PANEL II OF A HEARING OF THE HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
SUBJECT: FROM STRATEGY TO IMPLEMENTATION: THE FUTURE OF THE U.S.-PAKISTAN RELATIONSHIP
CHAIRED BY: REP. HOWARD BERMAN (D-CA)
WITNESSES: LISA CURTIS, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, ASIAN STUDIES CENTER, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION; CHRISTINE FAIR, SENIOR POLITICAL SCIENTIST, RAND CORPORATION; DANIEL MARKEY, SENIOR FELLOW FOR INDIA, PAKISTAN, AND SOUTH ASIA, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
Copyright ©2009 by Federal News Service, Inc., Ste. 500, 1000 Vermont Ave, Washington, DC 20005 USA. Federal News Service is a private firm not affiliated with the federal government. No portion of this transcript may be copied, sold or retransmitted without the written authority of Federal News Service, Inc. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of the original work prepared by a United States government officer or employee as a part of that person's official duties. For information on subscribing to the FNS Internet Service at www.fednews.com, please email Carina Nyberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-202-216-2706.
REP. BERMAN: Today we have several noted experts on Pakistan. Lisa Curtis is a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation where she focuses on America's economic security and political relationships with South Asia. Before joining Heritage in August 2006, she worked on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a professional staff member for three years for then-Chairman Senator Lugar. From 2001 to 2003, she served as a senior advisor in the State Department's South Asia Bureau. She has also worked as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency in the late 1990s.
Christine Fair is a senior political scientist with the RAND Corporation. Prior to rejoining RAND she served as a political officer to the U.N. assistance mission in Afghanistan and as a senior research associate in the United States Institute of Peace. Her research focuses upon security competition between India and Pakistan, Pakistan's internal security, the causes of terrorism in South Asia, and U.S. strategic relations with India and Pakistan. She's a member of the International Institute For Strategic Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations and is the managing editor of India Review.
Daniel Markey is the senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. His areas of specialization include security and governance in South Asia, international conflict, theories of international relations in U.S. foreign policy. From 2003 to 2007, he held a South Asia portfolio on the policy planning staff of the Department of State. Prior to government service, Dr. Markey taught courses in the politics department at Princeton University and served as the executive director of Princeton's research program and international security.
And while our audience is small, it's very interested. So, you know, you could talk to a lot of people who wouldn't care, but you've got a few people who really do.
So Ms. Curtis, why don't you start? And try and summarize your opening statement in about five minutes.
MS. CURTIS: Okay. Chairman Berman, Congressman Burton, thank you very much for inviting me here today to testify on this very important topic. Pakistan is being roiled by a well-armed and well- organized insurgency, pushing for the establishment of strict Islamic law, beginning in the country's Northwest Frontier province, but with the long-term goal of provoking a nation-wide Islamic revolution.
Although the collapse of the Pakistani state may not be immanent as some have recently suggested, the government's surrender of the Swat Valley to pro-Taliban militants was a major victory for the extremists seeking to carve out pockets of influence throughout the country. Islamabad's decision to allow the implementation of a parallel Islamic court system in Malikan division (ph) of the NWFP which includes Swat Valley, demonstrates the weakness of the Pakistan government and military in the face of the militant onslaught. Pakistan military had deployed some 12,000 troops to Swat Valley for 18 months in 2007 and 2008 before surrendering to the militants. This surrender occurred despite the overwhelming vote in favor of the secular political party, Awami National Party, in the February 2008 elections, demonstrating that the people of the region do not support the extremist's agenda, but are merely acquiescing in the absence of support from the government to counter the militants.
Washington has repeatedly warned Pakistani officials about the danger of appeasing the militants through peace deals that confer legitimacy on them and help them consolidate control over ever increasing parts of the province. Pakistani officials have rejected Washington's concerns, accusing U.S. officials of hyping the threat and/or misreading the local ground situation.
Pakistani officials have also glossed over the fact that the establishment of a parallel Islamic court system will have dire human rights consequences for average Pakistanis, namely women and girls. Events over the last two weeks, however, may have finally awakened some Pakistani officials to the downsides of the Swat peace deal. The leader of the pro-Taliban militants, Sufi Mohammed declared in a recent interview that democracy is not permissible under Shari'a law, revealing the militant's ultimate objective of undermining Pakistan's democratic institutions nationwide.
And just one week after Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari approved the Swat Valley peace agreement following passage of a parliamentary resolution urging him to do so, the Taliban took over the neighboring district of Buner. The Taliban subsequently agreed to pull out of Buner on April 24th after Pakistan deployed paramilitary troops to the region. That same day, chief of army staff General Kayani sent a warning to the militants that the army would not allow them to impose their way of life on the civil society of Pakistan. The statement was a positive first step in clarifying Pakistani policy toward the militants, but it must now be followed by sustained and consistent action based on a comprehensive civil military plan to counter the militants' objectives.
Pakistani civilian leaders have been too slow to awaken to the threat before them and too willing to sacrifice their constituents to the brutal policies of the Taliban. For Pakistan to fend off the growing extremists influence in the country, civilian leaders need to highlight the brutality of the pro-Taliban militants, demonstrating their forcing a way of life on Pakistani citizens that is alien to their own historical traditions of Islam and aspirations for constitutional democracy.
The struggle is certainly Pakistan's to fight, but the U.S. can support those Pakistanis standing up for the preservation of democratic institutions and promotion of tolerance, pluralism, rule of law and the development of civil society. Both the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2009, the PEACE Act, recently introduced in this chamber, and the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 introduced yesterday in the Senate demonstrate the U.S. interest in developing a broad based, long term partnership with Pakistan.
The PEACE Act provides comprehensive details on the shape of future economic aid to Pakistan, focusing on a range of areas including strengthening the parliament, the judicial system and law enforcement sectors. The PEACE Act also addresses the need for strong oversight and accountability in the provision and distribution of this aid, and to ensure that it's not wasted or abused. Both bills also contain language calling for greater accountability with regard to future military assistance to Pakistan. These measures would require Islamabad to permanently break the links between its security services and the Afghan Taliban and other extremists groups.
While some have raised concerns that such conditions will discourage rather than encourage Pakistani cooperation against terrorists, others note that we must begin to develop leverage with our large scale aid programs and ensure that U.S. taxpayer money does not perversely contribute to undermining U.S. objectives in Afghanistan. Ambassador Holbrooke talked about reaching that sweet spot, and I would just point out that the sweet spot would recognize Pakistan genuine security concerns, but also make clear that the U.S. will not tolerate dual policies toward terrorists.
While seeking to stiffen Pakistani resolve against the Taliban, the U.S. must at the same time shore up Pakistani capabilities. To this end, it is appropriate that CENTCOM General Petraeus be given the latitude and flexibility he needs immediately to strengthen Pakistani capabilities to fight insurgents through the proposed Pakistan counterinsurgency capability fund that would allocate 400 million (dollars) in this fiscal year to build the capacity of Pakistan's security forces and assistant with humanitarian relief efforts in post combat zones.
While the PCCF for this year has no specific conditions attached to it, the U.S. Congress should find some mechanism to ensure that the PCCF funding for future years will be contingent on whether the 2009 tranche has contributed to strengthening both Pakistan's capability and will to fight terrorism.
REP. BERMAN: I think Ms. Curtis if you could just sort --
MS. CURTIS: Yeah.
REP. BERMAN: -- wind up.
MS. CURTIS: Yes.
REP. BERMAN: -- very good point --
MS. CURTIS: And lastly the U.S. should dedicate diplomatic resources to helping the leaders in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India develop a different security paradigm for the region that allows them to focus on containing dangerous non-state actors, enhancing cooperation of regional integration.
And lastly, while the U.S. should do everything possible to stabilize Pakistan, Washington's best efforts alone will not be sufficient for the task. We need Pakistan's leaders to also stand up and demonstrate they're willing to stand up against Taliban advances in their own country.
REP. BERMAN: Thank you.
MS. FAIR: Thank you Chairman Berman and Congressman Burton and esteemed colleagues for the opportunity to participate in today's hearings on the future of U.S. Pakistan relations. The finding that the U.S. requires a quote, "balanced, integrated country wide strategy that targets assistance throughout Pakistan and does not disproportionately focus on the military or specific area or province" is a very welcomed departure from past policies.
Indeed, there's wide concurrence that perhaps the only path to a stable Pakistan that peace with itself and with its neighbors, is one that is firmly controlled by capable civilians rather than one that is dominated by the military directly or indirectly. I am similarly heartened by the explicit interest in insuring transparency and effective accountability of all U.S. assistance and reimbursements to the country.
While many of the provisions to strengthen the national parliament, the political parties and other civilian institutions, as well as civil society, seem appropriately configured and indeed vital to rehabilitating a civilian controlled Pakistan, I will focus the balance of my remarks upon the areas that concern me most.
First, all of the efforts in this legislation presuppose effective partnering with Pakistanis truly vested in change. Without such collaborators for change, it is doubtful that these proposed efforts will fruitify. Yet in all honesty actual reformers in my view seem few and far between.
Some of the proposed areas of activities such as educational curricular reform will likely be staunchly resisted on nationalist' grounds even if they say yes in the presence of U.S. interlocutors. Pakistanis have consistently expressed considerable concern about U.S. efforts to, quote, "de-Islamize", unquote, Pakistan schools, so rather than dictating programmatic areas of reform, a better approach might be a required consultative approach with Pakistani counterparts to identify areas of reform in a joint plan of neutral resourcing and commitment. Without up front Pakistani commitment and buy in, I'm simply unconvinced that these programs out of this -- (inaudible) -- will actually have effect.
And I'd like to say, as an aside, the U.S. does some things very good encouraging competition. The World Bank has had very interesting results in the efficacy of private schooling and maybe we can talk about this more in the question and answering. There simply is no data that support a preponderance of students going into madrasses or that madrasses students are more poor on the average than public school students. So there's a lot of data that simply doesn't support the most hair raising of accounts that we hear in the media. And I'm happy to talk about that. I've done a lot of work on that area.
I'm also concerned with the United States may not have the capacity to execute such a capacious program responsibly and with effective outcomes given the human capital challenges within the U.S. mission in Pakistan, the constricted security environment that constrains them, the very real danger to U.S. personnel in Pakistan, and a potential paucity of credible Pakistani reformers dedicated to the kind of capacity building you have envisioned in this legislation.
In addition, the U.S. aid business model of relying upon layers of contractors to deliver services may result in much of the funding returning to the United States suboptimal outcomes and greater disappointment in the failure to deliver services to the Pakistani polity.
What I do not see in this legislation is any provision to enable Pakistan to increase its own ability to raise domestic revenue. Long term aid aimed to help the Pakistani government deliver services undermines the social contract between the government and the governed because the government has few incentives to raise revenue and redistribute these funds as services or even to make hard choices about budgetary commitments, and I'm talking specifically about the trade off between human capital development and military expenditures. There are simply few reasons why Pakistan cannot in the near term learn to pay for itself and it should be encouraged to do so.
The bill also pays scant regard to Pakistan's police, despite the robust counter insurgency literature that consistently finds that police win insurgencies, not armies, and we're learning this also in Afghanistan. This legislation simply does not pay adequate attention to the Pakistan police. Yet unlike the army which has shown considerable resistance to change its doctrine towards one that is more COIN inclined and less inclined to be ready to fight India, Pakistan's police have actually tried to reform themselves, yet they are obstructed by Pakistan's bureaucrats and political leadership.
Yet the police are poorly trained, poorly equipped, undermanned and under fire from the insurgents. Quite frankly, they are sitting ducks.
My most significant concern stems from the provisions in Section 206. The majority of the proposed security assistance is aimed at buttressing Pakistan's ability to effectively eliminate insurgent and terrorist threats. While I support the sense of the House that Pakistan must be held to account on nuclear proliferation and supporting militant groups terrorizing the region, there is little likelihood that Pakistan will acquiesce to stated demands.
And this puts the United States in a very awkward position of having to once again execute waiver authority to allow funding to continue. It continues a well worn cycle of the United States bending its commitment to accommodate the importance of dealing with Pakistan. And quite frankly, it undermines Pakistan's interpretation of U.S. intentions of how serious these issues are.
I prefer a benchmark or a metrics-based approach, which actually tries to achieve the same goals that you've identified in this legislation but one which provides a mechanism for verification, data that will be used to prove compliance. And we can talk about more, perhaps in the Q&A, but I think a data driven process oriented benchmark focus process has greater transparency and will be more easy to communicate to the Pakistanis if after concerted collaborative effort Pakistan continues to fail to meet our expectations. And a revision of security systems is important.
Thank you very much.
REP. BERMAN: Mr. Markey.
MR. MARKEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Congressman Burton and members of the committee for this opportunity to discuss U.S. policy towards Pakistan.
My remarks today are based on my written testimony, which is in the form of a report that was released by the Council on Foreign Relations about a week ago and has been submitted to the record. I think we're all familiar, and we have become more familiar over the course of the last discussion with the numerous policy challenges that we face in Pakistan. We've got al Qaeda, we've got Taliban, we've got India tensions, we've got nuclear problems, we've got a weak state, just to mention a few. But what worries me the most and what I think doesn't get quite as much attention as it deserves is the need to focus on what I would consider to be a next generation of challenges, the longer-term threats that we face from Pakistan.
And here I would identify for you the fact of the matter is that the next generation of extremists and of globally interconnected terrorist groups are likely to come from Pakistan. Over half of Pakistan's population are teenagers; they suffer from poor education, from weak economic opportunities, and they are surrounded by this pervasive sense of anti-Americanism that is seeping into their lives and informing their actions.
So all the threats that we currently perceive coming from Afghanistan are there in spades in Pakistan, and so the implication of this and what I draw in my report is that the United States should shift its strategic focus, not just from Iraq to Afghanistan, not just to link Afghanistan and Pakistan, but to go one step further and place Pakistan at the center of our strategic concerns.
And I think we need to recognize that in doing so we face an incredibly difficult, complicated, and probably very costly challenge for the United States looking ahead. So in order to do this, I've tried to identify what I consider to be the best strategy moving ahead. And this is a long-term strategy; it's based on two central pillars.
The first of these is what I would consider to be the inducements of allies and of partners within Pakistan's civilian political leadership, within its military, and within wider society. What we should use are U.S. assistance to empower those elements within Pakistan that already see their interests in similar ways to the way that we do and to make them more effective at achieving those interests. That's pillar one.
Pillar two is that we should be seeking to reshape the strategic environment of the region as understood by those actors within the region. We should use our assistance, our military operations, and our diplomacy to create new incentives for those actors, to convince Pakistan's political and military leadership of the benefits of working with us and of the costs inherent to working or opposing our efforts.
Now, at best these are going to be long-term goals. They are probably not going to make rapid progress even if we spend $1.5 billion a year, even if we place 60,000 or more U.S. and NATO forces into Afghanistan. They are going to require patience, and they are going to especially require patience within the next three to five years.
But remember the point that I made earlier: the thing that concerns me the most about Pakistan is not just the urgent threats that we're all very aware of, but it's this next generation of challenges that we're likely to see coming from Pakistan.
Now in the next three to five years, until Pakistan is capable, I think, of being a more effective partner to meet those urgent threats, we will continue to need to use the forceful U.S. military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan along the Pakistan border. I think we all know what we're talking about here. But in conducting those operations, I would suggest that we need to do our best, to do the least possible to jeopardize the prospects for a longer-term partnership.
So let me conclude by making a number of points about how this strategy that I've just laid out in very brief terms relates to pending legislation. First of all, I support this type of U.S. military and civilian programming of the sort that you've put forward in HR-1886. And I would recommend in addition to that that the committee encourage the administration to go one step further, to fund adequately the expansion of U.S. civilian capacity to operate effectively throughout Pakistan.
The concerns about security that currently dog U.S. operations in Pakistan are so debilitating that I think it will be almost impossible, unless we ramp up our operations there, to adequately formulate or implement the kinds of programming that we'd like to see in the country.
Secondly, I support military assistance and diplomatic commitment over the long haul to Afghanistan, and this relates to my desire to try and shape the strategic environment in the region. We have to convince the Pakistanis that we are committed to seeing the project in Afghanistan through to the end to make it clear that their strategy of hedging which has led them to support various groups in the past will not work.
Now I know I'm out of time, so let me just say what I oppose, and then we can go on at length later. I oppose legislation that's based on conditions that would curtail assistance in the future. We do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past where the implication of Pakistanis not doing what we ask them to do is cutting off our assistance and further damaging the relationship.
I oppose U.S. diplomatic statements that undermine confidence among Pakistanis and make it more likely that Pakistanis who are the elite, the intellectual class, are likely to believe that their country is really going down the tubes and make it more likely that they themselves will leave the country.
Finally, I oppose the use -- and this is something that seems to have not come up very regularly -- I oppose the continued use of Coalition support funds as a particular mechanism for funding the Pakistani army. I believe this has been a very frustrating mechanism for us, and it's very frustrating for the Pakistanis. To the extent that we're looking for a way to improve our partnership, I find it baffling that we would continue with this particular kind of mechanism. We need to find a different way, and I'm sort of surprised that this hasn't been a centerpiece of a revision of the kinds of assistance programming that we do with the Pakistanis.
And I'll leave it there. Thank you.
REP. BERMAN: Well, thank you all very much. I'm going to temporarily turn over the chair to Mr. Ellison, who will yield himself time to start the questioning. I'll be back.
REP. ELLISON: Let me thank the panel. And I'll yield myself five minutes. My first question is the question I left off with with Ambassador Holbrooke. What impact does linking aid have on the ability of Pakistani leadership to advance the issues that we care about here? How important it is to be concerned about how opponents of the government are going to paint the government if the government accepts a deal with the United States for aid that conditions things like redeploying away from India, improving relations with India, things like that?
Ms. Fair, why don't you start?
MS. FAIR: Well, as I said in my written statement, they simply won't do it, and then we're going to be put in the awkward position of using the waiver. And so I actually have a fairly strong opposition to putting conditionalities that we can say right off the bat they won't acquiesce to, forcing us to use this waiver.
And if you look at the long expanse of U.S. history of engaging Pakistan, we've always done this. We have legislative commitments, and we always over-write it.
REP. ELLISON: So, Ms. Fair, are you saying we keep in the conditions but take out the waiver? Or are you saying we don't put in the waiver or the conditions?
MS. FAIR: Well, you know, this is a philosophical question in some measure, but I actually do believe that we cannot be paying the Pakistanis to participate in eliminating some terrorists while still continuing to foster and encourage other terrorist groups. So I actually do support the idea of conditionalities, but I really think it should be process-based, it should be evidence-based. The conditionalities as stated can be finessed to the point of futility or simply refused, forcing us to put in a waiver.
I also think that it has to be done collaboratively with the Pakistanis.
REP. ELLISON: Thank you. That's a good point you closed on.
Mr. Markey, do you want to weigh in here?
MR. MARKEY: Yes. I would agree with the tenor of your question, which is essentially we are playing into a complex political debate within Pakistan. We need to recognize that our words and our legislation have implications for how Pakistanis and Pakistan's leaders interact with their own people. And we can do things that will undermine our very partners. And I think that that is unfortunately, even though I share all of the goals that are in this legislation, I think that is how it is playing out in Pakistan's very complicated political environment. We need to simply recognize this and deal with it.
Now that doesn't mean that we don't require things, but we probably shouldn't require them in these forms. And at the very least we shouldn't implicate or imply that we will cut off assistance and repeat the mistakes of the past of severing the relationship if what we try first doesn't work.
REP. ELLISON: Ms. Curtis?
MS. CURTIS: I have a dissenting view, sir. I think the U.S. needs to find some leverage. We have tried inducements. Seven years later, $11 billion later, we still have General Petrayus telling us it's a very mixed picture from the Pakistan military. Yes, we are getting more cooperation along the border; yet we still see unhelpful links to the Taliban.
So I would just repeat my view that I think the time has come to demonstrate that we won't tolerate these dual policies.
Number two --
REP. ELLISON: You know, if I had more than five minutes I wouldn't mind letting you continue on.
MS. CURTIS: Sure.
REP. ELLISON: Oh, thanks a lot. Well, let me move on. You know, in my own district in Minneapolis, when we discuss Pakistan, and we often do, one of the issues that comes up is the unmanned aerial vehicles. I wonder if each one of you would offer your assessment as to the net utility? I know they have a benefit, I know they have a detriment, but what is the net utility of the use of these unmanned vehicles, and how might we as Congress move forward to make them effective where they can be and to diminish civilian casualties which have been linked to them in a significant way?
Why don't we start with Ms. Curtis, as we left off with her last time?
MS. CURTIS: Yes. Well, I think there has been success in our counter-terrorism efforts from the drone strikes. We've heard that we've been able to make more of an impact in disrupting the al Qaeda leadership in the last nine months from our drone strikes than we have since 9/11. So I think we need to just take account of that.
On the other hand, I think the drone strikes, while they can address short-term risks, they are not a long-term strategy. And they can undermine our long-term goals. So we need to assess whether, in moving forward, they will actually undermine our longer-term counter- terrorism goals.
REP. ELLISON: And Ms. Fair?
MS. FAIR: Yeah, I have a very similar view. I will say that we actually are under this belief that Pakistanis uniformly reject drone strikes. I think this is an empirical question. There's actually surveys right now being done by IRI. I have a survey in the field that will come out in June that actually assesses it. The Ariana (sp) Institute released a poll of people in FASA -- actually people in FASA according to those data welcomed the drone strikes. So my experience in going to Pakistan over the last year is that the drone discourses change.
People who believe that there are terrorists in FASA do not seem to oppose them as much as we think they do. The problem is that many people don't believe that terrorists live in FASA.
REP. ELLISON: I'm sorry, Ms. Fair.
MR. MARKEY: Yeah, I agree with much of what has been said. I would only add one point. That is that after these strikes have been used with accelerating frequency, there is some evidence according to certain sources that some of the individuals who are most targeted by them have moved to other parts of Pakistan. This is discouraging and potentially quite destabilizing because the other parts of Pakistan are further into Pakistan, and if Pakistan's stability is of central concern of the United States then the further use of this particular tactic may prove counterproductive over the longer term.
REP. ELLISON: Okay. Let's talk education for a moment. Personally, I'll just express my own bias. I wish that we in the United States would separate this talk about Islam and Muslims and all this stuff from the other problems of terrorism. When you link them, you just make every Muslim a little nervous that you're coming after them. And so I think they should be delinked. I think you can carry on the conversation without implicating religion.
But let me just say that the madrassas, of course a lot of negative things have come from them, but not all of them. And it's important also to point out that they are the only option for much of the Pakistani poor. What can we do to not sort of put education versus Islam but use the sort of education and Islam?
And let me just make this last final comment, and that is, this is a Muslim country. You know, we have to respect the fact that this is not the United States. This is another country; and we shouldn't, our goal should not be to make it a little United States in the East.
And I also just want to say that when you look at some of these pictures of some of these kids reciting the Koran, they do not know what they're saying. They know the phonetics of the Arabic alphabet and can sort of say the sounds that are presented on the page, but they don't know what that passage means. So somebody who has a nasty political motive says, "Kill the infidel," they are like, "Well, that must be what it says because this respected person said that's what it says, and I can't read it."
Would you all react to some of that? Ms. Fair?
MS. FAIR: Thank you. You really hit the nail on the head. I do a lot of work on madrassas. A couple of points: the data do not support that madrassas are the vestige of the poor. In fact if you look at data, madrassas have more wealthy children in them than public schools do. So I always encourage people, "Look at what the data say." The World Bank as well as Pakistani researchers have done this.
Second, I wish the U.S. would start harping on the madrassa problem. Pakistan is a Muslim country; it needs ulima (sp). And it undercuts the efforts of actual reformers within the system who want to produce ulima that are relevant to a modernizing country. Now the work of those reformers has been undermined because they look like U.S. puppets.
Secondly and related to that, the work of Quenton Retorres (sp) and others, including my own public survey work, finds that people who are actually more Islamic, i.e. educated in Islam, are prepared to resist the recruiter's message. It's the people who, as you noted, are unable to engage the ill-advised military recruiter to say, actually this isn't Islam; it's actually the deracinated if I can use that word in this context, and unknowledgeable people who are most vulnerable.
So I actually think there's other strategies that we can discuss, and that's why in my written testimony we should get out of the racket of telling Pakistanis how to run their schools. If Canada were to tell us what we should be teaching, we'd have a problem. We should do what we do best, and that's foster excellence through competition. And there are many people in Pakistan that are interested in educational options, and we should really be exploring those people that want to partner with us rather than dictating an educational agenda that's born in Washington.
REP. ELLISON: Either one of the other panelists want to respond? That will be my last question. Ms. Curtis?
MS. CURTIS: I agree that the majority of madrassas in Pakistan are not producing terrorists, and there are legitimate madrassas training clerical leaders. What we need to do is hone in on the real problem, which is, are those madrassas that are supporting terrorists, like the Connie (sp) madrassa in the tribal areas, a couple of unhelpful ones in Karachi (sp), the Las Khar-e-Taiba complex in Moridkay (ph), Pakistan.
I mean, we know where the unhelpful ones are, and that's what we need to --
REP. ELLISON: And Ms. Curtis, for the record can we simply say that -- can you simply tell us for the record what the word "madrassa" translates to in English?
MS. CURTIS: "Islamic seminary?" No?
REP. ELLISON: Ms. Fair?
MS. FAIR: It literally means "school."
REP. ELLISON: It literally means "school." Thank you for saying that, and I just want to let Mr. Markey respond.
MR. MARKEY: Just very, very briefly, the focal points for the United States' strategy should be quality education as Chris Fair said and training camps. I think we can eliminate the madrassa point and simply say, anywhere that there are training camps where extremists are preaching and training for violent acts should be targets for U.S. focus. It doesn't need to be linked.
REP. ELLISON: And now we'll recognize Mr. Dan Burton -- or Congressman Dan Burton -- from Indiana. Thank you for your indulgence, sir.
REP. DAN BURTON (R-IN): You know, I've been in the Congress for a long time and on this committee for 26 years now, and the one thing I've learned is, you can't make the rest of the world over in our image, and in many cases you can't create a democracy, which we would all like to see, because of the result of that democracy.
And right now in Pakistan it appears as though the Taliban, should they be successful, we would end up with a government that we don't want because we tried to create a government the way we want it to be.
So my questions are, first of all, it's obvious that the young people in that country are a majority, and they are in large part being trained by I guess the Taliban and other radical elements. And the money is not there for these schools to be built or created that would teach them things other than what's being taught in radical mosques.
So what's the answer? They don't have the money over there, as I understand it, to go out in the countryside and make sure that the people who live out there can get a good education if they don't go to those schools in most cases. So how do we get that money out there for the educational purposes, from your point of view? Go ahead.
MR. MARKEY: I would say there is a resource issue, and this has been persistent for some time. But when I talk to USAID officials on the education issue in particular they will say, a large part of this is an organizational problem and it's a problem of politics in Pakistan. Even when resources have been available they've been siphoned off to purposes other than the public education system.
So the problem is not simply dollars and cents. It's the adequate implementation of programming either by the United States, by NGOs, or by Pakistani government itself. And so my recommendation is that if we want to have a better window into what is actually happening on the ground and encourage quality education, then we need to have U.S. and U.S.-linked officials based in Pakistan who can get out there and see for themselves what's actually happening.
And right now we lack that. We lack that both because we don't have enough people there and because they are not safe to get around. And that's a critical gap in our capacity in Pakistan.
REP. BURTON: You indicate that money that goes over there for educational purposes is not reaching its target. Is that because of corruption in the government?
MR. MARKEY: That's often been the case, yes.
REP. BURTON: So how do we get that educational money to its proper use? Go head.
MS. FAIR: I have a dissenting view. I really want to go back to the data. The World Bank has looked at this repeatedly. Families who have no other opportunities but madrassas are more likely to opt out of the public school system. We have to get rid of this myth, as they are the school of last resort. Families actually choose in many cases to send their child to a madrassa because it confers religious benefits, even while they send other children to public or private schools.
So the first thing we have to do about education is really get rid of the myths and look at the data.
Second, as Dan noted, Dr. Markey noted, it's not necessarily resource constraint issue. It's a corruption issue. You have many ghost schools. Let me go back to the point that I made about private schools. The World Bank has consistently found that private schools can deliver a better education at lower cost. And the reason is, we don't have ghost schools, we don't have teacher consider absenteeism.
So we need to really rethink this educational issue.
REP. BURTON: That really doesn't answer the question about how we get the money to its intended purpose so we can stop these young people being indoctrinated in many cases with radical approach to Islam.
MS. FAIR: Sir, let me tell you, Las Khar-e-Taiba does recruit its terrorists from madrassas. This is a fiction. Your average Las Khar-e-Taiba terrorist has a 10-year attainment. That's approximately five years more than the average Pakistani. So this idea that terrorists are all poor and indoctrinated from madrassas is an empirical falsity. We have to help Pakistan develop better education and employment opportunities across the board. We know the bad madrassas, and let me tell you they're really training camps. I've been to numerous madrassas all over Pakistan. They need training camp focused policies, not madrassa-focused.
REP. BURTON: And that's my point. Do you have a comment?
MS. CURTIS: Yes. I agree that we need to focus on the public education system, but we also need to get the Pakistan government to increase its share of GDP that it spends on education. I've heard from numerous USAID officials we've put a lot of money into the education system in Pakistan.
But unless we are matched with the Pakistan government, we're not going to be able to make the whole --
REP. PENCE: Now, since there's corruption and administration after administration and the money is siphoned off for other purposes, what do we have to do? Go through NGOs? Work out a deal with the government that we're going to help build schools that aren't radicalized by sending people in there through an NGO? And you mentioned that there's a real security problem.
MS. FAIR: Private schools I think we really should look at. There are a number of very good private schools. They have the advantage of aggregating interest. They only happen when there's an actual demand.
The other issue with girls' schooling, you need to have schools that are close to the girl's home. Otherwise, the families won't send them.
While we should encourage the Pakistanis to -- I really like Lisa's suggestion: Without absolutely partnered Pakistani interest, this is going to go nowhere. USAID will tell you they can't find where the hundred millions they gave them went. The money has simply disappeared. But there are a number of private sector schools -- and we do this so well! Why can't we partner with private sector schools in Pakistan or give scholarships to poor kids to go to private sector schools?
REP. PENCE: Well, that's the question I'm asking.
MS. FAIR: I think we should look at this! It's time to be creative.
REP. PENCE: Well, that's what I'd like to have is some conclusion on how to get the money to the proper -- for its proper purpose. And if we're not, then we shouldn't be sending that money over in the first place.
I want to ask two more questions, Mr. Chairman, and I'll let me answer those all together: First of all, the Gulf and the Saudis in the Gulf states have been sending a lot of money and they're for these madrassas and they've been using that money in other parts of the world as well.
I'll agree that most of the mosques -- the vast majority of the mosques don't teach radical Islam, but there are those that do. And the money that's coming in from Saudi Arabia and from the Gulf states -- they're very wealthy because of our oil money -- how do we make sure that that's not going for radicalization of the young people there in Pakistan?
MS. CURTIS: Well, I think we have to make the Pakistan government accountable for what's happening within its own borders. And if there are radical madrassas or training camps -- or whatever you want to call them -- they need to be shut down. They need to be dealt with and we have not seen that yet. So I would argue that we need to address it through Pakistan.
We can try to work it from the Saudi angle of stopping the private money going in, but I would make the Pakistanis responsible for what's happening on their territory.
REP. PENCE: Well, Mr. Chairman, I see my time's expired.
But let me just say to that it appears to me that maybe we should talk to Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states and say when they do give this money for teaching Islam, that they make sure that the madrassas that are getting it don't teach this radicalism.
I don't know how that's done, but I'm very concerned that the long-term problems over in Pakistan are not going to go away. That's a nuclear power and it's a breeding ground right now for terrorism. And many of the terrorists came from there that attacked -- and Saudi Arabia -- that attacked the World Trade Center.
And it just seems to me that we've got to find some way to cut off the funding for the instruction that's going to these people that's radicalizing them. And that may not be the only place they're being taught this radical approach, but that certainly is one of them and we know that. And we've got to -- and the other thing is Saudi Arabia is worried to death -- and so are the Gulf states -- about Iran becoming a nuclear power and them being able to run that whole region.
And if Pakistan were to fall to the Taliban and you had Iran becoming a nuclear power, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states would be at their mercy and they know that right now. So I can't understand why they can't say that the money that they're sending for these educational purposes is for education and not for any radicalization. And they ought to be able to set standards and boundaries on how that money's used so that we cut back on the amount of radicals that are being taught that in the madrassas.
REP. ELLISON: The chair will recognize the chair, Mr. -- from California.
REP. BERMAN: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
To my friend from Indiana -- I met this morning with the ambassador -- the Saudi Arabian ambassador and I asked him a number of these questions. And I'd suggest it's worth the time to do it, because these are questions that were raised on our trip to India and Pakistan and they've been around for a long time -- this whole issue of quote, "Saudi money".
And he makes a few points: One, there are a very large number of both Pakistani and other nationals in Saudi Arabia who -- surprise of surprises -- send remittances back to their home country, to the families in their countries; secondly, that the Saudis have internalized the danger of violent radical suicide -- the whole threat of radical terrorists -- and are looking for any actionable information on who in their kingdom is actually doing the kind of funding to -- they think they've dealt with the charities, but they're open to getting any actionable intelligence. It was an interesting meeting.
But that isn't why we're here -- well, maybe it is. I want to go -- I want to take a little time -- I have the misfortunate of hearing -- we've brought three really excellent witnesses who have spent time thinking about it and written testimony, that I haven't yet read, and then listening to them summarize very quickly some of their thoughts in my somewhat limited capacity to absorb everything they are saying as quickly as they are saying it. So I'd deconstruct the bill for a second and then sort of see if -- to put it back together.
Do you think we should be providing a significant amount of security assistance to Pakistan? That's sort of a yes or no kind of thing. Everybody seems to be saying yes.
And is our goal beyond just making the Pakistani government and the Pakistani military leadership happy with us, or do we have a strategic objective, along the lines outlined by Ambassador Holbrooke, of one, helping us be successful in Afghanistan; two, helping Pakistan resist more effectively the internal insurgency that it faces and providing the means and the equipment to accomplish both of those goals.
Is that the purpose of this security assistance or is it a more general walking around money to build a good relationship with the government?
MS. CURTIS: We want them to be more effective in prosecuting our initial objectives.
REP. BERMAN: All right.
MS. FAIR: I would add one more: Ending dual policies that also cause instability in Pakistan itself.
REP. BERMAN: Dual policies towards --
MS. FAIR: Dual policies towards terrorists which actually lead to instability within Pakistan.
REP. BERMAN: Incentivizing the rejection of what some people refer to as appeasement agreements with these forces that end up only holding for a short period of time and then come back to haunt them.
All right, now we have -- we have -- so if that's the goal, now we have to sell the United States Congress on authorizing and appropriating a significant amount of security assistance in the wake of eight or nine years of providing a lot of assistance, for which we didn't have benchmarks, we didn't have metrics, we didn't have accountability, we didn't have monitoring.
And I think one of you mentioned the coalition support funds, which is a wonderful story of money going somewhere for something that no one can tell me what it was for.
Why is it such a -- in the right way, why is it so -- why doesn't it make some sense for -- well, let me back up a second.
We have heard -- Ambassador Holbrooke talked a little bit about it -- the Pakistan military and probably their military leadership sees a well-armed opponent, enemy, rival across the border on the east. There have been a series of clashes. And for them for a very long time, that has been the dominant political threat or opponent.
If our goal is strengthening their ability to fight the insurgency and dealing with those people who would do us harm in Afghanistan and those organizations that would try and hit us here, what is wrong with trying to ensure that the money we're giving, that American taxpayers are giving, isn't for those purposes rather than the purposes that Pakistan might have historically used the money for?
MR. MARKEY: It's absolutely the right goal. The point of I think some of the criticism of the way in which that goal is being achieved is that it is perceived by those actors -- and in this case it is the Pakistani military leadership -- as something that is deeply difficult for them politically to accept in the Pakistani political context. So our goal is to enhance the capacity and the will --
REP. BERMAN: Because you -- and does that mean that you are sure they share our goal, want the money for the same goal that we have, or that they're deeply offended because it's somehow constrains them from doing some of the things they might otherwise want to do?
MR. MARKEY: I think we are playing into a political debate within Pakistan which has different actors, some of whom are more inclined to do the things that we want and some of whom are not. And our goal should be to support those actors who are inclined to do what we want and give them a confidence that we will be with them over a long haul.
Now, we cannot be sure that they'll win the debate inside of Pakistan, and so empowering them that we achieve our success. Our statements publicly of suggesting sanctions and the implication of not doing -- if they don't do what we want that we will pull the money away basically undercuts those potential partners. It doesn't mean that that's not what we want them to do; it's simply that's not probably the best mechanism for getting them to do it. And that is not, I should say, an implication that we should just simply be shoveling more money at them, but that doing it through legislation is probably not the most effective way to achieve our goal.
REP. BERMAN: So -- first of all, the failure to appropriate additional funds for security assistance is not a sanction. There's no doubt that some of our policies -- that amendment -- the Pressler amendment, things like this, constrained our flexibility too much. But I don't think that -- I don't think our bill should be viewed as sanctions for not doing something. It's sort of trying to set up some process for continuing to do a much greater effort than we have been doing.
Let's assume we persist with this effort and somehow manage to get it through, and then at the end of the day it becomes law and the appropriators go along with it. What's the Pakistani reaction going to be?
MS. CURTIS: Well, I would just point out that part of the bill is authorizing 1.5 billion (dollars) in economic assistance without condition.
REP. BERMAN: Right.
MS. CURTIS: And I think that shows very strongly a long-term commitment and wanting to partner with Pakistan. So I think we just need to keep that in mind. And hopefully that would be what would -- Pakistanis would focus on.
I think that the idea of conditioning -- while I acknowledged in my remarks that we need to do it in a way that we do acknowledge Pakistani security concerns. We don't want to come across as not taking seriously their concerns. That's part of a partnership -- understanding what are your core security concerns. But they need to understand our quirks and security concerns, which is stabilizing and securing Afghanistan. And so we need to sort of remove the emotion here and look at what we're trying to achieve.
And I think in terms of the Pakistani reaction, I think the majority of Pakistanis would relish seeing more transparency in our aid, the way we provide aid. I mean, you've had many Pakistanis wondering where did all that security assistance go? They were wondering just like a lot of Americans were. So I think it actually helps to provide a more even keel relationship and more transparency in our partnership.
REP. BERMAN: But that's sort of -- that's what we're trying to do in this legislation.
MS. CURTIS: Agreed.
REP. BERMAN: Yes.
MS. FAIR: Well, my concern -- Lisa and I are probably on the same page on this -- we actually have large areas of goals that actually don't overlap, and we know about the transcripts from Kiyani saying that Haqqani is a strategic asset. So my concern is that we really do have to grapple with the reality that we don't have the same --
REP. BERMAN: You're talking about FATA Haqqani, not Ambassador --
MS. FAIR: No, no, no. Exactly. I'm talking about -- yeah, exactly.
So there are a number of individuals -- like, for example, Maldi Nasir (sp), obviously Haqqani, Hecna Siar (sp) -- that they still see as assets which are actually undermining our interests in Afghanistan. And you know, the last eight years has really been a period of ignoring this reality. So I actually am very pleased that there is some effort to grapple with this.
I think part of the failure of the last eight years of programming really has been this Coalition Support Fund and the lack of willingness to demand transparency and accountability. And I will say this: Pakistan has developed a tremendous sense of entitlement to U.S. funding, therefore not appropriating does seem redolent of in fact some kind of sanctions. But what's interesting about this bill, and which makes the issues of conditionality much more challenging, is that you've already narrowly focused the majority of the assistance to helping them do the thing that we want them to do, which is go after the bad guys. But we've seen the last couple of years the sense that the Congress has actually been overridden. We saw the discussion a couple years back that F-16s are an effective counterinsurgency tool. So if you're confident that the money is going to be spent on the stuff you want them to do, there is an argument to be made that the conditionalities stated are kind of irrelevant. I mean, to play devil's advocate, do we really want to constrain ourselves from helping the Pakistanis go after the people we want them to go after?
REP. BERMAN: No. To constrain ourselves from --
MS. FAIR: -- allowing the -- to helping the -- because basically most of the aid is going to counterinsurgency and counterterrorism.
REP. BERMAN: So the --
MS. FAIR: The vast majority of it.
REP. BERMAN: So the limitation that says 75 percent of this money has to go to those purposes doesn't bother you.
MS. FAIR: No, no. I actually very much support that. The long haul of U.S.-Pakistan relations has been Pakistan saying, "I support your strategic goals," when in fact it doesn't, and it uses that assistance to prepare itself for its strategic goal, which is its fight with India. So I've been long saying get rid of CSF -- they should really be a collaborative programming to help them do the things that they want to do.
Now, the Army has been very clear: They don't want to become a counterinsurgency force, which is why in my written testimony we have missed an enormous opportunity --
REP. BERMAN: Yes, on the police.
MS. FAIR: Yeah.
REP. BERMAN: And we do have some reference to it, but we are going to expand that.
MS. FAIR: Thank you.
REP. BERMAN: We took your -- we take your point on that.
MS. FAIR: (Inaudible.)
REP. BERMAN: (Inaudible.)
MR. MARKEY: Just to respond to the specific question of how would the Pakistanis respond, assuming that this became law -- they will take the money. They will -- those within the Pakistani military will, some of them, resent us for --
REP. BERMAN: They aren't going to get money. They're going to get equipment; they're going to get material; they're going to get training; they're going to get --
MR. MARKEY: Well, they will take all of that and they will take the 1.5 billion -- (audio break) -- difficult for Pakistanis to take is exactly the way to go. And that sounds like the way you're going. So that's great.
REP. : Thank you.
REP. BERMAN: The gentlelady from Texas is recognized for five minutes.
REP. JACKSON LEE: I thank the chairman. And the good news is that the bells -- there's 15 minutes to vote, so I have a long time to talk with you.
Let me thank the chairman for this hearing and both chairpersons -- the presiding chairperson as well. And allow me to express some widely held levels of frustration. If you doom a person or a country to fail, they will fail, and to a large degree I've heard discussions of failure, and it's frustrating.
I think we need to recount the history of Pakistan, its original founder, even though it was founded out of the dissecting of the large area that now includes India and Bangladesh for reasons that we might debate now. Mr. Jinnah was a person who believed in democracy, though he acknowledged the distinctions between those who lived predominantly in India -- the territory where India is -- and the differences as relates to Islam and wanted to have a country of Muslims. But he believed in democracy.
Secondarily, my understanding is that Pakistan did wage a valiant battle during the 20-year Afghan-Russian war and worked alongside of the United States, and we are still reminded of that departure.
Thirdly, there is a vast constituency of educated Pakistanis, of business-class and others, who want a stable Pakistan. Does anyone care about working with them? You cannot move forward if you do not allow some good news to come out of Pakistan. And from experts to a range of others, we can't seem to capture any good news.
Now, I join with my colleagues: I believe we have to get to the bottom of A.Q. Khan. If that requires some classified briefings which we need to have -- and I thank the chairman for helping us and assisting us with that -- that is vital because we need to get an understanding of where we stand as relates to A.Q. Khan's proliferation, continued dialogue, what he did in the past. But I do think it's worth noting that there were briefings last week at the White House, and the administration came away with a certain calm about whether or not they were proliferating nuclear secrets.
So let me start with that premise. I've laid my cards on the table, and I appreciate that some of you, as witnesses have been indicating -- let's look at the facts, let's look at the facts. Ms. Fair, are you not -- or, is there not a contingent of peace-loving, democracy-loving Pakistanis that live in Pakistan?
MS. FAIR: Actually, you know, I've done survey work on this issue. I have a survey right now going into the field of 6,000 people with a colleague at Princeton. We're looking at exactly this.
In the survey that I fielded in 2007, when I was with the U.S. Institute of Peace, while the vast majority of folks did find al Qaeda and other militant groups to be a significant threat, I did find anywhere between one in three and one in five largely urban respondents actually supported, considerably or in a great deal, a variety of militant attacks that we gave them to respond to. In addition, we also asked them whether or not --
REP. JACKSON LEE: What were these urban persons that you polled? Do you have an economic base, an educational base?
MS. FAIR: As a matter of fact, I'd be happy to brief you if you're interested in this. My colleague at Princeton -- he's an econometrician, so we were able to cross-walk our data with household economic survey data, and we had a number of very surprising results -- not surprising to us because it's a very robust result across the work in a variety of countries.
The (least ?) poor and the rich were not the ones who supported these terrorist groups on the main. It was actually the middle class -- that very middle class that everyone talks about strengthening. The least educated are not the ones that worry about this. Again, it's the people who are right in the middle.
REP. JACKSON LEE: And the least educated dominate Pakistan. Is that correct?
MS. FAIR: Well, it depends on the --
REP. JACKSON LEE: Yes, they do.
MS. FAIR: (Inaudible.)
REP. JACKSON LEE: The least educated dominate. The poor are the greater population in Pakistan.
MS. FAIR: Absolutely. There's no --
REP. JACKSON LEE: So then we have a good base between the poor and the very rich that we could at least begin with.
MS. FAIR: Absolutely.
REP. JACKSON LEE: And we'd certainly have to address the issue of the middle-educated.
And I'm not doubting your data. In fact I'm very glad, and I would like to have a briefing. But my belief is that if we cannot find some common ground to work with, they are going to fail.
I do think it is important for there to be a stable government, and so my question would be, to Mr. Markey, the importance of possibly a unity government between the Sharif brothers and the present government. Does that have any possibility or legs to it?
MR. MARKEY: Well, as we've seen over the past year, there are a lot of possible configurations you could have in Pakistani politics. But the kind of debate that we've seen emerge and the kind of recurrent disagreements between those two parties over the past several months lead me to believe that there's a great deal of question that you would see a true unity government.
But what you have seen is the return of a PLMN government -- Nawaz Sharif's brother, Shabaz Sharif heading up in Punjab, and a center government by the PPP. This could conceivably be a relatively reasonable, stable way to move ahead over the next several years.
REP. JACKSON LEE: So what we should do is --
MR. MARKEY: But that's not necessarily a unity government --
REP. JACKSON LEE: No, and I understand that, and I take your comment on that. So we should try to encourage -- I think your comment is instructive. We should try to encourage at least dialogue, resolution around issues. And so as we discuss and have meetings with our friends this week from Pakistan, we should emphasize that level of stability if we can.
MR. MARKEY: Absolutely.
REP. JACKSON LEE: And that would not be considered intrusive.
You were I guess in the audience when Ambassador Holbrooke spoke, and you know that his mission is Afghanistan and Pakistan. I've always made the argument that there should be a regional effort. Obviously their plate would be very full, but we should never leave out Bangladesh. We are delighted that they are at least not in the mainstream news at this point. We thank them for that, having visited them some years ago. And India, though we recognize that India doesn't want that to be their defining definition to the world. And I appreciate that, but is there some value to looking forward -- putting aside some of the mountains we have to climb -- Kashmir, Mumbai -- but should there be some sort of regional discussion so that there are some discussions that we foster, if you will, that would include India, Afghan, Pakistan, and maybe even Bangladesh?
MR. MARKEY: Absolutely. There should be a regional discussion. I would extend the regional discussion to go to China, to go to Saudi Arabia, which as come up in some of the earlier conversation here.
But the problem is that there -- in the particular instance of India, there's as much chance that if we extend, say, the writ of Ambassador Holbrooke to India, that it is a counterproductive move to do it publicly and to try to make that kind of conversation a broad diplomatic one with a high level of intense focus publicly. That may actually hurt us, so it's probably better, and I think most people have come around to the idea that India needs to be a part of our strategic view of the region, but it may not need to be central to our diplomacy in a public sense.
REP. JACKSON LEE: Well, I think you've answered the question. There should be a regional approach, and the tactics is something that we should be sensitive to. And I agree because -- that's why I started by saying they're not necessarily interested in being defined in that manner.
Let me quickly go as the time -- let me emphasize -- to all of you to answer this one. I think Chairman Berman has struck a very effective chord. There seems to be some discord about how that works, but we understand that the madrassa -- if I could finish this question I would appreciate it -- if the madrassa is a school, the Taliban is a student. How much more can we do to get Pakistan to put real schools in place for these poor people mostly?
MS. FAIR: The vast majority of madrassas -- there are actually different kinds of madrassas. There's primary madrassas where children simply learn to memorize the Koran as a part of going to other schools. So we have to really think about what a madrassa is. And there is -- as Lisa Curtis has said, we actually know with some certainty where the bad madrassas are, and in many cases what we really should be focusing on -- training camps. I don't believe that the Ministry of Education is a partner. It's a status quo institution. No Ministry or Department of Education wants to be told what their curriculum is.
But there are a number -- and I'll tell you, there's an interesting survey of students about their attitudes toward militancy, and it would perhaps not surprise you that the attitudes of madrassa students and public school students towards militancy is actually not that dissimilar. The private school students -- well, let me put it to you this way: I want to live next to their houses. (Laughs.) So I think we really need to be creative.
The private school sector is growing. It accounts for 30 percent of Pakistan's student body that attend school full time. Public schools are 70 percent; madrassas are a rounding error. So I think we need to be creative. We need to work with people who want to work with us. All parents in Pakistan -- they want their kids to be well prepared for the workplace. They want jobs for their kids. But we should really not underestimate the degree to which they want their children to be good Muslims. There's a lot of parallels to be drawn, I think, to the parochial school movement here at the turn of the century. And rather than alienating people who want religion in their schools, maybe we should be partnering up with organizations that do parochial schooling here because I think they share many of the same values. There are many Islamic schools here in the states who have struck a balance between producing good Muslim values and also producing a good education.
This goes back to your diaspora question. We've got loads of Pakistanis here that find a way of balancing their commitment to Islam and their commitment to educating their children, and these are the sorts of organizations that we should be engaging to go back to Pakistan and help madrassas professionalize.
Again, not all madrassas are simply teaching Koranic memorization. Jamaat-e-Islami madrassas, since the 1960s, have been teaching a social studies curriculum, and in fact many people will tell you that a Jamat-e-Islami madrassa is better than your average Pakistani public school.
So we really do need to rethink the way we conceive of the Pakistan educational problem. There are more solutions out there than I think we give ourselves credit for.
REP. JACKSON LEE: I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your indulgence. And I thank the witness and look forward to other -- (inaudible) --
REP. BERMAN: Additional answers will be submitted for the record. Without objection, members who were unable to make an opening statement may submit the statements for the record. Without objection, the full testimony of the witnesses on the second panel shall be made part of the record.
This hearing is adjourned.