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  #11  
Old Sunday, March 05, 2006
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SalamAleikum...

@ M G

Quote:
so what President Musharf is doing is need of the hour…..
Only if i had time, i would have quoted the exact verses, which tell how horrible it is to be doing all what i posted... The unjustified killing of a Muslim and (yes! unjustified, its not ONE person (/instt.) who decides whether a person is a criminal or not. The COURT decides it! but in this ENLIGHTENED moderate country, the military is above law...), the spread of shamelesness, these are heinious crimes in an ISLAMIC state.

And yes, our Religion preaches optimism. But it lays great focus on "Nahi anil munkar", the stopping of all thats bad. So u can't just let some1 do what ever they are, thinking that it is the NEED of the hour.

Quote:
But we cant blame President only…. look at the attitude of Opposition they politicized each & every issue…& look at the behavior of people of this country…we celebrate Valentine’s day v happily…& now we will waste our money on Basant….at 1 side there r protests against the caricatures & on the other side with full volume music on floors we participate in basant…not more than 5 months r passed that our nation has seen the biggest tragedy in the form of Earthquake …but we have forgotten it & instead of giving money to that shelter less people ..Wasting on such frivolous activities…
Isn't that only the impact of the Enlightened media??? Was basant being clebrated in karachi 4-5 years back? Were our youth into valentine's 4-5 years ago? Isn't it the govt. that allowed those channels? Couldnt there have been a sober media, one which wouldn't be spreading faithlesness and leading ppl towards worldly desires, forgetting the RESURRECTION?


Quote:
we hv to just get rid of our own misdeeds...
Indeed! As they say, "BE the change u want the world to be"

Regards
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  #12  
Old Sunday, March 05, 2006
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@ Yasir:
Never turn a blind eye to facts. Like it or not, the army has been ruling the country for over 5 years now. If you see economic prosperity, it could be due to the present govt's policies, but the most vital role in improving our foreign reserves and boosting our economy is played by our Pakistani individuals who've returned from either the US or other western nations with their life savings, due to the post-9/11 circumstances.


Kia Qadeer Khan ko TV per poori qaum say maafi mangwaaker hamaari fauj nay qaum kay jazbaat ka khoon nahi kiya? a few years back, in 1999, A.Q. Khan had visited our school, believe it or not, you should've seen the passion amongst the students, the love and respect in their eyes..... he was then named the Hero of the nation. Today they call him a cheat, a traitor or in the Western media's terms, "the nuclear proliferator", running "Khan Network". If you could not respect him, ask those who respected him from the core of their hearts for what he had done for our beloved country, and respect him to this day. Today, you're telling these people, v're a nuclear power? WELL HELLO!!! the guy who brought it here, is under house arrest, he's not allowed to move freely in his own very motherland, they've isolated him as if he were a dangerous criminal. Not fair.

I happen to be a Karachiite. day by day, i see the law nd order situation worsening. Either its the people of karachi, or its neglection of duty on the part of our law-enforcing agencies. Crimes are at their peak. Not a soul feels safe in karachi while speaking on their cell phone outdoors, "hidden hands" snatch cell phones as if it were their right, and if you dare to resist them, they don't mind pulling the trigger once, twice or even thrice. I've witnessed innocent ppl being shot 6 bullets for the sake of a Rs.3000 worth cell phone. You call this tackling challenges? I call this a terrible defeat. If an army govt. with all its might and power cannot bring peace to one city, let alone state affairs!

true, we are a prominent state of the muslim ummah, but unfortunately, we haven't been acting as a muslim nation lately. Truly pointed out by Muskan... Basant. I'm sure Ch. Pervaiz ilahi had announced that due to the sad tragedy of the devastating earthquake, we shall not celebrate Basant this year.... but look at the ignorance, the courts are allowing it now! Ask those poor people who lost their young children to this silly event, learn how they feel.

Nevertheless, i'm still inclined to say the nation is innocent, its the leaders who either make it or destroy it. Unfortunately, ours happens to be a rather poor nation, and our army happens to be rich, as to where the army gets all the resources to maintain the Mercedes Benzs and the high security protocol of the army officers (a report said Rs.6 crore/month = security protocol cost of Musharraf alone) , i won't say its the tax money of these poor masses............................................ ......aagay aap khud samjhiye. and by the way, theres nothing wrong in criticizing what u can identify clearly. No one was being pessimistic, we all look forward to a bright future insha'ALLAH.


Regards,

THE 1
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  #13  
Old Sunday, March 05, 2006
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Hey KhalidBinWaleed........

Yaar aap ne toh mujhe dho dala......lol
I think Muskan has interpreted me rightly, I just wanted to say that we have backdoor channels n Musharraf is no idiot..... why do all of you hate him?
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  #14  
Old Monday, March 06, 2006
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@ khalidbinwalid

Isn't that only the impact of the Enlightened media??? Was basant being clebrated in karachi 4-5 years back? Were our youth into valentine's 4-5 years ago? Isn't it the govt. that allowed those channels? Couldnt there have been a sober media, one which wouldn't be spreading faithlesness and leading ppl towards worldly desires, forgetting the RESURRECTION?


r people themselves r puppets...?..that just doing wt the government intends......? Temptation is there from the v 1st day of this world & its upto man himself to choose the right path....we cant give blame to the govment for our own misdeeds...we ourself feel that to follow the traditions of West is sign of privalage in society there r still some people who dont like to celeberate these events & follow their own intelect....,,,If any1 asks u to jump into the river & commit suicide will u do it just for this reason that u were asked to do it... ....no never any reasonable man will not do so.....so y to say this that all this situation is just for this reason that media is preaching this...?


@ The 1
I happen to be a Karachiite. day by day, i see the law nd order situation worsening. Either its the people of karachi, or its neglection of duty on the part of our law-enforcing agencies. Crimes are at their peak. Not a soul feels safe in karachi while speaking on their cell phone outdoors, "hidden hands" snatch cell phones as if it were their right, and if you dare to resist them, they don't mind pulling the trigger once, twice or even thrice. I've witnessed innocent ppl being shot 6 bullets for the sake of a Rs.3000 worth cell phone. You call this tackling challenges? I call this a terrible defeat. If an army govt. with all its might and power cannot bring peace to one city, let alone state affairs!


situation was even worest than this in the era of democratic govment also.....

Nevertheless, i'm still inclined to say the nation is innocent, its the leaders who either make it or destroy it. Unfortunately, ours happens to be a rather poor nation, and our army happens to be rich,

Nation is innocent......?
it is stated in Quran that ...when God wants to punish any nation for its misdeeds ,,He imposes bad leaders on them......
we r not innocent we just try to pose as inocenents by putting all the blame on the govment...& never see towards our own faults...
ya army is rich & nation is poor but...add all those people r also rich who were ever in the charge... in this country...whether elected by its own masses r imposed by military so not only army should be blamed....?


with regards,
Muskan
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  #15  
Old Monday, March 06, 2006
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Salam everybody,

You are very right Muskan that

it is stated in Quran that ...when God wants to punish any nation for its misdeeds ,,He imposes bad leaders on them.........

We all know these facts that the problem lies with our leaders but who elected them, who give oppertunity them to rule us. Are not we electing the same leaders again and agian, from the same clad, from the same origion?

Muskan, you are right that who has asked to join these immoral, unislamic celebrations but could u justify that how much this media and the moderation of society effecting our kids, the young brains of the kids. There is poison wrapped in sweat and attractive colors? even knowing about the poison, any sane person can move to eat that wrapped poison.

Please give solution of this problem that lies in ourselves, in our masses. How can we get rid of this?

As I have only one solution of this problem and that is litteracy and education of the masses and the obligation of Reading quran with translation before matriculation for every student. Education in its true meanings can only solve our problems and can give us the visioin for our political and social system.

Regards,

Sajid.
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  #16  
Old Monday, March 06, 2006
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@ Sajid..

U r right our media has a great role in all this situation & the impact of this can be get ridded of by Education.....but media should be harmfull to only childern & uneducated masses
but y our educated people r also indulging in such activities ....????????
becoz we think that by following the western trends we become more noble...

U r absolutly right that Quran should be read with translation & tafseer...if it happens we can get rid of all our problems...
May God give us ability to follow the right path...(Ameen)

with regards,
Muskan
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  #17  
Old Friday, March 17, 2006
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Arrow U.S. Sees New Opportunities in South Asia After President's Trip

Assistant Secretary Boucher conducts roundtable discussion with
journalists) (7670)

President Bush's three-nation trip to South Asia in early March marked the
growing strategic and economic importance of the region and opened up
fresh opportunities for political and economic agreements for all the
countries in the region, says Richard Boucher, assistant secretary of
state for Central and South Asian Affairs.

He spoke at a roundtable with journalists from India and Pakistan at the
State Department on March 9.

Boucher, who accompanied the president on his trip, cited the example of
Presidents Musharraf and Karzai discussing the possibilities of
north-south cooperation in the region.

"Those are possibilities that strategically have opened up because
Afghanistan is no longer an obstacle but rather it's a place that can
unite," Boucher said. "So whether it's trade goods or electricity or
pipelines or ideas or education, there's a lot of things that can flow
back and forth between South and Central Asia."

The civilian nuclear agreement with India that was reached during the
trip is one element is only one element in a growing U.S.-India bilateral
partnership, according to Boucher, as well as a net gain for
nonproliferation.

"It is an important example where countries can take on new obligations
and support the international [nonproliferation] regime," he said. (For
more information, see U.S.-India: Strengthening a Global Partnership
(http://usinfo.state.gov/sa/south_asi...a_summit.html).)

Boucher expressed confidence that the U.S. Congress would support the
nuclear agreement, and in the administration's ability to address
congressional concerns that India's civilian nuclear activities are
safeguarded from its military program.

Attempts to equate the nuclear situations in India and Pakistan are
mistaken, Boucher said, and the United States sees the history and
circumstances of the nuclear issue in each country as quite different.
However, the United States wants to help Pakistan meet its energy needs,
through coal development and other untapped resources, according to
Boucher, who noted that U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman will be
traveling to Pakistan in the near future. (See related article
(http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/di...glish&y=2006&m
m=March&x=20060311130553attocnich9.064883e-02&t=sa/sa-latest.html).)

"Our energy dialogue with Pakistan is going to be different than our
energy discussions with India," Boucher said. "They both need energy. They
both have rapidly growing economies. But one shouldn't expect that the
energy needs would be met in the same way given different geography,
different history, different resource base." (See related article
(http://usinfo.state.gov/sa/Archive/2...4-515514.html).)

The United States is working with both Pakistan and Afghanistan on
"reconstruction opportunity zones" to provide employment and development
opportunities, Boucher said. Education was another priority rising from
President Bush's trip, he added.

"We want to help Pakistan succeed as a moderate society, a modern nation
and a prosperous people," he said.

In response to a question about the effect of corruption, Boucher said
that studies show that countries can lose 1 percent to 2 percent of growth
per year to corruption. There is no simple way to solve the corruption
problem, he warned, but countries can fight it with "open information,
accountability in the press, [and] transparency of government decisions."

In looking at the instability along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,
Boucher said that both countries need the same thing -- an end to
violence, an end to the presence of the Taliban and al-Qaida, and
opportunities for "economic development, development of society,
schooling, things like that. Same things on both sides."

For more information on U.S. policy, see South and Central Asia
(http://usinfo.state.gov/sa/).

Following is a transcript of Assistant Secretary Boucher's roundtable
with Indian and Pakistani journalists:

(begin transcript)

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs

Roundtable With Indian and Pakistani Journalists

Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs
Washington, DC
March 9, 2006

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I would like to welcome you all here to
the Department. It's important to me that we communicate well and you can
always try to get to me through Len if I'm around. I hope to be able to
travel to the region on a fairly frequent basis, the region being South
and Central Asia. I was very pleased to be able to start out by going on
the President's trip to India and Pakistan. I think it was a great --
Afghanistan and India and Pakistan. Let me not forget the first stop. It
was a great trip from many points of view. I think you've read a lot
about it.

But I also had the sad occasion at the end when, instead of going to
Islamabad, I went to Karachi to visit with the people that we have there
and to talk to them and see what we can do after the killing of David
Foy. So it's a reminder of the problems and dangers that do exist out
there but also I think the importance of having a U.S. presence, a U.S.
presence that tries to work with people, tries to work positively with
people not only on the relationships, as we did, but I think if you look
at the visits and what the President did as well, it works on some of the
things that matters to people's lives, their future, whether it's new
technologies, new science or whether it's education and development
issues.

I think we're involved with the countries of this region on all planes.
We talk about strategic partners, talk about global partners, talk about
global issues in this region, and all the global issues are at play. I
think we're involved with the countries in this region on many different
planes and that's what's exciting about it, that's what's positive about
it and that's what I intend to work on with them.

That's enough. That's more than enough. Let's start.

QUESTION: I've got a sort of part philosophical question. When
(inaudible) after years of trying, almost about 15 years ago, was able to
get legislation passed to establish South Asia Bureau, his rationale was
that it was lost in the Near East/South Asian Bureau and you would hardly
get an assistant secretary coming and speaking about South Asia. The
South Asia Bureau was established. Robin became the first assistant
secretary, et cetera. And of course, Steve Solarz's rationale was that
India would get sort of major play even though it was South Asia Bureau.

Now we find that in a sense the Central Asian countries have also been
included in the bureau and India has been given this much higher profile
with Nick and you and the Secretary herself and this whole relationship
strategy, partnership, et cetera. But the fact that Central Asia has also
been brought into the bureau, can you find that other countries of South
Asia -- Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, et cetera -- being dwarfed
by the fact that they may not get enough of a profile and you might run
into the old idea of, you know, once again the thing that Solarz was
fearful about?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Yeah, I think there are a couple of things
to say on that. First is, as you point out, you know, we have the wall in
every bureau where the pictures of the previous assistant secretaries are
there. It's a very small wall. We've got Robin Raphel, we've got Rick
Inderfurth, we'll be able to put Christina's picture up, and then there's
me. So it hasn't been around for a while.

It's a strategic rationale that has only grown, and with the President's
trip, you've seen the way the Secretary of State talks about the region, I
think the role that countries in this region have to play is very
important.

The attention that we pay to India doesn't in any way detract from the
attention that we pay to other countries. Other countries in the region
have strong relationships with the United States, have particular sets of
problems, different relationships in different places. I think that's one
thing the president made clear in his trip.

Central Asia is -- in many ways what we want to do with Central Asia is
not to lose the ties with Europe, not to lose the ties with Turkey, not to
lose the ties with NATO and the European Union and OSCE, but rather to add
some ties with South Asia. I have heard, I think if you go back to the
trip that Secretary Rice made last spring to India, Pakistan and
Afghanistan, we heard from, I remember, President Musharraf and President
Karzai all about the possibilities of north-south cooperation in this
region. And those are possibilities that strategically have opened up
because Afghanistan is no longer an obstacle but rather it's a place that
can unite. So whether it's trade goods or electricity or pipelines or
ideas or education, there's a lot of things that can flow back and forth
between South and Central Asia.

And rather than looking on this as somehow diluting the attention to
other countries, I think it just gives us more opportunities. There are
things that the countries of Central Asia might want to do with India.
There are things that Pakistan might want to do with the countries of
Central Asia. There are trade flows and other things. So I see it as a
way of putting together a new set of opportunities for everybody and not
losing any of the attention that we give to countries now.

QUESTION: I'm sure you've had a chance at least to look at the
comprehensive paragraph about human rights situation in Pakistan in the
report that was released yesterday. It talks about no improvements,
rampant corruption which nothing had been done to address the issue, and
all the other major outstanding issues.

To what extent do you think that the buck stops with General Musharraf,
who has unique powers that Nawaz Sharif and Benazir did not enjoy or other
people, having both the total control of the armed forces and the total
control of the civilian regime, what he calls unity of command? So and
eight years in the office. So to what extent he may be held responsible
for the human rights as identified in the State Department?

We will observe one minute silence. (Laughter.)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Yeah. I mean, he's clearly in charge and
I think the way we see it is that he has set a course for Pakistan of what
he calls enlightened moderation. This is the right course and we want to
see him proceed down that road. We want to see him succeed in moving down
that road.

But it's not solely a matter of President Musharraf. There are a lot of
things happening in Pakistani society, Pakistani politics, Pakistani
institutions, that need to be successful. And these rest on other people
as well. So we want to be able to work with people throughout Pakistani
society to try to help this general course succeed.

We pay a lot of attention to education, for example. One of the things
we announced during the visit was an education dialogue so we can make
sure that we're really helping create a modern foundation of education for
a modern state. We spend a lot of time on economic opportunity and we've
announced an economic dialogue during the visit so that we can help people
find prosperity in a modern economy.

So I think our policy is obviously we work with the people in charge and
President Musharraf and the course he has set, and we expect to see
progress down that course. But overall we're looking -- we want to help
Pakistan succeed as a moderate society, a modern nation and a prosperous
people.

QUESTION: Just one follow-up because I mentioned corruption. Teachers
don't take bribes, to my knowledge. Corruption is essentially related to
the government operations, to get things done from the government. So on
that aspect, obviously people who are running the show or governing the
country (inaudible).

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Corruption is one of the most pernicious
problems that afflict any country. The economic studies countries lose 1
to 2 percent of growth per year to corruption. And sadly, in South and
Central Asia we have a lot of instances of corruption retarding economic
growth, undermining political systems and creating mistrust among people
of their institutions. And I think it's one of the most important things
that we have to do.

There are ways of getting at it. I don't think there's a simple way of
solving the problem. But it is something I think we all need to look at
and see what we can do to fight it. Open information, free press,
accountability in the press, transparency of government decisions,
designing government decisions so that they can be made clearly and easily
-- a lot of things go into fighting corruption and I think that will be
something we will continue to do very strongly.

QUESTION: Could you tell us about your meetings with members of
Congress about the civilian nuclear deal and the concerns that they had?
And what's the process now? Does the Administration need to request a
mockup and at what point would (inaudible)?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: The legislative process will proceed once
legislation is submitted and we've been talking to members of Congress
about the kind of legislation that has to be submitted and how it can
proceed, so I don't have any definitive answers.

I would say that so far we've talked to a lot of people who are very
supportive. They understand that this agreement on civilian nuclear
cooperation is an important part of working with India across the board on
-- let's call it a 21st century relationship. A lot of what we talked
about in India, what the President talked about, what he announced, had to
do with new technology and applying new technology to cooperation and
development in India. This is an aspect of that, a very important
aspect. So I think there's appreciation of that and where it fits in the
big picture from members of Congress.

Second of all, I think there's an appreciation of the fact that it's a
net plus for nonproliferation. At a time when we see so many other
countries violating their obligations, we see India taking on new
obligations and going from a situation where only a few reactors are under
safeguards to where more and more will be under safeguards.

Third, I think there's an appreciation that this is a way of our helping
India develop in terms of its energy needs, of America cooperating with
India on meeting -- to meet India's energy needs, both through commercial
opportunities as well as the grander opportunities. So I think there's a
lot of appreciation of that.

There are certainly questions -- you're familiar with the questions.
What does this mean for proliferating countries? And I think I've tried
to answer that by saying that it's an important example where countries
can take on new obligations and support the international regime. There
are questions about -- I'm sure there will be questions about the
separation plan, about how thoroughly it provides a safeguarded sector.
We think it does a very good job of that. So we'll be talking about that
on the Hill as well.

I expect that you'll see legislation submitted soon and then it'll go
through the normal legislative process of discussion and possibly
hearings, and we'll try to move it as quickly as we can along with some
friends on the Hill. There will be a debate and discussion. That's what
we do in democracies. But I think we'll do everything possible.
Certainly the President and the Secretary are doing -- will do everything
possible to see that this agreement passes the Congress and that we get it
through the international groups that we want to work with as well.

QUESTION: How soon do you expect to introduce this in the Congress --
legislation?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: We're talking -

QUESTION: You have timeline or you're having any timeline?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Yeah, sometime soon. That's about as
close as I can get. We're talking to members of Congress about how it
gets submitted and when it gets submitted. There's a recess coming up,
right, a one-week or two-week?

STAFF: Yeah, after this week.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Yeah, so during the -

STAFF: (Off-mike.)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I think it's the middle of this month so,
you know, before that or after that. I can't -- I don't know for sure.
But there will be a little period when we can't do it, but I think it'll
happen fairly soon.

QUESTION: So then after that, what happens? (Inaudible) hearing
process (inaudible)?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: The problem is you're asking me -- I'm not
deciding these things. These things are decided -- these are procedures
in the Congress and they decide their own timetables and procedures. So
all I could do at this point would be to guess or predict, and there's not
enough grounds for guessing or predicting at this point.

We are hearing from members that they want to take this up, they want to
take it up quickly; they understand the importance of it. But I can't at
this point -- I haven't heard from them a timetable nor could I predict
what it might be.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) U.S. nuclear deal (inaudible) in 10 years, 20
years, 30 years, 50 years (inaudible). Number two, Pakistan and
Afghanistan, it seems that they are at each other's throats on
(inaudible). What are you doing to prevent a situation (inaudible)?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I think you heard it best from the
President that we see the situations of Pakistan and India as different in
the nuclear area. The history is different. The circumstances are
different. I think simply put, the economic development of Pakistan is
going to be different as well. We are concerned about Pakistan's energy
needs. We think there are untapped resources in Pakistan -- coal, for
example, energy from Central Asia. There are ways for Pakistan to meet
its energy needs that we can certainly talk about and our Energy Secretary
will be in Pakistan very soon, probably in the -- probably next week, I
think, to actually have a good energy dialogue and discussion with the
Pakistani officials about Pakistan's future energy needs and the various
sources that we could work on to see that those are met.

So when you have really impressive economic growth like you've seen in
Pakistan recently, you do have to think ahead about how you're going to
get the energy to continue that growth. But we think that can be done and
we're going to certainly sit down and work with Pakistan on that. But in
terms of the nuclear arrangement, no, we don't see anything like that in
the cards for Pakistan.

As far as Pakistan and Afghanistan, you know, we recognize there's a lot
of history there, but I think both sides recognize as well the
overwhelming importance of cooperation. And they have -- they are beset
by troubles along that border area, troubles from outsiders, extremists,
militants of various kinds that threaten in some cases violence, cause
violence and harm to citizens, but also threaten the disruption of
society. It's not solely a military problem but it is something where
military cooperation is important and you know we have tripartite
committees where we work, the three of us together, on those aspects of
the problem.

It's also the sort of basic extension of government authority into those
areas and the development needs of those areas. One of the things we
announced during the trip that we think is very important are the
reconstruction opportunity zones where we can work with Afghanistan and
Pakistan to really provide employment projects and development in those
areas.

I think you sort of asked what can the United States do. I mean, one,
we can work with them on the specific problems we face now of violence,
insurgents and foreign fighters. Second, we can start working on some of
the future projects, the opportunity zones and the economic possibilities
in that area. Because I think when both sides really sit down at the
table and start working together on meeting their needs in the area, they
find that they do have a lot in common. And I think the more practical
emphasis we can give to that work, the better we'll all be.

QUESTION: But you don't see it getting (inaudible)?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I don't think so because I see a basic
alignment of interests. What Pakistan and Afghanistan need in those areas
on both sides of the border are an end to the violence; and end to the
foreign presence, Taliban presence, the al-Qaida presence; and
opportunities to develop in those areas, economic development, development
of society, schooling, things like that. Same things on both sides.

QUESTION: Did Mr. Karzai also give you a copy of the report that he had
given President Musharraf (inaudible)?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I think we have an active dialogue with
both Pakistan and Afghanistan about all these things. So yeah, we know
about the lists and things like that.

QUESTION: Two questions unrelated. Going back to what Aziz was saying
about this new Bureau of Central Asia and South Asia, my question is
slightly different. Even when you just had a South Asia Bureau, there's a
lot of questions as to how you were factoring in China. Now you have an
expanded bureau and you have two rising economies in Asia Pacific in
totally two different bureaus. So but does that make your job any more
complex, complicated, or does is it make it easier for you to look at
India and its implications of whatever you do vis-à-vis China?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I think having to deal with almost 2
billion people is probably easier than having to deal with almost 4
billion people. But so I'm kind of glad we don't have China in the same
bureau.

QUESTION: No, I'm not asking -- (laughter). I hope not. You wouldn't
be sitting in Washington.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: The ratio would be quite different. You
know, it's an interesting question because I spent a lot of my career
working on China and specifically the process of economic development and
reform and change in China, and I guess I'm sort of steeped in that having
run about looking at Chinese factories for 20 or 30 years. I don't want
to -- I think the first thing I told myself when I started to work on
India and the rest of this region is don't apply the Chinese experience to
everybody you meet, try to understand each of these country situations,
whether it's the smallest ones or the biggest ones, and figure out what we
can do to help people achieve their goals, their goals of economic
development, building modern societies, democracies.

I think people automatically fall into this sort of thinking -- two big
countries, competitors in some economic fields, must be big strategic
competitors. I don't think that's the way the world works anymore. You
know, I remember one of the first things I saw when I started reading a
lot about this area was Infosys investing in China because they felt, and
other Indian companies as well, they felt they could do things by
investing in China and having factories or having operations there that
they couldn't do just by keeping everything in India. And I think you'll
find that that kind of thing works around the region. Big countries
together, little countries, people looking for different platforms to
produce for different markets. And I think those kinds of opportunities
are there as well as the competition. I mean, we compete with China in a
whole lot of product areas and it helps us, I think, do better, to stay
ahead, to get out of industries where we might not be competitive but
really find our value added.

And I think for all the countries of the region that's going to be
true. China is a formidable competitor. India is a formidable competitor
as well. All the countries in the region are going to have to see what
they can do best, where their value added is, how they can really open up
opportunity for their people, how they can get rid of bureaucratic delays,
how they can improve their infrastructure. China has done a lot of that
and may be out ahead in some ways, but other countries have done other
things. Other countries have better information environments or better
anti-corruption campaigns, things like that. So each country is going to
have to do everything it can to compete in the world, but it's better for
all of us that they do.

QUESTION: The second one. In your discussions on the Capitol Hill
about the civil nuclear agreement, did any members of Congress come up
with the thinking, loud or quiet, that, man, it is coming at the wrong
time because your man sitting in the White House, there's a lot of
political trouble on Capitol Hill. He may not have the kind of political
capital to push it through.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I don't think we've really heard that at
this point. This is an issue for the nation as a whole. It's an issue
where I don't think it's going to divide up on partisan lines, where I
think people on both sides of the aisle, both houses, understand that the
new relationship with India is very, very important to the United States,
to all of us. It's the product of a lot of work by this Administration
but also by previous administrations. And I just -- one of the things I
read in preparation here was Strobe Talbot's book about his conversations
with the Indians on all these subjects and I think that very much helped
me understand what we're dealing with now.

So I think we'll find that this is an issue that's very important to a
lot of people on the Hill. Everybody I think wants to contribute to the
growth of the U.S.-India relationship. There will be questions raised, as
there are, about whether this is the right way to do it, whether this is
the right way to do it for nonproliferation and other things. I think we
have answers to those questions and I hope we'll -- I think we'll find the
support we need to do this.

So I don't see it as an antagonistic process. I think it's a process,
at least as we've seen it so far, where we don't have so many people sort
of coming out against or arguing against; we have people that are asking
legitimate questions that deserve legitimate answers. And we'll be doing
our best to answer their questions.

QUESTION: Sir, India and Pakistan, they are (inaudible) this composite
dialogue (inaudible). How do you see the prospects (inaudible)?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I think I need to leave it to them to
characterize it. They've just announced a whole new set of round of
meetings which to me looks like a good sign. We've got the buses. We've
got the train now. We've got a lot of confidence-building steps.

Our view is that this is all positive. The President was very clear
both in public and in private when he met with the Indians and Pakistanis
this is something we very much encourage. We certainly admire the way
they've gone about this, the progress they've made, and we encourage as
much progress as they can make on all the issues, including Kashmir.

The significance of this process as it moves forward can go beyond India
and Pakistan. Some of the things we're talking about in terms of regional
opportunities, South Asian free trade, regional opportunities for the flow
of goods or services or electricity, things like that. Part of it is
opening up the opportunities between India and Pakistan as well. So the
more this progresses, I think the better we all are, and we're going to
continue to encourage it, including solving some really tough issues like
Kashmir.

QUESTION: Can you give us an idea of your own impression about the
President's trip to South Asia? What do you think about it?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: It was great. It was -- one word --
great. First of all, it was really exciting to be on this trip because
anyone who starts in a job like this likes to have all the hard work done
before they begin. (Laughter.) And the President and all the
preparations for the President's trip, there was a lot of really hard work
that went into it. This gave us a direction and agenda, which I can
certainly work on.

But personally it was exciting to be there. It was exciting to,
frankly, fly in on Air Force One to Afghanistan and to see Air Force One
sitting there with the mountains of Afghanistan behind it. It was
exciting to be in India when we concluded I think what is a really
historic agreement on nuclear cooperation. And the other agreements -- you
know, there's a whole long list and maybe people's eyes sort of glaze over
when they see all the long list of things that we're doing, but I think
the things like Science and Technology Commission and agricultural
initiatives -- as I said, sort of this theme of new technologies to serve
-- to help improve people's lives. That's going to be a foundation of
what we do with India over the long term.

And then Pakistan, you know, this is a vital relationship to us. We
came out not only with a strategic piece -- very solid, the strategic
partnership and the strategic dialogue -- but also the economic dialogue
and the economic steps and then the education dialogue and the education
steps. That's a solid set of pillars to build a future relationship with
Pakistan on. As I said, our goal is to see Pakistan succeed in all these
areas.

QUESTION: Richard, as a follow-up, (inaudible) could you speak a little
bit to sort of the vibes and the body language on Air Force One with the
President, both going and on the way back, in terms of this, his sort of
first trip to South Asia? And of course, in India there was a grandeur;
you know instead of having the banquet at one of the banquet halls they
had it out in the open among the gardens.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: That was terrific.

QUESTION: And you know, clearly you weren't speaking at a fortress. It
seemed that the President was a little bit overwhelmed by the whole
thing. Of course, it's not Crawford, the boonies in Crawford. Could you
speak to a little bit of the body language and the vibes, particularly on
the trip back? Did he come back -

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Are you inviting me to say something
derogatory about Texas? (Laughter.) I'm not that dumb. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: No, no. Did he come back to the middle of the plane and say,
"Boy, was that some thing," you know?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: First of all, I want to stand up for the
culture, history and traditions of Texas, lest there be any doubt about
that. (Laughter.) I also have to say there's a lot to admire in the
culture, history and traditions of the countries that we visited --
Afghanistan, India and Pakistan -- and there's certainly an excitement
about how things are done and the things that you see there.

I wasn't with him on the ride back because I took off for Karachi, but
at least at the interim stops when we saw the President or what others
have told me about his impressions and the impressions of the senior staff
is a great sense of excitement, that really if you think about the sort of
stuff we've done before with India or particularly the statement of last
July, what he really put together on his trip with India was the cement
that makes this stuff real. It turned a lot of vision into a reality on
this trip in India. And there's a great sense of excitement in doing
that.

I think personally, you know, in terms of my interaction with the
Secretary and the National Security Advisor and the President, one of the
events that people really got excited about was the meeting with the young
entrepreneurs down in Hyderabad.

QUESTION: And the kiss.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: And what?

QUESTION: And the kiss he received.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: And the kiss? Oh, yeah. (Laughter.) No,
but you know, just meeting with these people and seeing first of all how
incredibly well educated and qualified they are both in terms of academic
qualifications but what they've done already and just seeing all the ideas
that they had. And you know, they weren't shy about telling the President
the sort of areas that we could do more to make cooperation better, and
the President certainly had a great time in that discussion and just kind
of understanding some of the future that way. It was really kind of
exciting.

QUESTION: By the way, State Department should hire some body language
translators (inaudible) focusing too much on (inaudible).

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: On what?

QUESTION: On body language translators.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Yeah, I don't know. That's an arcane
science.

QUESTION: Did you go on Air Force One to Chaklala airport or were you
dispatched directly to Karachi? My question is based on -

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: No, I went from Delhi. I had commercial
flights from Delhi to Lahore to Karachi.

QUESTION: That gets to my question. The question was -- I don't know,
we saw the video but you don't have to go on that flight to answer the
question. To what extent does security at Chaklala for President's
arrival and stay in Islamabad was handled totally right by the Secret
Service and other U.S. agencies and the Pakistanis?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: You know, it's -

QUESTION: We didn't see anybody in the video -

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Yeah, I didn't watch the video for that. I
think the simple answer is it's always a matter of cooperation. It's
always a matter of cooperation. There's no way that we can do everything
ourselves. So when we tend to work with the local service in whatever
country we go to, we do things that we can do and they do things that they
can do, and it's a combined effort to ensure security. It was obviously
very successful. I think it was important to the President to come in on
his plane, coming through the -- you know, in an open manner, to spend the
night there and to have a full and normal set of talks with the Pakistani
Government. It's a symbol of the kind of normal relationship that we want
to see with Pakistan, the kind of productive and constructive relationship
and cooperation that we want to see with Pakistan. And in those places
like that he wants to go on his plane and spend the night and have a
regular round of talks. That's what he did.

QUESTION: Just one follow-up (inaudible) question. You were talking of
Hamid Karzai and to the extent that President Musharraf was irritated by,
you know, what Mr. Karzai had informed him, but what is your comment on
General Abizaid's statement? He said, you know, (inaudible) when he told
no country can pressure Pakistan or something like that, at least that's
the way the Pakistani papers have portrayed it.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I don't think that was actually the quote
that I saw, but General Abizaid -- I think it was fortuitous that he was
there first of all to follow up with the Pakistanis and the Afghans now.
He's in Afghanistan today or was that yesterday? I can't remember.

STAFF: He was in Pakistan yesterday.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Pakistan, and now he's in Afghanistan, I
think. To follow up with them on the President's visit and cooperation and
the effort that we all make against terrorism.

You know, the second thing is it was a chance to sort of talk to them
both about cooperation in the border areas, and I think basically what he
heard from both of them was a positive message of their desire to
cooperate and their desire to beat this -- beat the problems -

QUESTION: You mean Afghanistan or Pakistan or both of them?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Yeah, both of them. So I think it was a
good way to follow up on the President's visit and to work with them. As
I said, I think our concentration is to see what the needs are in those
areas and work with both Pakistan and Afghanistan on the practical ways of
solving the needs of stopping the violence, building the institutions,
providing economic opportunity.

We're going to do a second round, huh? Okay, we've got a few more
minutes or so. You guys have the advantage of looking over my head. I
thought everybody was interested in me, but you're actually looking at the
clock. (Laughter.) Go ahead.

QUESTION: Under Secretary Burns recently talked about the possibility
of the number of Indian civilian facilities that are under safeguards to
go up (inaudible). Is there a commitment from the Indians to place a
certain percentage of future facilities under safeguards?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: It's the way things will proceed. If you
look at their separation plan, there's a very clear commitment to place
all future civilian thermal reactors and all future civilian fast-breeder
reactors under safeguards in perpetuity. That's a very important
commitment because as we understand India's program, they intend to build
quite a few very large reactors for power needs over the coming years.
They plan to build fast-breeders on the civilian side.

And so I think the way we calculate it is you go from a situation where
right now I think 19 percent of the reactors are under safeguards to -

QUESTION: 19? One-nine?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: One-nine currently to a -- as soon as the
separation plan is implemented, and you know, they have to work it out
with the IAEA and things, but that will lead to 65 percent being under
safeguards. And over time that's going to rise to 90 percent, almost 90
percent.

QUESTION: So 65 percent by what year?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Well, with the separation plan. With the
implementation of the separation plan.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Well, no, the separation plan is sort of a
guide to the future. So you know, once they work out the safeguards with
the IAEA, there will be 65 percent of the current capacity under
safeguards. That's the 14 out of 22 that you read about.

But then as they build new reactors, particularly these are going to be
the large power reactors, they're going to be larger, they're going to be
civilian, they're going to be power reactors, they're going to be under
safeguards. So the percentage under safeguards is going to rise over time
because that's where the major thrust of their program is going to be. So
over time, yeah, it could go close to 90 percent.

QUESTION: With the development of military facilities (inaudible) that
are civilian (inaudible), wouldn't that bring down the percentage?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Yeah, it would if that happened but I
don't think that that's the expectation. I mean, India is going to have
to inform you about what their plans might or might not be for the
military side, but -

QUESTION: Did you get any assurance that that won't happen?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I think we got assurance that the civilian
side will be -- you know, that all future civilian reactors, whether
thermal or fast-breeder, are going to be under safeguards and that leads
to these kind of expected plans.

QUESTION: But there's no restriction on building more military -

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: This was not an agreement about the
military side. This was an agreement to provide a clearly demarcated and
permanently safeguarded sector, nuclear sector, in India where we would
cooperate in helping India meet its development needs and to define
clearly what would be in the civilian side and to make sure that all those
would be under safeguards.

QUESTION: Was there any discussion during the visit on the H1B visas?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Yeah, it did come up. It came up with a
roundtable of the young entrepreneurs. It came up with the CEO group. So
the older business people, the younger business people all raised it. The
President was quite clear. He said those were good for the United States
and good for India and we're going to look at that and keep working on
it. But I don't think -- we didn't have any new announcements on it, if
that's what you're asking.

QUESTION: Who will be initiating action on this? It has to come from
Congress

or Department of Commerce?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Frankly, I don't know. Maybe me. I
better look at it. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: "Boucher announces increase in HIB visas."

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Not today. Not today. Not now.
(Laughter.)

QUESTION: "In his first major initiative." (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Did you read New York Times op-ed on the visit (inaudible)
India (inaudible) Musharraf (inaudible) and boy, the e-mail around Lou
Dobbs, you know, civilian reactors for mangos.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I'm surprised that a business audience
wouldn't look at the obvious business possibilities, but anyway that's --
I leave television to television people. I just do facts and policy.

You know, I think it's a little too easy to make comments like that
about India got this, Pakistan got that, and to compare them. I mean,
let's not fall ourselves into the trap of hyphenation. Let's not think
that everything that's right for India is right for Pakistan or everything
right for Pakistan is right for India. We need to look at the situations
of every country in this region and make sure that we're doing what's best
and appropriate there. Pakistan has different needs and different
opportunities than India, and the question that should be asked is: Are
we helping Pakistan meet its needs? Are we helping the people of Pakistan
meet their desires for development, for democracy, for a stable society in
which to raise their children? And that's the test that we need to pass
on these trips, not whether we've announced 20 things with one country and
only 18 with another.

I think the things that we talk about with Pakistan are very appropriate
to Pakistan. They meet the needs of Pakistan; as I said, economic
opportunity, education, strategic opportunities and cooperation. Our
energy dialogue with Pakistan is going to be different than our energy
discussions with India. They both need energy. They both have rapidly
growing economies. But one shouldn't expect that the energy needs would
be met in the same way given different geography, different history,
different resource base. So I think the fact that we've made energy a
focus, that we have our Energy Secretary going out there very soon after
the President, means that we can focus on this in a way that's really
appropriate to Pakistan.

I mean, I'm surprised nobody is saying India didn't get any duty free
regional opportunity zones. You know, Pakistan did. Well, you shouldn't
say that because -

QUESTION: Why didn't we think of that? (Laughter.)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Those opportunities that we're going to
work with with Pakistan are going to be different. Nobody says, you know,
the United States is working with Pakistan to develop new product lines
for export and we're not doing that with India. Well, it's something
that's more appropriate to our relationship with Pakistan. So I like to
think that we're doing what's right to help the Pakistani people meet
their dreams and aspirations and that we're doing what's right to help the
Indian people meet their dreams and aspirations, taking into account the
different circumstances that each of them face.

QUESTION: If nobody has a question, if I could ask one.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I've got one minute to answer all the rest
of the questions but I'll give you shorter answers.

QUESTION: Was the future of NPT discussed (inaudible) saying that no
more required or (inaudible)?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I think the future of the NPT is good.
It's still an important treaty. It's an important treaty for all those
who participate in it. Different countries have taken different paths. I
think the benefits to nations who join the NPT who long ago decided to
develop civilian power within the structures of the NPT, or even the
countries who 10, 15 years ago gave us nuclear weapons programs, those
benefits are very clear and it still offers those benefits.

But I think we also need to look at the opportunity we have now to bring
India closer to the international nonproliferation effort to have
meaningful participation from India on nonproliferation in a way that
hasn't been possible for three decades, whether it's the way India
controls its own technology or cooperates with other nations on nuclear
matters. This is a great opportunity to bring India into the
nonproliferation mainstream and to have their support of nonproliferation
goals.

STAFF: Great. Thanks a lot.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Okay, thank you all. It's good to see
you. We'll do this again but I will also see people individually when they
need to and have things, so it's just a nice way to put me in training and
show me the breadth of questions I'm going to have to be able to answer.
So thank you.
__________________
Life is a kaleidoscope of flaws, desires, emotions and mishaps__ YHK
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