News

India, Pakistan Report Progress in Peace Talks

Ayaz Gul

Pakistan and India have reported progress in their year-long peace process but they remain far apart on ways to resolve their territorial dispute over Kashmir, the cause of two of the three wars between them.

Senior Indian and Pakistani officials began talks in Islamabad Monday in an effort to accelerate their slow-moving peace process launched earlier this year.

In the first of two days of talks, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokar and his Indian counterpart Shyam Saran exchanged proposals on how to reduce risks of another conventional war and build confidence about nuclear weapons the two countries possess.

Officials from both the countries say the two sides exchanged proposals but agreed these would require further study before any agreement could be reached.

The most contentious issue between India and Pakistan, the divided region of Kashmir, will come under discussion Tuesday. But Indian Foreign Secretary Saran has rule out any quick breakthrough in that dispute.

"If you are looking at an instant solution or if you are looking at a solution that is visible on the horizon, that is not the case at this point in time. Given the complexity of the situation it is difficult to just sit down and find a solution over the next couple of days," he said, speaking to reporters at the end of first round of talks.

Mr. Saran says that both India and Pakistan must sustain their current peace dialogue to try to narrow down their differences in issues like Kashmir.

"If we make it possible for people to interact with each other more, if we make it possible for people from both sides of the border - both sides of the LOC [ceasefire line in Kashmir] - to have greater contact perhaps options, which do not appear visible today perhaps over a period of time options will become more visible," he said.

Pakistan has put forward a broad range of proposals to resolve Kashmir. They include demilitarizing the territory while a compromise is sought over its status, which could include joint control, some form of United Nations control or independence of Kashmir. But India has rejected a redrawing of borders in the disputed region.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Masood Khan told a separate news conference that if rigid positions were maintained the dialogue process will not progress. However, he noted the peace talks are helping reduce tensions in the region.

"We have come a long way from that situation that brinkmanship, which everybody feared could escalate to the nuclear level. We have differences of course but we are sitting across the table and we are talking to each other," added Masood Khan.

Pakistan and India came close to another war over Kashmir in 2002. But since then, the two countries have restored diplomatic and sports links. The cease-fire agreement along the military line dividing Kashmir has held for more than a year.

On Monday, India said it will grant visit visas at its land border to Pakistanis over age 65 and under 12 as well as let Pakistanis study in India.

Pakistan also offered relief aid to India after parts of the country were devastated by Sunday's powerful tsunami.

 

 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs