about the u.n. plebiscites, much more recent opportunity which was last year, the human rights commission on behalf of the u.n. asked for access on both sides of the border. pakistani and indian. theynfortunately, although did away with the field side, it they did a report and 80% of it was from india but why can't pakistan sees on this on thisity -- seize opportunity and open up and allow the yuan to come in and see what is going on on this side of the border? >> hello.
i am a retired foreign service officer. thought about the pakistan slogan. and i was looking forward to people being able to realize their dreams and find economic stability. with the limited dollars channeled to military funding, how can that be realized? yusef: let me put the last one i have in my hand which is how would the dynamic between the post thischange program? ambassador asad majeed khan: ok. your question -- i we have an elected
--ernment in below just on we have an elected government and we have all of the institutions that you need to secure the implementation of these rights that are guaranteed to both the majority and the minority community and every province. put in job and others -- punjab and others. the government of pakistan is determined to act against any of those outfits targeting any one or the other group and if you look at how things are playing out over the past year, i would say that the situation definitely has changed dramatically. so, i do not know which particular instance or inns --
or incidents you're talking about, but i am not aware of those. in terms of the utility part, i the --do not quite get of interiorinister would be able to answer that question because i do not quite get that. lateryou can take that on. in terms of japan's involvement, pakistan,that, for that is also an important relationship and in fact, japan has been one of the oldest investors in pakistan. countrye japan is a that relies on open sea lanes for imports as well as exports, it seeks to have partnerships in the wider region also. so in that regard -- and japan
is also a country that has invested in peace and japan has also historically played an important role in supporting that about -- development in pakistan as well. , multipledifferent reasons and multiple points of interest for japan to remain engaged in the region and i am happy that during my time as the -- there japan was a serious spike in the relationship. in terms of the u.n. plebiscites , i am not aware of that particular initiative but i can in pakistan, they are on our side and we do not stop anybody. on the indian
side. if anyone wishes to come to our , we also haver the u.n. high commissioner on human rights to come and visit. and we stille open are open and will remain open. in terms of diverting military funding, that is the peace dividend that the marshall was talking about. if you have a perpetual conflict situation and you have a perpetual were like situation you have to divert your resources to defense. but frankly, going by what we have in the region, our per thena expense is much less our neighbor because there are huge outlays in spending. we would like to see peace that would certainly enable pakistan
and everyone else to divert resources and that is why the prime minister said that our enemy is poverty. and that is what we should be joining cans to fight together. hands toof -- joining fight together. so in terms of chemistry, i do not know if there was any chemistry to begin with but i think as leaders of two big countries, it is not the chemistry that should determine. it is the need because ultimately they have the responsibility of millions, i would say millions of people. and the prime minister has acted like a statesman and we do hope that the prime minister, prime
minister modi would also respond because really it is not a question of scoring points. and it is not really a question about showing the other side down. it is really a question about addressing the problem. you want toif address terrorism, let us sit down and discuss that. beyond we need to move chemistry and focus on specific tasks. yusef: ambassador, i want to thank you for taking the time and giving us the opportunity to host you at your first public event. we wish you the best of luck and i hope the rest of your conversations are about u.s.-pakistan and not everything else. and also, our next event will be march 11 when we have a panel looking at pakistan-gulf
relations. saudi arabia and uae and other interesting dynamics. that will be march 11. you will get a reminder. please join me in thanking pakistan's ambassador. [applause] ambassador asad majeed khan: thank you. ♪ >> the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. >> ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. >> and the people who knocked these buildings down [indiscernible] -- bestn's newest book
and worst chief executives. providing insights into the lives of the 44 presidents with notablegathered from historians. explore the events that shaped our leaders, challenges they faced and the legacies they left behind. public affairs, c-span's "the president's" will be on shelves but you can at c-span.org/the presidents or wherever books are sold. ♪ >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this point, president of the group physicians for a national health program and american enterprise institute's scholar discussed recently unveiled medicare for all plans and how it would change the u.s.
health-care system. and washington post editorial board member stephen strongmen climate change and how it will affect a new greendale. watch c-span's "washington live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. join the discussion. >> here are some of our live coverage tuesday. reporting the cdc' nationwide 150 people with measles. the house gaveled into debate including one directing the veterans administration to carry out a pilot program to provide undergraduate students clinical health experience with the v.a. in the morning on c-span2, senator amy klobuchar and former labor secretary robert reisch talk about competition in corporate monopolies in the u.s. continuee returns to
debate on president trump's executive and traditiona -- and judicial nominees. on c-span3, the senate armed services committee reviews the budget request for the defense general setting the european command and the transportation command. in the afternoon, the house rules committee votes -- meats to vote on hr one, the campaign finance and as expelled. the measure is set for house floor debate on wednesday. >> a couple of busy weeks ahead for the house and senate. the house begins work on wednesday on hr one, a bill dealing with voting rights, campaign finance. the chamber is also expect to debate a resolution on anti-semitism in response to about israel and the senate continues work on executivend
nominations with votes expected before friday. senators begin debate next week. the house passed the measure last week in the president has said he will veto the resolution if it reaches his desk. you can follow the house live on to his -- on c-span and the senate on c-span2. >> c-span covered several days of the annual conservative political action conference held outside washington. chairnow, it here is rnc daniel.