News

    High-Level Talks Help Ease US-Pakistan Tensions

    U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, March 27, 2012.
    U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, March 27, 2012.
    Brian Padden

    Wednesday's meeting between U.S. and Pakistani military commanders, and discussions between President Barack Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani earlier this week are being described as productive first steps in re-establishing relations ruptured in November after a NATO airstrike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.  But Pakistan's parliament must make its final recommendations before formal negotiations between the two countries can begin.

    The Obama-Gilani meeting at the nuclear security summit in Seoul earlier this week, during which he said the U.S. relationship with Pakistan must be based on mutual interest, trust and respect for Pakistani sovereignty, was welcomed as a conciliatory gesture.

    Right tone

    Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit says these meetings set the right tone for the U.S. and Pakistan to renew relations soon and reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

    “These reflect, very correctly, that Pakistan, U.S., they care about bilateral relations and we consider each other as important countries and would like to normalize our relations,” Basit said.

    However, Basit says the prime minister and military leaders have pledged to abide by the recommendations of a parliamentary review of U.S.-Pakistan relations currently under way, and are reluctant to comment on the specifics until the process concludes.

    Recommendations


    The initial recommendations developed by the Pakistani parliament's committee on national security demanded an unconditional U.S. apology for a cross-border airstrike in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and an end to American drone strikes inside the country as conditions for reopening NATO supply routes to Afghanistan

    Washington has so far refused to apologize for the November airstrike, saying it was an unfortunate accident, and it views drone strikes as crucial to defeating al-Qaida and the Taliban. While Pakistan has publicly condemned drone attacks as a violation of the country's sovereignty, they are believed to be carried out with the help of Pakistani intelligence.

    Prime Minister Gilani had asked for the parliamentary review to reach a political consensus prior to normalizing relations with the U.S.

    Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, director of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, says Gilani's Pakistan Peoples Party, which holds a majority in parliament, will make sure the recommendations do not usurp the power of the executive branch.

    “No executive would like to paint itself in a corner and cut off its options," noted Mehboob. "So I think the best thing would be for parliament, whatever resolution it passes, it should be broad enough to give leeway to the executive to fine tune the details."

    This week, parliament delayed debate on U.S.-Pakistan relations to focus on an outbreak of political violence in Karachi.

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora