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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  November 16, 2010 11:00pm-2:00am EST

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that often now. i think there are some fundamental problems. so you know, we are trying to do what i'm trying to say. we are struggling with how to do that, you know, in the committee and the committee staff have any suggestions, we'd love to hear from you. come back ..
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the economy. and if the economy gets worse for reasons not directly related to this sovereign debt crisis etc. than the foreclosure problem we face today, the bottom keeps slipping down, down, down and this problem becomes. >> and we feel all that pressure, by the way. >> i know you do. and again, there won't be recommendations if there is agreement there will be agreement but we will go forward from there. >> let me ask mr. desoer and also mr. lowman, implicit in -- i don't want to put words in your mouth -- there could be significant losses here, and the question really is our efforts being made to minimize losses
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which frankly if i was a business person that might be my first goal for the shareholders or effectively deal with these modifications to follow the guidelines, etc., and i suspect in reality there's probably a constant concept to that, but i just want to give you an opportunity to comment on this whole discussion we've had. >> thank you for the opportunity. there is not conflict in our company. in the dollar, in the resource, and the capability that is needed, our business has the support of that. there's nothing more important to the recovery of bank of america's brand to doing this right, listening to people like ms. thompson, understanding the senator's individual situations dedicating people, training people to do it. we have moved people as a general miller indicated we have had to build a brand new
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capability. people process technology to deliver it. we have moved as many resources, experience the underwriters, others who have experience into the servicing space to build that. we've made progress but there is no question there is great inconsistency that we are dedicated to eliminating but it is not a constraint. it's not that someone is saying no that will mean a lack of profit for the company, the most important issue in the company and no constraint on dollars that we will but against it. >> mr. lowman. >> we've sustained billions of dollars of losses in this whole crisis as a banker, and i believe our interests are in fact aligned with other investors. the fact is the best outcome is to keep a person in their home and to keep them paying, and we are all wet vintaged by doing that. we don't have anything to gain
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by having someone go into foreclosure. so i would just echo barbara's comments. our interests are aligned and we are doing everything we can. spanish is the final point this echoes one of the recommendations miss thompson has made on the legislation i had which is basically two require a hint the standing the full attempt to modify would be made prior to any foreclosure that would be enacted that might require negotiating your agreements with services and the trust. i don't know, but is that something you'd consider as a policy initiative in the banks when it is made of it believed -- immediately? >> that is as we described in the hamp plan today. we have to offer a modification
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to the foreclosure process. so as time goes on, it will have to have happened before for closure. >> any comments? >> as i said earlier, first of all, senator reid, thank you for your work on supporting. we greatly appreciate it, and your bill is a very if enacted would be a very important step forward. as i said in response to mr. bennett's earlier, what mr. lowman just said is over time we will see that a mod will be offered, and the problem is over time means that there are going to be tens and hundreds and perhaps millions of foreclosure that occur until you get to that point where loan modification is offered before for closure, and over time if you're waiting for over time you're going to see millions of dollars of fees piled on to
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homeowners accounts which makes the modification much more difficult. >> final word. the chairman has been very, very gracious but i think it's important just to remember that hamp -- the modification only place to hamp and only about one of six loans that is currently 60 plus days delinquent is hamp eligibles we have a problem of hamp being a program that has had to back narrow a focus and that really doesn't solve the problem. >> thanks, mr. chairman. >> attorney general miller, the outset of my opening comments i talked about the importance of getting this financial stability council that we've established in the financial reform bill to anticipate systemic risk and collectively work as a body chaired by the secretary of the treasury along with the fdic, the occ, there are ten members
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of that, independent member and five others that are part of it. this seems a classics and we didn't anticipate and we drafted the legislation but exactly we are in crisis with this. we can argue it's not a systemic crisis that we saw an 08, but we are in the middle of the crisis. the idea of course was to minimize the crisis so we don't go into the larger systemic crisis. have you had any contact with secretary of the treasury is there any communication going on with the attorney general's and of the chairman, the treasury, the office to begin to talk about the will of the federal government might be in formulating an answer to all of this? >> we haven't had any contact with the council. we have the repeated contact with the department of treasury, with the assistant secretary, michael barr, and his staff. we've developed a terrific ongoing relationship with them and talk about these issues and try and help and support each other on these issues.
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as we've had a lot of discussions with treasury but not that particular. >> it seems senator warner and others -- senator merkley has a similar thought. i'm going to use this and obviously a public setting to urge the secretary of the treasure and others to convene that council, to begin to work with you and others so that there is a role to examine this question in seeking broad solutions to this question so my hope is they will hear this request to pick up that obligation that we have laid out in that legislation. i want to ask if i can also as well both you, ms. desoer and mr. lowman, to respond, if you could, to the suggestions that ms. thompson made regarding the three raised and anyone else can jump in on this but i would like to get your response and he argues the elimination of the to track system we just discussed
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and as pointed out, only one in six, and again having been involved in the crafting of him, we are trying to put together a bill in this committee that was awkward and trying to get a majority getting 60 votes and doing the best we can to have some answer to all of this at the time and if i could have written their loan to a difficult minefield politically here in the institution, but i want to get your response to the elimination of the two truck system. forget whether hamp requires it what is in your interest or would like to see happen in all of this regarding the homeowners are fully evaluated for the loan modification before the foreclosures. second, she proposes failure to offer loan modification was such a modification is net present positive another was the modification has a better return for investors than foreclosure allowed to be used as a defense against foreclosure and third the principal reduction should be mandatory under hamp and i've been advocating that for almost
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four years principal reduction would really address this issue directly. but i would like to get -- mr. lowman i would like to add with you commenced of going first we will have you go first. give me your answer to these three. are you in favor of them or not and why? >> first with respect to the to track system, as i mentioned the hamp program already requires -- >> forget for a second. would you be willing to accept what is argued? >> i think we have to be careful with that and i just believe that we have now a process inside of our company wherever redefault's vara were gets linked up with a single person and a single accountability. >> how you what is the point he made earlier. if you're going for -- to have a foreclosure and all of these costs are mounting of it seems you are working against yourself if you're trying to get a modification. wouldn't you be advised to get a modification?
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>> right, so that's currently -- >> but you are doing both at the same time to use the mcalister the modification process much sooner than the borrower is referred to foreclosure. ressa the modification process with the first talk -- >> so you reject that. tell me about number two. >> to make sure i understand number two can you repeat it? >> correctly if i misspoke, she points out that the modification is better in turn for investors in foreclosure to be allowed to use that as a defense against foreclosure. schenectady the way the process works is we run the net present fell you models to determine whether or not we should for -- foreclose and whether it is in the best interest to modify we offer a modification. >> if there is a net present dalia that makes it more
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valuable than foreclosure that proves not to be the result -- >> if we should modify the london and should be modified. >> what about the principal reduction, mandatory? >> principal reduction, first of all, we are participating in the hamp principal reduction that was recently rolled out. all of our analysis indicates that what is most important is that the borrowers have affordable mortgage payments and we've got lots of experience having done many modifications. and we do that by reducing the interest rate, by extending the term, and by deferring principles where necessary with no interest attached to that. we as a servicer have a duty to our investors to minimize office and principal forgiveness potentially increased losses, it then lastly i think if we want to rebuild the u.s. mortgage
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market and continue to have investors and banks have confidence in the market, we need to ensure that the collateral values are there. >> and a stand that, but going back i recall four years ago making the case there was a study done in the square block of chicago. one study immediately caused the lowering the value of every other property on that block immediately by 5%. you end up with two or three foreclosures on a city block and to get a larger obviously impact. why wasn't it make more sense to go directly of the principal issue which makes it greater possibility that homeowners be able to afford that mortgage and then avoid the kind of cascading effect we see in the standards which is obviously you can't work to your interest. >> we are able to achieve affordability with the tools that we have today which includes the deferment of principle. so you get to the same and state. >> i wish that were the case. ms. desoer, how about responding
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to those three points. >> as i discussed we are very open to discussing changes for the existing pipeline that is going through the track. i agree with mr. lowman that with everything we've done, hopefully nobody is eligible for a modification dates to the start of a foreclosure, but we can't -- we know we've got a pipeline to work through so we are minimal to that. on the -- on the second issue wow degree and then the third issue of the principal reduction we do have a proprietary program that we are executing with 40 states and the principal reduction program, and we are participating in the principal reduction program. we have the hardest hit states with government funding and those are the places where it is the largest issue. thank you. >> senator merkley, do you have any additional questions you would like to raise? i'm going to leave the record open, but we believe this is awkward with caucuses around here and everything else to leave the record for a few days with other members to submit questions to the panel.
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>> thank you very much, mr. chair. i just want to clarify a couple points. i know that we sought to create a safe harbor for the servicers from the investors so that they were following the hamp program that they would be in the safe harbor with the safe harbor not provide enough protection to disconnect the foreclosure track from the modification track, and do we need to take action here to provide an expanded safe harbor? i guess i just i come because of the constituents streaming in the doors with the enormous stress connected with working on a modification and yet some other group of folks somewhere within the same servicer are pursuing every step on foreclosure it it just seems like the two parts aren't talking to each other and they are enormously stressed and it
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seems like there's a good faith modification effort under way that the foreclosure process of to be shut down until it becomes clear the modification will work. event gears up again. but what do we need to do to help create the ability to read and ms. desoer, you refer to that you're working on this, what do we need to do -- 22 anything? what needs to be done to help create a legal framework that will allow you to take a step that would be a tremendous step forward for american families? >> first, the safe harbor has enabled us to get to some of the 700,000 permanent modifications that we've done is certainly the 85,000 that we've done under hamp because without that not all the investors would have agreed to those modifications who do today so that has been beneficial.
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on the dual track as an investor which is about 23% of our servicing portfolio where bank of america is the investor on those mortgages, we have the ability to do something about that because we have the authority ourselves as investor as well as servicer, but for the rest of the investors it would take their approval to make a change, and that would include the government sponsored enterprises and other private investors as well. stomachs of it is a process directly pursuing, you are requesting those changes in the servicing contract? >> that is what we are in the early discussions of with the state attorneys general about seeing if we can use that forum to get investors to the table as well for consideration in that. >> i didn't hear you mention anything that we need to do here to provide additional legal framework.
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mr. lowman company -- per your sense to you need additional legal authority to be able to set the foreclosure track aside while you are in good faith modification? >> i am not certain that we have the right safe harbor, but frankly, i'd like to follow-up. >> the would be -- the would be great. >> -- on that question. >> this is the last question i will last. everything we talked about this so complex. i have 100 questions, but i will stick with this one, and that is mr. lowman, you noted that your services -- your interests are aligned, and ms. desoer, that as a community bank you have a huge stake with the family bank and so forth, but is it different when you are contracted to be the servicer but you don't on the loan? you don't have a stake in the success of the loan if you will, you have a stake only in the fees generated by the servicing unit. in that situation is it really
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the case as ms. thompson has been laying out that there's enormous financial incentive of this is servicer to pursue this foreclosure track that she has all these charts and information that she is analyzed and it is her testimony fair and if it's not, what is she missing? >> as a reference, we are not perfect. we inconsistencies as we've built our capabilities out, and there are customer issues. i don't deny that. we worked every day and have the staff to support all of our customers who have those issues while we get to the point we can eliminate the issues that we have. you have to remember the financial cost is one aspect of it, but the reputation cost to the bank of america brandt is a
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very powerful driver of why we are working as hard as we are to get this right and why we listen to customers, community groups certainly working with state attorneys general spirit our interests are aligned working to get this right which is for a homeowner who has the ability to pay and a desire to stay in their primary residence is in all of our best interests to get to a solution that enables them to do that by taking care of all of the programs and abilities and resources that artificial and that is what we are committed to. >> so from what i just heard your not contesting her analysis of the financial and incentives that certainly favor for closure but because repetition the bank is at stake that balances that out. >> i have not looked all the analysis and would need to do that to confirm or deny that with you.
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>> yes, professor. >> i would like to point out many servicers are in a different situation than bank of america. bankamerica has a lending in its own name. there are plenty of services though our servicing units of a major bank but service under a completely different name, and the consumer isn't likely to make any connection between any misdeeds brought by the servicer and the lending unit. >> so professor, in that case of the financial incentives to pursue foreclosure by defense of the reputation of the banking institution. >> you couldn't even make such a claim. that's correct. >> mr. lowman committee want to share your thoughts on that? >> as a servicer, the calculation that's used to determine whether to foreclose or to modify doesn't take into account our remuneration as a
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servicer. and i think it's important to noted that as i said earlier, we make money. we earn fees on performing loans. and when we modify a loan we get the servicing stream because we've made it a performing loan, and to the extent it is the hamp we get an income stream as a result of payment from the government for having successfully modified the loan. so i guess i don't agree that we are incentive to foreclose. we in fact our incentive to modify. >> well i just want to thank you all for addressing these complicated issues. i don't think we really got into the other big piece of this which the chair referred to which is a systemic risk that comes from the legal issues that are being raised and how we can really get our hands around that which is important to both homeowners in terms of the right and economy and availability to
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credit, but certainly i've learned a lot and thank you very much. >> let me say that would hopefully be the subject matter in the next hearing on the subject matter because i think it is a critical point we have to address and i say this respectfully of others and i know the oversight panel made suggestions somehow this was much larger than a technical issue and i am not disagreeing that may be the conclusion but it's just as premature to make that conclusion it's a technical problem and so the case language like that can cause its own distortions and i get a little uneasy without knowing the implications of what we're doing making predictions among those lines in. i had a chance to talk with ms. desoer, and correct me if i'm wrong but i thought this was interesting. 30% of all foreclosures nationwide are in the judicial states, i think it's 23 of the judicial states. 68% of the foreclosures are in the state of florida. is that correct?
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>> of the 23 judicial states in bank of america's portfolio of the foreclosures, over close to 60% are in florida. >> and 70% of the foreclosures nationwide are in the nonjudicial 27 states are nonjudicial states. and of course in the nonjudicial the burden is on the homeowner as opposed -- and simplify and this, looking at attorney general probably rolling his eyes to make the broad sweeping statement but as i read basically the burden shifts in a nonjudicial and judicial state, and correct me, tom, if i'm wrong but on the nonjudicial, the burden is on the homeowner to make the case they've not been able to make a payment and so forth where as the judicial the burden is more on the surface inside of the equation. am i supply and that? is their anything i should draw from the statistics that 70% of the forclosures are on the
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nonjudicial? the there's something about that equation that places the burden on homeowners while we are seeing so much more of the foreclosure occurring in the nonjudicial state as opposed to the judicial state? am i just reading too much into these numbers? >> senator, i think it's more related to economic factors, like unemployment or housing price declines as to the states that are experiencing the greatest level of foreclosure. so i don't think florida is related to the fact that it's a judicial or nonjudicial state but to the state of the economy -- >> that would make sense. but otherwise when it is not the case as the judicial framework -- those that have been a strong implication in the outcome in terms of a modification versus a foreclosure? >> senator, one point is of course california and nevada are nonjudicial foreclosure states, so that makes a big difference. there are some studies that show that being in a judicial for
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closure state increases slightly less likely to lead the modification so there is some evidence -- >> not the 37 numbers. >> i wouldn't think the numbers would be that high. >> i want to thank ms. desoer for sharing this information with me and again it's a separate subject matter but one that concerns me, and that is when you are getting the foreclosure homes were bought it wasn't 40%, 30% of the fer closures that are brought are brought with cash. >> for 30% of all of the u.s. home sales are cash purposes. of all u.s. homes sales 30% are purchased with cash, and i can give you the study that produced monthly that shows that makes of how many new homes purchased are
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purchased for cash or financed with a conventional mortgage or financed with an fha mortgage as an example but 30% of the last month has been running about that for several months entire home purchases and cash purchases. >> further again, correct me if i am interpreting these numbers in too broad context, but that number brought with cash these are not owner occupied these are investment properties. >> the vast majority of those purchases are investors as opposed to primary homeowners, correct. >> and in the implications that means in terms of neighborhoods and so forth as having owner occupied verses rental properties. >> if it's concentrated in terms of the mix of investors coming into a community it could mean a shift from primary homeownership to rental but the primary
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indication of a strong to say is there are investors with cash who think the price of the property is right off of which to earn a return as a rental property, and i think in certain communities where as we acquire the real estate for our own portfolio after a foreclosure sale those properties to feel relatively quickly. >> gallen a great advocate we need to increase rental stock in the country. one of the problems is we have such an emphasis on home ownership that we have a limitation of increasing rental stock and that's created its own set of problems. but is there any correlation between having less owner occupied properties and the value of other properties in that neighborhood? >> i don't know the answer to that you estimate this thompson? welcome thank you very much. it's a long time, i'm sorry for starting lead but otherwise it would have been difficult to hold all of you here so let me
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thank -- but we thank all of you for your testimony. i will leave the record open so that members can provide additional questions but it's been helpful to hear what you have to say and i am grateful to all of you for coming and sharing your thoughts and tom miller, the attorney general, thank you for what you're doing and how hard you're working at this and i hope you might make that call to the treasury department and would like to hear what this systemic council is also, what their thoughts might be on this as well it. we will stand adjourned.
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today was the official groundbreaking for the new george w. bush presidential center in dallas. the former president spoke at the ceremony to mark the location along with first lady laura bush, former vice president cheney and former secretary of state condoleezza rice. the george w. bush center is the 13th presidential library administered by the national archives. we will hear first from george ou tnk yfoundation president mark langdale to this?re before. we are gathered on the campus ts celebrate the start of the construction of the george w.cos bush presidential center.
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an important institution for this nation and the world.or it will include the 13th presidential library in the national archives and records admi administration system. it will contain the archives ofh the official records of the 43rt president of the museum that will tell the story of the termy of president bush and unique to a presidential library, the busl center will include it policyini institute to read this project this pro has been for many years inject a planning and would not have been have bee possible n without the service o country that so many of you gavo and the support that so many of you here have providedproviroug throughout.honk y we think you forou that. we start with an incredibleredie sight, 23 acres on the campus oo a respected university that is on the rise in a world-class city. we are grateful to smu for providing this site for the t deepening partnership that wehae are developing in so many areas of mutual interest.te
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laura bursh has chaired the design committee. her keen eye and gracious styler is reflected the building and the landscape that will come up on this site. robert stern, one of the greatest living architect in america today has designed the building that is human in scale and appealing and approachable. the design is not a monument making a statement from the outside, bodybuilding reflecting the important message that is within. a classically proportioned courtyard with an appealing fountain beckons the visitor to come inside. and freedom hall, the centerpiece of the building says it all. this place is about the message inside, the message of enduring universal principles that are important to all of us. this project is design to attain lead platinum designation, the highest statement of sustainable building and design practices. the sustainable design example will be an important message to
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send you future visitors, but it is also a reflection of what the first couple have always believed. many of these sustainable design elements reflected in this project, judicious use of the footprint of the building to preserve green space, reusing storm water runoff or irrigation, attention to shade and sun, use of native landscaping, are all techniques that laura bush used 11 years ago in the design of their proper ranch house. there is a lot about the bush so that reflects the values, substance and roots of george in laura bush. there will be touches of piquant, the state official treat of texas and mesquite. the unofficial tree of west texas. [laughter] >> a tree that is as tough as nails and can put up with just about anything. limestone quarry near midland, texas, were george and laura bush grew up with an bearish and the architecture. all of this will be set within
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15 acres of texas native plant landscape design by michael and pays homage to the texas landscape that george and laura bush love so much. but it will fit perfectly right here in the distinguished capital of passionate campus of smu. china's limestone, the bill will reflect the essence of the element of america's george. and a forward-looking way, appropriate for the first presidential library at the 21st century. inside the building will permanently house the official records of our 43rd president. to consequential terms comprised of a long list of key decisions, difficult decisions. these records will be available to scholars and historians to research and reflect upon the challenges this nation faced, now president bush handled them. the records have already been transferred to dallas and are being cataloged by 15 archivist under the direction of our low and laura. this will also contain a permit
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newseum what those the winner with the challenges of the first decade of the 21st century and students are learning about them for the first time will experience in one space the challenges that president bush faced, from 9/11 to the financial crisis of 2008, the story will be told through the key decisions that president bush made during his presidency to advance the ideals and principles that are so important to all of us. president franklin roosevelt dedicated the first presidential library in hyde park, new york, in 1939. at the dedication he said the purpose of a presidential library is so that future generations can study and learn about the decisions of our presidents so they can make and learn how to make better decisions in the future. we have kept that vision in mind as we've designed the center, and believe it serves that worthy purpose right here on the campus of smu. but we will do more than that.
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president bush commission us to develop a policy institute alongside the library as a place for world-class scholars and leaders to gather and work together to improve peoples lives. they will do that here in the offices and conference facilities that will contain the latest technology for connecting and disseminating the good work of the bush institute. and always, the principles that guided president bush and his presidency will guide our work here. in fact, they already are. programming began last year, we had 20 scholars and fellows and practitioners working on education reform, advancing human freedom, enhancing economic growth and global health. we are all privileged here today to witness a small part of american history, and the continuing history of the american presidency, the groundbreaking of the 13th presidential library and the george w. bush presidential
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center. on a beautiful spring day in 2013, we will return here to dedicate its opening. another presidential election will have taken place, and by tradition, all current and former presidents, a very exclusive club, will come here to commemorate that occasion. the official records of the 43rd president of this nation we placed here, just like to consequential time, and american history. a history that president bush and laura bush will continue to shape through the work here at the bush center. it is now my pleasure to introduce to you our partner in this project, the official custodians of the historic records of america, the 10th of archivist of the united states, david ferriero. [applause] >> thank you, mark. president and mrs. bush, vice president cheney, and other
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distinguished guests on this platform and in the audience, on behalf of all of us at the national archives, sharon foster, this is a archivist of the presidential library, the director of all the presidential library, at all and low, direct of the george w. bush library and his wonderful staff, i want you to know how proud we are to be in dallas today. the presidential library system was created along with a national archives during the administration of the presidential roosevelt and 10 from the beginning was to the presidential libraries throughout the country for scholars and schoolchildren to learn about their government, the presidency, and perhaps inspire to public service. the george w. bush library is the 13th presidential library to be administered by the national archives. the other 12 libraries have created a foundation upon which this library will build in the years to come, but this library will be the best yet, and will have features the others do not have.
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and a nod from this library to another librarian, laura bush, for your fine work in making this the best ever. [applause] >> first, in addition to the artifact and digital photos, the bush library has nearly 80 terabytes of electronic information, including more than 200 million e-mails. and as you told in june when we met, mr. president, not one of them is yours. [laughter] >> this is the first presidential library with a major digital collection, a collection that is larger than the whole passionate holdings of all the other presidential library's combine. having an archive of electronic records of this size and complexity and poses new challenges to us. these challenges will require new solutions and innovations because of this information is
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of tremendous value, and would be of interest to generations of researchers and the general public. second, the museum at the bush center will be quite unique engaging the audience directly in the experience. the galleries will be arranged by examining key presidential decisions, and exploring the four principles of freedom, responsibility, opportunity, and compassion that president bush has enunciated. within that framework, the exhibit will also show the decision-making process the president followed when the many challenges of his administration were before him. the museum will employ interactive digital technology to reach our diverse audience, both on site and virtual. and, finally, the library will benefit greatly to its close partnerships with the bush institute and with smu. with the institute we look forward to working with its fellows on research, taking part in its programs and joined the students who come here to work
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the institute is doing around the nation and the world. at the same time, we are proud to be in and of the smu family, and we're greatly appreciative of the wonderful welcome we have received from the faculty and students here. under the leadership of president gerald turner and with great students like jake torres, smu has reached out to the library in so many ways. we look forward to the many partnership opportunities ahead with students and faculty. throughout the presidential library system, we seek to educate and to inspire. we believe that from civic understanding comes engagement at the national archivist is proud to be part of that important effort. now i would like to thank president turner for his leadership, and bring him to the podium. [applause] >> on behalf of the board of trustees, the faculty, staff and students, and alumni at the university, i welcome all of you
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to our beautiful campus, the home of the george w. bush presidential center. and we thank you, president and mrs. bush, for making this day possible at smu. thank you. [applause] >> if this is your first visit to campus, that we hope that you will stay with us long enough to be able to experience the energy and vitality of our campus, as well as the beautiful oaks and stately collegiate georgian buildings. but having the bush presidential center on our campus provides a unique opportunity to develop joint programs involving the faculty, staff and students at the university, with the fellows and visiting scholars of the bush presidential center. last year, for conferences of the bush institute on important global issues resulted in a
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partnership between the institute and the university, and gave us a glimpse of the tremendous potential that is available for the future. in addition, groups of students have already visited the temporary library side that alan lowe has made possible and they enjoyed classroom visits by president bush. some of them barely survived that experience when he walked in. [laughter] but having the historic resources of the library and the, will provide remarkable opportunities for research, not on for our faculty and students, but for scholars worldwide. and close to home, these resources will provide educational experiences for the almost 200,000 k-12 students who live in the metroplex. but it is the joint programming and interaction with fellows, visiting scholars and leaders at the institute that will constitute most of the intellectual dialogue and debate that will carry the impact of
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the bush presidential center far into the future. today, is another milestone. along a timeline that began for us in the summer of 2000, when we determined to try to bring the bush presidential center to smu, the alma martyr of the first lady. although the process at times was challenging, we have never wavered in that quest. we knew that smu would benefit from the presence of the presidential center on a campus. and we believe that the presidential center would benefit from its association with smu. because of the academic resources, vitality of dialogue and research, programs and our location. in the heart of on the most dynamic regions in the united states. this groundbreaking foretells the great celebration of the center's opening in 2013, and the development of a vibrant educational partnership, both
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now and for generations to come. so it is an honor to have the bush presidential center on the smu campus. and now to bring greetings from our students, it's a privilege to introduce the president of the student body, jake torres, a senior from merson, texas, majoring in english and spanish. jake torres. [applause] >> thank you, doctor turner. it is a wonderful day to be a member of the mustang family, and a special privilege to be here representing the 11,000 students of southern methodist university. it was a great day when we are chosen as the future home of the george w. bush presidential center. educational opportunities and partnerships have are to be made available to the students of smu come and will continue to benefit the smu community for years to come. over the past two years
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president bush has made surprise visits to classes as dr. turner mentioned, and students have attended bush institute conferences and even served as interest for president and mrs. bush, and for the bush foundation. many of us chose smu because of its location in dallas. it's a small class sizes and its excellent faculty. but we also selected smu because of its commitment to provide experiences outside of the classroom that benefit and enrich what we're learning inside of the classroom. the fact that i'm here today and am joined by several hundred fellow mustangs is a perfect example of how the bush center is enhancing our smu education and experience in a way that none of us will ever forget. thank you for allowing us to share in this special moment and president mrs. bush, on behalf of the smu student body, welcome home. [applause] >> gthank you, jake.
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it's now my honor to introduce the chair of the george w. bush institute advisory board, former secretary of state and what we really like, an academic, former provost at stanford, dr. condoleezza rice. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. well, thank you for that warm smu welcome. mr. president, mrs. bush, mr. vice president, and my fellow members here, i could not be more delighted to be with
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you, and more honor to serve as the chair of the george w. bush institute board. on behalf of my fellow institute of board members, the advisory board looks forward to continuing the great work that has already begun under the excellent leadership of jim glassman. i want you to know that the institute looks forward to continuing to be a place where smu students feel welcome to, where they can participate in the work of the institute, and where faculty from smu, from around the country, scholars and practitioners from all over the world, can come together to explore powerful ideas, and to find ways to put them into action. the hallmark of the presidency of george w. bush was the fundamental bedrock belief in the inherent works of every
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individual. and because every individual is worthy, every individual deserves to live in freedom. the president and mrs. bush believed that america had a special responsibility to use its power and its generosity and its compassion, to advance freedom for those at home, and for those abroad. a belief that free people are most creative and most fulfilled in free economies, where their activities and their creativity can lift millions out of poverty. a belief that every individual has the right to be free from ignorance, and that the transforming power of education is owed to every child, because every child can learn. a belief that human beings also need to be free from disease,
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and that healthy societies are more likely to be partners in peace and in prosperity. a belief that societies that do not fully bring the potential of their women to bear will be poorer for it. and ultimately, that societies that treat women badly are dangerous societies. and abc's that no man, woman or child deserves to live in tyranny. that tierney must be spoken of and broken down in every corner of the world. a belief that the voices of the so-called power can be incredibly powerful, that they have brought down walls and that they have brought down dictators. the institute will seek the best ideas to put these principles into action, and then go about
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the work that is left to us. the institute, and my fellow advisory board members, believe very strongly that we are all doing this in the belief that while we have to deal with the world as it is, we do not have to accept the cynical notions that this is the best that we can do. president bush was sometimes considered an idealist, and at the very least, an optimist. but i would say that president bush, and mrs. laura bush, were more than that. they were optimists and idealists, but they were realists, too. because they realize that we have seen so many times, even in our lifetime, with the impossible one day seems inevitable the next. and so we will do our part to advanced towards the world, not as it is, but the world as it should be.
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i am really excited, and look with great anticipation, to the for the work of the institute as a part of the george w. bush presidential center. it's going to be a great future. thank you. [applause] >> i had the honor of inviting to the podium and absolute, ask you to join in honoring the 46 vice president of the united states, richard c. cheney. [applause] >> thank you.
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thank you very much. well, i've often been overlooked during my two -- to was a vice president. [laughter] so i'm delighted to be here today. i want to thank condi and president and laura, and all the rest of our friends who are gathered here on this historic occasion. it's great to be back in dallas, the city that my wife, lynne, and i called home for five years. flying down here yesterday, as i got to thinking about my time as a texan, we loved dallas. we miss it, sometimes. and happily we now have another very good reason to come back often and see america's newest presidential library and the man whose name is on it. [applause]
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>> of course, the george w. bush presidential center isn't much to look at it just yet. but the workers are ready, construction will move fast after today's groundbreaking. this may be the only shovel-ready project in america. [applause] >> my congratulations on the start of the center, mr. president, as well as the success of your new memoir. the robust sales it has only had don't surprise me in the least. two years after your tour in the white house ended, judgments are little more measured than they were when times have been tough
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and the critics have been loud, you always said, you had faith in history judgment. and history is beginning to come around. [applause] >> ten years have passed since governor bush asked me to be his running mate. and the days right before that decision, we spent some time getting to know each other better. i suppose he was taking my nature, i know i was watching him pretty closely, too. there are some basic attributes to look for. in a fella who may become president. to dust off a phrase from the 2000 campaigns, i saw those traits in this guy, big time. [laughter] >> one of the things that struck me from the beginning and that continue to impress me throughout our time in office was george bush's refusal to put
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on airs. it's a happy experience, and everyone, to find the most powerful person you know it's among the least pretentious, that at the commanding heights, a man can be so respectful of his office, so serious in his duty, and yet so unimpressed with himself. kipling made a fine virtue for one to walk with kings, yet keep the common touch. and nobody has ever done it quite like our 43rd president. [applause] >> i've seen him hit with the various august figures who come to the oval office. icing and dealing with folks who look out of the presidential household, and it's always the same. we could all forgive a president
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for tearing himself with a certain expectation of privilege, but with this president, no such allowances were necessary. there were no aspect nation's about them at all. he meets everyone as an equal. and attitude you don't expect to find in government, much less at the very top. but it's a classy way to operate. very american, and wonderful to see in the oval office. it's also quite to anyone who knows the family. is courteous, fair-minded and kind, capable of great strength and great gentleness, and of all this, very much his father's son. mr. president, when you and i started our association in office, we knew that big responsibility awaited us. and though of course we couldn't have imagined all that was to come, somehow your life had prepared you for some of the most serious decisions in a president ever had to face.
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when the worst game, you did your job with courage and clarity, and with the strength of our. when i think of september 11, the days that followed, one of the images that always comes to mind is the president standing on a flat firetruck throwing his arm around every country worker saying through a bullhorn that the people who knocked these buildings down would soon hear from all of us. [applause] >> far into the future, visitors here will still see that bullhorn. when they do, i hope to picture the world as it was that day and realized how it was transformed in the months and years ahead. america went from being on the defense against terrorists going on offense against uzbek history
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is always an account of what happened, but sometimes the greatest story of all is what did not happen. and because you are determined to throw back the enemy, we did ot suffer ano 9/1 .. something even worse. [applause] >> i had a few more thoughts on the man and his presidency, but i will save them for what we're all back in dallas again for the grand opening of the library. enough for now to say that it was a privilege to serve beside him for those eight years, and a daily pleasure to share in the journey. i know that all the lumps here he'll just the same. i know the american people will always think highly of him because they can tell a decent, goodhearted, stand stand up guy when they see one. and i know that all the texans
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in this audience are ready now to lead the cheers for our friend, the 43rd president of the united states, george w. bush. [applause] >> thank you all. thank you all. okay, thanks very much. thank you for those of you who are not privileged to live in texas, welcome to the great state. [applause] >> and welcome to one of the finest universities in the hold
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united states, southern methodist. [applause] >> i can't thank big enough for coming. i've been doing these interviews, trying to peddle my book -- [laughter] >> i am asked about dick cheney. is what i say. dick cheney was the right pick in the year 2000, and as i stand here, there is no doubt in my mind he was the right pick them. he was a great vice president of the united states, and i'm proud to call him friend. [applause] >> i want to thank all the people who made this event possible. i want to thank my pal, mark
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langdale. and secretary don evans for the leadership. i do want to call out an smu columbus, ray, for being such an efficient and effective leader in this effort. [applause] >> i appreciate ambassador jim glassman's leadership at the institute. i want to thank my pal, the former secretary of state, condoleezza rice, for joining us. [applause] >> one reason that smu is such a superb university is because its leadership is superb, starting at the top with gerald turner. [applause] >> i thank david for joining us and alan lowe, the archivists. i am grateful that our preacher, mark craig has joined us. and i want to thank the student
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body president, jake torres. [applause] >> now, mr. president, a word of advice. [laughter] >> it is not too early to start thinking about your memoirs. [laughter] >> i am proud to be associated with you and the student body. it is a great group of future leaders or our country. [applause] >> with us today is a man i have befriended during my presidency, one of the really courageous leaders in the world, someone who understands the importance of democracy and freedom, someone who understands you cannot negotiate with terrorists. and that is the former president of colombia, have ever read a. me amigo.
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[applause] >> we are proud that a lot of soldiers from fort have joined us today. i -- [applause] [applause] [applause] >> i really don't miss much about washington. [laughter] >> but i do miss being your commander in chief.
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[applause] >> i want to thank all the people from our administration who have joined us today, and i thank you for your noble service to our country. [applause] >> and i appreciate the 160,000 donors whose generosity has insured that this building was fully paid for before we broke ground. [applause] >> and i thank all the people joining us via webcast. it is hard to believe that there's this much excitement about shoveling dirt. [laughter] >> today's groundbreaking marks the beginning of the journey. we take the first step towards construction of this presidential center, which will
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be a dynamic hub of ideas and actions based upon timeless principles. truth of the matter is, this moment is a continuation of a journey that began many years ago. just over a decade ago the american people went to the polls to choose their president in the 2000 election. just under a decade ago, they figured out the results. [laughter] >> and a lot of us believe i the only present to have won the same election five times. [laughter] >> back then, none of us could have predicted what would lie ahead for our country. we witnessed our nation attacked, and our country united and results. we felt the grief of war and the jury of liberation. we remember vividly young girls
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going to school in afghanistan, and voters waiting purple fingers in the air. we saw that, with clear purpose, and accountable action, we could help aids patients to live, struggling societies to develop, and storm victims to rebuild. through the trials and the saunas, the good days and the bad, the decisions we made together for guided by certain principles. we believe that freedom is a universal and the hope of every soul and the ultimate path to peace. we believe in free markets are the best way to empower individuals at home and to lift people abroad out of poverty. we believe you can spend your money better than the united states government can spend your money.
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[applause] >> we believe that america's interest and consciously meant engagement in the world, because what happens elsewhere in negatively affects us here. we believe the call to serve and the admonition to whom much is given, much is required. and i believe that the ultimate responsibility of a leader is to not do what is easy or popular, but to do what is necessary and right. [applause] >> the decisions of governing are on another president's desk and he deserves to make them without criticism from me. [applause]
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>> staying out of current affairs and politics does not mean staying out of policy. i solemnly believe the principles that guided our service in public office are the right principles to lead our country into the future. these principles don't belong to any president, or any political party. their fundamental american ideals that arise for a founding and have expired -- inspired millions aroun around the world. all three outlets of the presidential center will play a role in advancing those principles. .. of visitors and apply the sort time, with measurable results how they can
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transform and improve the lives of people at home and around the world. last november i presented an ally for the institute and i am pleased to report that we've had a productive inaugural year. we have recruited a team of world-class scholars and fellows. we've developed ambitious plans for our areas of focus. education reform, local health, economic growth and humanlaunch freedom. for example, we lost an innovative new effort called the alliance to reform education whic leadership, which focuses on improving the quality of school principals and administrators. w ways to integrate maternal health services on the continent of africa. we've started compiling a repository of documents and interviews from freedom advocates around the world
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which will spotlight the triumph of dissy dents and inspire others to join their cause. one of the most exciting parts of the presidential center is the institute's women's initiative. laura and i believe women are often society's most effective agents of change and one of the institute's core missions will be to support the efforts of women to lead the freedom movement in the middle east and in other parts of the world. we are fortunate to have laura overseeing this initiative and i have been a lucky man to have her by my side for 33 years. [applause]
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it is now my privilege to bring to the podium a fabulous woman and great first lady. lara bush. [applause] >> thank you so much. and thank you, george. thanks everybody. thank you all. thank you so much. thank you all and thanks to everyone here for joining us today. george and i are thrilled to share this moment with so many good friends, so many cabinet members and white house staff. vice president cheney, thank you so much for joining us. dr. rice, thank you very much for being here. i also want to recognize president uribe from colombia. thank you so much for joining us as well. ambassador langdale and dale turner. ambassador jim glassman will be executive director of the george w. bush institute,
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thank you all very much. you just heard about some of the bush institute's goals from fostering economic opportunity to improving access to health care and education and to expanding freedom around the world. the reason we've included women's initiatives at the institute is clear. the success of each of these important goals will depend upon the contributions of women. vibrant economies rely on the creativity of women entrepreneurs. free political systems, require the insights of women in government, journalism, and the law. healthy nations depend upon wives and mothers to make informed decisions that will keep themselves and their families safe, and every successful society depends upon women who can read. mothers are our first teachers. which means that educating
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women yields rewards for generations to come. as the great egyptian poet ibriham said, when you educate a woman, you create a nation. over the past decade i've been inspired by the examples of strong women that i have met across the world. in africa i met hiv-postive women who educate other women so that their babies will be born hiv-free. in saudi arabia where cancer carries a stigma, dr. almode works with the komen global initiative to raise awareness about breast cancer. in the remote jungles of thailand dr. cynthia mong runs a klain i can -- clinic to care for fellow refugees who are fleeing oppression of burma's dictatorship.
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as ambassador the u.n. literacy decade i met women around the world who met other women who lead healthier and prosperous and fulfilling lives by giving them access to basic quality education. this past march george and i hosted a conference on the u.s.-afghan women's council here at smu. the council's work is a powerful example of the strides that have been made by women in afghanistan. under the rule of the taliban women were routinely subjected to unspeakable degradation and tomorrow meant and shut out completely from their society. today afghan women now lead as provincial governors and as elected members of the national assembly. they work as entrepreneurs, as lawyers, and community health workers. many also serve in a profession that is close to my heart, teaching.
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these inspiring leaders remind us that investments in women are always worthwhile and they remind us that laws and customs that deny women their basic rights and that deny society's of women's contributions are never acceptable. this is a message we need to spread. this past summer americans were horrified by the "time" magazine cover featuring ayisha, the afghan teenager mutilated by her taliban husband. last year the murderer of an iranian music student and peaceful protestor nada sultan, who was gunned down on the streets of tehran during protests, showed that other women often pay the ultimate price in pursuit of freedom worldwide. and for most of the past two decades the leader of
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burma's democracy movement, a nobel lawyer rat, was a prisoner in her own own home. the free world rejoid this week at her release but came only after she was banned in participating in burma's recent elections. and she has been released before only to be placed back under house arrest by the military regime. this time we hope that she is freed without conditions and she is allowed to continue her peaceful work until the day when all of burma's citizens live in free freedom. [applause] around the world all of us who live in freedom have the obligation to condemn barbaric acts against women because an electorate that shuts out women is not a
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democracy. in a population that belies, denies the rights of women is not a free society. the goal of our women's initiative is to stand with the women who despite these challenges, are determined to carry on their courageous work, to promote democracy and freedom in the middle east, we'll join with political and civic leaders, faith-based organizations, corporationing and foundations to help women become more engaged and better educated and be participants in government, business and civil society. through a partnership among african nations, western nations and ngos, the institute will lead an effort to deliver integrated health services to expectant mothers, hoping to protect their own health at a critical time and to keep their babies safe from hiv and malaria. today nearly 800 million
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adults are illiterate 2/3 of them are women. if we want women to be the bedrock of stable, democratic society, they mu be able to read. here at the bush institute the women's initiative will champion literacy and will keep working to improve the education that girls and boys receive in school both here at home and around the world. at the u.s.-afghan women's council meeting held here at the bush institute, one of the participants was an afghan woman. during the taliban years, dr. ukube operated upped ground literacy centers at great risk to her own life. today she runs more than 40 women's centers across afghanistan teaching hundreds of thousands of women to read. at the conference dr. sakubi asked participants to invest
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in the future of afghanistan and to support the ongoing progress of women. yes, it's difficult she said but be patient with us. don't be sorry for us. be with us. through the women's initiative the bush institute will stand with dr. sakubi and all who are working to guaranty equal rights for women. thank you all very much for your support of the bush institute and thank you for joining us here today. [applause] >> and now, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming. the speeches are over. it is time to shovel dirt. >> joining president and mrs. bush at this time, to break ground, we welcome the coordinating co-chair of the george w. bush foundation, national finance committee, ray hunt.
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building architect, robert a. sternl. landscape architect, michael van vuklenberg. chair of the smu board of trustees, sharon prothro, director of the george w. bush presidential library, alan lowe. ♪ . >> there you are, dick, right there. you got it. thank you, sir. okay. everybody ready? time to shovel dirt. hold it up, look at the camera, turn it.
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♪ . ♪ . >> thank you for attending today's groundbreaking ceremony. for the george w. bush presidential center. please exit at the rear of
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the tent, and please travel safely. ♪ . ♪ .
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>> pakistan's ambassador to the united states, husain haqqani spoke about his inflation ship at the u.s. the obama administration announced a plan to direct about $500 million to flood relief efforts in pakistan. president obama recently returned from a 10 day trip overseas which included a visit to india, not pakistan.
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the president and ceo of the council introduces the ambassador. this is an hour and a half. >> it's a particular pleasure for me to invite you to this very special event because we are welcoming back an old friend at the atlantic council, who came here two days after you had your credentials making her first public appearance as ambassador of pakistan to the united states. and i know you'll come back to some of the issues you raised then. but also, an old friend of mine. we met first in 1985 when i was a reporter for "the wall street journal" in pakistan and going behind soviet lines with mujahedin. and ambassador haqqani was my
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teacher, my instructor and i've been stealing his ideas ever since. i must say even in the garb of that day, the idea of the garb was to make it look as though i was one of the mujahedin. if you look at me it was not the most convincing outfit. pakistan must be among the most resilient of nations on earth and also among the luckiest. in the middle of a serious insurgency movement inside its western borders, it was inundated by the worst flood in 80 years. but brilliant at it. and i think we always underestimate pakistan's resilient. in areas the size of the eastern seaboard of the united states in some 20 million people were affected by the floods. more than half of them were children. an economy beset by the effects of the global slowdown was rendered, even more problematic in the face of these challenges.
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and then a coalition government led by the pakistan people's party. struggles while attempting to meet the needs of its people. to give it credit, the government has attempted to make some attempt at bold reforms, introducing a nation wide reform tax and value-added tax, reordering the fiscal relationship between the center and the provinces and now a promise by prime minister gillani to cut the cabinet size by devolving responsibilities to the provinces. surreal things are happening that really aren't reported enough here. but old-style machine politics and newly empowered and bring that news media activist judiciary body muscles powerful military. we were just talking about before ambassador haqqani came out. it's a complex society. it's a complex country. and they'll put pressure, all these items put pressure on a
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fledgling democracy and civilian government. the u.s.-pakistan relationship is then put on a higher plane through strategic dialogue with the u.s. is that three major meetings involving senior participants, including secretary of state, the pakistan foreign minister, the army chief. ambassador haqqani has been at the center of all these arrangements. some might call them as much as pakistan's ambassador to washington as washington's ambassador to pakistan, a difficult job of building trust in a period of time in building trust isn't always that easy. his own government's trust in him has been shown by the extension of his tenure in the study and as the recent bob woodward book on obama's bors indicates, he has been a go to guy for the u.s. government in building relations with pakistan a journalist and a former life when he was my first teacher on
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pakistan in the region. a scholar and now a constant diplomat. we are happy to invite back ambassador haqqani to her south asia center. he also gave me good advice in the beginning as we were setting up. as he knows well from his previous visits we are proud of the role the center is played in less than two years we believe it's become a crucial form in the city for these sort of processions. the director of her south asia center's will moderate the discussion. >> thank you very much for that very kind introduction. as i recall in 1985, the reason why it couldn't look just like the mujahedin is because you weren't reading to grow that one. that was necessary. so we got to the turban, we got the dress, but we couldn't tear a man not been able to pass off
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as one of the mujahedin in 1985. and that of course brings me to my usual team in addressing american advances. americans do many things very well. and so, patience is essential to understand how change is going to be affect it. two years ago when i came here, i spoke about for critical transformation that pakistan needed. the first was the transformation from a country that has had an intimate and politics and weak civilian government to a stable democracy. a democracy that is consistent. a democracy that has the consensus it leaves behind a pair the trend entre second transformation i spoke a list from militancy that hasn't taken root in society to a culture of entrepreneurship and willingness to be part of globalization and
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be part of the contemporary word. at the current transformation i spoke about at that time was from being a country that sees it both at the crossroads of several regional conflicts to a country that sees itself as being at the crossroads of opportunities and therefore an economic transformation and economic transformation that would help us realize the full potential of our nation and our region and of course the fourth transformation that i broken about at that time was in terms of pakistan becoming a nation that is not looked upon by the rest of the world as a problem, but a nation that is part of the solution of the problems of south and central asia and it has a good peaceful relationship with all its neighbors and that helped bring stability to afghanistan and has a stable
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relationship with their eastern neighbor, india. so i would like to begin my remarks today by giving a kind of shocked progress report on those reforms, of course. i think the pakistani democracy is moving forward. i like all democracies and we found out on the fourth of november even in this country can people change their minds in a democracy. they elect leaders and sometimes they start rethinking. the critical challenge in pakistani democracy is to ensure a connection between the political -- elect to pull local leaders and pakistan's professional middle-class. because one of the reasons why we find so much criticism of pakistani democracy in my humble opinion is because the pakistani middle class doesn't have the critical numbers. as the major political parties do not pay attention to them. they have had a major role,
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larger-than-life role during the period of dictatorship because after all all dictators need civilian partners and the civilian partners usually other people who have come from a military background is good nonprofessionals. and so, you have very many pakistani professionals and that applies to pakistani professionals who are in the city. pakistani professionals were visible on pakistani 24/7 television news in pakistan by the way has 40 channels right now who each have 24/7 news. so try and build an american democracy, take a 21864 example and try and have a democracy -- have a democratic government or democratic administration of 48 fox news channel's or republican administration with 48 msnbc's. and you'll understand the difficulty we have. so basically the government is not performing as poorly as some
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people claim it is. it is the nature of the politics that the people who are the commentaries, the people who actually comment will be the professionals. they are going to be the educated people. they're going to be the lawyers. they are going to be the colonists. they actually see they are not necessarily part of the elective process as much because the political parties go to the working class. they go to the farmers. they go to the water. so that is the challenge i think it's remaining there. but other than that cometh them of the press is good, even though it does not always work to the benefit of the government. the good news is the government has done nothing, nothing whatsoever to interfere with the freedom of the press. the president takes criticism. the prime minister takes criticism with a smile. and the strongest that they've taken so far as to announce a boycott of the media group that is most stringently opposed to
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them instead of trying to do anything to curtail the freedom of our expression of our media. so good, i would say, good progress on the building of democracy. major challenge remaining, inclusion of the middle class and professional class each of the democratic process, bringing them on board, convincing them that they have to play a role to the democratic process by aligning with the political parties that can get the war and not think of it needs a zero-sum game in which they will be able to contribute professionally under educator ship of democracy is the function for the riffraff. on the question of the militant, pakistan in the last two years has fought the militants far more effectively than in the preceding nine years under general musharraf, although i believe he was here a few days ago and probably have a slightly different take.
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the fact -- the fact remains that in the last two years we have cleared large tracts of territory that had militant influence. swatch was cleared. out of the seven tribal agencies, success in military action, senior militant action. and it has a significant pakistani military presence. now of course, just as economists always disagree, we'll know the generals also disagree about what might or might not be the best strategy. so it's not always that everyone agrees in the united states military must be pakistan's right strategy. the fact remains that pakistan's own general said the best suited to define pakistan's military tactics and strategy even though we like to listen to our allies, but certainly we know what our situation is, how stretch our armed forces are, how then to go
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after whom men. and that is something that we expect our friends around the world to understand has been something that is our way. we have so far demonstrated our ability to fight the militants within the country and for all those who still point out the lack of conviction on the part of pakistan in fighting militancy. i would just like to point out that in 2009, we had an average of 10 pakistani soldiers killed every day. ten pakistani soldiers killed every day for each day of 2009 in fighting the militants. and there have been more than 31,000 casualties killed in india of which took place in 2009 alone. pakistan has deployed 80% of its army aviation to fighting in militant v. there are nine infantry divisions.
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483 artillery pieces and 142 tanks committed to this effort. sometimes people don't understand the nature. they want to say, well you started fighting that without the results. well, the results are coming. they will, further down the road. and just as the united states has taken several years in iraq and in afghanistan, we will have to take some time as well and competing what we are trying to do. we have started it and it's not going back. and the taliban and the militants and extremists understand that because in the last two years there have been several attacks on pakistan's intelligence personnel and we have lost more intelligence personnel than any other country in the war against terrorism during the last two years. so the fact that the taliban and the militants are attacking isi shows as far as they're concerned, they're already cleared that the isi is an enemy
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because it aids terrorism, but it is an organization that is committing to fighting terrorism and that pakistan understands that the terrorists and their success is not in any way going to be beneficial to pakistan. the era in which people made arguments about certain taliban being pakistan's allies and strategic partners, that is gone. pakistan makes no distinction between various militant groups based on their ideology. we just do the terrorists on the basis of their actions. the reason why we are not able to accomplish certain things is because of the capacity. we cannot fight him off friends at the same time. and public opinion in a democracy matters. and in pakistan, there is public opinion now in favor of fighting militants and taliban. but there are still a lot of
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people who are confused about what pakistan's priority should be. we are doing our best under the circumstances and hopefully we will tackle all terrorist groups, all terrorist groups to respect as of whether their prank target is local, regional or international. and we intend to fulfill that obligation. the third is the economic transformation that i talked about. there has been some progress, but of course the floods have set us back. we embarked upon an imf supported programs for economic reform. people have felt for a long time that pakistan has already a narrow tax base. pakistan does not pay taxes. the government has introduced or is in the process of introducing the reform tax situation which is inequitable way of collecting tax. at the same time, there's an effort to introduce a runoff tax
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on properties of which is specially larger residential properties, which will enable us to raise revenue without necessarily burdening the poor. we must understand certain facts. one third of pakistanis live below the poverty line of a household living on less than 1 dollar a day. another third live on less than $2 a day. a number of people who live on less than $2 a day is two thirds of the population. so what we are talking about is the rest of the country that can. among them also, even those living on three or $4 a day are not necessarily the best and the most likely source of added revenue for the government. the tax reform has to be very methodically introduced, very scientifically done and done in a way in which the burden is not put on the poorest segments of the population, but is a process that has been undertaken.
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we are moving in that direction. corruption remains a concern, but even the corruption of the concerned, we think, that the elimination of corruption is best achieved by strengthening rule of law. so if we have a strong parliament, a strong media, a strong judiciary. and then, we have stronger prostitution methods and our civilian law enforcement becomes better than it has in the past. but surely, everybody will agree that these are things that can only be accomplished on a multiyear basis and cannot happen overnight or quickly. the fourth is the question of relationships internationally. and how we relate to everyone. and that's where u.s.-pakistan relations are also critical. when the process of transforming relations with all her critical partners and our neighbors. in the case of india, with a setback as a result of the mumbai attacks.
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friends and neighbors in india have been rather with the 10 to move forward. but as far as the concerned, were very clear. pakistan and india are neighbors. our future is intertwined. we need to find a solution to our outstanding problems and we need to give comfort to each other instead of being a source of problems for one another. so pakistan remains committed to dialogue with india. we will continue to remain to dialogue and we understand the aftermath of them are by attacks, but we still think the indian leadership should overcome those political concerns and try and build the bridge that we hope we will eventually be able to build between our two countries. afghanistan and pakistan have improved their relations confab. i don't know how many people recall a time when president karzai and general musharraf refused to shake each other's hands on a lot of the white
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house were president karzai and president zardari talked to each of the regulars. president was the only form guess that president zardari's inauguration. president zardari and president karzai have met more than -- i've met several times and we have also initiated a trilateral process, even at the summit level, which had been the case before. president obama, president zardari and karzai that for trilateral cooperation. in pakistan and that in the center in the process of overcoming the misgivings that have built up over the years. but, this is not about saying where the blame lies. there's enough blame for everybody to share. the u.s. involvement and then sort of, you know, precipitate redraws from afghanistan and pakistan after the withdrawal of the soviets in afghanistan contributed to the problems of that region. afghanistan has been a country
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where for many, many years. but we understand that what we have not been able to convince afghanistan theaters is that pakistan could be great desire is to see a stable afghanistan. a stable afghanistan that has led to iran's and which is not a center for any extreme ideology for those who think. and their people in pakistan who thought that demonstrators people even now who think that. but they are not the people who are running the government. they are people who thought the taliban might provide some strategic advantage to pakistan. that is something of the past. everybody in pakistan government understands that the television is getting control of any part of aftermath and would threaten pakistan's and pakistan's way of life. we do not want the future for our children in which girls cannot go to school. we do not want to be isolated from the rest of the world. we want to be a progressive,
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modern democratic state and that is not possible by having taliban in charge next-door or in any part of our own country. and that is something on which there is much more clarity than there was in the past. i'm sure in questions and answers people asked me then why hasn't that story come out quite well guess what. there are many things happening in the world that have yet to make it to the front page of "the new york times." u.s.-pakistan relations. until recently, u.s.-pakistan relations were always the dems have a transactional approach on both sides. so pakistan with finale of united states due to the cold war and then against the soviets. pakistan provided america an opportunity to reach out to china. pakistanis felt that we were all refused and drought. the americans say the pakistanis never held up their end of the bargain on some of these transactions.
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we continue to have a debate on that and there were scholars in this audience who actually written on this and are better qualified to give a more object to the account of that. all i would say is that we've decided to move past the transaction. and moving past the transaction primarily means of course all these transactions in a relationship, but moving past transaction basically means we have to create a level of predictability in the relationship. in the strategic dialogue, which is the mechanism for doing that is essentially an attempt to try and create that predict ability and that brett relationship. the secretary of state, heller clinton has called the u.s. strategic dialogue is the most extensive engagement the unit dates have been a country at the present moment. there were three ways of the strategic dialogue at ministerial levels, within 2010. the religions being the one that was concluded in october. on the one hand, there is a
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higher level of contact. cabinet people interacted with one another. then there is a regular meeting at the level of principles to try and work out the sort of things and then follow -- work out what needs to be done or what is being done and then following it up inaction subsequently. there are 13 sector working groups from agriculture communications and public diplomacy, defense and security. education, energy, health, market access, law enforcement and counterterrorism. science and technology. strategic stability and non-proliferation. women's empowerment. so 13 areas clearly identified for long-term cooperation. and the u.s. has made, for its part, made the effort to reassure pakistanis through that kerry luker berman at a continued partnership. five years of economic assistance have been promised
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and the possibility of another five years of that assistance, that basically reassures pakistan this time around the u.s. is not going to walk away and in a perceptive manner as they did soon after the imposition of the sanction after the soviet withdrawal from afghanistan. there are some other initiatives that i currently have in the congress. one is the r. is the legislation, reconstruction opportunities on legislation that has been stuck for a while because primarily for medical and political considerations, not two effects related to afghanistan or pakistan. debates within the major political groupings, within this country between the major political group he is within this country on the question of labor standards that should be applied to american businesses investing -- which we hope that the new congress will be able to
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overcome. because right now in afghanistan and the poorer areas of afghanistan and pakistan, every child that is created for a young person is likely to diminish the possibility of that young person being recruited by the talented or al qaeda as a foot soldier. then there is the pakistan enterprise fund, which is likely to bring the edge printers of all the countries to come closer and will pave the way for the economic transformation in which pakistan will become a nation of entrepreneurs taking advantage of the strategic location and an economic sense, rather than just being a country that is focused on military and strategic dimensions in a narrow sense. now what do we mean when we say we are looking down the strategic dialogue? well, the first of course is two and a transactional relationship. the second is the more mature and level sorting of this relationship.
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both sides understanding we are partners. we are partners for the long haul. partners mean you will disagree sometimes. that will not be 100% concurrence of use or interest. but at the same time, we are committed to the fact that we are america's allies and the americans are our allies. and we have to understand each other's concerns. we will sometimes disagree on what we want in the retail concept. pakistan? had a lot of problems from a regional news. and our frame of reference is shaped by our history. it is shaped by our circumstances. the american view is more global and the american view being global is not going to be the same as ours for the simple reason our frame of reference is shaped by our history. the american frame of reference is shaped by american history and the american political structure. with that said, i think the commitment between the two to forge a relationship that is
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longer-term and is a genuine partnership and in which pakistan looks upon it felt as the major non-nato allies have united states. the united states can count on pakistan as a major non-nato ally and something we are looking towards beyond the strategic dialogue. and the last point i would make is that is pakistan a democracy evolves and in the eyes of some models, pakistan and the united states have something more fundamental that binds them. and that fundamental thing is the shared values of democracy and freedom. so pakistan's commitment to democracy will help pakistan win more friends and the united states, based on the conviction the united states and pakistan shared democratic values, which was not always the case. if you remember the historic on the u.s. side always has been that can we trust a pakistan
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that is not democratic? well now, things have changed. pakistan is a democracy. it tends to remain a democracy on military and civilian leaders are both committed to making the democratic process for. and that makes us partners as democracies in bringing civil liberties to what is essentially a very difficult and complex region of the world. i'm going to stop my remarks there. i'm sure there will be plenty of questions that i have to answer subsequently. thank you all very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> ambassador haqqani, thank you very much for coming back to the atlantic center. i don't know how many of our audience are aware that today is also the it allow hot and so this is not only a religious festival that is important for you and for me, but also a day of rest for you. but i guess being ambassador to the united states means that there is no day of rest. ..
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after three attempts and various working groups they are prepared to have announced budget results particularly in key areas pakistan continues to raise with the united states. he mentioned one of them which is market access for pakistani goods. the of is, again, an area that you mentioned which does seem to be moving off center and finally, the area which is critical for pakistan giving
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developments in the u.s. indian relationship the recognition that pakistan is in the same category as india, as a country that went openly nuclear. so can you explain why these issues get postponed each time? >> i don't think anything is being postponed. we are trying to work in 13 different areas simultaneously so there will be some areas progress is much easier for example agriculture. pakistan is working towards american systems and modernizing making the assistance available. it's easier for the united states to do. the american commerce discussed find means and resources in which are already authorized under the bill. similarly the area of water and energy the u.s. is partnering to start and pakistan has
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tremendous potential in the non-traditional sources of energy for the first big project is going on line soon, not on line that is going to be implemented soon and there are other areas faster. education, health care, these are areas progress is easier to accomplish in the sense that pakistan asks america to give the ability to match. there are political problems on either side. for the exit poll, if there are people in the united states that expect pakistan to act in a certain manner on specific aspects of the effort against terrorists, there are pakistani concerns similarly there are issues to what many pakistanis
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began understand the politics of it. they do not have standards the house version of the bill had and not willing to resent the way were standards and the liberals in the house were not willing to present labor standards in terms of giving up on them so they had no relevance to pakistan or the institution. it was an american political argument to which our request became a victim but that said we had tremendous expectation that the united states will understand providing pakistan better market access and that essentially means putting certain textile products and a category. the folks with the european union and it's interesting the investor went to brussels and approached several foreign ministers of the european union
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as countries and we were able to get confessions from the european union as a lobby but it's far more difficult for them sometimes to what the american congress because of the way the map is and we as a fledgling democracy understand the compassion that doesn't mean we are going to give up on it. that is something we continue to ask for. i am optimistic about our administration being the first to go through the congress and the whole market access issue is something we have to continue to work upon. the nuclear question is more complex and has more complexity for the reason what has been publicly played in the united states and a very strong constituency in the united states of nonproliferation who think is easier to stop proliferation around the world because they can't do much about america's own nuclear weapons so therefore they keep pressure on countries like us and our view has been we acquire nuclear weapons capability because
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certain regions and we would like our nuclear program to be seen in the context of that of our neighbor. now that india has received a nuclear deal, there is a case of pakistan to receive the civil nuclear arrangement as well. this is something that requires a lot of negotiation. it's not something that is going to happen very quickly but we realize it will be whatever comes of of the negotiations and other subjects and of the stronger and closer our relationship is, the more likely it is that we will get their if not tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. >> you spoke about the question people in pakistan are often seen as trying to model for the situation. there was a critical tone to the view. the real the underground in pakistan as that the economic
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situation is dying and the floods have exacerbated. there are many decisions that need to be made within the country so it's not a question of what pakistan asked, it's what pakistan can do for itself. my question for you is who is making the decision and pakistan today? is the president? is the prime minister, the army in chief? who can stay the book stops here? i will make the decisions with its agriculture tax, with its position of the general services tax, whether it's in government and so on who is making those decisions? >> that's a very interesting question because those of us from pakistan who have actually struggled against dictatorship, we struggled against dictatorship because we didn't like the idea of one man having too much power some of that we
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have a democracy we have for friends in washington say who makes the decisions because a lot of other phone number they can call to get everything resolved. it's not going to be that way. pakistan has a parliamentary constitution. the parliament to elect the prime minister who is the chief executive of the country. the president is the head of state in this particular situation for greater political stability the president is the person who's also the chief of the largest party in the country so he has influence and power more than with the constitution lays down by virtue of his leadership of the political party. we have a coalition government in parliament in people miss out because no single party has the clear majority so we have a space process of decision making as well as the army chief is concerned he's been very clear he has no intention of getting
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involved in politics. he's not involved in political decision making that does not stop those who have benefited from the military intervention in politics from continuing to try to say he should be more involved in political decision making. the army has a legitimate role in terms of making and puts on the national security like anywhere else in the world. it would take a few more years before pakistanis and pakistan strengths take a deep breath and say pakistan is just like any of the other complex democratic countries where decision making is not concentrated. i would turn around and ask who do you think is the principal decision making in any of the coalition governments in a country like any of the countries of western europe? it's not a single person for the reason the process in which people act and interact and make decisions.
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the president zardari and the nerve the political party will always have the respect of most people in parliament in terms of and the authority to give guidance. but eventually it will be a process of give-and-take. for example the senate of pakistan doesn't have a simple majority party say you have political parties that have to negotiate and very frankly, i know that people get very irritable with that in this town because they like the idea of who can we get a decision out of tomorrow with the fact of the matter is that from pakistan point of view, we would have multiple powers so that a greater understanding and of the pluralism of pakistan, pakistan as a multi-ethnic religious country. we do not want to be, and we are not a dictatorship with any point on history. it might be difficult for
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journalists. they may need to talk to more sources and some of them don't and it the story's wrong. i can count five times publications have predicted the downfall of the government within the next few days. hasn't happened. so, it makes it more difficult for them and also makes life more difficult for americans to pakistan they have to meet our people during the visit than they would otherwise but i think it might actually be good for pakistan in terms of helping us forge national unity in a better manner. >> as pakistan have the time to try and mosul threw away the there will be these internal acts and conflicts, and on the flood i would like to get your view. there was a few recall an estimate from the primm mr. that the floods that created damage was about $43 billion the world bank and the asian development bank came up with roughly
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$10 billion that's been figured. the government hasn't challenged that but even that amount of money is not available whether in the recent pakistan development forum for others where pakistan has sought the assistance. so how bad is the situation on the ground now, as a result of the floods, and what of the international aid doesn't come through? what is the mechanism available? >> let me say this such a mission pakistan was definitely the biggest humanitarian challenge that we have seen in the history of the united nations and the general said that much. however, let me say one thing. the worst predictions have not been fulfilled. the fact there were fewer casualties should have been cause for people to say somebody did something right and evacuated large populations it is a free areas but that credit was not going because after all we all understand and you're
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sort of here at the council but has a wonderful center in this town somebody who has worked in the think tank businesses as there are careers made and that sort of bad news and careers made in sort of predicting the worst, there's careers made in the sea and the rhythm was falling apart. so far pakistan has defied those predictions more than once. the under flood themselves. let's go first to the specific question. he said it was the emotional loss in terms of infrastructure lost crops and the potential for future crops lost, potential for development etc., etc. a. the world bank figured is for actual infrastructure sort of material, tangible things being lost and that is a 10 billion-dollar figure. and for that, funds are being
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mobilized. pakistan is mobilizing its internal resources as well in greater taxation to believe but it has been closely on a fair. a flexible ten days after the flood, the amount that has been raised for pakistan stands at something like $3.20 per person, whereas in case of the pakistan earthquake of 2005 it was $70 per person in off the coast of myanmar and in the case of the haiti your quick it was $495 per person, and it seems that natural disasters fallen to two categories, the cover life on television by anderson cooper and natural disasters not
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covered live on television by anderson cooper, and since pakistan is heading to the second category we didn't get the same kind of attention we should have. i have actually prepared -- have had a study done which shows there were only 700 new stories and pakistani floods within a month of the flood taking place in the american media. and of the 700 stories, the overwhelming number of stories related to the political consequences will pakistan survived the flood, will american pakistani relationship survived the flood? are the militants taking advantage of the flood that there had been a flood and 20 million people were at risk wasn't a story that was covered by most people. and even then, it has been excluded now by several studies in putting our very good research piece by christina and another by the guard which shows
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similar stories were run after the earthquake of 2005. it's the easiest, cheapest of the simplest street journalists have that first quick story, and that was the jihadis are coming. but the fact of the matter is five years later they went and actually interviewed people in the earthquake affected area and 70% of them had received support and assistance from either foreign ngos or the government of pakistan, the pakistani armed forces which are part of the government of pakistan, so i think the way this has been presented things have been exaggerated but pakistan does mean greater international support to get back on its feet in the aftermath of the floods. we've lost 70 million acres of farmland. 20 million people have been rendered homeless or affected which is the largest number of people affected by any natural
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disaster. 150,000 square kilometers came under water which is one-fifth of pakistan's's land area and the area the size of the near eastern seaboard of the united states all the way to florida. and basically we have had infrastructure damage that this calculated to be a billion dollars, so we do need international systems. the united states are the first and they have come especially through the united states government secretary of state clinton has taken tremendous interest the affect only yesterday the united states announced one-third of the funds will be available for rehabilitation and the other 500 million on top of the 493 million that have already been made available earlier. president obama has taken an interest in the matter, ambassador holbrooke has been to pakistan more than once and senator john kerry and has
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interacted with the flood survivors that said private giving in america has been much less than it could have been and i'm hoping in the next few days pakistan the americans and those americans support of and sympathetic to pakistan and we must also that knowledge when the floods came our neighbor provided $25 million of assistance to the united nations so it's not like the international community has risen to the location it's just the magnitude of the tragedy requires a far greater dressed in has been possible given the circumstances of how the world sees these days is not just our problem is but half the problem is seen is equally important and i hope discussions like this will educate people more on the needs of pakistan and the
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aftermath. >> my question still remains of the international aid is the way it is it's not coming in droves. what steps can the government take or planning to take to transform the economy in a way that it can better look after its own needs rather than rely -- >> the international assistance would make it easier to get through the crisis but at the end of it, we draw our own food and will continue to do so. we will have to -- we have a very young population, half of pakistan passed's population, its 19 billion, very young. they can be a source of great strength for the country. we hopefully will be able to attract our attitude toward investment and get more investment and the fact remains even at this moment many significant american companies are expanding investment. stories that are not told.
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coca-cola, procter and gamble, boeing and several others. there are people increasing their commitment to pakistan because after all pakistan is a market of 180 million people, and then the boom that is in the region is something despite the global economic downturn that we can hopefully to get into just a the government of pakistan is not depending on international assistance. it is looking forward to it. >> thank you, ambassador. i should monopolize your time and go to the audience and when i recognize you please let for the microphone hidden. >> mr. ambassador, and i supposed to identify -- >> please do if you would pave >> former ambassador to the osce
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in the united states. your mastery of message leaves me almost breathless. and i think the picture you have drawn of pakistan so far is quite solid and remarkable, but there is one part of what you just went through that leads me and perhaps somebody else in the room puzzled, and it has to do with your description of who makes the decisions in your government because -- and i may have misunderstood completely what you were saying, but what i understood plus there is no accountability in your government if there is no one party or person responsible for making the decision or at the
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other end of the telephone. now in our country there is one person in the other end of the telephone, the president of the united states. and i think probably that is quite understood, well understood. so have i misunderstood your description of your -- >> i wouldn't be so rude to say you misunderstood my description i will just try to give the description again in different words -- >> so there is no one accountable in the government? >> i just said -- the question asked of me is who makes the decision? and to that i explained pakistan is a country that has emerged from a dictatorship, doesn't like the notion. that set of course we have a president who is the constitutional head of state and primm industries that of government, so people who want to make a phone call can reach them and i can happily and arrange the conversation and will do but i was answering the
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political question which is there is this assumption that just like under general musharraf everybody in washington used to say yes ichtegem mittal musharraf and got this or that promise with the promise was subsequently fulfilled or not we on the other hand see a democracy has to have institutions, institutional decision making in that decision making is proceeding forward, so that is what i said. i didn't say that there is no one in charge. >> thank you. ambassador, you spoke about wanting to restore some sort of dialogue with india. but the fact is pakistan has not taken successful action against those who are believed to have been involved in the mumbai attacks. my understanding is there have been no convictions at anybody and the government efforts against the organization have
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been half-hearted at best. how do you respond to that and if i may ask a question about afghanistan use that relations are better now between afghanistan and pakistan. how do you envision political solution of the afghanistan going forward and how much involvement does their need to be from neighbors like pakistan and also iran? >> let me answer the second question first. the answer is simple. it has to be determined by afghans, not by anybody else. and it's up to the afghans to decide who is involved in that process. the afghan leaders of the start a reconciliation process and call upon us to provide assistance we are there to assist and facilitate them. after all we have been home to 105 cities at one time and [inaudible] are afghan refugees so we have a role to play but we will not demand a role that does not acceptable to the afghan the
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testily the reconciliation process will have to support from pakistan. for the pragmatic reasons it would be useful for all of afghanistan's neighbors to be part of the reconciliation effort but for that the afghan leadership will have to come up with a reconciliation blueprint and then we will be very happy to work with it and facilitate it. as far as the first question is concerned mumbai was a tragedy that pakistan felt strongly about. we were hurt by what happened in mumbai as our brother and friends in india. we felt strongly that this was an attack on humanity the people were killed there were victims of terrorism and just as we do not like anybody being slaughtered in the streets of law or we do not like the idea of anybody being slaughtered in that manner in mumbai. our heart goes out to our
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neighbors and the citizens who went through they went through on the 26th of november. but people who were involved in that to the extent some of them have been in pakistan have been arrested. they are under trial to convict them would require to have the evidence that is available. with mumbai police and anybody else in the world, it doesn't mean we want to punish these people. but it's not something that can be easily done so we think the difference of opinion we have between india and pakistan is that india first confects mumbai and that will facilitate a dialogue. we feel if we had better
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dialogue the conviction would be facilitated because that we there would be more exchange of intelligence information, more exchange of legal and other material and document and personnel and the b.c.. it's a disagreement between us but it's not a disagreement of intentions. we invested the indians and us both want, india and pakistan both want terrorism to be eliminated from the region, and we look forward to the day when we will both have enough trust and faith in each other that we will understand that we are both victims and neither one of us has any interest in keeping the terrorist machine going. >> a quick follow-up. >> are you saying that because you don't have this intelligence from india that you cannot categorically say there were not elements of the pakistani government involved in the mumbai attacks? >> i don't think that is a question i can answer at this point all i will say is i do not
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always -- you probably discerned that from my presentation. i do not consider newspaper reports as sufficient basis for conviction of anybody anywhere in the world. so i've read a lot of newspaper reports. in the end convictions come through evidence that has presented before judges, conviction is something for which a legal process has to be followed so while we read a lot of reports and to keep multiplying the fact remains our court has not convicted them and we look forward to convicting them when and if we can. [inaudible] you spoke about the fact that the relationship with the u.s. has moved beyond transaction as it was in the past, but there was the president who visited india, he didn't visit pakistan this time around and while he was there he also endorsed the
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candidacy for the permanent seat on the u.n. security council and also very strong we spoke about the fact that pakistan cannot provide safe havens to terrorists against india, etc.. is there a sense of deja vu the plural the u.s. is forging a futuristic tragedy partnership with india pakistan once again is being replicated to a strategy convenience? >> i think pakistan no longer sees u.s. relations with india and pakistan. we are quite happy pakistan has a good relationship with the united states and we are equally pleased indeed that is developing a close and important strategic partnership with the united states. as far as president obama's visit to india is concerned, we appreciate that visit as
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offering an opportunity for bringing greater stability in the region and friendship and the united states and india is not something we look upon with any sense of worry. all we would like this for our relationship to be stable as well. what president obama said in india about the u.n. permanent security council permanent membership is something that we do not agree with. but then even reform is something that is a complex process and we feel that complex process has yet to play itself out. the united states also committed itself to a permanent seat for japan several years ago. japan is now nowhere near getting that seat so this is not something we think is going to reflect in any way on the u.s.-pakistan relations, and i don't think even reform is
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something i'm going to read about in tomorrow's paper as having materialized and commenting on the after tomorrow's paper is a little too far right now. as far as pakistan being relegated it hasn't benefited the united states. in the past a don't think it's great added benefit the united states around so there's a considerable understanding in this time around and in the united states that it is in america's interest to have a close relationship with pakistan and pakistan's interest to have a close relationship with all of our neighbors and i would emphasize again pakistan would like to have a close relationship with india just as we want to have a close relationship with arab neighbors. >> we have a question at the back. the young man. then the lady of the front.
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thank you. could you please identify yourself? >> my name is allison johnson and i write for northrop grumman corporation and but like your reaction to comments from general musharraf last week in relations three areas that very worried me. first, you were strong in your convictions that afghanistan should be decided in terms of its future in terms of the afghans, whereas the general basically reemphasized during his talk that it is a decision on pashtuns and there should be a greater role of the voice in afghanistan and that that was the missing piece. second, in terms of the relationship with india, the general felt the missing dialogue was around cashmere and until there wouldn't be further progress in the dialogue and relationship with india. so if you could comment on that
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stance, and finally in terms of the relationship with the united states as was already mentioned this whole challenger now where to for the dialogue with the united states for its relationship with pakistan as it relates to the overall regional questions the role of iran and afghanistan, what is your reaction to his concerns about the role of ambassador holbrooke and how effective these different players have been in trying to strengthen the dialogue in the region with the secretary of state intervening with the president and in the suburban brook intervening his conviction there's too many players attempting to have a dialogue in the region. i really would appreciate your feedback. >> as the ambassadors to not
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make comments on the former presidents of their own country especially remarks made so i'm going to treat all your questions independent of what the source of your knowledge in this particular instance may have been and i will define it as your first question about afghanistan. how should the future be decided, and i think the pasterns, and there are some who are pakistani, but the pashtuns our elfgin citizens and as i said earlier a decision within afghanistan has to be made by the future of afghanistan and that includes afghan pashtuns. people express concern about not having sufficient police in afghanistan that is an internal political problem him and stables afghanistan will require
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every community and try and afghanistan having a say in afghanistan's future. but i repeat the future still must be determined by the afghan people. we do not tend to dictate its and would advise others to not dictate to them either. second, cashmere remains an outstanding problem between pakistan and india and it would be useful for everyone are all concerned if the issue of kashmir as result. the current situation in kashmir is one that merits attention. once again there are complaints of human rights violations and it's not in the interest of regional stability and we are in a different party of that when kashmir becomes unstable. they've been able to discuss outstanding issues including general kashmir so we do not say that we would exclusively see
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it. all subjects should be discussed and that is what they conceived. so it's something we need to talk about. third question was about the regional context. pakistan does have concern and has had concerns about the security and the have been defined in a certain context. we have had for walls. the wall of afghanistan is the fifth that has relevance. it has had tremendous impact on our society, tremendous impact on our psyche and of institutions and the civilian military relationship. everything has been affected by that so it is understandable if
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any political personality from pakistan serving or retired feels the regional issues need to be attended to for pakistan to feel secure and i think the united states is fully engaged in trying to do that. maybe some people found it easier in the past as a sort of talk between two people. that didn't solve anything either by the way. pakistan i would like to plan now has made for military sort of commanders who took over power. there have been before in pakistan. those three of them had of least 90, ten years each of running the country and if it is that easy one man talks to another person in washington as of the problems of the world we would have no problem by now. it would have been between [inaudible] and eisenhower and later on lyndon johnson and then nixon
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and ronald reagan and things would be hunky dory. let's do it this way as we are trying to do of people understanding each other one brick at the tire. we will build stronger and very frankly i am not someone who is going to insult our american partners. there is a famous saying i would rather be looked over than overlooked. so in pakistan we feel the same way. we would rather have several people interacting and pay attention to us than one or two people of brazil and the better. i think in the asahel produced in wonderful in terms of engaging with afghanistan here is secretary of state hillary clinton is definitely going to
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be ascertained by historians to be an additive and successful secretary of state and very powerful voice of the united states in dealing with the rest of the world and president obama and his own security in the white house -- ayman below the first to reach out and pakistan and to our friends and to others to find some solutions. sometimes solutions are not easy to find. let's be realistic. getting several people to agree to a solution is not always easy to read of your body is positioning differently. everybody has different concerns, different priorities of the different distinctions, day after tomorrow which brings me to my own remarks of patients. sometimes you have to look it situations a little more patiently. >> thank you. i am trying not to overlook
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anyone's views so please excuse me -- connect you have a question here and then your good to go back. >> mr. ambassador, from the bingo post. if i could go back to my tax for a moment, you said the lack of evidence that this happening i didn't say anything about the post. [laughter] >> some of us work for them and lately have been flooded with a very good rewarding in pakistan to what could be good access to information and i was wondering, given your wide strategic dialogue with the americans,
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could some of this evidence come from here because one of the key masterminds is in jail in america. david half lead. so if pakistan really wants to convict and wants to give to india as use it as a good neighbor this could be the move. >> i don't think it is appropriate to comment on the case, when an american court in relation to mr. headley and then trial in pakistan. as far as a speedy trial is concerned, we have someone who is now [inaudible] just to keep things in perspective, they do not always attribute bad motives of the wheels of justice in our country. that's something that you have to understand.
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that sometimes it does happen. things happen that way and would be phyllis militated they took the position david made in the process and they take place in pakistan of the people being arrested and the attacks, and as far as mr. hadley is concerned, if and elegance and intelligence are hard to come by. you get a newspaper report ostensibly based on intelligence but the dog doesn't always translate into evidence so what i was talking about was about evidence that as long as we have evidence we do want to bring these people to trial. we do want to complete their trial. we've charged them, the of interest in pakistan and we would like to prosecute them and
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convict and that's what we want our neighbors in india to fully understand. >> if i could cite on that come ambassador, there's been a fair amount of country even within pakistan about the anti-terrorism law ways of the country which began very difficult to bring people to trial and convict them. >> the government as you say is already working on reforming the whole sort of set of laws because in many cases that brings me to what we went through. there was a patchwork of local fishing spot on top of each other. if you remember the cofounder introduced. to untangle all of this and build that actually works on a more or less permanent basis to take time and i know you started
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off asking a question i did not deliberately answer which was this pakistan have time and i think we do. it's not about we have to have it to be able to set it right because any attempt to try to do that in a haphazard manner would bring them to the same problem we have that in the past. if we learn something from the past we should understand trying to take short cuts has made our journey longer so might as well set things right and put them on a strong basis. we are in the process of changing for a simple our money laundering laws very significantly which has made us one of the better forces of laws relating. you must remember eight or ten years ago that was one of the biggest issues in this country in the media that we haven't read anything lately partly because we have been able to move against organizations taking over etc. some people are taking advantage of the situation even now and we have to find solutions to that
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as well. for example a few decades ago there was no internet and therefore there was no need to have cybercrime laws but you have the new situation you start dealing with it. the same is happening in pakistan. we are building the legal regime and will take time to do that but we do intend to do that. the idea is still week laws is dictating pakistan. terrorism is a problem of pakistan. we should stop and most pakistanis recognize that we should not see it as a problem for anybody else. pakistan needs to eliminate terrorism to protect itself. more pakistanis are being killed there as a result of attacks the last couple of years, and so is there any other? we must understand that mumbai was a tragedy and 9/11 was a tragedy but many that take place
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in pakistan and people going of worship trying to kill them, those are all turner was the tax we feel very strongly about and we do not make any distinction. a terrorist attack is a terrorist attack whether it takes place in mumbai, new york or law -- lahore. >> mr. a ambassador, in your eliminating remarks, and you mentioned public opinion in pakistan and in fact your comments you just made are a very good segue to my question. if he could about the role of an investor and explain to this american audience some of the source and context which frankly many of us who follow development in the country we don't really understand. i will give you a couple with samples, the drone strikes. of course any american, in the
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person could understand why pakistanis would feel on front this is a violation of sovereignty. but you just stated pakistanis are the biggest victim of terrorism. among others, the assassin of benazir bhutto, and of course others in the other networks that are responsible for the very attacks that have built so many pakistanis that you just mentioned. so of course we can understand as americans that there would be an upfront but one might expect that that outrage might be tempered by the understanding that as you put pakistan doesn't capacities of the jerome strikes, yes, they sometimes have collateral damage among the tribesmen buttonhole they are targeted at a jamdat going after these terrorists like the tool
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of massoud and others to reading the secretary clinton confronted in her visit these fantastic and preposterous conspiracy theories that find such welcome in pakistan that these obama attacks that you have diluted two that are somehow the work of the cia or american security firms, which is absolutely the most preposterous notion and the fact that even some media, elite media folks in pakistan perpetrate because frankly it's incomprehensible at least to this american observer. thank you, mr. ambassador. >> it's a sensible for people in pakistan so don't feel it's just your problem. the fact of the matter is conspiracy theories there's a particular mindset to harm the constituencies.
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and, you know, within this country i know that certain data indicates that 20% of americans have revelations about their own country's atomic that pakistan has a low literacy rate and the clear history as a preponderance of people believe [inaudible] please bear in mind we live in an era sometimes people believe anything. and so the solution to it is working with us and in hamdi american government after the cold war just walked away, so down the united states information agency, cut down on scholarship and fellowship programs, allowed many nations in pakistan you are more concerned about pakistan because it's on your radar screen. it's the sort of nation of
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attention that there are many countries in the world of people who would rather be. he and secretary clinton came because she made the effort, she went and met people in town hall meeting but that was just one, for example in your government to speak languages and foreign languages and therefore can go -- even in the middle east right after 9/11 i remember then ambassador went on -- who speaks in arabic. you have to do that. why am i sitting here? i could have spent this celebrity with my family. i come here because i consider it part of my job to explain
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pakistan to americans. well guess what? it's the job of the government to explain itself and the idea to the people of pakistan and the rest of the world. if you can say i am amazed that those guys, fortunately you are allies of trying to make them get it and if you can't provide resources and mobilize your government into doing it then may be part of the responsibility rests with the government. there was a time when i was very fantastic and should not be denied. it was a low point of view people should not be defined whittled may 6th planet. by the time we didn't explain it millions of people were starting to believe it and its now very clear that nations that you actually point out. sometimes you get your point of view across much better and i think that we recognize that.
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those in government and pakistan faced the conspiracy theories and most the and and really day out what to do with them but that needs to be changed and it can only be changed in partnership and only by the u.s. government mobilizing its resources and has a pakistani ambassador does to america. >> [inaudible] >> we of the question the year. does this military establishment young pakistan's. it's hard for nuclear and other conventional weapons systems because that's not reflected in
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your policies, i second question is the tax policy. what is stopping the government from focusing on the top two, 5% of the population and in terms of [inaudible] furs i do not agree with the last comment being a strong have enough, i don't know if you've been visiting the blogosphere until recently and the blogosphere is certainly not the landowning elite. it's the middle class, so i mean i have comments on that that i should withhold having made that particular comment. as far as the policy is
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concerned, the government is in the process of introducing new measures which will try and decide the tax burden more equitably. the tax burden is concerned actually it is much more disproportionate today. the only thing is that most people in pakistan that call themselves middle class in case you deduct from their salaries. so then they just complain about a lot more. the businessman has to be evaluated, he has to fill out a thing in tax the middle class it's not that the of disproportionate, but it's just not 1.5 million people in small business who do not pay their fair share and they need to be assigned their share. the middle class is not overburdened. this proportion of labor demand of the others are not able to take the tax cuts they go.
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the only reason why the government funding for a lot of high year i think the question is specifically about the higher education commission, which under the previous regime has a huge budget for sending people abroad. there are two things. a lot of people sent abroad on scholarships should not return, and so there was a cool evaluation of should we be standing people to study with. if these people are ever going to come back and say there's the general allocation of resources as being curtailed in many areas, and pakistan, the government primary responsibility in education is 42%. the women and children who do not go to school. so it's not that we do not pay attention, it's only a question of limited means.
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i would really like to support all young pakistanis who seek higher education internationally as well as nationally, but it was a question of allocation of resources. the was on that subject. there is enough pakistan is concerned have been on the basis of sovereignty concerns and civilian casualties. pakistan has never, ever expressed any reservations about the consequence of attacks such as the elimination psp mix before the minister. i know given the time difference between pakistan and the u.s. you don't get much time for bed because you're getting for work when they are going to bed. these issues probably keep you awake. i wonder if it is the one that is quite often and with the next
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faugh cook occurs in the united states and is successful, and of a tradition plan which does exist is put into effect what you see as the consequences? >> something that keeps you up at night, doesn't render you able to comment on building the day. [laughter] but let me just say that we hope to work with u.s. intelligence and the u.s. government and with the intelligence services of the european countries, and even with our neighboring countries to make sure that there is no terrorist attack that can be trucked to pakistan even after the case the have been allocated. intelligence has emerged as the people slipping into pakistan or into pakistan's tribal areas through some of our neighboring
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countries. and i am proud to report that in the last several months the intelligence cooperation between the united states and pakistan has improved to the point where our cooperation has made possible for far more terrorist attacks that have been with a similar level of cooperation in the past so we hope we will continue to work on that and the worst case scenario not materialize. spec ambassador come on behalf of fred kent and my colleagues of the atlantic council i want to thank you for coming today and hopefully he will continue coming back. >> thank you very much. [applause]
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