Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

“It’s like that old story; you can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors. Eventually, those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.” – HRC

This is an excellent allegorical warning that Hillary Clinton issued in October 2011 during bilateral remarks with then Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. The reference, at the time, was to Pakistan harboring the Haqqani Network and the Taliban.

Here are those remarks and that statement in context >>>>

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar

October 21, 2011

“… we both agreed that terrorism coming from any source is a threat to all of us. We expressed very clearly our concerns about safe havens on both sides of the border. We reasserted our commitment to doing more on the Afghan side of the border to try to eliminate safe havens that fuel insurgency and attacks inside Pakistan. And we asked very specifically for greater cooperation from the Pakistani side to squeeze the Haqqani Network and other terrorists, because we know that trying to eliminate terrorists and safe havens on one side of the border is not going to work. It’s like that old story; you can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors. Eventually, those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard. We know that – on both sides of the border. ”

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It was only six years ago. We could not have conceived, such a short time ago, that those words could possibly apply to ourselves or to any loyal Americans. Yet here we are.

I watched the marathon of Homeland, Season 4 tonight. The opening credits for that season include a short clip of Hillary delivering those words. Funny how words that only a few years past can have meant one thing then and something new now.

Snakes in the backyard. Yes, Pakistan did and does harbor snakes in their backyard. But now we know that there are snakes in our own backyard: Foreign entities on social media influencing the American electorate. Some of these snakes arrived wearing American skin.

In her memoir, What Happened, Hillary identified the social media landscape as the new battlefield of 21st century warfare.

We have been attacked. Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation is ferreting out snakes. But we, too, must be on the lookout for snakes on our social media pages.

Even the snakes you nurture and consider pets are still snakes. Hillary’s words should resound deafeningly!






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Hillary begins this chapter by recalling this historic moment in a room across from the Situation Room in the White House as Navy Seals stealthily entered that now famous compound in Abbottabad,  Pakistan.



Seen below with then-Governor Pataki and New York City Mayor Guiliani on September 12, 2001,  she retraces the air route from D.C. to New York on the only plane in the air that day.

New York Governor George Pataki (L), New

Memories of shuttling back and forth between the two cities, requesting emergency funding, visiting a missing persons center, a family assistance center, and a hospital near her home where burn victims were being treated are revisited as well as her struggle in the Senate to secure health care funding for first responders.

Hillary Clinton: Aid sick 9/11 workers


The campaign to find bin Laden had been long and the special ops mission had been carried out without informing the government of Pakistan.  More than once Hillary had said during interviews and town halls in that country that she could not believe that someone in the government did not know where Al Qaeda was.  Informing the government might have tipped our hand and spoiled the mission.

Bin Laden Killed Near Islamabad: Hillary Clinton was right!

Speaking about Asif Ali Zardari, she refers to a photo he shows her of his late wife, Benazir Bhutto with her children, Hillary, and Chelsea. This is not the photo, but might have been taken at that same time.


She spends pages reminiscing about Bhutto and what her loss meant to her family, her country, and the world.  She mentions that she and Chelsea loved Bhutto’s style so much that they wore similar outfits to a dinner in their honor.

BdF06rlIYAA3jWk.jpg large

Her first trip to Pakistan as secretary of state was just after her birthday in October 2009.  I was at a rally where Bill Clinton was speaking,  and I saw him tell Rep. Bill Pascrell something.  Pascrell whispered a question, and I could read Clinton’s lips.  He said, “No.  She’s safe.”  I tried so hard to get near him as he worked the crowd after the rally, but failed.  I so wanted to ask what had happened.

By the next day we all knew that coinciding with her arrival there was a terrible market bombing in Peshawar.

Clinton Reassures Pakistan After Bombing

Folks here at this blog liked her relationship with Pakistan’s foreign minister at the time.

Secretary Clinton Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi

At a town hall in Lahore and in interviews with journalists she took hostile questions about the Kerry-Lugar aid bill. (Why did there have to be strings attached?  “You do not have to take any aid from us,” she answers.)  There were complaints about the drone attacks and the collateral damage they caused.

Secretary Clinton’s Town Hall at Government College University Lahore

In media interviews the whereabouts of bin Laden came up along with her suspicions that someone in the government knew where he was.

Secretary Clinton: Interviews Galore!

In February of 2010, Leon Panetta invited her to CIA headquarters in Langley, VA.   She refers to the stars on the wall in the lobby of the building that represent those officers killed in the line of duty.  We saw that wall last season on Showtime’s Homeland.

We saw an enactment,  in Kathryn Bigelow’s film Zero Dark Thirty,  of the bombing she speaks of that, in December 2009,  killed seven CIA officers in Afghanistan.

The reason for Panetta’s invitation was to ask for her cooperation in improving counterterrorism communications and clarifying our strategy to the Pakistanis.  After the barrage of complaints she faced in Pakistan, she was quick to agree.

The hunt for bin Laden began indeed to narrow to Pakistan, and, in March 2011,  Panetta  visited her at the State Department to tell her that they had a lead.    The operation to capture or kill bin Laden was dubbed “Neptune’s Spear.”  She walks us through the deliberations of the small, secret group that met regularly at the White House to plan the mission that was carried out the day following the Correspondents Dinner.  Hillary recounts the dramatic event in detail.

When the question of informing Pakistani officials in advance presented itself, some worried about Pakistan’s national honor.  Hillary countered asking,  “What about our national honor?”  She remained consistently certain that elements within the government who knew where bin Laden was would inform him.

Of course the president addressed the nation that night.
Bin Laden Obama

The following day, Hillary also made a statement.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the killing of Usama Bin Ladin

She was understandably not looking forward to speaking with the Pakistani officials, and her conversation with President Zardari was heartbreaking, but she remained firm and resolved explaining to him the need for cooperation.

NATO supply lines into Afghanistan were closed after friendly fire killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011.

Following an apologetic phone call from Hillary (at her suggestion to President Obama) to new Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, the supply lines were reopened and the bottle-neck was broken up.

Hillary Breaks Up Bottleneck – Supply Lines Reopen

Part of the communication strategy she put forth with Leon Panetta’s CIA involved the establishment of a Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications.  The approval for that did not come until September 9, 2011.  She announced it that same day in New York City.

Hillary Clinton Explains a Smart Power Approach to Counterterrorism

Finally, she spoke at UNGA in Spetember 2011 on the inauguration of the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

Remarks on the Global Counterterrorism Forum



This is a painful chapter to read, and must have been even more painful for her to write.  Memories of 9/11, even now, remain raw, and, for Hillary, Benazir Bhutto was clearly a personal loss.  In her typically well-organized manner, she presents  the steps she suggested to combat terrorism, the initiatives she put into place, and the arguments she waged when faced with opposition.



Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>





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The chapter title is homage to Richard Holbrooke whose book by that title recounted his negotiations to end hostilities in the Balkans, also his objective in his oversight of the Af-Pak region.  Explaining that insurgencies rarely end with the surrender of a side but rather as a result of persistent diplomacy, Hillary states that from the start she insisted that the needs and concerns of Afghan women be taken into account, an issue she raised at the March 2009 Conference on Afghanistan.

Playing Catch-up With Mme. Secretary: The Hague Afghanistan Conference


A major objective in all diplomatic dealings on Afghanistan was the goal of peeling off the less ideological among the Taliban and winning them over to the mainstream government, a controversial policy that Hillary defends staunchly in this chapter.  Referring to statements she made at the London Conference on Afghanistan in January 2010,  she cites the conditions:  abandoning violence, breaking with Al Qaeda, and supporting the constitution. The process is referred to alternately as reconciliation and reintegration.  The links below provide Hillary’s words on this issue as well as on issues concerning the welfare of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on Yemen with UK FM Miliband & Yemeni FM Al-Qirbi

Hillary Clinton at Afghanistan – The London Conference 01-28-10

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at Afghanistan: The London Conference 01-28-10 Video & Text

Hillary Clinton, Busy in London

Reconciliation of non-ideological insurgents remained a strong item on the agenda when she and Robert Gates attended the NATO Summit in Brussels in October 2010.

Secretaries Clinton and Gates in Brussels

Richard Holbrooke reasoned that if Afghanistan and Pakistan could forge relations beneficial to both,  cooperation in battling terrorist activities could be strengthened.  Thus came about a trade agreement signed by both countries in Islamabad in July 2010 which was the inception of “The New Silk Road.”

Hillary Clinton: More Pics from Pakistan

Hillary refers to a roundtable with TV journalists during this trip wherein she explained the necessity for Afghan-Pakistani relations to be strengthened as well as the reconciliation agenda.  It was testy, yet she remained resiliently cheerful and optimistic in her signature way (another reason we love her).

Hillary Clinton’s Roundtable in Pakistan with TV Journalists

Video: Hillary Clinton With Six Pakistani Interviewers At One Time – Holds Her Own! AWESOME!

She mentions that this policy was reinforced at the Lisbon NATO Conference.  She did not speak there.  She attended with President Obama who did the speaking that time around (but there are some amusing photos in the link below).

Hillary Clinton at NATO Lisbon: Saturday Wrap and Slideshow


Early the next month, with the holiday season gearing up,  Richard Holbrooke became ill during a meeting with her at the State Department.  She recounts the painful hours from the time he went to the infirmary in the building through his death at George Washington University Hospital.  It was a devastating blow to her, to the department, to his colleagues, and to people the world over with whom Holbrooke had worked.

Update on Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

Update on Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

Ambassador Holbrooke Has Passed Away

December 13, 2010 by still4hill

The day he died, there was a holiday party at the State Department.  Holbrooke’s widow, Kati Marton, attended.  Here are Hillary’s remarks.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at Holiday Reception for the Chiefs of Diplomatic Missions to the United States

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on the Passing of Richard Holbrooke

Although she did not, in the book,  include specific references to these next two addresses,  I am including them here as part of the record of the Afghanistan and Af-Pak policy status at that time.

Video – Secretary Clinton’s Remarks: Review of the War in Afghanistan

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Briefing on Afghanistan and Pakistan

The memorial for Richard Holbrooke was held in mid-January 2011.  At the memorial, his friends remembered his great humor and huge personality.

Slideshow: Secretary Clinton at the Holbrooke Inaugural Lecture and the Memorial Service

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Holbrooke Memorial

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Launch of the Asia Society’s Series of Richard C. Holbrooke Memorial Addresses

A negotiating office where the U.S. could talk with Taliban representatives opened and quickly closed in Yemen where the Taliban made it appear too official for Karzai’s liking. By the December 2011 conference  in Bonn,  things had turned.  Pakistan did not show up, and Karzai began to distrust U.S.-Taliban negotiations.  The Taliban, in turn,  pulled out distrusting Karzai.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks in Bonn on Afghanistan

Her last official meeting with Karzai as secretary of state was in January 2013 shortly after she returned to D.C.  following  her illness and concussion.  (Not to be nitpicky, but she worked from home and even from the hospital while she was ill, so I did not want to say she returned “to work,”  She had been working all along.)   She hosted Karzai at a private dinner in the James Monroe Room and states that she appealed to his sense of his own legacy at this meeting.

Hillary Clinton with Hamid Karzai

She ends the chapter with a quote from Holbrooke: “The only way to start ending a war is to begin talking.”



Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>





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Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 21, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, and let me begin by welcoming Foreign Minister Khar on her first visit to Washington as foreign minister. We’ve had the opportunity to meet in Islamabad and other settings, but I am very pleased that we would have this chance to exchange views on our bilateral relationship as well as regional and global issues.

I want to begin by addressing the events of the day and the past week. Today, we’ve once again seen protests in several cities in Pakistan. Unfortunately, some of those protests have turned violent and, sadly, resulted in loss of life. I want to thank the Government of Pakistan for their efforts to protect our Embassy in Islamabad and consulates in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi.

And I want to be clear, as I have said on numerous occasions, the violence we have seen cannot be tolerated. There is no justification for violence. Of course, there is provocation, and we have certainly made clear that we do not in any way support provocation. We found the video that’s at the core of this series of events offensive, disgusting, reprehensible.

But that does not provide justification for violence, and therefore it is important for responsible leaders, indeed responsible people everywhere, to stand up and speak out against violence and particularly against those who would exploit this difficult moment to advance their own extremist ideologies.

Yesterday afternoon when I briefed the Congress, I made it clear that keeping our people everywhere in the world safe is our top priority. What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four Americans. And we are taking aggressive measures at all of our posts to protect our staffs and their families along with locally employed people who provide so many important contributions to the work of our missions.

The Foreign Minister and I will have a chance to cover a full range of subjects today, and it is no secret that the past year and a half has been challenging for Pakistan and the United States. And we still have work to do to get our bilateral relationship to the point where we would like it to be, but we both recognize that we can achieve more when we work together on a focused agenda. So today is the latest in a series of high-level meetings. Ambassador Marc Grossman has just returned from consultations in Islamabad. I look forward to seeing President Zardari next week at the UN General Assembly. At each meeting, we are working to identify the strategic goals we share – and there are many – and the concrete actions we can each take to accomplish them.

Our number one shared priority remains pursuing our joint counterterrorism objectives to ensure the security of American and Pakistani citizens alike. We face a common threat from a common enemy, and we must confront terrorism and extremism together. Earlier this month, I designated the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization so we could make full use of every available legal authority to end their deadly attacks. Pakistan’s parliament has called for expelling foreign fighters so that Pakistan’s territory can be fully under control of the Pakistani Government and cannot be used to launch attacks against other nations.

And the follow-through on this is challenging but necessary, and we look forward to working with Pakistan as they continue to address these problems. We have both pledged to support a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan, which is vital for the security of the region. And I want to thank Foreign Minister Khar for Pakistan’s reopening of the NATO supply lines to allow the movement of goods to Afghanistan.

We will discuss the successful first meeting of the Safe Passage Working Group in Islamabad which brought together Afghan, Pakistani, and U.S. representatives to advance the peace process in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Government’s public call for insurgents to come forward and talk with the Afghan Government was particularly important. We are ready to work together to build on these steps, and we will continue our discussions through bilateral consultations and the U.S.-Afghanistan-Pakistan Core Group.

Now, of course, our relationship goes far beyond our shared security concerns, and today we will discuss the many other ways in which we work together, particularly to create economic opportunity for Pakistanis. Foreign Minister Khar and I agree that we need to shift our economic relationship from aid to trade and investment. We are working to help Pakistan attract more private sector investment. We hope to finalize a bilateral investment treaty soon. And we’ve created a Pakistan private investment initiative to help more of Pakistan’s small and medium sized companies get access to capital.

Over the past few years, we have seen Pakistan’s civilian government begin to put down stronger roots. And if elections proceed as planned next year, it will mark the first time in Pakistan’s history that a civilian-led government has served its full term. The United States supports Pakistan’s economic development, and we have said many times that we want to see democracy succeed in Pakistan.

We also support Pakistan’s sovereignty, but we are clear that all sovereign nations carry certain obligations to protect the human rights of their citizens, to control their territory, to prevent threats to their neighbors and the international community.

So we know that there is still much to be done, but I can assure the people of Pakistan that the United States remains committed to this important relationship and we are confident we can continue to move forward together one step at a time to reach our shared strategic objectives.

Thank you very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER KHAR: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Good afternoon to everyone. It is a pleasure for me to be here standing beside you. Allow me to begin from where you began, Madam Secretary, and to say that we appreciate the very strong condemnation and the very strong condemnation and the very strong words that were used by yourself, Madam Secretary, by President Obama, and as I met the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, by Senator Kerry; the condemnation of this blasphemous video, which has certainly stroked the sensitivities of the Muslims in the wrong way. Your condemnation has given a strong message that the United States Government not only condemns it but has absolutely no support to such blasphemous videos or content anywhere. I think that is an important message, and that message should go a long way in ending the violence on many streets in the world.

Madam Secretary, as we stand today, let’s recognize, first of all, that we have been through some of the most difficult times in our 60-year history as far as our relations with the United States are concerned. The last 18 months were very, very difficult, and they were difficult for many reasons. However, the fact that the two countries braved these last 18 months together shows that we have both a deep understanding of the importance of this relationship for the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States, also for the goals that we hope to achieve together of regional peace and stability.

So today, as we meet – which is, as you said, a continuation of series of important meetings which have already taken place – if I were to take a judgment call today, I think in the last few months we have done rather well, in some ways almost better than we could have expected to do in building the trust. And therefore, today we stand at a time of opportunity, at a time of opportunity to be able to seize the trust deficit mantra and start building on the trust by walking the talk that takes or achieves the interests which are clearly common.

So as we move forward, let me, first of all, appreciate the role that you personally played in building this relation, in bringing it back together. And let me say that Pakistanis are thankful for the support that the United States has given to Pakistan. I think the very recent example of Peshawar-Torkham Road is a very good example. There are many other examples. And as you said, it is important that we are able to build on the relations, build on the positives.

In this, I am happy that today, as we go through this meeting, we will be talking about building on an architecture of cooperation which will take these relations to be sustainable, to be predictable*, and most importantly, to be viewed by both the publics – the Americans here and Pakistanis there – to be pursuing their national interests; to be a relation which is based on mutual respect, which is based on mutual understanding, and which is seen to be pursuing the national goals and objectives of each country.

I see a lot of convergence between the two countries. I want to start on the bilateral track. I think we both agree that it is important that as we create this architecture of cooperation, fields in which this cooperation will be very important is that of economic and trade. Within the trade, we are, of course, happy to move on with BIT and we would be even more interested to work towards a preferential trade agreement or a preferential market access system whereby Pakistanis can be given the strong message that they – that the U.S. is committed to providing economic opportunities to Pakistanis who have suffered, who have suffered economically, who have suffered socially, and who have suffered in many, many ways.

What is also very important within this architecture is the counterterrorism cooperation that we can do together. I think the last few months, maybe the biggest negative externality of the dip in relations has been the counterterrorism objectives of both the countries. Because make no mistake: Terrorists of any type, breed, color, anywhere, are a threat to Pakistan as much as they are a threat to anyone. And it is for that reason that Pakistan stands today at the vanguard having compromised, having made the most sacrifices in blood and treasure than any other country in the world, having lost 30,000 civilians, having lost 6,000 soldiers to this fight, having a huge economic cost. Believe you me, Pakistan is a country which is committed to ridding this scourge from the region, especially for our country. And we do it to secure the future of our children and we do it to secure the future of the region.

Madam Secretary, we also have room to cooperate as we have cooperated in the energy sector. Allow me to share with you that with the assistance of the United States, we will be adding a few hundred megawatts to the Pakistani grid. We hope this cooperation will extend further and we will see U.S. cooperation even in Bhasha Dam, which is clearly a consensus project in Pakistan. Defense cooperation has already worked well, and we hope that this will be enhanced as we move forward.

Madam Secretary, perhaps today the strongest convergence of interests that we have is not in any of these bilateral tracks but in Afghanistan, because Afghanistan today represents a common challenge to both the countries. We are, of course, concerned of the reports that we hear from Afghanistan. We are concerned of some of the infiltration which is coming from Afghanistan inside Pakistan. We are also concerned about the security situation. And I think that the United States and Pakistan today have a unique opportunity to be able to work together to ensure that there is no security vacuum left in Afghanistan as we go through transition, that the Afghan people are able to decide for their own future and live as a sovereign, independent country which is a source of stability and peace in the region for the next 30 years.

So, Madam Secretary, I think we have a lot which unites us. We have a lot of convergences, and I just want to end by saying that one thing which has created challenges for us in Pakistan is for this relationship to be viewed singularly to be pursuing the national interest of the United States of America. Let me correct that perception and say that in pursuing our counterterrorism goals, in pursuing a better future within the region and pursuing a more stable and peaceful Afghanistan, we are indeed pursuing our own national interest.

And even though we may have differences of approach on some issues, I’m quite sure that as we talk more and as we go through this architecture of cooperation that I talked about, we can manage to find solutions to each of the difficulties also.

Thank you.


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Report to Congress on the Haqqani Network


Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Washington, DC

September 7, 2012


Today, I have sent a report to Congress saying that the Haqqani Network meets the statutory criteria of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). This action meets the requirements of the Haqqani Network Terrorist Designation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-168). Based on that assessment, I notified Congress of my intent to designate the Haqqani Network as an FTO under the INA. I also intend to designate the organization as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224.

The consequences of these designations include a prohibition against knowingly providing material support or resources to, or engaging in other transactions with, the Haqqani Network, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or the control of U.S. persons. These actions follow a series of other steps that the U.S. government already has taken against the Haqqanis. The Department of State previously designated key Haqqani Network leaders under E.O. 13224, and the Department of the Treasury has designated other militants with ties to the Haqqanis under the same authority. We also continue our robust campaign of diplomatic, military, and intelligence pressure on the network, demonstrating the United States’ resolve to degrade the organization’s ability to execute violent attacks.

I take this action in the context of our overall strategy in Afghanistan, the five lines of effort that President Obama laid out when he was in Afghanistan in May: increasing the capacity of Afghan security forces to fight insurgents; transitioning to Afghan security lead; building an enduring partnership with Afghanistan; pursuing Afghan-led reconciliation; and putting together an international consensus to support peace and stability in the region. We will continue to work with both Afghanistan and Pakistan to move these efforts forward and build a more peaceful and secure future.

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Mme. Secretary released four independence day messages today. I only post these when there is some added significance.  We want and need Pakistan and India to get along, and we need Pakistan to work together with Afghanistan.   We also want Korea and Japan to get along, but they are having a tiff.  Congo – their crisis is internal.  Here are the messages in alphabetical order.

Republic of Congo’s National Day

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 13, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of the Republic of Congo as you celebrate 52 years of independence this August 15.

Our two countries have enjoyed a close friendship, working together on many issues from improving transparency, to combating trafficking in persons, promoting environmental stewardship, and enhancing regional security.

I want to send my deepest condolences to the Congolese people for the explosions in Brazzaville in March this year that resulted in loss of life and property and the displacement of thousands of citizens. We look forward to the return of all internally displaced people to safe and permanent homes. And we remain committed to supporting the Republic of Congo in its efforts to make that a reality.

As you celebrate your independence day, know that the United States stands with you as a partner and friend. We look forward to working together to ensure peace and prosperity for all people in the Republic of Congo.

India Independence Day

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 13, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of the Republic of India as you celebrate your Independence Day this August 15.

Through my many visits to India, I have been impressed with the creativity of the Indian people, the richness of your culture, and the resilience and strength of your democratic institutions. From the freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi to independence in 1947 through today, India continues to stand as a beacon for the world of the power of nonviolence and the promise of democracy. The United States stands side by side with India in a strategic, indispensable partnership built on our shared democratic values and fundamental belief in the entrepreneurial spirit. Our governments and our people will continue to work together to tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities of the 21st century, laying the foundation for continued peace and prosperity in Asia and around the world.

As you celebrate this special day with family, friends and loved ones, know that the United States stands with you as a partner and friend.

Republic of Korea Independence Day


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 13, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of the Republic of Korea as you celebrate the anniversary of your independence this August 15.

The United States and the Republic of Korea share a long history of friendship and cooperation based on common values and interests. From combating regional and global threats, to strengthening our economies, to enhancing people-to-people ties between our two nations, we are working together toward a better future for both our countries and the world.

As you celebrate this important day with family, friends, and loved ones, know that the United States stands with you as an ally and friend. To Korean people all over the world: I wish you the very best on this special day and in the year to come.

Pakistan Independence Day


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 13, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the government and people of Pakistan as you celebrate the anniversary of your independence this August 14. Since 1947, Pakistan has persevered in the face of immense challenges to build upon the democratic ideals of your country’s founders. Today, we take time to honor your sacrifices and renew our support for a stable and secure Pakistan for generations to come.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah dreamt of a vibrant, self-reliant Pakistan – a goal we all share. As Muslims around the world reflect upon the meaning of community and sacrifice during this holy month of Ramadan, the United States celebrates the hardworking Pakistanis who strive to fulfill Jinnah’s vision of a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan.

And here is a picture just for the heck of it.   This is from the evening she arrived in Ghana.  I never had a chance to post it, and I knew people here would love it.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is introduced to Lordina Mahama, wife of Ghana President John Dramani Mahama, and their daughter, in Accra, Ghana, on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. On Friday Clinton will attend the funeral of Ghana’s late President John Atta Mills. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

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Hillary Clinton had such a busy day in Japan on Sunday that last night I collected more than 100 pictures from her various events and then had to wait for the press releases to come through.  Most intriguing was a short series of pictures from an historical trilateral meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Hina Rabbani Khar,  and Afghanistan, Zalmai Rassoul.  As you know,  Hillary’s carefully worded apology to Pakistan this week finally permitted NATO land access once again at the border between the two countries –  a border that had been closed to NATO forces since November of last year.  What caught me about these pictures is her obvious delight in a trilateral agreement.  For our top diplomat agreement is what it is all about.  This particular agreement made history. What is amazing is that huge as this was, it was just one of many events in her busy day.  Here are the pictures.

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Here is their statement.

Joint Statement by U.S. Secretary of State Clinton, Afghanistan Foreign Minister Rassoul, and Pakistan Foreign Minister Khar at the First Ministerial-level Core Group Trilateral Meeting

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 8, 2012

Capitalizing on the opportunity afforded by the Tokyo Conference – which represents the culmination of a period of intensive engagement between Afghanistan and the international community – we convened the first ministerial-level Core Group meeting today. We reaffirmed that the purpose of the Core Group is to enhance cooperation between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States to support an Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and further affirmed that:

Afghanistan should be a peaceful, secure, stable, and prosperous nation living in a peaceful, secure, stable and prosperous region supported by enduring partnerships with the international community. Great effort and sacrifice by the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and the international community has decimated al-Qaida’s core leadership in the region, reducing the threat to international peace and security that led the international community to intervene in Afghanistan in 2001. Afghanistan should never again be a safe-haven from which al-Qaida or other terrorist groups threaten international peace and security.

As agreed at Istanbul and Bonn in 2011, and reaffirmed at Chicago and Tokyo in 2012, the surest way to lasting peace and security for Afghanistan and the broader region is through an Afghan political process of peace and reconciliation for Afghanistan. This process should be supported by Afghanistan’s neighbors and by the international community.

After 30 years of war, all Afghans should be able to live together in peace. Only Afghans can determine how they live together, how the future of their country must be shaped, and how their country should relate to the region and beyond.

We are committed to work together to support an inclusive Afghan peace process through which individuals and groups break ties with international terrorism, renounce violence, and abide by Afghanistan’s constitution, including its protections for the rights of all Afghan women and men. As the international community reaffirmed at Bonn and again at Tokyo, these are the necessary outcomes of any negotiation.

Foreign Minister Rassoul welcomed Pakistan’s and the United States’ support for Afghan peace efforts, noting especially former Prime Minister Gilani’s February 2012 statement expressing Pakistan’s support for Afghan reconciliation and calling on the Afghan Taliban and related groups to participate in an intra-Afghan process for reconciliation and peace.

To build further momentum, we reaffirmed the importance of pursuing multiple channels and contacts with the armed opposition. Pakistan and Afghanistan committed to take full advantage of upcoming bilateral exchanges, including Pakistani Prime Minister Ashraf’s forthcoming visit to Kabul and High Peace Council Chairman Rabbani’s planned visit to Islamabad. These visits should determine and implement additional concrete steps to advance Afghan reconciliation. We also welcomed and encouraged additional progress on regional confidence-building through the Istanbul Process, since enhanced cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbors on issues such as narcotics, refugees, and regional trade will help create an environment for long-term stability and prosperity.

We welcomed the broad international support for an Afghan peace process, reaffirmed here in Tokyo, and emphasized that the upcoming opening of the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly provides additional opportunities to support and advance Afghan peace efforts.

We reiterate our call for the armed opposition to abandon violence and enter a dialogue with the Afghan government. We call on all parties to devote their energy to realizing this vision, respond in the same spirit, and commit to support an Afghan political process that will result in lasting peace, security, stability, and prosperity for Afghanistan and the region.

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As she flies to Paris on the first leg of yet another marathon journey, Secretary Clinton is being credited with saving NATO nations an estimated $100 million a month as a result of her apologetic phone call to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.  These are not pretty pictures of our Hillary, but rather of the supply bottleneck that our Secretary of State managed to break up with that phone call.

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Statement by Secretary Clinton on her Call With Pakistani Foreign Minister Khar


Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Washington, DC

July 3, 2012


This morning, I spoke by telephone with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

I once again reiterated our deepest regrets for the tragic incident in Salala last November. I offered our sincere condolences to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who lost their lives. Foreign Minister Khar and I acknowledged the mistakes that resulted in the loss of Pakistani military lives. We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military. We are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again.

As I told the former Prime Minister of Pakistan days after the Salala incident, America respects Pakistan’s sovereignty and is committed to working together in pursuit of shared objectives on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.

In today’s phone call, Foreign Minister Khar and I talked about the importance of taking coordinated action against terrorists who threaten Pakistan, the United States, and the region; of supporting Afghanistan’s security, stability, and efforts towards reconciliation; and of continuing to work together to advance the many other shared interests we have, from increasing trade and investment to strengthening our people-to-people ties. Our countries should have a relationship that is enduring, strategic, and carefully defined, and that enhances the security and prosperity of both our nations and the region.

The Foreign Minister and I were reminded that our troops – Pakistani and American – are in a fight against a common enemy. We are both sorry for losses suffered by both our countries in this fight against terrorists. We have enhanced our counter-terrorism cooperation against terrorists that threaten Pakistan and the United States, with the goal of defeating Al-Qaida in the region.

In addition, I am pleased that Foreign Minister Khar has informed me that the ground supply lines (GLOC) into Afghanistan are opening. Pakistan will continue not to charge any transit fee in the larger interest of peace and security in Afghanistan and the region. This is a tangible demonstration of Pakistan’s support for a secure, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan and our shared objectives in the region. This will also help the United States and ISAF conduct the planned drawdown at a much lower cost. This is critically important to the men and women who are fighting terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Khar has informed me that, consistent with current practice, no lethal equipment will transit the GLOC into Afghanistan except for equipping the ANSF. In concluding the call, I reiterated our deep appreciation to the Government and the people of Pakistan for their many sacrifices and their critical contribution to the ongoing fight against terrorism and extremism.

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Video Remarks to the Young Entrepreneurs Conference

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Islamabad, Pakistan
March 27, 2012

It is an honor to help bring so many talented young people together in one place to talk about how entrepreneurship can promote economic growth, peace, and prosperity in Pakistan.The next great innovator could be sitting right next to you, or you yourself in this room where you are gathered. Because after all, today’s well-known entrepreneurs, like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Tara Dawood, all started out as you are now – a person with a dream that could change the world and then harnessed it to the drive to see it succeed.

The United States is working to promote entrepreneurship around the world through initiatives like our Global Entrepreneurship Program and by working with organizations like the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We are also working to help to connect Pakistani entrepreneurs with members of the Pakistani-American Diaspora who are eager to support new business ideas in Pakistan. We want to nurture a culture of creativity and promote conditions where entrepreneurs can thrive and ideas can flourish, because we believe everyone deserves a chance to create a positive future for themselves and their country.

Each of you has that chance to help shape the future of your country through your ideas and your ambition. The people of Pakistan have always had an inspired entrepreneurial spirit, and I hope this event will spark an ongoing dialogue that opens up new opportunities for all of you. Thank you. Thank you for dreaming, thank you for doing, thank you for participating in this important conference. I wish you not only a very productive day, but many days, months and years ahead. Good luck.

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