Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Sec. Clinton Celebrates Eid-ul-Fitr

Sec. Clinton welcomed diplomats and esteemed guests for a belated celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr at the State Department on Thursday night. While Eid is a joyous occasion, this year’s State Department event was held under the shadow of grief resulting from attacks on embassies across the world, including an attack on the US Embassy in Libya which took the lives of several diplomats there including the American Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Libya’s Ambassador to the US, Ali Aujali, gave a moving speech at the event:

Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton. Standing beside you here in the Department of State, it shows the world how much the Americans are standing by the Libyans and the Libya revolution. You do support us during the war, but you have to support us during the peace. We are going through a very difficult time, and we need the help of friends.

It is a very sad day for me, since I learned of the death of my dear friend and colleague, Ambassador Chris Stevens. I knew Chris for the last six years. We play tennis together, we drive in one car, and we had some traditional Libyan food in my house. I must tell you, Madam Secretary, and tell the American people, that Chris is a hero. He is a real hero. He’s the man who believes in the Libyans and the Libyan ability that they will achieve democracy after 42 years of the dictatorship.

Now we are facing a serious problem, and we have to maintain and we have to – we need security and stability in our country. The government, unfortunately, faces a serious problem, personnel and equipment. And the support of you and the friends who support us during the war is very important.

I want to show you and to show the American people how much it was – we were shocked by the death of four American diplomats. It is a very sad story to tell. But I am sure that it is our responsibility, and the responsibility of the Libyan people, that we have to protect our people, we have to protect the Americans in the first place and have to protect all the diplomatic missions who are serving in our country. I am sure that without the help, we will not be able to do it.

I hope that this sad incident which happened, this terrorist attack which took place against the American consulate in Libya, it will tell us how much we have to work closely. Our religion, our culture, never tells us that this is the way to express your view. It is – in fact (inaudible) a terrorist act. This is condemned by all the world and by all the Libyans at the top level of the Libyan authority.

Please, Madam Secretary, accept our apology and accept our condolence for the loss of the four Americans, innocent people. They lost their lives in the Libyan territory. Chris, he loves Benghazi, he loves the people, he talks to them, he eats with them, and he committed — and unfortunately lost his life because of this commitment.

Madam Secretary, thank you very much indeed. (Applause.)

Secretary Clinton followed Ambassador Aujali’s remarks by reiterating that the United States unquestioningly rejects the content of the inflammatory film that sparked this week’s attacks, and called on people of all faiths to spread tolerance and speak out against attempts to denigrate any religion, and to demonstrate the strength of their faith by restraining from violence.

Sec. Clinton Statement on Pakistan’s Independence Day

Secretary Hillary ClintonOn 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.

–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Shad Begum – 2012 International Women of Courage Award Winner

Shad Begum is a courageous human rights activist and leader who has changed the political context for women in the extremely conservative district of Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. As founder and executive director of Association for Behavior and Knowledge Transformation (ABKT), Ms. Shad provides political training, microcredit, primary education, and health services to women in the most conservative areas of Pakistan. Ms. Shad not only empowered the women of Dir to vote and run for office, she herself ran and won local seats in the 2001 and 2005 elections against local conservatives who tried to ban female participation. Despite threats, Ms. Shad continues to work out of Peshawar to improve the lives of women in the communities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sec. Clinton, Amb. Rehman focused on improving Pakistan’s economy

State Dept Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland

QUESTION: Ambassador Rehman also said that what Pakistan is looking – not aid from the U.S., but trade, and she said that as far as textile tariffs are concerned – and also, what I’m asking you is: Is Pakistan – is U.S. focusing more to spend money more on the development in Pakistani people in order to have a better image of U.S. in Pakistan?

MS. NULAND: Well, Goyal, as you know, the Secretary has been one of the most vocal advocates of switching as much of our economic relationship with Pakistan from aid to trade. That’s been the focus of the Department’s efforts with the Pakistani Government over the last couple of years, and some of the internal reviews we’ve done are focused on that. So we are investing in the economic health and strength of the country. We are investing in energy. We’re investing in education. We are investing in democracy programs and development, so – and micro-lending and all of these kinds of things. So it’s not about improving our image. It’s about helping to strengthen a stable, peaceful, democratic Pakistan.

Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Remarks on Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Sherry Rehman

Secretary Hillary Clinton“I was delighted to welcome the new ambassador here yesterday. She is someone that I’ve known for some time. My message to her was very straightforward: The U.S.-Pakistan relationship is crucial to both of our countries, to the future of our people, to the safety and security of South Asia and the world; we recognize there have been significant challenges in recent months, but we are steadfastly committed to this relationship and working together to make it productive.

So we will continue to do so, and we obviously have expressed a lot of concerns about what we see happening inside Pakistan. It has been our position to stand strongly in favor of a democratically elected civilian government, which we continue to do, and we expect Pakistan to resolve any of these internal issues in a just and transparent manner that upholds the Pakistani laws and constitution.”

Muslim Americans ask Clinton to ensure justice for Ambassador Husain Haqqani

AILC logoThe American Islamic Leadership Coalition has joined a group of prominent American Muslims that has appealed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her and President Obama to intervene in the matter of the former Pakistan Ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani who is under house arrest in Pakistan and expressed a fear for his life.

The letter signed by among others, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser and author Irshad Manji, asked Clinton to “let Pakistan’s military chief General Kayani and ISI boss General Pasha know that they will be held responsible for any harm that comes to Ambassador Haqqani.”

Ambassador Haqqani’s travails began after it was alleged that he had initiated a letter to the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, following the US military action inside Pakistan in which Osama Bin Laden was killed. The letter reportedly asked for American intervention in Pakistan in order to forestall a military coup.

Ambassador Haqqani vehemently denied these allegations, yet honorably offered to resign his position and return to Pakistan to clear his name and answer any questions. He acted in good faith, but Pakistan’s military-judicial establishment and the country’s anti-American media have “convicted him” in the court of public opinion, without the benefit of any criminal charges.

In the letter to Mrs. Clinton the American and Canadian Muslim leaders also asked for the safety of Ambassador Haqqani’s wife. The letter said, “We also ask you to ensure the safety of Ambassador Haqqani’s wife, currently in the US. She is constantly followed by ISI agents working inside America. She should have the ability to live here free from intimidation and threats.”

“We American and Canadian Muslims have watched with increasing anxiety the situation of the former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani. Motivated by our deep concern for the life and safety of Ambassador Haqqani we write to you to ask you to speak on his behalf. Ambassador Haqqani is living under virtual house arrest in Pakistan. Pakistan’s security agencies confiscated his passport and the judiciary, under pressure from the military, has restricted him from travelling outside Pakistan,” the letter added.

The signatories of the letter to Mrs. Clinton said, “… Ambassador Haqqani … represented moderate Islamic values and was vocal in his opposition to radical elements in Islam, which was a source of pride for moderate Muslims in North America. During his stay in the United States, Ambassador Haqqani was an effective, intelligent and articulate refutation of all the negative stereotypes associated with the Islamist leadership inside America.”

 

On Pakistan’s Independence Day

August 14th is Pakistan’s Independence Day. In recognition of this holiday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the following statement.

Secretary Hillary ClintonOn behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Pakistan as you celebrate 64 years of independence this August 14.

Since your independence in 1947, you have worked to build a strong nation that honors your distinct culture and history. Day in and day out you demonstrate your unique spirit and resilience as you strengthen security, economic stability, and democratic principles that will benefit all Pakistanis.

As Qaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah said, “If we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people.” On this joyous occasion, the United States joins you in celebrating the anniversary of Pakistan’s birth, and we renew our commitment to working with the people of Pakistan to promote greater peace and prosperity for both our people.

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

In fact, this is not the first time a US Secretary of State has congratulated Pakistan on the occasion of its independence. On August 11, 1947, Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah spoke before the nation’s first Constituent Assembly where he laid out his vision for Pakistan’s future, one defined by democracy and justice for all citizens.

Muhammad Ali JinnahYou are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State…Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.

 

As he concluded his remarks, he read to the gathered Pakistani leaders a statement he had received from US Secretary of State George Marshall.

I have the honour to communicate to you, in Your Excellency’s capacity as President of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, the following message which I have just received from the Secretary of State of the United States:

On the occasion of of the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly for Pakistan, I extend to you and to the members of the Assembly, the best wishes of the Government and the people of the United States for the successful conclusion of the great work you are about to undertake.

On this 64th anniversary of Pakistan’s independence, we in America celebrate 64 years of friendship with Pakistan, and look forward to a future of continued friendship between our two great nations.

Statement by Secretary Clinton on the death of Syed Saleem Shehzad

Secretary Hillary ClintonSecretary Clinton issued the following statement upon learning of the death of Syed Saleem Shehzad, a journalist covering Pakistan for Asia Times.

“The United States strongly condemns the abduction and killing of reporter Syed Saleem Shehzad. His work reporting on terrorism and intelligence issues in Pakistan brought to light the troubles extremism poses to Pakistan’s stability. We support the Pakistani government’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

We remain committed to helping the government and people of Pakistan as they work to bring peace and stability to the country.”

Sec. Clinton – US Must Continue to Support Democracy In Pakistan

Secretary Clinton meets with UK Foreign Secretary Hague

Secretary Clinton is in London meeting with her British counterpart, Foreign Secretary William Hague, this week. At a press conference yesterday she reiterated American commitment to supporting peace and democracy in Pakistan.

“With respect to Pakistan, Pakistan has hard choices to make. We know the facts. Pakistan is a nuclear-armed state, home to nearly 180 million people, making it the world’s sixth largest nation. It needs international support to deal with political and economic problems and the threats it faces from internal violence. This latest attack on a Pakistani naval installation in Karachi is another reminder of the terrible price the Pakistani people have borne in their own struggle against violent extremism.

“We have killed more terrorists on Pakistani soil than anywhere else in the world, and that could not have been done without the cooperation of the Government of Pakistan. But there is more work to be done and the work is urgent. Over the long haul, both the United Kingdom and the United States seek to support the Pakistani people as they chart their own destiny, away from political violence, toward greater stability, economic prosperity, and justice.”

Statement by Secretary Clinton on the Assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti

Secretary Hillary ClintonI am shocked and outraged by the assassination today of Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti. This was an attack not only on one man, but on the values of tolerance and respect for people of all faiths and backgrounds championed by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founding father.

I recently had the opportunity to meet Minister Bhatti. He was a patriot and a man of courage and conviction. He cared deeply for Pakistan and dedicated his life to helping the least among us on Earth. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends.

The United States remains committed to working with the government and people of Pakistan to build a more stable and prosperous future for all — a future in which violent extremists are no longer able to silence the voices of tolerance and peace.