Transcript: Rep. Alan Grayson’s Q&A with Rafiqul Rehman on U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan – Oct. 29, 2013

Partial transcript of Rep. Alan Grayson’s (D-Florida) Q&A with Rafiqul Rehman on U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. The congressional briefing was held on Oct. 29, 2013:

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida):
I’d like to ask a few questions of Rafiqul Rehman. The first question is this: What is the opinion of America today in your community and how has it changed over the years?

Rafiqul Rehman (via translator):
Before, I used to think that American people are just like me and I didn’t think anything bad about the American government because I would just live my own life. But when the drone strike occurred and my mother was killed and my children were injured, I started to realize that the American government was behind this and it was inputs. And that’s why I came here to tell you about my story.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida):
And what is the opinion of other people in your community?

Rafiqul Rehman (via translator):
The people in my community were asking me, “Why did this happen to your mother? You’re just a teacher, and you’re well-respected in your community, and your mother was well-respected in the community.” So they couldn’t understand why this has happened and that why the U.S. government could allow this to have happened.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida):
Are there police or army in your community or in your area that could [incomprehensible audio]…?

Rafiqul Rehman (via translator):
We live in a very simple community. Our rule of law is amongst ourselves. We all believe that through education – that’s how we can maintain peace. So we really don’t have much of an infrastructure altogether. Our only form of communication is a radio system. Sometimes our phones don’t work. We don’t have paved roads. We don’t have TVs. So in terms of a presence of police…that’s something that we take the law into our own hands.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida):
Can you help us try to explain, if you know it, anything about the motivation of the militants? Why are the militants in your area? What is their complaint?

Rafiqul Rehman (via translator):
I can’t really speak about that. All I know – I’ve heard about the Taliban and that they operated in Afghanistan, but I don’t – I’ve never met someone who has wanted any harm on America in my community. I’m just a teacher, and we’re a community of educators. And all I really do on my day-to-day routine is that I go to school, I teach the children, I come home and I teach my children. That’s all I do.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida):
All right. This is not a question; it’s a statement. I am very, very sorry for your loss.

Rafiqul Rehman (via translator):
Thank you very much.

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3 Comments on “Transcript: Rep. Alan Grayson’s Q&A with Rafiqul Rehman on U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan – Oct. 29, 2013

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