tv Conversation with Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Asad Majeed Khan CSPAN June 24, 2019 10:02am-11:31am EDT
with pakistan's relatively new ambassador to the united states, mr. majeed khan. when he arrived in his ambassadorial position here in january, has long and deep experience both in washington working on u.s. issues and at the ministry in islamabad, and most recently serving as ambassador to japan, before coming here. he has an outstanding sense of not only the dynamics with the u.s., but globally, in particular asia security. so we are honored to have you here with us, ambassador. what we're going to do is, i will ask a few questions to get the discussion started, and then, we are going to turn it into another discussion -- turn it into a broader discussion. i have also invited.
the ambassador if at anytime he wants to ask you all a question or me a question about what is going on in this very predictable, rational environment which we live and in washington that we are fair game. everyone should understand that it is meant to be a two-way conversation. ambassador is a diplomat and talented one, so i will mainly focus on foreign policy issues. but as you get started, i suppose i should ask how you are finding the environment in washington now, compared to the years prior when you have served here. i can imagine you are too good at your job to want to answer that in a really interesting way. to begin with, the first question or comment, what are the challenges like inresenting pakistan now
mid-2019? mr. khan: thank you very much, george, first of all. let me thank you and for the carnegie endowment for giving me and opportunity to come share perspectives and positions on issues of interest in washington, d.c. i know the audience here is a very well-informed one, so i am here to say my piece, as i am here to hear the information and perspectives from the audience. a longthink i have association with your beautiful country, not just in washington, i served for over the years --
over six years in new york with our permanent mission thaere. having served as acting washington, d.c.. i think this particular is different from any other capital world, defined by the incumbent of the white house and the whole team that follows when the administration changes. so even if you know the place very well, and you are aware of the process also come at the city is a different city -- of the process also, the city is a different city when it comes to a new administration. despite knowing the city very well, i am trying to find my way around hearing d.c. dust here
in. -- here in d.c. the position is as challenging as it can get, particularly for a pakistani ambassador. i can also say that in our world , being an ambassador to the united states is as good as it can get for any diplomat. i have very honored and i feel very privileged to carry my 's flag in this country which i believe is the center of the world. me focus on south asia. you pretend to think less of other parts of the world, even other parts of the world that have many more people in many more challenges. , innt to turn to pakistan
particular, the underlying fundamental development, which is pakistan is reportedly going to receive another package of mf, for $6om the i million. this is the 13th in the last 30 years of these bailouts. , how doesquestions is the repeated cycles of economic crises and then i am less assisted, how doe do they affect the world's perception of pakistan's importance, and why and how to deal with pakistan? and also, do you have a sense of how this affects the dynamic within pakistan and the sense of thatities within pakistan
there are so often this challenge of economic crisis and turning for help on the balance of payments? mr. khan: i think a lot of attention has been of late given to pakistan's resort to the facility. i think is a member of the have., we are entitled to resort to that facility when we need to. i.m.f. carries out a professional and technical evaluation of the liquidity status of that particular country. and based on that evaluation, decides and determines the size of the package based on the history of the country. we face both
structural and cyclical problems. we face economic challenges. coming to the i.m.f. is not something --, he we have as you pointed out, done that many times in the past. , pakistan hasy never defaulted on its debt payments. our debt to gdp ratio is not better, it is as good as other countries at a similar level of development. therefore, coming to the i.m.f. should not impact or be seen as critically as it is lately projected in some of the foreign media.
as regards the steps that we ind to take, those steps, expanding tax mace, generating that an expanding tax base -- generating an expanding tax base, , expanding our exports and enhancing our competitiveness, these are steps , tough decisions that with the -- tough decisions that the government is determined to take independent of what the ims conditionalities might be eventually, because these are the steps we will require to basically enhance our productivity and competitiveness. to basically be able to export
more, because unless and until we are able to do that i don't think we will be able to have that would prevent us from repeatedly coming back to the i.m.f. the budget and some of the steps the government is taking our reflective of that determination that the government has to make those difficult choices and decisions we need to make. and it is not just the ims, actually. our friends and partners have also contributed to that, rncluding yesterday, the emi of qatar was there also. i think that was a mark of confidence in pakistan's economy . pakistan is no small country, no small economy. this is aeel that owe,l part of what we
and west mayor it would to put our house in order, i think we will be it what to our debt obligations, as you have done 70 years of our existence. george: has the u.s. been waysng conditionality in that the government of pakistan so, are the and if conditions the u.s. is pushing it a different than they would have been in prior years? is there anything you or is it the usual encouragement about expanding the tax base, and so on? -- then: i don't think i.m.f. has its own goals, its own technical teams and missions that go across to the countries, engage with the concerned thele, and agree on elements of the package.
that package then goes to the wear whatever package and have agreed to has been a great of the technical level and it is supposed to go to the vote. -- i't think that i can have had of any specific conditionalities that the united states has particularly pushed for. a personnel -- the i.m.f. are leading the negotiations. george: in a sense, the logic of these questions really focuses on the economy and development, and challenges to pakistan's building its strength and well-being for its population, was the idea as china short over the decades and india has shown
in recent decades, projecting power and influence and protect your interests. ,he financial action task force for those who don't follow it, is an international body that sets standards and for promotes implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, financing of terrorist activities and organizations, and protecting the integrity of the global financial system. this body, i believe 27 countries, was meeting in .rlando, florida last week there was also a campaign event there but i do think they were related, last week, it just occurred to me. [laughter] pakistan was placed on the grey list, and the
risk is going on the blacklist, which you are put on for failure to take recommended steps to prevent money laundering and facilitation of terrorism. the media reported last week in a meeting in orlando, mac pakistan was not put on the thatlist -- in orlando pakistan was not on the blacklist. turkey and malaysia voted to prevent that, and three of the 27 required to prevent that. what i am interested in, last week, right before the meeting or during the meeting, there were media reports that pakistanis security entities had shut down some terrorist training camps or military training camps in the pakistani part of kashmir and taken other steps are just some of tha the
designated groups. well that was welcomed by a lot of people, some assumed that was part of heading off the action to put pakistan on the blacklist. is, that a question lot of people are curious about, have you been instructed that these actions have been taken, so that there were new and decisive actions taken against his groups in the recent days? mr. khan: first of all, let me the organizations ,rocess is in the action plan that pakistan willingly and voluntarily signed on to. it is a program that is a
working program. it is a tough set of conditions with a rather short timeline. but the actions that we are taking against, that is one part. then, there is this broad movement against extremist groups, against nonstate actors, , or is anyone who is space to abuse pakistan's , facilities, or territory , that areyone determined to act against all those elements.
this is part of our national action plan. if you look at those 20 points plan,d in the action taking action against terrorism financing is an important part of that, and against militant organizations. covered athat we have lot of ground. months,r the last few we have actually seized assets entities.700 we have taken over the facilities run by some of those prescribed entities. the government has. ribed about i 11 new entities.
also, just in terms of the terrorist financing cases, the percentage has gone up by almost 95%. similarly, there is 175% in the arrests made to that. 82%here is also an almost rise in conviction rates. so really, i think all of this is reflective of the political will that the new government in pakistan has to take on these challenges frontally. we are also as part of the political will, putting in place the infrastructure and legal and there is also this determination to see it through in terms of vigorously
implementing those. messagethis is a broad that i would really like to share with you and through you, with your audience, that, there is a new pakistan. a pakistan where -- where the leadership is determined to make a difference in the lives of the common man. this is a government with a people-centered, development-focused and peace -oriented agenda. there is a c -- clear recognition that without yout, e government will not be able to implement and execute his , it will not
be ever to enable our people to realize that aspiration the red folks in pakistan want good jobs, better health, better education for their kids as well as the united states, your country, do. that is a new approach. i think if you look at the security situation today in pakistan, we have the lowest number of terrorist incidents in the last 12 years. last year with the lowest. we hope to actually take that further down this year. this is really reflective of the ground we have covered, and it also reflects the determination that we have been taking this fight to its logical conclusion. effort that wet are making, we are not making it because we are obligated to do it under threat, we are doing it because it is part of our national action plan. we feel that what is really
important, you alluded to the media. it is unfortunate that most of those media reports come from india. , and i think that is where we need to be careful, let anyoneshould not owntry basically pursue its medical agenda vis-a-vis pakistan -- its own political agenda vis-a-vis pakistan this way. we feel we have done a lot. we are clear and determined to do more, but we would not want the jury to be rigged. there are already predetermined positions, in the statements issued by the indian minister for finance, the statements issued by other leaders,
particularly calling for the blacklisting of pakistan. ironically, india is also the cochair of the apg. so you put yourself in , whattion, and you ask us should our confidence level be of thes of the fairness jury sitting in judgment on our performance. said that, we are taking it seriously and we are determined to take it to the logical conclusion. george: the good news is i think china becomes the chair after india, so a few more months, you can breathe easier. [laughter] i wanted to talk about what you said which was extremely important. know, the people who followed developments in pakistan and the region over the years will remember president will sheriff said the same -- rraf said mucha
of the same in 2002, and other civilian leaders have emphasized the importance of peace within the country and fighting terrorism within the country as well as those groups who project violence outward. and yet, things get happening. so the question people ask is what about the military? is the military on board? do they support these groups, including the isi? i want to ask about it? or did by the media, which i think was true, about a change in the leadership of the sis last week,- the isi which came about during the meeting in orlando. i understand that incumbent general had only been in office for eight months, so it is somewhat unusual.
some people are saying that this is an example or suggest the way in which the army leadership really does want to press hard on these groups, and this was the reasons you made the change. i don't want you to commit political suicide by jumping of personnelsues within the military, but people in pakistan take this as another example that the government about this serious time going after these groups. mr. khan: first of all, i think eight months should not be used as a major or yardstick, i think the term of office for some of the senior officials in the united states has been even shorter. [laughter] yes.e: mr. khan: and i would really --
don't read too much into that. thatn, these are changes whateverdepending on the realities on the ground are. it is for you to see what follows. it is about walking the talk and about doing things. verbal commitments, assurances, obviously, if one were to go by the description that we keep hearing here about the influence that the military has in pakistan than whatever actions we have taken over the past few years, obviously would not have happened without the active
support of the military in pakistan. it in i were to look at logical terms, really, whatever is happening is happening with the active support of the military leadership. and i can say this, you know, i think that national action plan and this consensus that we have in pakistan -- because it has suffered more than anyone else. we have borne the brunt and face the consequences, and therefore, there is recognition that there are actions. of course, there are situations and there are occasions where some of these actions are, insurmountable because of the legal constraints .
our intelligence forces may not be worth anything when brought before the court of law and is subjected to judicial scrutiny. so these are the challenges and things we are trying to beware of, it is a tall order. but you can have my assurance, and i think what is happening on the ground further confirms the ownership of all policies by all the stakeholders in my. george: i have just two more questions again, foreign policy that will open it up. is next one i am thinking of pakistan-indian relations. last week was a busy week, it seems, because last week, i believe prime minister modi and 's sent lettersr
to your prime minister, imran khan, responded to earlier them andcongratulating opening dialogue. thesee reports held that letters back were perspective. has andthat pakistan generally seeks dialogue, and went india to reconstitute dialogue when it is cut. what does pakistan want from whether itth india, be through the foreign ?inistries, or back channels what would be pakistan's central ambition or objective in dialogue with india? there hasi think vacuum in as big a
terms of conversation and dialogue with india as we have now. powers.wo nuclear india is the second largest country in the world, dr the fifth or sixth largest country -- we are the fifth or sixth largest country in the world. both of us have a huge military machine. thatnk it is only natural ,ur two countries stay engaged and there are conflicts. there are disputes between our two countries, that the new government, and i will come back to what i said earlier, i think there is a consistent backing that you see in terms of our desire and our quest for peace with india. trust me, don't take it in any way as a sign of weakness.
but it is borne out of this recognition that these two countries whose people and populations have their aspirations, have tremendous potential. and prime ministers, even before taking oath as prime minister have said, that addressing prime minister modi, we don't need to fight. there are lots of people out there that are living below the poverty line. and obviously, we would want to resolve issues. --kasmir hasbeen been the core issue that has bedeviled relations between our two countries. india believes. terrorism is another issue that we need to end and that is what our prime minister, the leadership, the national
security committee in our statements have had we want to abolish. and if you look at the train of thats, despite the fact prime minister modi ran the which was in some parts directed at pakistan, our prime minister was on the first foreign leaders to congratulate him. it was followed by a letter. course,d we have of media has been speculating all kinds of things. and i think the foreign minister of affairs has actually -- these congress to attorney messages take place bet. not hearing back from india is a
response to the jesters we are making. i think that is the vacuum. in a country of the size that would have, and the challenges aat we face, i think this is -- we'd like india to respond to those jesters and to take dialogue forward. george: last question. i wantnitial questions, to turn to afghanistan, where pakistan has obviously borne the so much of the conflict for the last 40 years in afghanistan. envoyazad has been pushing for peace talks with the taliban. he says one of the central questions is whether and how pakistan can help.
for a long time, there has been a view that pakistan can fix it if they really wanted to. people who know the situation always doubted that it is that isy, but nonetheless, there a biting question about whether or how pakistan is prepared to facilitate, push towards a peaceful resolution or otherwise. i know that you can't speak for the taliban, but on the basis of pakistan's long-term interactions with the taliban, do you have a sense of what kind of settlement taliban leaders are looking for within afghanistan? in other words, if there are talks, what is it the taliban are seeking as a way to move forward, and internal modus vivendi? and what can pakistan and others do to help bring that about?
mr. khan: first of all, i think consistently that there is no military solution to the conflict in pakistan. said, a very just issue.ated that has a long history, unfortunately. there are at least three generations in afghanistan who have not seen anything but conflict and war. now, in terms of what the taliban want, i would say perhapsassador azad is better informed than i am or many folks in pakistan by virtue of the six or seven rounds of
conversations that he has had. but i can tell you that we have made a serious and sincere facilitating, in whatever way we can, the peace process and the reconfiguration process. process reconfiguration -- the reconciliation process. we also believe that it is a where responsibility other countries in the region and players also need to contribute. we also believe violence is something that our prime minister -- we have been saying this rapidly and we have already made it very clear statement condemning violence by the
, the spring offensive, on all sides, to engage in dialogue. we also believe that without there being a comprehensive intra-afghan dialogue, we will not have sustainable peace in afghanistan. that is why only yesterday can quite a, we hosted large number of afghan leaders. the foreign minister's statement, i invite you to look at the statement. it really comprehensively lays out what our expectations are. obviously, the gains that afghanistan has made over the last 20 years, i think need to be preserved based on the human
rights front, based on the -- be it on the human rights front, and the democracy front. there are those elements that they are looking at. we will continue, and we have made it clear that we will not let anyone is our territory, and we expect that no one else would use the afghan territory august pakistan -- against pakistan. we would not want to physically bring the afghan war into pakistan. these other broad principles we are looking at, and we are adhering to. if you had asked me about the peace process eight months ago, guest thater have there would be a day where u.s. and probabl taliban would spend6 days in a room talking about
this. someone said the other day that, azad.k ambassador praised pakistan and i said that if he is praising pakistan for our cooperation, then we must have earned it. george: i think you are right, this is an of those examples were a republican administration can do things that other organizations can't, solve taliban.with the i just want to follow up that without mentioning india, you alluded to the importance of other countries not in a sense using afghanistan to project violence into pakistan. the future of afghanistan, is that something where you think india and pakistan can have productive engagement, if you get the diplomatic process rolling again? mr. khan: again, what is really
important is for the world to be who,of spoilers, spoilers in a country, you have seen conflict for too long, you have that --king groups around conflicts and they are the ones who lose their that conflict is over. then there are those who perhaps benefit indirectly from the conflict. so it is important that all these factors are, and all those who are part of those conversations are aware of that and mindful of that. i don't think there should be any private exclusion from the process, and whosoever is in it seriously,ith and
needs to be given the opportunity to contribute. george: what we're going to do you whogoing to ask would like to ask a question to raise your hand, and i will call on you, then, when my colleagues in you the microphone, please introduce yourselves. let's start, let me see hands to start with, ok. why don't you start with this gentleman then we will go over there. we will do it this way. >> ambassador, it was great listening to you. i am a visiting fellow and i teach international relations in india. after eventsan, have been like the mumbai attack there areb attack, often these web of allegations and pakistan, always provide a
dossier, and then, what happens after that? it is always stuck after that. it doesn't anticipate the kind that pakistan gives? where do you think a problem lies in these series of incidents that happened after every unfortunate incident? thank you. mr. khan: to be able to address questionit is a fair an important question -- i think for that we are saying that it is very important for our two countries to sit across the table. we even offer to have a dialogue on terrorism only. india that we are you provide
intelligence, you provide evidence, we are going to work with you in following up and to track and trace those who may have been responsible. but unfortunately, the government wanted to make a political point, and instead, they chose to send their aircraft across pakistan. when i speak to you today here, i also have the advantage of heinz right -- advantage of hindsight. look at those claims, 300 f-16rists killed, one down. and these are not what we say, these are media reports that day that none of this was true. i think in the dossier that india shared, we examined that, we have given our considered views back to india. we have yet to hear back from them. at theai also, look
train of events and the sequence of events, and where things got stuck. because, as an attorney, i can tell you that i can't prevent any -- i cannot present any evidence which the defense does not have the right to cross examine. it will not be admissible as evidence in a court of law. and for this precise plea, where ,ou actually had confessions our citizens were killed there. india and lives are precious lives, and we must hold people to account for whenever those lives are lost. the same argument was used.
-- was used in the trial. we were not able to get the evidence. that terrorist was executed right away. had he been made basically to appear before the judicial tribunal and pakistan, it would have enabled our people in our defense, and everybody else to cross examine and crosscheck the evidence available. you are right, it is my statement versus someone else's statement and we are in this vicious cycle of throwing back -- the ball is in our court, the ball is in their court, and it keeps going back and forth. i think in prime minister imran khan there is somebody who is consistent, even before he took over. you said, the military was not on board. they are definitely on board now. what is stopping india from reciprocating the initiatives
that pakistan is consistently taking? we have practically did it unilaterally. terrorismffered from and we understand the pain of those who suffer from terrorism anywhere, and we are ready to sit and address those challenges. george: the gentle man in the orange shirt or coral, what is that? >> salmon. george: there you go. mr. khan: i love salmon. >> thank you very much for your time. i am a student who just doing my, and studies, i was looking at china, south asian international affairs. i am interested in your opinion, is -- pakistan has a large and want of investment and input from china, when we are talking about china taking over.
i was interested to know how you think that will influence potential pakistani-indian relationships as we go ahead, and china, or over kashmir, the belt and road, and where things will go into next few months and years. mr. khan: i can tell you pakistan's trade and relationship with china, is much more smaller than india's trade and relationship with china is. the investments you are alluding startednvestments that since 2014. grateful and thankful because china came to us and no one else was looking at us. the total look at portfolio of investments in pakistan, it is just part of
several of many other investments coming from other countries. open not, pakistan is just to chinese, we are open to investments from all other friendly countries. and some of these economic zones are there and they are open for countries to invest. --on't know how -- frankly in the hold today -- in the that today, this notion dates back to the cold war days, where you would only trade with your allies and partners, and that you would not trade with your competitors is no longer true. countries are trading with their so-called allies as they are
with their competitors, and even adversaries. look at some of the biggest trading relationships in the world today, some of the biggest investment relationships in the world today. really, i think pakistan is fortunate to receive investments from china, but that does not mean that we are close to others -- closed to others. we would welcome that. decideneeds to basically their sovereign options of having relationships with other countries based on what they are doing with the other countries. we are not -- usually, these are not mutually exclusive relationships. i want to push that further in terms of our relationship with the united states also. --would not have a pakistan for us, our relationship it with a united states is a very important and consequential relationship.
it is much older. we don't want this to be seen through the afghani prison or the indian prism -- the afghan prism.or the indian even when we were the most allied of allies with the united states, we were still friends with china. so i don't think it needs to be seen that way. that india and other countries should actually look at that. george: i am glad you asked the question. it is a point that really needs asbe emphasized especially politics and discourse in u.s. folks is more on competition with china. people mention belt and road is an example. what the ambassador was saying is what people in many of the countries where china is investing and doing the belt and road, which it, we would people
to be investing in our infrastructure too, and we would actually like to diversify. and more is better. it is not like people are willingly leaving themselves to chinese investment. we tend to lose that perspective here because investment doesn't flow from government as directly, but just to emphasize the importance of what the ambassador was saying. i want to switch sides. right in front of you, we will take a couple, then we will move to the front. >> thank you. such a wonderful program. my name is sufi. how will pakistan managed political and economic crises? thank you.
mr. khan: so far as i understand, he is listed under 1267. and pakistan is fulfilling all its legal obligations and are the u.n. sanctions regime, which does not involve handing over anyone to anybody. about the economic challenges, as i have just responded to about thelier cyclical and structural aspects of the challenges that we face and how the government is inermined to deal with those terms of putting our house in order. george: we are going to move up year. >> thank you. about theis diplomatic relations between pakistan and the united states,
the cessation of security aid -- i wanted to ask about travel restrictions for pakistani diplomats. pakistani diplomats including you are facing travel restrictions, and you cannot travel more than 25 miles. is it still active, that travel restriction? secondly, pakistan is a free media society. i myself have been working for a media channel for several years. can you tell us the reason for suspending -- media services in pakistan? thank you. mr. khan: what was the first question [laughter] visas?ted 25 miles, these are ongoing conversations that we have with .he u.s. government there are issues on both sides that we are trying to resolve in
terms of dealing with this 25 mile limit that we have on the movement of diplomats. we hope to resolve this and some of the other issues you alluded to in terms of our diplomatic engagement. ce of america, -- on the voice of america, i would not like to comment on something i am not aware of in terms of the restrictions, but i can tell , being the correspondant here, i think you know it better than many in this room in terms freedoms our media has in pakistan. the channels, the range of
criticismhe extent of . in the government as civil servants and bureaucrats, we experience that on a daily basis. i think sometimes when i hear about the challenges with regard to the media, i say this, that you compare the freedoms that we have and some of the most important stories that are normally broken in pakistan are basically broken by pakistani media. there are no bounds in terms of the extent to which these subjects can be covered on the national network. , theylk shows over there
would beat some of the most exciting channels here in the united states. george: here in the second row. george. you, thank you, ambassador. i am a visiting fellow from pakistan. my question is, notwithstanding the risk associated with outsourcing crisis management to a third-party, india and pakistan have largely been dependent on a third-party intervention to resolve bilateral conflicts, since 2001, and the recent one. traditionally, the united states had been that third-party. how do you see that role has evolved, particularly in the post-obama, how the u.s. role has been different from before. and are there new contenders for a third-party, which was visible in the recent crisis? i ask this question considering
the relatively lesser interest of the current u.s. administration in event happening in south asia. mr. khan: that is an interesting question. all, we aret of looking forward to a day where india and pakistan don't really have to depend on a third-party for crisis management. of thes the whole spirit know, butyou unfortunately, we had crises, one after the other. there are locations, and there have been several, where our friends and partners had to intervened. because those conversation tracks failed to deliver. that is precisely what we want to do, what we are trying to do,
approaches the government of pakistan has made and the prime minister is making are basically consistent with the desire to be a witness said face-to-face across the table and it was to address all the challenges we face. you are also right that depending on each view --rations point of world-view, depending on each president's preferences, and depending on the broader regional dynamic, the size, scale and level of u.s. involvement has varied. for instance, during president clinton's time or president senior bush's time, it was different. but i can tell you that even ine crisis, u.s. played an important role in defusing the situation.
what is really important is for the international and consequential powers and the consequential power like the united states to maintain that objectivity and neutrality in terms of assessing and evaluating the situation on the ground. do things that would be elsewherein india or as endorsement of the choices they are making. anarly, sometimes you have ability to speak on the right to remain silent. when you do not speak, it is construed as an endorsement. some earlier statements did give , or at least the
indian media gave that span even if the u.s. government and state did not do that. situations where the international community must come out and say clearly so there's no confusion and no one construes it as an endorsement or call for escalation. where there is more that united states and other countries should do. here.: this lady back i used to be with the state department. i'm interested in two questions. can you give insight into what in theening with sharif
future with their current situation? haveecond situation is you insight into how the government is going to approach h --riating afghanistan afghanistan assets? mr. khan: on the first one, i do not know. i wish i had a crystal ball to tell you what will happen. george: for those who do not opera,pakistani soap basically you are asking about the legal moves against both former civilian leaders? mr. khan: i know. george: i am telling the rest of the people, including those out on television. matters thatse are .e will let the court decide
i really do not have anything to speculate on that. -- i would say rather than repatriating, i would say co-opting our diaspora. another national vellum and effort. i think that is something that -- development effort. i think that is something that is a high priority with the prime minister of pakistan. ishink this government unique in terms of its popularity and its acceptability with the pakistani. a prime minister himself is very keen to involve them, to co-opt them in our national develop and effort. we are looking at various ways. in this country particular, i can tell you that we have a very
vibrant pakistani-american community here, close to a million. many of them are professionals, doctors. .round 20,000 doctors there are i.t. specialists and others. people who have had productive lives and are now willing to go back and contribute occasionally. those are the people that we would like to engage. american, pakistani diaspora is looking at investment possibilities in pakistan. with thel you that , with theecurity -- sinceergy supply you track pakistan, you will know the kind of outages we used to suffered.
that prepares or has prepared pakistan to go to the next level of industrialization. the economic zones we are building in pakistan would welcome investment from ,verseas pakistanis particularly from the united states. and i'm happy to share with you like exxon mobil, hop, have come to pakistan. another important step the government has taken is to focus on tourism. as i was saying, for instance, travel advisory -- the reality on the ground has changed. support myand i can statement by presenting to you empirical data showing that
islamabad is the favorite city in the wider neighborhood. those provisions of the travel advisory that would enable people from overseas. isreally need -- the problem that people either do not know about pakistan. i go to meet, when some businessmen and i tell them we have the third or fourth orgest -- we are the fifth sixth largest country in the world with a huge middle-class, they look at me with her eyes and mouth open. they know only the bad things about pakistan. that information deficit needs to be plugged. for that, what we are doing is we are focusing on promoting tourism. we have policies so a u.s. citizen, not pakistani american, all u.s. citizens can apply for
up to a five-year visa. can get a 30men day visa. we have about 57 countries that are now part of the visa on arrival system. all countries are now part of system. we want to promote religious tourism, which is a reflection of the greater religious tolerance that we want to project and promote in pakistan, including the celebrations for the 550th birth anniversary. --se are the ways in which is education, investment. it is bringing professionals who can basically contribute to leading universities. universities have english as a medium of instruction.
people are surprised when i tell them that. we have property rights. really do not know about these things. these are the ways in which we will want to promote better awareness about the possibilities and opportunities in pakistan. let's come to this gentleman here and we will work our way back. >> hello. with the russian news agency. russia has signed memorandums of understanding with iran and pakistan about possible construction of natural gas pipeline from iran to india through pakistan. i imagine such a pipeline would raise a double red flag in washington, being a russian and uranian project at the same time
-- iranian project at the same time. not all regions of the world are concerned about any russian pipeline project. are openlyhey advocating canceling such projects and threatened sanctions. has this issue come up in your conversations in washington with your american colleagues? if so, what are you hearing from them? mr. khan: it has not come in our conversations yet. i wrote about this 15 years ago. i thought it was a great idea. , thisgo to the back gentleman with a green shirt that is very energetic in the back. i am a visiting fellow. thank you for an excellent talk. pakistan --bout
while conducting ties with other -- while conducting ties with other countries. this brings us to the point of -americanakistani -- -- as be de-aided great deal focus on resetting relations in a manner which allows both countries to have mutual respect for each other. also his vision of economic -- you touched on during one of your answers. my main question is -- we have often times seen the u.s. messing with things that are not with theke we saw tactical nuclear weapons or this question about why did we change our commander. that is an internal matter.
d.c. -- areou hold we threatening toward some kind of recess where this mutual respect and noninterference in some matters which pertain to pakistan or the u.s. -- are we going towards such a relationship where both governments can actually develop cordial,rneal and -- investment friendly relationship the ones we have normally had our relationship and? mr. khan: that is where we want to be. think i see good tidings. important convergence -- obviously i have spent a lot of time in the city. i am aware of the deep
skepticism in several quarters about things we do or we don't. at the same time, i think the where the president of united states wants to see peace in afghanistan. we have a prime minister who has ofn a long-standing advocate peace. it is important to start by things where you do have that convergence. i think the other area where we -- a lot of potential although unfortunately a terrorist incident takes place or a soldier gets killed -- it gets a lot of media attention and coverage.
when a major u.s. company goes to pakistan, it does not really get the kind of attention in the news. it does not sell that well. , what that contributes to the relationship is much more than the challenges we face. -- while peaceis has been an important part of this relationship, we really need to move out and look at all business and investment. there are tremendous possibilities and opportunities. wemay look small because happen to be between china and india, but we are a significant country. there are tremendous possibilities and opportunities. with the strategic location we have.
i say this to the american government. a family with of any influence in pakistan that does not have at least one blood relation as a u.s. citizen. every other or third civil servant in pakistan is either educated or trained in this country. every third or fourth military men and pakistan is either educated or trained in this country. english is -- we are a democracy. there are values. there are systems. there are laws. you walk into any office in pakistan, you're likely to come across someone with whom you will be able to communicate. --ay that the value of this someone who served in a country, where they do not begin glitch,
-- speak english, you know the blessing of speaking english and to be able to communicate. , i would the natural say, anchors that we have. there is skepticism, but i think what unites us is much more than what divides us. there is this will and determination because we think that this is an important and consequential relationship. we want to get to that point. in most interested relations, i mutual benefite and mutual respect. that is where we want to go. we will come up this way. you can change your mind. i am a journalist.
international security experts here -- concerned about the isis movement shifting from syria and iraq to afghanistan. they fear that in the future isis will be a great threat to south asia, not only afghanistan , but pakistan as well. how concerned or prepared is the new pakistan, the new government in pakistan, to the challenge of isis? think that is everyone that makes join hands in terms of trying to these bases, wherever
they are, and particularly in afghanistan. the ideology that isis has and the narrative that thathave, i have a feeling there narrative resonates more in places and in countries where muslims are a minority and there perception of their persecution. in countries like pakistan, there is very limited scope for them to basically find a toehold narrative that they are building and projecting will not hold any ground. spaces that those
might exist that will give them the option of setting up their shops. that is one reason why everyone in the region is keen to see peace return in afghanistan. the fatfur side of integration into mainstream pakistan is a historic step. that is designed to bring all our citizens into the mainstream , into the economic mainstream, into the legal mainstream, into the political mainstream. in terms of the movement also. -- it is as already divisive issue in the city, but we have built a 1000 kilometer fence on our border. toare determined to take it
-- basically to complete it. the idea is to address our concerns of movement from the other side and the concerns that perhaps there are elements from our side. we would like -- border management will be a challenge and we would like to deal with then alsotively and help afghanistan achieve peace. once they have peace, that will also help them take care of those spaces and places where there may be. some of they, recent attacks that we have, had in pakistan, would be basically traced back to some of those elements spread around the border around pakistan and afghanistan.
>> i am also a visiting fellow. i have a question on your end. what is -- on iran. betweenislamabad's view the ongoing tensions between the u.s. and iran? how will islamabad approach the issue considering its balancing of saudi and iran ties? it seems like a foreign policy issue for pakistan. what is your take on that? mr. khan: i do not think that is an issue. our prime minister was in tehran. therefore in minister -- there foreign minister was in pakistan. we've always had good ties with iran as our immediate neighbor. like most of the countries in the region, we have concerns with any possible escalation. we have been urging all
and dissolvefind the issues within the framework of international law and through dialogue. we are concerned and we would like to see it resolved sooner than later. we have our hands full already on at least two fronts, eastern border and western border. that is another one area where we would like to see peace continue. >> from partnership for secure america. since partition, there has been tensions between hinduism in the region. of self-proclaimed internationalists, how does the pakistan approach to dealing pgp changes of the they have become increasingly
hindu-nationalist and there has been more and more conflict between hindus and muslims in the region? mr. khan: it is not for me to or thebout how india chases --india -- the the choices that they make in the political ideology or leaders that they elect. it is really for the indian people. that india is a huge country. it is a diverse country. to frame it in any createsar way, that
distress that will be felt by those who are not part of that framework, whatever framework is being pushed. we -- i can say fromwe are coming back that point where we are determined to create or deal with extremism. we are taking measures to deal with fundamentalism and we are andng to go back to accepting society and enriching society that we were, the society that i grew up in. these divisions will create consequences, for us and consequences. for us in pakistan, sometimes the consequence is sometimes extremism across the border
invites oxygen to our own extremists also. that is where our concern would be. i think it is for the people of india to make those choices. i am sure they will make those choices in a democratic way. george: yes, sir. hold on one second. thank you for the opportunity. pakistan american congress. this organization has been working for 20 plus years for a good relationship between the u.s. and pakistan. having said that, i would like to ask the abbasid or -- what are the latest -- ambassador -- what are the latest moves or plans to increase u.s. companies improve their investments in pakistan? of then: this is one
highest priority is that i have as ambassador, frankly. to other states , to other cities, informing people. as i said, what i have now realized is that there is a clear lack of awareness on information, on possibilities and opportunities in pakistan. so far, i have seen a lot of response. there is a delegation going to pakistan next month. we will also be working on organizing the business opportunities. in september, we are organizing summit in the silicon
valley with the support and cooperation of some u.s. companies and some leading pakistani companies active in silicon valley. onere also planning to do in washington, d.c. to sensitize people about the possibilities in pakistan. obviously, this is just one part of what we can do. groundl action is on the , where the prime minister has personally committed to steer and oversee the ease of doing improving the ease of ,oing business in pakistan enhancing pakistan's competitiveness. we have already gone up by about 20 notches. we are determined to improve.
from 47, the government has brought them down to 16. if you wish to register a company in pakistan, you can do it in one day. these are the things that would make it easier for people to go and see for themselves. i say this again. one of the most effective ways of debunking those myths about -- ourn -- and it is biggest is the generosity of our people. this notion of people hating americans is nonsense. you can only feel that once you go there and you experience the country and you meet the people and the kind of welcome you will get. -- one of the reasons why we are emphasizing tourism is that helps us open that window. , it was a tourism
destination before it became an investment destination. we would like the u.s. franchises to come also. everything else is there. that is what and how i propose to move. i will need the support of particularly the pakistani americans who are well-placed and resourceful. iorge: on that hopeful note, want to conclude and i want to thank all of you for coming and i want to ask you to join me in thinking ambassador khan. -- thinking ambassador khan. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> you did good. >> i survived. >> both the house and senate meet at 3:00 eastern today for legislative work. the house will consider veterans' affairs issues, including expanding g.i. education coverage. work continues on the $383 billion spending package for seven federal departments in related agencies, including the 2020 census and highway funds for next year. the senate will work on programs and policy for the defense department, including weapons programs, military pay raises, and pentagon policy. watch the senate live on c-span2 and the house live here on c-span. >> in 1979, a small network was
an original name -- an unusual name with a big idea. let users -- c-span opened the doors for all to see, bringing you unfiltered content from congress and beyond. a lot has changed in 40 years. today, that big idea is more relevant than ever. on television and online, c-span is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. brought to you as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. susan: c-span's "newsmaker" this week is representative mike rogers, republican of alabama, a ranking member, the seniormost republican on the homeland security committee and a senior member of the house armed services committee, which puts him at the nexus of many big issues we are talking about this week. his district is home to fort benning, anniston army depot and maxwell gunter air force base. we are going to start with military related issues, congressman, let me turn you over to our two reporters: scott wong of "the hil