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tv   Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Institute of Peace  CSPAN  March 7, 2019 12:37am-2:03am EST

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yours pakistan relations in the coming years. he talked about recent cross-border violence between india and pakistan in the disputed region of kashmir. this is just over one hour. >> i think we'll go ahead and get going. thank you for coming. my name is andrew wilder. under vice president of of the asian center. usip. thank all of you for coming. thanks to those of you for joining online. a word of apologies. you will not be surprised to hear that over the last week we had a surge of interest in this event so many of you may be ended up in the overflow space so apologies for that. for those of you who are new,, usip was founded in 1984 by congress as an independent national institute dedicated to the proposition that peace is possible, practical and it is essential for u.s. and global
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security. usip has been working in pakistan for many years. we have focus on trying to increase tolerance for diversity in pakistan, working with a broad range of civil society actors, innovators, scholars, policymakers but what we do back in washington we feel also important in try trying to keee american public informed of pulsing makers informed about what's happening in pakistan. as full as in all the other countries in which usip is working overseas. it's a pleasure the day to invite ambassador khan to usip. he is no stranger to washington. he served to before. this if it is proven to be very timely and get much more so than we envision when we originally scheduled it. this past week has witnessed what some describe as the most syrian military confrontation between two nuclear states in recent history. so we are pleased to have
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ambassador here with us today to discuss this crisis but not just this crisis. many of the other issues that are priorities for pakistan and also use pakistan relationship. as where a peace institute would like your perspectives from all parties. we're also, therefore, reached out to the indian embassy in the hopes will have an opportunity for the indian ambassador to speak at usip at some point in the not-too-distant future. ambassador khan has a long and distinguished career in the foreign service of pakistan spanning nearly three decades. by his most recent assignment was pakistan's ambassador to japan where he served from 2017-2019. again no stranger to d.c. as he was here at the dcm at the embassy from 2012-2015. ambassador khan earned his doctorate in international economic and business law in japan. and and and i was about
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ambassador to take the stage and make introductory remarks. after that my colleague moeed yusuf will join the ambassador on the stage for a moderated discussion in question and answer. but i wouldn't be doing a job if i didn't use this opportunity to put in a plug for his book -- [laughing] brokering peace in nuclear environments, u.s. crisis management in south asia published by stanford about a year ago and certainly very relevant to the happenings of the last couple of weeks in south asia. so i encourage all of you to rush out and buy this immediately, if you really want to understand what's been happening and how to respond to crises like these in south asia. so with that i will invite you, ambassador come to the state and thank you again for coming to usip. [applause]
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>> thank you, andrew. distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for having me over at the united states institute of peace to speak about pakistan's policy responses, two recent developments in our region and my priorities as pakistan's ambassador to the united states. for building a strong and sustainable partnership between our two countries. over the years we have established itself as the first call for all newly arriving ambassador to pakistan. we are thankful to the leadership for their close and continuing engagement with pakistan. we value it greatly. i'm sure all of you have been closely following the recent developments in our region.
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however, before sharing my thoughts and perspectives on the recent developments, i'd like to start by talking about my priorities for the bilateral relationship, and how it could be transformed into a long-term partnership based on mutuality of benefit. distinguished guests, pakistan-u.s. relationship as most of you are well aware is as old as pakistan itself. over the last seven decades, we have pursued common goals inspired by shared ideas and common objectives. we have achieved remarkable successes whenever we have worked together. i have a long personal association with this relationship. in my diplomatic career, spanning over 30 years, i have seen good times and challenging
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times. however, despite occasional differences in turbulence, , the importance of the relationship and the need to stay engaged has never been lost on either side. for pakistan, our relationship with the united states remains a consequential and significant one. we are the fifth largest country in the world in terms of population, a vibrant democracy, and nuclear power with a strategic location at the cusp of southwest and central asia and approximately to the persian gulf. we also have an active and well-placed pakistani american community that enriches all facets of american society. the united states is also pakistan's leading trading partner and a significant source of foreign direct investment.
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and surprisingly, given pakistan's status as a major asr english-speaking nation, american colleges and universities remain a destination of choice for young pakistanis looking to fulfill their dream. all this makes pakistan a significant player in its own right and a natural partner of the united states for building a strong, sustainable and long-term relationship encompassing security, economy, business, and people to people contacts. we, therefore, do not see our relationship with the united states through the prism of another country and would not want to be seen through the prism of another country. in this backdrop, i arrived in washington determined to work towards building a relationship that is broad-based and
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comprehensive, as well as long-term and predictable. such a relationship, we are convinced, will not only serve the interests of our two countries but would also act as a linchpin for the future stability and prosperity of the nation. distinguished guests, my arrival in washington i must say is also auspiciously timed, as a can after pakistan has gone through a historic democratic transition with the new government in place and is a dynamic leadership of prime minister khan. the leadership that is committed to ensure pakistan into a new era. the government wants to build a new pakistan that can be translated as new pakistan, in order to pursue a people friendly, development driven, and peace centric agent. the whole trust of the new government is to create an
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enabling environment that would allow the people of pakistan to pursue their dreams and aspirations for personal growth, social mobility, and economic development and prosperity. to this end the government has already put in place a comprehensive plan designed to provide better access to health, housing, and education to the people of pakistan. similarly important steps promoting austerity, fiscal discipline and domestic resource mobilization, improving ease of doing business, enhancing competitiveness and productivity are being taken to deal with our foreign exchange and trade related challenges. we believe that with our much improved security environment, better control over our energy crisis, and development of a massive connectivity and transport infrastructure, pakistan is open for business.
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u.s. businesses and investors have historically had a significant presence in pakistan. despite all the challenges that we confronted over the last decade in terms of security, they are not only maintained their equities in pakistan, but a large difficulty recently exxon mobil has come back to pakistan in a big way, and cargo has entered pakistani market as well. we went to see more u.s. companies coming to pakistan. with its huge middle class the potential to emerge as as a manufacturing hub for the entire region, augustana offers a captive market for u.s. retailers and rich investment opportunities for the u.s. manufacturers. i'm here to see can explore the opportunities, recognizing fully that now is the time to come to pakistan, sooner the better. as the prime minister said to all business invested in middle is, pakistan is on the upswing.
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you do not want to miss the boat. ladies and gentlemen, a prosperous, pluralistic and tolerant pakistan is at the heart of the governments vision for pakistan, and it is this people and development in the city that are driving the government peaceful neighborhood agent. the prime minister is convinced that pakistan will not be able to pursue its development goals and aspirations until and unless we have peaceful neighborhood. the new government wasted time and reaching out to all of our neighbors, particularly afghanistan to seek dialogue cooperation and engagement. indeed, the prime minister has hand of friendship to india in his very first speech after the july 2018 elections, declaring that if india were to take one step, pakistan will take two. since then pakistan has opened
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the corridor for seek -- sikh pilgrims from india and also made of the peace ventures which unfortunately our unrest approach located -- iressa prosecuted. this past decade the pakistan use relationship has come to be seen through the afghan prism, not listen to the fact we have been partners before and hope to be friends long after the afghan crisis. we can understand use concerns in over 780,000 pakistanis including around 7000 of our troops have lost their lives in fighting terrorists since 2001. pakistan there for once to see the u.s. succeed in bringing peace to afghanistan. pakistan wants to see and afghanistan that is at peace with itself in peace with its neighbors. happily, there is today a
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fundamental emerges between pakistan and the united states on the need for achieving political settlement in afghanistan. prime minister khan has been advocating peace through dialogue in afghanistan long before it became fashionable. pakistan therefore supports president trump's bold vision for peace and afghanistan and our cooperation has been critical to the report of progress being made by the ambassador in doha. pakistan continued to extend it support for the process. this is -- peace and afghanistan is ultimately a shared responsibility. it is therefore important to take all the stakeholders on board and to guard against any spoilers for my not be invested in the success of the u.s.-led peace process. pakistan also agrees that then dialogue that brings together the taliban and the national unity government is essential
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for evolving a a roadmap for sustainable peace in afghanistan. it is ultimately up to the afghan people and their representatives to determine their political future. pakistan does not, however, want to be left holding the bag in the region. we hope the international community and particularly the u.s. with the remain economically engaged in afghanistan. pakistan is also been host to the afghan refugees for almost 20 years. the hope that the peace settlement will result in repatriation of afghan refugees. ladies and gentlemen, as you know the past few weeks have witnessed a serious escalation between india and pakistan in the aftermath of the attack. they carried out a suicide attack against a conflict and occupied kashmir on 14th of february. india pointed the finger at
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pakistan within minutes. the indian government and media went into overdrive whipping up war hysteria against pakistan. india paid no attention to the evidence, all of it pointed to the indigenous origin of the attack. by rejecting the indian allegations, prime minister khan offered india an investigation and dialogue, and promised to take action against anyone involved in the attack, if india could provide credible and actionable intelligence. the prime minister also asked india introspect about what was driving young people to lose their fear of death and give up their lives fighting the indian occupation. he also went india that pakistan will be forced to respond if india commits aggression against pakistan. unfortunately, india neither took up the prime minister's offer or dialogue nor paid heed to his warning. on february 26 india in
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violation of the u.n. charter, international law and interstate norms, aggression by attacking pakistan. clearly, india chose to act as judge, jury and executioner. it followed up on this aggression by making ridiculous claims of having a so-called terrorist camp inside pakistan and killing over 300 militants. these claims as you know have been totally debunked by neutral observers as well as elements within india. the day after india's aggression against pakistan and 27 figure, pakistan struck six sites instant occupied kashmir purposely avoiding civilian casualties or collateral damage. when to make indian aircraft violate our space, they were shot down. arsenal objective was to demonstrate that we had the
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right and capability to act and are self defense. we also made it clear that we do not wish to further escalate and are ready to give dialogue a chance to resolve issues like a responsible and mature democratic nation. i pakistan also called upon the international community. they ignored india's irresponsible actions of 26 and 27 february that it seriously imperiled peace and stability in south asia, and to urge india to de-escalate. prime minister khan once again stressed the importance of dialogue and engagement pointing out that all wars start from this calculation, and once they start your not in anyone's control. we will reinforce pakistan's commitment to peace and dialogue and as a goodwill gesture aimed at de-escalating the a rising tension between india, pakistan announced the release of the
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captured indian pilots who is already safely return to india. the inking i was handed over by pakistani officials at the border. merely hours later, pakistani officers back at the border, this time to receive the dead body of a pakistani who had been beaten to death in an indian prison. this symbolism could scarcely be starker. ladies and gentlemen, prime minister khan has been consistent from day one in seeking peace and dialogue in india. he has shown courage, vision and restraint as statesmen leading nuclear power. we don't overspend behind us and that some sense and sanity will prevail in india allowing the present government to seize the -- in the series threat supposed to peace and security in the region and beyond. however, it is a matter of concern that the frenzy that the indian government whipped up around the attack that result in
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poor kashmir is being hounded and attacked across india even if later being rounded up and imprisoned i indian forces. this is happening on top of the unspeakable atrocities that the kashmiri people have suffered, particularly since 2016, that are now duly documented in the u.n. of chr report. international community cannot afford to continue getting it wrong. it must recognize that it is the unresolved dispute of kashmir. time to address the oldest dispute on the u.s. security council agency. ladies and gentlemen, before i conclude, let me reiterate the important pakistan attaches to its relationship with the united states and our desire to build a long-term and broad-based partnership between the two countries. i thank you very much for your patience.
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[applause] >> thank you, ambassador. as always very copperheads of and eloquent. what we'll do is have a bit of a chat, and then open it up for questions from all of you. can i request my colleagues to see if we could get questions on the overflow room as well? we have a large crowd and a couple of other rooms as andrew mentioned, this was an oversold so want to make sure they can be part of this. ambassador, let me first begin by the only softball and give you today. >> okay. >> how is it to be back in washington? >> no, , i'm very happy delightd to be back. although on paper i presented my credentials on 11th january but i had to go back to japan to
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basically do my favorite called in tokyo. so i arrived here in early february and then i was in germany when this all happened. we've been added so i still have to go out to cdc to be able to realize what it is like -- >> jetlagged. >> yes. >> let me begin quite honestly i ask you, you that some of your official calls i know. is this a really different d.c. than what you left in 2015? death of india administration by the relationship also. >> i think, yes, d.c. at least this is what i hear from everybody, and i would say that i have still, or i have yet to fight it out for myself because i've only done a few calls so
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far, that d.c. is different from what it was before. but so far i was certainly very warmly received by the president for my credentials, and i've also been very warmly received by senior state department officials. so the challenges in the relationship, it never was an easy relationship and the never was or the never is a dull moment in this relationship. from that perspective and point of view i, frankly, still don't see much of a difference, but the jury is still out. i may be in a position to -- >> so let me sort of state on the u.s.-pakistan for a bit and ask you, you have mentioned in your opening remarks the importance of pakistan and the u.s.-pakistan relationships history.
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quite honestly, the way the world is moving there is an obvious new geostrategic outlook, of the u.s. and china seem to be now the obvious competitors going forward in terms of great power. pakistan for many in this town has only made a decision, a choice, which is to be in the chinese camp. there's a china pakistan quarter, billions flowing from that many would argue that ultimately the us and 80 strategic partnership that is much more important. how would you respond to that? >> you know, i think when you say this you are perhaps looking at the world in terms of the classic hard alliances that the world had during the cold war where, you know, you exist inside those and where you were either with one block or against
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that block. i think the world has changed tremendously, and today china is united states largest trading partner. today, china is a major trading partner with andy also. despite living strategic competition, these relationships are not seen or proceed as either/or relationships. ever pakistan i think it is wrong to see our relationship, and that's the point i made in my presentation also, that we don't want to be, you know, we are a very important and significant country in her own right. and our friendship with china is that something started yesterday. it's been a relationship that has always been there, even when china and united states were incompletely opposing camps and
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they did not have the kind of trade and investment linkages and connections that they have today. in fact, pakistan played a role in ringing china and united states. and then in the context of cpac also, i think that does not mean that the chinese investments are the exclusion of everyone else. i think if you look at our investment regime and that's a point about remaking extensively extensively in washington, d.c., that those investment packages are available on a most favored nation status basis. and that china came to pakistan frankly when no one was ready to come to pakistan here today the situation has changed fundamentally and remarkably in terms of the security turnaround that we achieved in pakistan in terms of what we've done in overcoming the energy crisis come in terms of cpac, creating
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the basic infrastructure. that should allow us and enable us to move to the next level where it kick starts. we have 210 million population with 45% middle class, with 40% increase in the consumption power, you know. all this opens up avenues for manufacturing and using pakistan as a connectivity have in the wider region. so i really don't think that the recent goals of the cold war is right thing to do, and to conceive the relationships and realignments strictly in the manner in which they were seen or proceed 40 or 30 years ago. i think this is a new world. this is where countries are
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basically looking for opportunities with friends and with their strategic competitors alike, and pakistan doesn't want to be any different. >> fair enough. one more in this and then we will switch to a harder topic. >> i thought this was the harder topic. >> you make the point about sort of economic space, the market, the size. that's taken. the problem with pakistan of course is you sit next to two giants, two of the largest economy in the world and that, in fact, it's also not going to change. apart from economics, isn't part of the problem in this relationship that all the issues and the two sides have discussed for the past three or four years at least have not been positive? there's afghanistan where there's tension. there's nuclear what is been an issue. there is terrorism which i will come to. where is the positive convergence that should create
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champions of the pakistan relationship in this done? quite frankly used to do calls but i'll be honest with you one of the big changes from when you were here previously, i think those champions are gone because there's a lot of frustration with the relationship. >> i think you are not following -- [inaudible] and what he has said about the relationship. and again, obviously, and i think you are right, the challenge in this relationship i would say for the past whole decade has been the centrality of the afghan issue as a part of the conversation, and that has in the way influenced everyone here in d.c. and, therefore, i think the convergence, and i think i would
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like to say that president trump has shown a lot of courage and vision in seeking peace or trying to achieve peace in afghanistan. and on this particular score, i think he is on the same page with our prime minister, and we are determined to work with him. and in that i think would at least remove that elephant in the room that consumed all energy in the relationship and did not let us focus on issues other than that, let me also say that, you know, that is a conversation in the public domain. but then there are also realities on the ground. i mean, procter & gamble made six times profit than the global average in pakistan.
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pepsi and coke doubled and tripled the investments while -- you know, and this all happened during the last ten years. so you know, the businesses have their own sins and appreciation of a country and its potential, but then that conversation doesn't get reported in the "new york times." that conversation doesn't get reported in the "washington post." post. so, therefore, it is not part of perhaps moeed focus also but the thing is nuclear, yes, i mean, that is been part of our bilateral conversations for as long as this issue has been. >> i think that's a fair point and one of the critiques i have in the conversations here is that yes, it is not as broad as it should be because of the things happening in pakistan. but since afghanistan, you make in afghanistan as the issue that is holding things back. there seems to be positive news out of afghanistan, and for the
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past two months, three months some of the narratives have changed on u.s.-pakistan in terms of what's happening in afghanistan. what is pakistan's vision for afghanistan jan saying he should be peaceful and independent and everything else? is pakistan, if someone would come to today on the pakistani state and say what is your ideal scenario out of this entire peace process, what would that be? >> i think, you know, i mean, the facts speak for themselves. there's no country after afghanistan that has suffered as much as pakistan on account of the conflict in afghanistan. so we have huge and direct stakes in seeing peace returned to afghanistan. we would like afghanistan to be a stable place with no ungoverned spaces that are used by elements against pakistan or
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anyone else. pakistan has also been home to almost 2.7 million refugees, and much more for the past 40 years. so we would want them to return to the country and to be able to pursue their aspirations for economic growth, personal security, and all that. so for us, and really, if you look at, and i recall time back in 1991 and, you know, early '90s when there was this possibility of peace returning, and pakistan and the wider region looking at the connectivity potential now people reach out to central asia and the wider region as soon as we are able to achieve peace. so we have an economic state. we have a stake.
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we have a stake as a neighbor who has shared the burden of those refugees for that many years. so in that way we would like to have peace returned to afghanistan and enable us, basically, you know, to also pursue our economic and development goal. i press on something that has been the talk of this town for a while? and i understand it's a difficult issue, but the future of the taliban seems to be becoming somewhat clear in this lease process and perhaps there's also the haqqani network. where does this conversation in up whether there is a peace deal and afghanistan are not? because as far as i can tell, the issue still remains. >> i think, well, the peace
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process i suppose has overtaken all of the conversations, and since u.s. is in direct conversation with the taliban initiative, and ambassador colleagues odd has empowered delegation and ensure all these issues must be on the table for the two sides to discuss directly -- ambassador zaud. >> switching gears to india, since that i'm sure is on everybody's mind here is spending a lot of time on that. i promise to leave enough time for everybody to ask questions. maybe that's the hardest part actually. last week you talked about escalation. you talked about the dangers, absolutely. everybody sort of looking at this horrified. first, explain to us where you
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see india-pakistan going from here. you explain the dialogue that the prime minister of pakistan offered. clearly that hasn't worked, but you still have a situation where tensions are high, the line of control is hard in kashmir. india and kashmir is not doing well at all, and terrorism remains a very sort of realistic possibility. is there any scope for india-pakistan to do better in terms of at least preventing or managing the next crisis? or probably going to see a repet which is going to be worse because tempers are high and emotions are high? >> yes. i think the situation is serious. we have returned from the brink, at least for now, but finding out that as soon as the indian pilot was handed over to the
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indian side, we have seen a marked escalation on the line of control. we have lost two of our soldiers and are some civilian casualties also. so that's the difficult part, and then that is something that is keeping us on our toes. and then the whole point really is, and this is something that actually predates obama. you know, prime minister in one of his speeches, and this is driven by his view and commitment that, you know, the only way forward is to dialogue and engagement. by force, you cannot resolve anything.
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and, unfortunately, that conversation track is not there and that leaves a vacuum where some kind of miscalculation, consistently, you know, at the cost of being seen as a country or as a leader striving for peace, you know. he has been asking for dialogue and the whole point really is to avoid any kind of miscalculation that could seriously endanger peace and security. >> ambassador, i take your point, let's be honest. i think, you know, andrew mentioned my book. i spent seven years looking at this. i can tell you that there is a movement in terms of the global opinion on these crises. ten years ago, 15 years ago the only conversation was de-escalation. there's a nuclear and private, nobody wants a nuclear war. i think you are seeing a
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discernible shift in this capital and others where people are now having a conversation about the crisis trigger more than de-escalation. so even in this crisis in early 2016, the last major crisis, actually there were public statements that said that india has the right to defend itself. this then again it was counterterrorism. are we not in a situation where we are hostage to terrorist groups who are doing this, creating nuclear crises, and what the world internalizes his that pakistan hasn't done anything about it? >> you know, there is always a true story underneath the bluster, underneath the layers of disinformation that is created. and i think the test of the new leadership is to basically be
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able to have those communication channels that would actually allow you to go deeper into that and address the issue that you want to address. because if you basically take a position that you are going to do this, this, this, this, if this, this, this happened, you're essentially leaving the entire situation hostage to one, two, or couple of individuals who may be rogue elements acting on their own, trying to basically create a warlike situation. and in that sphere, and again,, you know, i mean, within minutes of this incident, india spoke about incontrovertible evidence. >> no, i take that point. >> and that evidence should have
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been presented. >> i take that point, but how do you explain the claim of responsibility of this attack. you know, i read yesterday that pakistan sort of the with meeting and is reported in the press that pakistan is going to take action and make sure that all these sort of organizations are under state control et cetera. isn't the big again and being pointed at pakistan because of these groups? if there claiming responsibly, isn't nesser this chapter close once and for all? >> no. again, we are at it, you know, and you spoke, you asked me about how different the conversation is today than what it was when i was your last. and i've been part of this conversation now for almost 12 years, continuous. and i strongly urge you and
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those in the audience to revisit some of the u.s. talking points. back in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014. i have read "new york times" editorial in 2009 declaring that taliban are 70 km away and they're going to soon take over islamabad. please come visit pakistan. i take each of the most popular tourist destination and pakistan once again. we heard about clearing the agencies, the tribal belt. we heard about dismantling networks. we have done all that, you know. since 2017 alone pakistan has carried out 20,000 intelligence-based operations in
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pakistan. and the improved security situation will speak for itself. there is no organized presence of any terrorist group in pakistan. i can say that with responsibility here. >> one more and then a a promie to move on and opened it up a couple of more questions. isn't it true that one of your biggest challenges as ambassador, or pakistan's challenge, is to correct some of the negative perceptions about pakistan or the image problem as some would call it? and wouldn't you agree that there is an inherent contradiction between trying to do that and the world's microscopic focus on the leadership of some of these groups? due to which pakistan keeps getting the blame. how do you actually move away from that if that conversation continues to be where it is? >> no. as i said, we are at the end,
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and we will do what is in the best interest of pakistan. and the point i am making is that we have done a lot already, and i described this as a linear progression in the right direction. i think we're continuously moving, and there have been -- was part of the national action plan. it may not have been implemented the way it was supposed to have been implemented, but we've taken a series of factions against these outfits, and we're determined to take it to the logical conclusion. >> so could i ask a yes or no question? is pakistan's approach to this issue indiscriminate? >> it is. >> one question on the economy and we will move on. we've heard a lot about saudi arabia, the uae, others coming in at and supporting pakistan financially in recent times,
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both through cash infusion but also through investments. there's been a lot of debate about the imf, owing to the imf, not going to the imf. this question i quite frankly ask you more from a pakistani perspective than any other. all of this, to me, to be very honest as an analyst is irrelevant. the money has come in,, especially the cash infusion. all of that has happened to the current crisis. but the conversation keeps coming back to win pakistan will make the structural reforms that take away the need for the pakistani prime minister to go around and then come back and report to his nation that we've got a lot of money to get us out of the crisis. alternately, here is how it asked the question. if the were no imf and if the window ex-pat pakistani sending $20 billion back, which is neither of those pakistan is doing in that sense, what is the economic plan to get pakistan on the road to progress without
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falling back into the crisis over and over again? >> yes, i think there are two parts to what you just said. first of all, i think going to imf is not that big of a statement as it is usually presented to the, i think is a of imf, we have right to explore the option. and we have done that several times in the past. if need be we will do it once again. i think if you look at the steps that -- and yes, we need to do, undertake steps and those hard reforms that would basically -- and, in fact, last time this was for the first time that we unveiled all the aid transfers and actually told the imf that
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we don't need you anymore. so we would like to get to that point. and for that already you know, be it tariff rationalization, be it exchange rate adjustment and making it more realistic, be it expanding the domestic tax base and a range of measures are already in the pipeline. obviously, it will take time for everyone to see the results, either doing business, enhancing productivity. so there is a slew of measures the government is already looking at and is actually already taken also. so the bottom line is that we are ready to take those, make those our choices and take those hard decisions that you would require to stall the possibility of resorting to this again. >> my final question. it ties to something close to all of our hearts at usip and this whole field, and it goes
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back to the image question. i put this regression to the pakistani foreign ministry when he was here. the issue of international nongovernment organizations. i completely take the point it's not a pakistan specific. i did and he this. my question to is about pakistan. we talked about the image. we talk about opening up to the west. and on the other hand, we also see this sort of crack down on ngos perhaps, you know, the eight on the list now very recently. i completely understand the legal issues and all of that. how do you square this with the image issue? because being in the field i can tell you, the organizations on the list, the ones i know are not what they're being labeled as. there are respected names in this field. what is the mechanism? and let me just frame it by
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saying that i had a recent conversation with somebody and i thought they made a very important point, which was other countries do this as well. it's a global trend, a number of countries in the region are kicking out ngos. but this was an ngo person telling the at least we know what we have to do to stay or be kicked out. we are not clear on the benchmarks of what is being used to make this decision. >> first of all, i think i would not describe -- >> wrong word. crackdown was a wrong word. i knew you were going to go there. >> i think we are -- >> sorry. sorry. >> we are engaged in -- >> in requesting them to leave. >> no, no. i think we are -- in fact, we have clear to most of them and perhaps they also face the same image problem that we face. but again, i think -- and this
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is something that we used to always discuss in new york, during my second committee days in terms of the necessity to let the country determine the development priorities. and then to request our international partners and friends to come and support and help us wherever we need that help. we, as i said, a large majority of the ngos who want to work, have already been cleared. consistent with the priorities that the government has laid out. there are issues with some of the advocacy related ngos. we are also working on that framework and we are in conversation with them, in
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dialogue with them. and i tell you, there is no priority exclusion of anyone, and we will give reasons for exclusion, and we hear it from i ngos interested in working in pakistan and i've heard this before also that they want to know the reasons why it is. so we are engaged in the conversation. we will continue to stay engaged and i want to say that we value, greatly value, the good contributions that some of the ingos have made, including moeed yusuf. >> we had a very good partnership and thank you for that but just a somebody who works in a steel and cares about this i would very much request you look into this. this is not helping pakistan, not helping the field. at least not to declare in of these reputable organizations and security issues because of don't think that goes demo. let me open it up to the
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audience and take some questions. j emailed me yesterday and said i must ask a question so not forget you, but let me start from the front and come back. yes, please. >> i am from india and carly student at johns hopkins school of advanced international studies doing a dual concentration in international economics and conflict management. it is my opinion that the leaders will begin even before she or he speeders can we stick to questions? i want to get to as many as again. >> before he or she starts the role of leadership at my question is, if the future leaders or prime ministers in pakistan and intercede in this audience today, what concrete steps would you advise him to take from now until if and when they take office to resolve the kashmir dispute once we reach the office to with the ground running? what country? i'm hoping for step one, step
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two, step three. >> thank you. you want to take more? >> we can take a few more questions. >> right here. >> thank you. transactional strategy group. welcome to washington, , mr. ambassador. you asked about this, the peace dividend that pakistan might expect with respect to its near abroad perhaps at some point with india when and anything sd down and, of course, with the united states post afghan deal. >> let me give you a question from one of our guests. in the overflow room. it reads in the alleged pakistan used f-16s for the missile that was fired. pakistan denies it. what injures agreements restrict pakistan from using an f-16? is the limitation that it cannot use them against india? one more from the audience. yes, please. wait for the microphone because
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we are being covered live. thank you. >> so welcome, mr. ambassador. i work for global peace. you talked about the app can be shipped in support of kinston so concentrate on that. the best they can just pakistan was -- afghanistan is recognized as a government and, but look at the trend, over 3000 american soldiers died. over 52,000 injured or disabled speedy question, please. >> over 100,000 killed in afghanistan. probably i'm wrong about the number, may be higher number. , maybe higher number. why do you think afghanistan as a country and united states as a country trust pakistan in the current trend talking with the taliban and what is a rule of your country in this process? >> okay. first of all, i think the u.n. security council resolution, i
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just asked both leaders to go back and pull those resolutions was adopted almost 70 years and all of it is actually laid out in terms of how this issue needs to be resolved. .. and through that, in terms of exploring wider economic possibilities and it is only after you are able to bring
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security in pakistan, in afghanistan and peace in the wider region, even with india, that we will be able to actually explore and fully harness that peace dividend that you are alluding to. and it was -- pakistan is between two huge economies and two huge countries. that also is our strength. we might come across as small from new delhi or beijing, but pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world. that way the potential and possibilities are unlimited, only if we are able to deal with this perpetual conflict and tension in the region bilaterally and in the wider
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region. i don't know, india has been alleging so many other things so i really don't -- we don't get into every single one of them and i am not aware of any request from the u.s. side about the f-16. >> i think the question is whether pakistan is prevented by -- >> i have not seen that. i am not in a position to comment on that. >> one more -- actually, two of the questions -- sorry. >> my apologies. could you please repeat your question? i didn't really quite get it. >> pakistan is allies with the united states and the allied forces in afghanistan. the peace process started after 9/11.
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i can give you the number, over 3,000 american soldiers died, or close, over 50,000 got injured or disabled. besides that, over 100,000, maybe i'm wrong with the number, probably the number is pretty much higher, afghan forces died in this process and over probably 100,000 civilians died in the country. it all happened while pakistan was allied with afghanistan, with america, with allies in trying to bring peace in the region. now that there is peace talk, why do we have to trust the other countries, if pakistan is so honest in this process? >> let me crystallize the question to you because we have an identical question which is perhaps more pointed. i think if i'm right, you mentioned the high price pakistan has paid for the conflict in afghanistan. don't you think pakistan should also take responsibility for continuing to hold some of the groups that have created problems in afghanistan,
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essentially pakistan, iran and india, pakistan's neighbors, constantly make claims about this vis a vis pack stan. >> it's really -- not really a question, i mean, of pakistan taking responsibility because if you start talking about numbers, you know, if we had brought 17,000 citizens in pakistan also in the war on terror, who would take responsibility for those losses that we have suffered? we have also lost more than 3,000 people and of course they were being funded by somebody, they were being financed by somebody, they were being claimed by somebody, and this has been going on. this unfortunate conflict. that's why i said in the beginning, it's really for us, it is an absolute imperative to
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see peace and that's why we are making every effort that we can to facilitate peace and we are happy that today, u.s. and pakistan are on the same page and frankly, in october or in september, nobody could have imagined that the process would come this far in a matter of a few months. we are also actually basically, we believe that there is no peace until all afghans are on board. to that extent, pakistan, whatever it can do, is doing and that perhaps is our way of making a contribution to a conflict that we want to see end sooner than later because after afghanistan, pakistan is the one that has suffered the most. so if we start speaking about
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responsibilities, then someone will have to take responsibility for whatever has happened in pakistan. we are a changed country. i come from a generation which grew up in the '70s. we were a much different country. we imported the culture, we have the drugs so somebody will have to take responsibility for that also. >> let's go all the way back, then work our way. >> thank you very much. sir, i just want you to know about the u.s. response during the tensions recently. in a meeting with the u.s. media and ambassador to pakistan, you said the u.s. did not condemn indian air strike and it is seen by the pakistanis that is what
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emboldened them even more. can you explain it? thank you very much. >> yes. >> welcome. i am an american citizen, indian origin. you mentioned, please correct me, i have a question that u.n. security council question that has been raised. it is a three-step process. please correct me if i misunderstand. the very first step of the u.n. security council question was [ indistinguishable ] isn't the ball in pakistan's court of asking for u.n. security council to intervene, at the same time not removing a condition from the military? >> right behind. >> thank you, ambassador.
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my question to you is that your predecessor has quoted -- is quoted by saying this jihad in kashmir was rooted in ideology of pakistani islamists, carefully nurtured for decades by the pakistani military. how do you respond to that, and in conjunction with that, why has the prime minister not censured some of his government ministers who made very inflammatory statements which have direct religious overtones? >> right here. take one more. just this one. right here. >> roiteeuters just reported th
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[ inaudible ]. it could have been harmed or delayed in that process when talking about pakistan and india current escalation on the border. >> okay. first of all, i think what i said in the embassy was that when a country commits an act of patent aggression as was committed against pakistan, then the international community must come out clearly in condemning that act and that lack of condemnation would then embolden the country so that is the context in which i said it was
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reported. in terms of u.s. role, yes, i think u.s. has played an important role in counseling restraint to deal with the situation. on the u.n. security council resolution, i think that that is a discussion and debate that we can have in terms of sequencing and there is a lot of, you know, history and there is a lot of context in terms of who did what and who didn't do what and why we are there. the important line is this issue is a dispute that is still pending resolution, and it is one of the oldest disputes before the u.n. security council
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resolution. so while the two leaders, i will come back to the tail question, decide to basically engage to resolve, i'm sure we will be able to fix the distances in terms of who should have done what to resolve this issue. but first of all, we need to have the commitment to sit across, seek dialogue, then to engage to resolve the issue. in terms of my predecessor's comments, what can i say? because kashmir is an issue that has always been there ever since pakistan's existence.
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and to frame it as a jihad only i think is a disservice to the sacrifices that the people, the unarmed kashmiris are making particularly over the last three years. i think the ambassador perhaps is not following up on the depression that is unleashed in indian-occupied kashmir. just in last two years, 780 people have been killed and there are scores who have been blinded. so i don't know how and where this can be justified, whether it is jihad or not, and i have not really heard the ambassador speak about those atrocities that i think he should also be speaking about. >> one more. >> oh, yes. i always forget the last one.
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>> the afghanistan, pakistan's role in afghanistan, did pakistan say it would -- >> oh, yes, sorry. that's why we maintain that we are consumed by our western border. there are 718 border force that we man on our border with afghanistan just to essentially deal with that allegation, although unfortunately on the afghan side, the border posts are just a little over 100. we have already erected a fence which is almost 900 kilometers
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on this 2200 kilometer fenceable border, and so we are, when there is escalation on the eastern border, i think it will certainly divert the attention, pakistan's attention and these past two, three weeks i have done nothing and the other day, i was actually interacting with the media, there was only one question about afghanistan. even the media's attention was diverted, you know, and for us, we are dealing with a real life security situation. so obviously once the peace and securi security, violence aggravates, it will have impact on the region and that will obviously affect all the processes that are going on. >> this has been a very male-dominated q & a session so i want to make sure that we've
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got -- yeah, please. >> just give us a word about pakistan and iran's relations. >> yes. >> right here. then i see a couple of hands. >> let me balance out. we will come back. >> hi. my question is just where do the human rights violations like enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings rank on the list of priorities? >> yes. back there? >> hi. i'm a grad student from georgetown university. my question is particularly since the peace talks in afghanistan seem to be excluding at least for now the government of afghanistan, what role would
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pakistan like to see the taliban play in the future of afghanistan and how would that impact pakistan? >> so one just right behind you, i believe. >> hi. i was just curious in terms of the registration applications were denied slash rejected, might at some point in time there be consideration whether or not those ingos could reapply for registration? >> having looked at that very closely, the answer is yes. i would encourage you to take the other three also. that's where i leave. pakistan is, this is essentially an old relationship and an
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important relationship for pakistan. and we value this relationship. i don't know what specific aspect you want to hear about, but yes, this is an important relationship for pakistan as a member, fellow member and immediate next door neighbor with deep historic ties. it's a very important relationship for pakistan. on the question of enforced disappearances, i think whether it is the government's priority or not, it is the priority of our independent judiciary and they have been following up on these cases and there is, you know, and the media also, things
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get reported and then the government whether at the provinces or at the federal level has to act. i really don't think it is that big of a problem in pakistan as sometimes you know, media makes it look like. on the taliban's role in future, afghan government, i think it is not for us to basically determine what role that they would play, but i can tell you that as i said before also, a comprehensive reconciliation is a reconciliation where all afghans are able to get to a point where they can agree on a peaceful afghanistan post-reconciliation. i think you have already responded to that. >> let's take one final round of
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questions. then we will have to close it because i know the ambassador has to leave. let's start from here and try and get as many as i can. if you can please make it short so we can get as many as possible. >> i am a human rights activist. she took my question so i'm going to make another question. >> sure. >> okay. it's been a long time, a religious militant organization have income [ indistinguishable ] i have been there. >> question, please. >> so what is your role in this
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peace process with u.s. and afghanistan and negotiation? thank you. >> what does the future of utility and infrastructure investment borrowing and development look like in pakistan? >> sorry, say it again? >> what does the future of utility and infrastructure investment borrowing and development look like? >> this is where you need an economic council. >> yes, the gentleman here, lady there. that will be it. >> ambassador, since you were recently ambassador to japan, what is the geopolitical role of japan going forward, as to this conflict but other conflicts in southeast asia? >> then the lady in the back.
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yes. >> i write for the express tribune. thinking about the u.n., much more recent job opportunity which was last year, the human rights commission asked for access on both sides of the border, pakistani and indian kashmir, and unfortunately, although they did a report, 80% of it was obviously about what's happening in india, but why can't pakistan seize on this opportunity and i mean, of course there are issues on this si side, but use this opportunity and open up and allow the u.n. to come in and see what's going on on this side of the border? >> yes, please. >> hi. i'm a retired foreign service officer.
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i really applaud the pakistan slogan and look forward to the people realizing their dreams of pursuing economic stability. my question is, if so many of the limited dollars get channeled to the military funding, how would that be realized? >> okay. >> let me just put the last one i have in my hand, which is how would the dynamic between the prime minister and modi change. >> okay. okay. first, your question, i think we have an elected government, we
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have all the institutions that you need to secure the implementation of the rights that are guaranteed to both the majority and minority communities in every province. that covers those three. the government of pakistan is determined to act against any of those outfits who are targeting any one or the other group, and if you look at how things have played out over the past year, i would say the situation definitely has changed dramatically. so i don't know which particular instance and incidents you are talking about. i am not aware of those.
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in terms of the utility part, i really don't quite get. perhaps my minister of trade would be able to answer that question because i don't quite get that question. maybe you can take it later on. in terms of japan's involvement, i can say that for pakistan, that is also an important relationship and in fact, japan has been one of the oldest investors in pakistan and since japan is a country that essentially relies on open sea lanes both for its imports as well as exports, so it seeks to have partnerships in the wider region also, so in that regard, and japan is also a country that is invested in peace and japan
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has also historically played an important role in supporting the development in afghanistan as well. so there are different multiple reasons and multiple points of interest for japan to remain engaged in the region, and i am happy that during my time as ambassador to japan, we witnessed a serious and positive spike in the relationship. in terms of the u.n., i am not aware of that particular initiative but i can tell you that in pakistan, we are open. we don't stop anybody. in fact, the embargo unfortunately is only on the inside so if anyone wishes to come to our part of kashmir, in fact, we also welcome the u.n.
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office of the high commissioner on human rights also to come and visit. so the problem really, for us, we are open, we still are open, we will remain open. in terms of diverting military funding, that is different. i mean, if you have a perpetual conflict situation and if you have a perpetual war-like situation, you are forced i suppose to divert your resources to defense. but frankly, going by what we have in the region, our per capita defense expenditure is much less than our immediate neighbor which is eight times bigger than us with huge outlays in spending. so we would like to see peace. that would certainly enable pakistan and everyone else to divert resources and that's why the prime minister had actually
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said that our real enemy is poverty. that's what we should be joining hands to fight together. in terms of the chemistry, i don't know if there was any chemistry to begin with, but i think as leaders of two big countries, it should not be chemistry that should determine. it is the need, because both leaders have the responsibility of millions, i would say billions of people and prime minister has acted like a statesman and we do hope that prime minister modi would also respond, because really, it's not a question of scoring points
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and it's not really a question of showing the other side down. it's really a question of addressing the problems and this is where the prime minister, if you want to address it, let's sit down and discuss that. i think we need to move beyond chemistry. >> i want to thank you for taking the time, for being yet another pakistani ambassador who has given us the opportunity to host you as your first public event. we wish you the best of luck. i hope most of your conversations are about u.s./pakistan and not everything else that you will be consumed by inevitably. also wanted to let everybody know our next event will be march 11th where we have a panel looking at pakistan gulf relations. pakistan and uae and others and other very interesting dynamics. that will be march 11th. we will have that, i think it's
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already out. you will get a reminder. please thank me in joining pakistan's ambassador. [ applause ]
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>> coming up on c-span3 a
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hearing on state environmental air-quality programs. than the house judiciary committee considers the 1976 national emergencies act that the president based his national emergency declaration to build a wall on the southern border on. after that the russian ambassador to the u.s. rusher relations talks about pakistani relations and the conflict between india and pakistan. next, state officials from california, north dakota and arkansas testify about their states implementation of various environmental air- quality programs. craig siegel of the california air resources board outlines potential consequences of the trump administration's decision to end negotiations with the state regarding the epa's plan to scale back fuel economy standards. the subcommittee hearing is 90 minutes.


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