Pakistan Faces Criticism at Regional Summit Over Alleged Terrorism Role

Diplomatic discussions continued Sunday on the sidelines of a South Asian leaders' summit concerning the alleged role of Pakistan's intelligence service in recent bombings in Afghanistan and India. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from the meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, being held in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.

While Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai was meeting with Pakistan's prime minister here, a top U.S. diplomat on Sunday called for the new government of Yousuf Raza Gilani to do more to reign in possible rogue elements of Pakistan's intelligence service.

Richard Boucher, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for central and south Asia, says Pakistan's government is facing "enormous problems" in dealing with extremism and other domestic crises. Boucher says Washington has pledged to help Islamabad "in every way," but the Pakistani government needs to assume greater responsibility.  

"They have a lot of very big challenges. But one of the things is working with the other institutions, including the army and the intelligence service," said Boucher. "They need to get everybody lined up in the same direction if they are going to tackle the terrorist problem."

India and Afghanistan have accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of planning the July 7 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul. An estimated 60 people died, including two senior Indian diplomats.

The U.S. government, according to American press reports, intercepted communications that clearly implicated the Inter-Services Intelligence agency of Pakistan, known as the ISI.

Pakistani government officials deny the charges and say elements of the ISI, sympathetic to the Taliban and other extremists, were previously removed.

Indian officials say Mr. Gilani pledged during a meeting Saturday with India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, to independently investigate the allegations.

Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, in a speech to the regional leaders' summit here, said terrorists in South Asia were receiving "institutional nurturing and support" - a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan's intelligence agency.

Mr. Karzai heads to New Delhi later Sunday for talks with India's leadership.

India is also reeling from serial bomb blasts in two cities, which some there blame on extremists from neighboring countries. Further fraying the relationship with Pakistan are alleged Pakistani cease-fire violations along the Line of Control, their de facto Kashmiri border.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since obtaining independence from British colonial rule 60 years ago. Two of those conflicts have been fought over the disputed Kashmir region.



This forum has been closed.
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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs