Washington, DC – The outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday (January 29) described the cause of her life as the fight for women’s rights, as there was still a “tremendous amount of discrimination and just outright abuse of women, particularly uneducated women, women who can’t stand up for themselves.”
Answering a question during an interaction with a global audience at a farewell talk through satellite links, Clinton, 65, who is set to leave the State Department on February 1, encouraged Indian youth who were protesting on the streets in India against the rape of a young woman in a moving bus in Delhi.
Secretary Clinton said, “I personally was very encouraged and even proud to see young men and young women out in the streets protesting the way that young women are treated by men who do not understand or have never been taught to accept that it’s not just their sisters and their mothers that they should respect, but all girls and women.”
Mentioning the young woman who was raped in Delhi and then died of her terrible injuries, Clinton asked, “Who knows what she could have contributed to India’s future,” adding, “When you put barriers in the way of half the population, you, in effect, are putting brakes on your own development as a nation.”
Secretary Clinton also tried to put some balmy words on the frayed tempers of Indians after David Headly, accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, was sentenced to 35 years in prison by a federal Chicago court recently.
The bringing to justice of the perpetrators of 26/11 will continue to be a top priority, Secretary Clinton explained, saying, “I think it is unfinished business that we are not in any way walking away from. I’m leaving office, but I can assure you and the Indian people this remains one of our very highest priorities.”
Without directly answering the question of the extradition of Headley to India, Clinton said, “There was intensive amount of investigation and interrogation of him by Indian authorities as well as American authorities.”
“A lot of useful information was obtained, and I think that this sentence represents both the punishment that he richly deserves for his participation, but also a recognition of the role that he has played and is expected to continue to play in supporting Indian and American efforts to prevent the kind of horrific attack that occurred in Mumbai,” said Clinton.
Clinton reiterated the US position on Pakistan, saying, “We have continued to press the Pakistani Government, because of course the terrorists inside Pakistan are first and foremost an ongoing threat to the stability of Pakistan, and they need to deal with it because of that, as well as the implications for India, Afghanistan, the United States, and elsewhere.”