Townterview Hosted by Arnab Goswami of Frankly Speaking on Times Now at St. Xavier College

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Mumbai, India
July 18, 2009

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, first of all, it’s a pleasure to have you on Frankly Speaking.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you so much.


QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, you’ve come at a time when there are lots of challenges in this region, and I just want to take up some of the main points with you. Today, as you were here, and you were asked a lot of questions about terrorism, about Pakistan’s role. And it’s also interesting that in the masterminds of 26/11, we’re actually (inaudible) in Pakistan. But that doesn’t amount to very much, Secretary Clinton, because the trial is yet to start. The real action has not happened. Americans have died in 26/11, people from all nationalities. Are you concerned that the trial, the real punishment, hasn’t really started at all?


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, of course, I am concerned if there is not a trial and if there is not justice for those who planned the attacks of 26/11. I do have some understanding of how difficult these cases are because, as you know, we are still holding people that we haven’t tried who we believe were involved with the 9/11 attacks.


So what I’m looking for is a commitment and one that is carried through. The timing, I am understanding of, but there must be an eventual reckoning of justice.


QUESTION: So you would say that there must be a trial, that Pakistan must have a trial?


SECRETARY CLINTON: I believe that there has to be justice, that there has to be a full vetting and a thorough analysis of what happened and who was behind it, just as I think with any terrorist attack.


QUESTION: Absolutely.


SECRETARY CLINTON: I think what countries are now understanding, wherever they are located, is that terrorism anywhere is a threat everywhere. And I hope that we will see the eventual full cooperation of every government against these non-state actors who train and equip the terrorists who wreak havoc. As you know, in this area, there have been – there has been terrorism in nearly every country, and therefore, there should be a joint effort in sharing of intelligence, sharing of counterterrorism techniques, law enforcement against this common threat.


QUESTION: Yes, absolutely. I think your reference to non-state actors takes me to my next question: Secretary Clinton, you have also been asked questions about the Lashkar e-Tayyiba, the Jaish e-Mohammed, and these are organizations which have, for a long period of time, believed to have been bleeding India to a thousand cuts. Would you put pressure – I know you’ve said that your focus is Indo-U.S. relations and not Pakistan-India relations. But you have that influence over Pakistan. Would you use some of your influence or offices or would you advise the Government of Pakistan to be – seem to be acting against groups like the Lashkar e-Tayyiba or Jaish e-Mohammed, which eventually don’t just target India; they target the world.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have, in our dialogue with Pakistan, over the last six months, been very clear that we think it’s imperative that Pakistan go after all the terrorist groups because, if for no other reason, any one of them is actually a threat to Pakistan. Because even if they were at one time focused elsewhere, now they are part of a criminal terrorist syndicate. They reinforce one another, they plan together, they give safe haven to one another.


And therefore, no terrorist group can be left alone or forgotten about. Every one of them must be the target of intense law enforcement and justice efforts.


QUESTION: You have focused, and you’ve spoken of it in Congress and Senate and global forums – Secretary Clinton, would you, at any point of time, your Administration, consider linking the large amounts of military, civilian, other aid that you’re giving Pakistan to tangible action against terrorism, against these terror groups, so that there’s some visible sign which also assures countries like India, which are also your partners --




QUESTION: -- at a global level, that Pakistan is acting not just in one area, but also towards these groups?




QUESTION: Would you link that (inaudible)?


SECRETARY CLINTON: As you say, I mean, I’m very proud to be in India to deepen and strengthen our relationship. But I do want you and I want your viewers to know that we are always stressing the importance of counterterrorism efforts in every country that we do anything with, including aid programs.


QUESTION: Right. There is also concern about Af-Pak. When there were visits sometime back, there were worries that India has been (inaudible) with the Af-Pak countries, but there also is, at the same time – my question to you would be, Secretary Clinton, would you – do you see India’s role anywhere as a major regional power --




QUESTION: -- in the problems in the Af-Pak region? Could you elaborate on those, please?


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I consider India a not just regional, but global power. I said that in the speech that I gave last week in Washington. I think India has a tremendous opportunity to work to resolve problems regionally and to work with other nations, including the United States, on some of the global challenges we face. Now how India decides to do that is up to India. India is a sovereign nation, a democracy. India has to make the decisions that are right for her.


But certainly, trying to bring some understanding, which India has, to the table in dealing with the problems in Afghanistan and the extremist threats in Pakistan would be very helpful. And I think that the cooperation that we’re building between the United States and India that I am very personally committed to on counterterrorism, on intelligence sharing, on everything that we can do to help protect India from terrorism and to enlist India’s help in our fight against the extremists in Afghanistan and in support of what Pakistan is now doing will be very welcome and important.


QUESTION: And do you see any resistance to that from, say, Pakistan? Would you be worried of any resistance to that from Pakistan?


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I must say that over the last six months, we have seen an evolving attitude in Pakistan – the army’s efforts that are ongoing now in Swat and Vaneer and elsewhere have only recently begun, but they have been judged by our military leaders as being sincere, effective, and committed. So I think that there’s an attitude within Pakistan today, not just at the governmental levels, but within the society, that the terrorists pose a threat to them, that you cannot unleash terrorism or turn a blind eye to it anywhere any longer, and that’s what I am encouraged by.


QUESTION: Recently – in fact, just three days back – two days back, in fact, Secretary Clinton, there were meetings between the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. And the general consensus was that India showed great maturity by dealing clean action against terror from talks. So they were in total disagreement about how wise do you think this is to do, you should have a more hardline approach. Having said that, would you also believe that even though these three matters are delinked, that Pakistan should not stop the continued efforts that it needs to take as actively as it was telling the world in December or January about fighting against these terror groups?


SECRETARY CLINTON: Absolutely. I think that should be a given. I think it should be expected. And as I say, I think I see some very positive steps in that direction. But India is a great country. It is a country that is mature and is able to make decisions for herself. It is also a very powerful country with an enormous military capacity if necessary. But what I see the Government of India doing is to try to be able to find the space to focus on what you and I were talking about, which is eradication of poverty, increasing educational opportunities, improved health outcomes, more jobs, better agricultural productivity, the bread and butter issues that will enable India to not only grow, but broadly spread the prosperity that is being developed. So I have a great deal of admiration for the difficult decisions that the Indian Government is trying to make.


QUESTION: All right. Secretary Clinton, on Kashmir, you know there has been a history of long conflict and difference between India and Pakistan on it. India believes it’s a bilateral issue, and from what I heard you earlier in the day today, you always said we don’t want to get into India-Pakistan issues at all. But Pakistan would like to see the issue internationalize. It’s been trying to internationalize the issue over a long period of time. Do you see – if I were to ask you, Secretary Clinton, do you see any role as a broker at all, directly, indirectly for America on this issue between India and Pakistan so that the matter can be settled, once and for – where do you stand on it?


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the decision has to be between India and Pakistan, and of course, taking into account the feelings of the people of Kashmir. I think there is no resolution without India and Pakistan deciding what is in the best interests of the future. So our role is not to be involved other than to support the process that India and Pakistan may decide to enter into.


QUESTION: But I think that’s absolutely (inaudible), but there were also concerns – you’ve been asked this before – about the nuclear deal. What (inaudible) creating, despite some domestic opposition. Secretary Clinton, is the nuclear deal conditionally anywhere, anywhere at all (inaudible) India signing the nuclear deal (inaudible)? Is it at all conditional?






SECRETARY CLINTON: No. The civil nuclear deal stands on its own merits. There are provisions within it that we are still working on to fulfill. But what I’m hoping, in my conversations with the leaders with whom I’ll be meeting over the next several days, is that India can help us determine how to keep nuclear material and knowledge out of the hands of rogue states and non-state actors.


What is the appropriate nonproliferation program for the future? Again, India has a tremendous capacity to determine what direction it wants to go. In this particular area, I was heartened by a speech that the prime minister’s special envoy for nonproliferation delivered in Washington some days ago, where in effect, he said we may not go the route that others have gone in the past, but we want to be contributing to solving a problem which could endanger all of us. So I’m interested in knowing what are some of the ideas that India would put on the table.


QUESTION: What condition are (inaudible)?




QUESTION: Would you (inaudible) --




QUESTION: -- (inaudible) --


SECRETARY CLINTON: No. I was the co-chair of the India Caucus in the United States Senate. I worked very hard for the passage of the India-U.S. civil nuclear deal. I am very committed to it, and committed to its full implementation. But I do worry about what we see as proliferation in places like North Korea and Iran, the continuing efforts by terrorist groups to try to get a hold of nuclear weapons or material that could be used in a terrorist act. So I want, as part of our ongoing discussion, to explore with Indian leaders what can we do to make sure we prevent that.


QUESTION: But that’s (inaudible)?




QUESTION: A more positive question. You keep coming back to India as (inaudible). We always want to know, on Frankly Speaking, what’s your takeaway? There seems to be something, if I’m not mistaken, which draws you, which is drawing (inaudible) to this country? What’s your takeaway this time when you’re gone, which is not tomorrow but – you’re staying at the Taj.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, I am, and I chose to stay at the Taj for a very specific reason: I wanted to send a message that I personally, and our country, is in sympathy and solidarity with the employees and the guests of the Taj who lost their lives, were injured, with the people of Mumbai and others who were impacted by the horrific attacks, and really, as a rebuke to the terrorists who may have tragically taken lives, but did not destroy the spirit and the resilience of the people of this city or nation.


I am attracted to India. This is my fourth trip with – my husband has been here many times. There’s something about the dynamism of the people, the dedication to democracy that I see, the commitment to doing better all the time and making a better future. It’s inspiring to me. And I can’t really express it; it’s just a feeling in my heart that makes me very happy to be here. It’s both a privilege and an honor, I think, and I love the food. (Laughter.) I have friends. I mean, it’s just – it’s a place that I feel very comfortable in.


QUESTION: We wish you (inaudible).


SECRETARY CLINTON: We will work that out, I am sure, in the future, perhaps when it’s not so official and we can actually just walk the streets and spend time with people instead of the schedule that one keeps as an official visitor.


QUESTION: Can I ask you one last question, a very personal question? We’ve seen you in many roles over three, four, five, six years. Now you’ve talked about it – very difficult First Lady, and now Secretary of State, (inaudible).




QUESTION: What’s next? What do you see your roles (inaudible)?


SECRETARY CLINTON: Retirement. (Laughter.) Probably it will be along the lines of what we just did. I started out as an activist and an advocate for children and families and women.




SECRETARY CLINTON: I worked very hard to create organizations and to promote the ideals of equality and opportunity. And I would go back to that. I would go back to being a voice for the voiceless, standing up against conditions that just leech the life out of children and oppress women and prevent people from fulfilling their God-given potential.


I think it’s a great tragedy that walking around New York City or walking around Mumbai, there are probably people who could have found a cure for cancer, but they never got educated.


QUESTION: Absolutely.


SECRETARY CLINTON: There are probably women who could have been great teachers, but they never were given the chance. And so for me, this is a life’s work to try to expand the opportunities for people to make decisions for themselves in ways that will not only fulfill their own life purposes, but contribute to their families, communities and nations.


QUESTION: And I think what you’ve said today is going to move a lot of people, actually. Thank you so much. It’s been greatly a pleasure and privilege having you on Frankly Speaking.


SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s been our pleasure too.


QUESTION: Thank you.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much.

PRN: 2009/T9-3