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tv   U.S.- Pakistan Relations  CSPAN  January 23, 2018 2:33pm-3:48pm EST

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ties that bind america and israel stronger. >> thank you so very much. jerusalem, we would like to talk war, syria after the civil and after isis. >> we will be hearing more from the white house at 3:30 eastern you mayah sanders p or hear about the plan to travel to the world economic forum in. those. politico is writing about his plans for next week saying he will address the national committee members on february 1 at the winter meeting in washington.
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the evening appearance by the president, on the outside of a challenging midyear will take place in the downtown trump hotel. read more about that at politico.com. pakistan's ambassador to the u.s. talks about u.s. pakistan relations earlier this month. administration announced it was cutting security aid saying the country has failed to deal with terrorist networks operating there. >> ok. it is a privilege to be
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cohosting with my. -- my friend dr. jones. we are going to be having a conversation with the ambassador of the islamic republic of pakistan. thank you for being here. he is a member of the foreign service of pakistan. he was the foreign secretary of pakistan. he is a graduate of tufts there he interesting and distinguished career, basically all of the big jobs in the foreign services. we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber representing pakistan at this time. it is obviously a challenging time for relations between the united states and pakistan.
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everyone is aware of all of that. we need to talk about the challenges in our relationship, and the things that need to be addressed. we want to have a conversation that opens the conversation a bit. i'm going to turn the floor over to the ambassador. please come up. please welcome the ambassador. >> thank you. you very much, all of you for coming. thank you for organizing this event. it will be my pleasure to share with you.
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month, a lot has happened. i would like to start with that. the unitedthat states government, the administration unveiled the national security strategy. which has given the united different priorities and a letter of threats. it goes down the letter to iran and north korea. elaborateden further
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last week. that in was revealed , not thes competition primary concern. they identified a gain -- trying to displace the united states as a pre-minute power. reinforcesurse, it they will remain a threat creating weapons of mass destruction. it appears the major power rivalry is intensifying, picking
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up. were the announcements made out was it aations or dynamic that was building up? i believe it was the latter. this was already in the making. years,last couple of considerable -- appeared world yet -- led by the united states is giving way to multiple d -- multipolarity. meaning to suggest the second order was now in flux. he did not know what it would
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come out to be. predictionwith the the united states and china might actually be destined for war. that is the topic of his book. up with ay come courageous decision not to. , on the piter book of it, the future of american state, he talked a great length on the new rebalance in south asia. earlier, the longtime statesman from singapore suggested china would not be
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just another player in the world that the biggest player in the history. rebalance.require a all shrill you in prime minister kevin good had to say something similar to that. the spectacular progress made by china is like the english industrial revolution, simultaneously come busting. compressed into 30 years. that would require accommodation. it doesn't happen suddenly, that the united states had to organize these priorities. the time has come for them to
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and see whattment is happening. many people already started , oring about even rivalry from a rising russia. was it only in the strategy to mean this change was happening? happening in a lot of domains. , free trade.ple freeecades we learned trade is the best for everyone. from now under threat protectionists, protectionism.
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immigrants, for centuries i consideredwas always an infusion of fresh blood in a society, welcome to mingle and learn from each other. it is now being viewed in some circles as a security threat. the global consensus on climate change is also under questions. nationalism, which for the 19th century was a major issue. xenophobia, the likes, raising their heads. changing, has changed. we still don't know where it
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will finally settled. it is in flux. in to my own region in theh asia, i don't see situation much different. china, the two big onntries in that region are easy piece. simply don'tistan talk to each other. situationn, this continues to deteriorate and month. ran, the nuclear deal ,egotiated after a long time people herald that as a victory of diplomacy, also under questions.
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changing, which is and we do not know where it will turbulentainly more in the region. the turbulence is visible. the broader middle east region continues to grapple with the threat of terrorism. how has my country done? context,asured in that we have not done bad. storme in the eye of the and remain there for a decade and a half. know there was hardly a day when we would get up and not worry, where is the next explosion that has happened. how to become to face such a terrible situation, when these
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militants turn their guns to pakistan? long story. is, a nation of pakistan in the last couple of that any protection is not acceptable. then they went to military action, to take these people out. all, we can proudly say, the tide of terrorism has been diverse. the militants are on the run. we are chasing them. we will continue to do that. but is our job over? certainly not. gives rise toich these extremists to pick up arms
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is still there. so, that is the situation pakistan has in the last 2, 3 years. we think we have achieved a commendable success against these formative enemies, law and hasr has improved, which had an effect on the economic situation. fromtment is pouring in china and europe, and elsewhere. and corporate america. think we are on the right track. our destination is still very far.
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there is a lot of work still to be done. all gains would be at risk and will remain tentative unless afghanistan stabilizes. i would like to relations of my country with united states. is importantship to us. it has always been for the last seven decades. .e believe it must be reserved, strengthened. currently it is under stress. i must admit. believe this is because in the united states sometimes the country is looked at from one
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lens or the other. sometimes we are viewed through the lens of afghanistan. since the united states is not making progress in afghanistan, we would be a failure. perhaps it is true but because of pakistan. sometimes it is viewed through the lens of china. china is an emerging rival. perhaps pakistan is not going to be friendly with united states. sometimes it is viewed through the lens of india. a strategic partner for the united states and is expected by the united states to play a larger role in the region. since pakistan is not on good terms with india pakistan is not
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worthwhile to maintain relationships. sometimes it is viewed from counterterrorism link. or security. i believe this is a narrow approach, to a country the size of pakistan and the potential of pakistan. the topic dan has given me, beyond the lens, broadening the lens. it is so relevant. pakistan should be seen for what it is, and not through these lenses i talked about. now theld happen relationship is viewed for what it is. there are two levels to see. one is the government to government level. the other is people to people.
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while the g2 g relationship has downs,ed between ups and the p two p has been studied. there have been a number of the people of pakistan and people of united states, have remained connected regardless of the relationship between the two governments. enormously if the relationship is also positive. no doubt about it. , even todayg you the united states remains the most attractive destination for pakistani students. the united states is the home to a large body of pakistani physicians.
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iny who are interested serving in this country. united states is a steady partner, few people know about it in the field of agriculture. until now, when the leading areas are still actively engaged with some agricultural universities and pakistan. amount of youth, connected with silicon valley, and the development of technology-based software. i could go on. it remains a large trading
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partner. all of this tends to get on the conversationsthe reduce to one lens or the other. it remains a security driven relationship. timeore issue at this causing distress is afghanistan. the united states has invested , in treasure and in blood. deteriorating.s some would say is close to what it was around 9/11. the united states set an objective that never again would be allowed the soil of afghanistan to be used as a safe
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haven by militants who could plan events like 9/11. that was the stated objective. is it any closer? is there a military solution to the afghan problem? how should we really move forward? is pakistan really responsible for the failure in afghanistan? these are questions i will leave for the q&a session. ofas given the timetable 10-15 minutes to speak. why has the relationship between pakistan and the united states oscillated so much. and how is it we can broaden it, strengthen it? what areas can we bring in? how can we change that lens?
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thank you for your attention. >> thank you. i'm going to turn the floor over to my colleague. you have the first question. >> thank you for your comments. it's an honor to welcome you. you are actually -- you have beaten me by two and a half weeks since i just started here. we are on the same turf. let me begin, you are a graduate of fletcher school. for those of you that don't know , the mascot is the elephant. before we move on to a range of questions, i'm going to raise the elephant in the room. we will deal with a range of issues, regional trade, peace negotiations. let me first turn to the issue
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of pakistan support to militants. your response here would be helpful in part because it has been a subject for some time. there is no question as one looks at the last decade and a half pakistan has made countless sacrifices. in blood and treasure. you notice the u.s. had those experience in afghanistan. i was in pakistan as i told you earlier during parts of the swat campaign. i saw that closely. very cognizant of the thousands of pakistan soldiers that have died over the past several years and the civilians that have had to deal with bombings and other cities. certainly around this town democratic and republican
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governments and senior officials tom u.s. agencies continue point the finger at pakistan for groupsng support to some . they raise issues of afghan taliban and, which have command-and-control structures on the pakistan side of the border. trump, theyident give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt with little help, no more. u.s. worth noting that officials will also argue pakistan officials will regularly denied support in public and in private but if you believe this. i want to give you a chance to respond to these concerns and issues with at least support to
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some militant groups. all states including the united states provide support to some state and nonstate actors. for myll aware of that own personal background in the military. can't we have an honest discussion about this? how do you respond to this? you.ank to talk about the roots of help pakistan came into contact with the militants. 1979 there was no such thing as militants in pakistan. we were living our own life.
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soviet forces came into afghanistan. the united states and pakistan ofched together the concept of a jihad. that is where militancy was born. to provide militants who would fight the infidels, the confident -- the communists. once the soviets left, these people stayed back in afghanistan. after 9/11, once again denied states came to focus on that area. bora bora and other places were bombed heavily. pakistan was asked to make a choice whether he wants to be part of the international coalition to fight them or not.
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pakistan made that choice and thereby militants. pakistan was now a target for their activity. is the time, 2002, 2003 militants began to turn toward pakistan. hardly a day would pass when they would not attack one facility or the other. either on the military or the intelligence facility. 2004 to 2014, all held broke loose. we used to have 150 terrorist incidents by month. now ishe nation said in
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enough. togetheroliticians got and forced aences national consensus we would not allow any terrorist remain in pakistan or allow anyone to use pakistan to commit terrorism. in pursuit of this national consensus military moved in. they would not have without this consensus. otherwise they would have faced some resistance from the ground. you theo also tell militants who came to tribal areas had a simple narrative, which at that time found traction in the local population. by thestan was occupied
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communists, and we got rid of it is beingday occupied by americans, and we will get rid of them. that was a simple narrative. this is a holy duty called jihad. god will support us. have an equally strong and effective counter narrative to expose the flawed nature of that narrative. if you are killing innocent people on the streets and not as, that means it is holy duty. .t is militancy opportunity to provide that when they attacked
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a school, killing schoolchildren. children of those soldiers and officers fighting them in the mountains. to send a message that you are our enemy. only because not they had to do it as a national frombut a passionate duty these evil people. we swept through the old, and cleaned up the hideouts and ied factories. today, if you don't hear any because weary, it is were able to eliminate that.
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there areody tells us safe havens existing there we say please show us where. it's an opportunity. show us. eliminate if to anybody is hiding in a cave. if somebody says your intelligence is playing a double game and supporting these toitants i would ask them meet those officers and soldiers have lost children and loved ones in the attacks, and tell me they would allow their own fellow serviceman to support those people who kill their children. no. it is not so. pakistan is happy. we paid a huge price. 6000 officers. we are happy.
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we were able to defeat them, put them out on the line. know it. need to know we will push the remaining, those who are hiding to afghanistan. the taliban and, they have gone. they belong there. joinessages, you should the mainstream in afghanistan, you should not be in pakistan. they are very much going there. but since we keep hitting this from some of the security authorities, it lends the people of pana scan -- pakistan to believe that perhaps we are for failuresated
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in afghanistan. years, we haver improved the situation. , every six months the territory under the control of the afghan forces is going into hands of militants. now it is 43%. a huge territory. why would the taliban live in afghanistan? we are breathing down there what about the need to plan? they are not short of funds. the drug trade is booming. $400 million. it has increased by your own reports, since 9/11. other players that have come in.
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we are ready to work with them. situations,ared the pakistan and afghanistan, people say, why are we being viewed of failures in afghanistan? are we responsible? is the failure only because certain taliban live in afghanistan? what about issues of drug trade and higher reduction rate? and forces to turn into the other side along with their weaponry and the green on green attacks and green on blue attacks, which are growing. people that feel that we are the
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bogeyman, that has to explain why six and dollars in afghanistan have not solve the these are the questions which are coming up. we are having those conversations. look. you want peace in afghanistan? we want even more than you. you would just leave. schoolot us -- it is a suffer from that wave of refugees who continue to live in afghanistan -- pakistan. 3 million of them. today, those are being used by militants to recruit terrorists to create enough that --
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afghanistan. the unitedsaying to states, that you want stabilize afghanistan because it is a long war. we believe that is your real objective. pakistan, we want to see afghanistan stabilize because we will suffer if it does not. us.se, do not scapegoat do not place all the burden on us for these failures. we think there is work to be done. afghanistan needs help and stability and we want to work with you. >> i want to signal to the audience we are going to be taking cards and questions from the q&a. we're going to have a conversation for half an hour. if you have questions we will
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collect them and read them, and read 4, 5, 6 of them. i think we have handed them out. you, a couple of questions. have said to my friends and colleagues we need to have a broader conversation with pakistan, many say you are crazy. why do you want to work on this issue? there is a lot of distrust in official washington. say ihing i heard you know that you are speaking with great passion and believe. i believe you. there is little trust in washington. i think it is reciprocated. there is low trust between our governments. there is even so little trust
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that official statement sometimes are not being believed. what do we do about a situation where we don't trust each other? is it fair to say that what is going to happen is the pakistani -- is it one thing for the civilian government to say one thing? , heard you say forcefully there is a before and after about what happened when those old children were killed. moment ina watershed pakistan. many people say this one thing for the civilian government to say something, that there is the pakistan deep state, so what is your reaction? that has become an overly used term in the u.s..
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trust -- is it fair to say that -- it is one thing for this billion government to say there is a lot going on. what is your reaction to that? >> i have heard this many times. it is not true. we have repeatedly made it a that you need -- you only hear the one and only narrative that was built. point, when they visited pakistan a couple of months ago, the entire civilian military leadership sat together to meet him. this view which is often
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propelled in the u.s. to drive a wedge between pakistani civilian military authority is addressed. when president trump made a tweet, we decided not to respond that day at in the individual level. day am sure it was a long for you. andt was late afternoon afghanistan -- in pakistan. they prepared a measured response to that. i think gone are the days when people can say, all right, we can drive this wedge and sell our narrative. it is not going to happen.
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people are conscious now. this is what certain lobbyists tried to do. you whatever.to it now comes directly from the endorsement of the civilian leadership. most of the statements we have issued including august 21, the strategy by president trump, for national same committee. arepeople of pakistan highly proud of our armed forces. and other security authorities for the peace they have returned to the people of pakistan. we have always said this was not our war.
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having been imposed, the leadership decided if it is imposed, bring it on. we did. aday you cannot find even minor change between the two. what is our message? trust. the message that we have, we mean well. we need peace in afghanistan. we have achieved successes against terrorism. we can defeat the international -- we can defeat them in afghanistan. afghanistan will serve us well. , they states and pakistan can work together like we have an achieved common milestones. if you don't hear about al qaeda
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today, an organization which was responsible for 9/11, pakistan and the united states worked together day in and day out in the first decade after 9/11 to eliminate al qaeda. there is no reason why the two countries should not continue in the same spirit. to finish what was started. nothe path chosen is working together, whatever it is, i'm afraid the pursuit of the shared objectives of peace in afghanistan, and the defeat not be able toll make much more progress. coming out message of the civilian leadership and military leadership. we have been partners. we achieved a lot.
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we need to work together to finish up what started in afghanistan. that is the message we are trying to convey. not to apportion blame by one against the other. >> trade issues. also broadere and global trade. if one looks at the more significant initiatives we can take a look at china belted road initiative which includes upwards of 68 countries. 4.4 billion people. 40% of the worlds gross to mystic product. one important component is the china pakistan economic court are. rridor.y door -- corey
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what is the vision for trade? and how that sits with the role of china. the national security strategy now, both labels from washington, a competitor. for trade? vision how does that sit with u.s. development efforts with a country that is now viewed increasingly as a competitor? how do you think through those issues. >> china has always been a friend of pakistan since china became an independent country. not once was there an issue. the relationship has continued. mostly at the political level. the translation of political
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economicinto tangible change has happened only recently. the genesis of the economic transformation and the shifting of priorities, since president she came together, is important to bear in mind. while the chinese for three decades were experiencing when he camewth, to power, there was a shift of emphasis to mobilize domestic consumers. thefor equity in investments and economic development. it came to light the western part of china was far less developed than eastern part of china. was exportingty
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billions of dollars of goods. the emphasis began to shift towards the investor part of china. we had a change of government from one democratic government to another. the present government came up what if theea that chinese are focusing on the investment part of china and we have the economic reward these -- the idea of the corridor had been at a conceptual stage bigted, that there are mountains which had prevented it. the two governments took on the challenge and started connecting across these mountains. it was a win-win option for pakistan and china. for china, if you want to come
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question, through the mediterranean, you probably go over the land for 5000 kilometers and then another 8000 to come here. it would make perfect sense, economic sense that you utilize two links ofreach china. pushed what actually governments to move in that direction. it was also the underlying emphasis that the net gain will not be restricted only to the people of pakistan and western china. in good time it should blossom
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ease and should bring prosperity to all. is a thought of extending it to afghanistan should afghanistan become peaceful. first region to benefit is the kandahar region. to gets economic sense into that project. this did not mean roads only. it meant a lot of avenues of connectivity that included road and rail, and fiber optics, and elseines, and whatever falls into the domain of connectivity. it is still happening. deficits, and infrastructure.
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investments, most of these are now almost completed. we used to have but we used to call load sharing, which meant blackouts for 15-16 hours a day. it is down to zero. >> in the entire one tree? ?- in the entire country >> yes. beautiful roads have been built. , i would likeads to -- i should have brought the book. i want to show how u.s. and pakistan worked together to change the region. >> that is because of the united states? >> in partnership with the united states. it is little known. , thein the energy sector united states is already a partner in many of these projects.
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most energy projects, which have been done by chinese, general electric is providing the technology. in the last few months alone, 80 companies have gone out and taken registration and security exchange commission. they are situating themselves to benefit from the bonanza that is about to come on. >> to share for this group, what was the growth rate in 2017? i don't think people know. >> they have continuously to nowd from 3% in 2013 6%. >> for 2018. >> last year it was over 5%. >> 5.3%. now the prediction -- it has been constant. with these massive investments
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we are holding on to make nine zones along the corridor, and we think that it will be very helpful if united states stays engaged. regardless of what the government things, corporate america is making up their own mind. havetaneously while we these good relations with china, there was the believe people like me have that our relations with china and united states are not a zero-sum game. we had relations with china since 1949, and we've had relations with united states since 1947, the first country to set up. we go back in time. we do not see that as a zero-sum game. we should stay engaged. there are millions of ways in which we had stayed engaged.
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economic is the most important one. >> my friend who is here is going to be collecting cards. walk down the aisle and collect cards right now, over the next couple of minutes. that, going to turn to may -- thereo if i is an election coming up in pakistan. there was several things i wanted to mention. --re has been a reduced there is a perception in the united states of have the military engagement in society economically and politically in
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if you could talk a little about the elections that are coming and what does that mean in terms of things that are coming. what does it mean in terms of economic opportunities. what does it mean on a number of different fronts? i think it is important. if there is an alignment of the civilian government and military government and consensus on things like terrorism there are certain things can expect not to change but there are some things we should expect should change. the reason for that is the person who led the struggle for
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-- independence of pakistan out of respect. he was a man deeply committed to the rule of law appeared he was a barrister. political entire struggle in a democratic fashion. is deeply ingrained we have to follow that route. it is true our democratic process was interrupted at the people of pakistan -- not in the advantage of pakistan. --ce 2008 >> it is very likely to complete his term. -- its term. there are also lessens the people of pakistan are beginning
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-- noisy by definition. everywhere. we are no exception. not mean disruption. we have been repeatedly assured by the military leadership combined that the only path forward for pakistan is democratic elections. i have personally met the entire leadership, and it came out stronger in my conviction that everybody wants this democratic process to continue. being ambassador to the united states, i believe this is yet the people of my country with the people of the united states.
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the values of democracy and rule of law and freedom and ability that your country has advocated is aor over 240 years beacon of light for everyone, including my people, because they also believe in these values, which i think are supreme values of democracy and freedom and rule of law. we're getting there. >> i'm hanging on your every word here come ambassador. -- here, ambassador. [laughter] >> of course i believe in voting. i voted last time and i will probably vote this time. >> can you vote overseas? option about ar
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month in advance and we are able to do that. to work it out because it is a big demand for it. i'm not sure if the election commission can manage that but certainly we are all excited about elections. it should happen. that's the only way it should go. >> i think we'll get to q&a in a second. two part question. to then your answer question about regional trade in response --is your or better put, what was pakistan's response to the withholding of aid? in the broader context is a tiny drop. what was the response in general to the u.s. decision temporarily to freeze aid? yourre broadly, i think broader issue that you noted on
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peace in the region is important and i want to turn to that briefly. what i would be interesting in -- interested in is what are your thoughts specifically on steps of how pakistan, the afghan government, and the u.s. might take to ensure peace in afghanistan? it is driving the drug trade, it is driving militancy. what are your prospects for peace, what role should pakistan play, other regional players like afghanistan, india, china? is the u.s. doing enough to support the peace process? the first one is about the u.s. decision to withhold aid in pakistan's reaction and the second, specific steps on the peace sign. -- side. the figure ofat
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aid that was quoted, $32 billion, half was the reimbursement that the united states was to make to pakistan in lieu of the expenses that we of incurred in pursuit common predetermined objectives. rationale was presented to congress that the doing the same at a much greater cost. but that reimbursement even has been withheld on one account or the other. about $1 billion is the amount the u.s. owes to pakistan. then there is economic
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helpednce which has education sectors and others. cooperation -- assistance economic for a long time has also gone through nongovernmental channels including ngo's. the government and people of pakistan don't know when that money went. there is a big reaction now against those ingo's about what they were doing in pakistan. thankfully nobody in pakistan has commented about the suspension of aid. we have actually said that we don't even need a. -- aid. our government has said that
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what we need is not this kind of transactional relationship, but a relationship based on mutual respect and mutual trust. so that's our response to this aid phenomena. what is it that we can do together to bring peace in afghanistan? we think that we first must come out with a conclusion that there is no military solution. if there was a military solution it would have come by when 150,000 troops or a long period ced effort would have achieved. we think that is not the route that should be taken. we think that a comprehensive political solution in afghanistan is required. that itsically means
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would allow the people of afghanistan to engage in a serious reconsolidation process. all nations all across the world that you would come across have gone on that route and found their own truth. -- thes already a book road not taken, which was a biography of a cia operative who had advised against use of force in vietnam and suggested that a peace agreement be made and the u.s. withdraw. but his advice was not taken and 58,000 american lives in millions of vietnam lies later, this is exactly what happened. they were able to make that
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these -- peace and become a friend of the u.s. which it is today. many people feel this is a route the u.s. should perhaps take in afghanistan. the people of afghanistan are yearning for peace. 1979 they have been suffering some kind of military solution. have a general political re-conciliation. the people of pakistan -- sorry, the government of pakistan, the u.s. and china must support the process. we should also focus on border management between pakistan and afghanistan. the people that we are pushing towards the taliban
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-- case, there are bad guys who live and can do bad things. we have to interdict that movement. pakistan has already started on our own on this he munches -- 26 order --ters long border. mountains. is not easy. only 800 kilometers are fanciful. fencable. we will set up 900 posts. but we cannot do it alone. we need support from afghanistan and the u.s. to do the same on the other side of the border. because it is as much of their responsibility as it is ours.
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we also believe part of the solution is to allow the refugees to go back. we are proud of the hospitality we have extended. damage there is security -- i think there should be a useonable consensus not to afghan soil to achieve your own political objectives. for example, india has been given a role by the u.s. in afghanistan. we believe india is using it to create a double squeeze against pakistan. engaged on troops the western border will remain engaged with less pressure on them on the eastern boarder if afghanistan remains or if afghanistan can be used by their
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spies and others to create instability. we think there has to be a reasonable consensus not to to use afghan soil to create instability or against their own political agenda. i think that is also an equally important part if you want to really obtain peace in afghanistan. >> i have got several questions from the audience. is there a time frame set up for afghan refugees to return to afghanistan? you made reference to that earlier. >> i am not aware of that. calledissue what is cards to them. those of them who love -- live in refugee camps, that card enables them to receive some money to continue their life. but that limit is expiring soon
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of that card. we think they should be serious negotiation between the u.s. government, pakistan government to make arrangement for them to go and live in afghanistan, their own land. they should be given money to build their lives. but that push factor is not enough. they should be a pull factor in afghanistan. how do you create that? givingmade references to land ownership rights to those who come back. i think that would be a great factor but i don't know whether that has been followed through. i think that will benefit everybody. otherwise if afghanistan remains unstable and afghans continue to run for their life, many will
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come to pakistan to mothers will go to europe and others will go elsewhere. i think it is only fair to the people of afghanistan that we take a sympathetic look at the situation. >> let me stay on this afghan issue. two questions for you. president trump urges pakistan to take decisive action against the taliban and other terrorist in order to get this assistance back. is pakistan willing to do that? that's one question. the other is, what level of influence does pakistan hold over the afghan taliban? pakistan would very much want to push the taliban through afghanistan.
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we don't want them to bring them to our relations with your country in afghanistan. we think they should join the political mainstream and we will continue to move on that part. regardless of whether the u.s. has a decision on aid or not. we don't want it to be transactional in nature. this is a step we are taking in our own interest regardless of the assistance. in our own interest and in the interest of peace. as for our leverage with the taliban, let me tell you that for two consecutive years , pakistan made enormous efforts to bring taliban to the table. the first was in 2015 on a night -long session during ramadan, they first sat face-to-face with
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representatives of the government. because i was foreign secretary, i did madrid that evening. >> so you were there? >> yes. it was a serious effort. we came out with a joint statement. then we were planning to meet before the month ran out to come up with a set of deliverables but on the 29th of july it was leaked by a security establishment. the whole process got scuttled. and then there was commotion as to what would happen in the taliban ranks and we did not really know what would happen.
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then another year passed. a fresh attempt was made and for a nations came -- foreign nations came together, and we made another attempt. this time we were negotiating who had become the leader of the taliban and. -- taliban. we had five sessions and in the first week of may we had the session in which we agreed all four countries would go back to the taliban and come back to exchange notes and on the 21st crossed over, who he was droned. then pakistan believed that we have lost any leverage of the taliban. betrayed.
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-- they see that we pushed them to a situation where they feel betrayed. nevertheless, we don't want to give it up. there was a first meeting in january. maybe december. we don't know where it finally goes but we know that the only way forward is for all four countries to continue to exercise whatever influence a half on the taliban to push them to join the political mainstream in afghanistan. >> two other questions. given the historical animosity between india and pakistan what is the process of energy cooperation between india and pakistan. is a neighborndia of pakistan. we need to have good neighborly relations with india. we have always maintained

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