News / Asia

Archrivals India, Pakistan Renew Peace Efforts

India's Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid speaks to his staff as they attend the 46th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, July 1, 2013.
India's Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid speaks to his staff as they attend the 46th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, July 1, 2013.
Aru Pande
Officials from archrivals India and Pakistan say there is political will on both sides to take the often-contentious relationship to a new level.  Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid met with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's special advisor on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Brunei on Tuesday, in the first such talks since the Sharif was sworn in as Pakistan's new leader. 

In recent years, both India and Pakistan have pledged to normalize economic ties, including Pakistan promising to grant India Most-Favored Nation status, which New Delhi granted Islamabad in the 1990s.

For its part, India is considering providing electricity and natural gas to help Pakistan combat crippling power shortages, including building a cross-border transmission line.  Both sides held energy cooperation talks last month just days after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office.

On Tuesday, Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid met briefly with Prime Minister Sharif’s Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and said there is political will to take ties between India and Pakistan further. He told reporters in Brunei that New Delhi is already working in that direction.

“You have seen an immediate response given by India on issues of urgency in Pakistan, on the scarcity of power and gas," Khurshid noted.  "We are looking at the technical issues that are involved on both sides and we will respond within our capacity to the maximum extent.”

Even before his election in May, Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif had called for building greater ties between Islamabad and New Delhi. His foreign affairs advisor Aziz on Tuesday reaffirmed that sentiment following his 20-minute meeting with Khurshid.

“We have reviewed the various steps in the CBMs [confidence building measures] and in the composite dialogue that has been going on," Aziz said. "We discussed ways and means of fast-tracking them because there is a desire to on the part of people on both sides to accelerate cooperation.”

Aziz went on to express hope that Prime Minister Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September, if not earlier, to “provide greater political impetus” in the dialogue process.

Indian analyst Bharat Karnad with the New Delhi-based Center for Policy research says the dialogue is marking a new chapter in India-Pakistan relations.  He said it is time now for the Indian government to focus on the country’s role on the larger Asian geopolitical stage.

“India has to think big, has to think beyond the region, beyond the subcontinent and begin thinking in terms of emerging as a counterpoint to China in Asia," Karnad said. "That’s not going to happen if you keep obsessing about a small little weak country on the flank, such as Pakistan.”

Karnad said India helping Pakistan with its power shortages is a good step to ensure a pacified neighborhood, while also affording economic opportunities to the Indian market.

The question that now lingers is whether both governments can overcome longtime domestic opposition to forging closer ties.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid