News / Asia

    India Hopes for Better Ties with Pakistan

    India's foreign minister Salman Khurshid during an interview with Reuters in Santiago, February 5, 2013 file photo.
    India's foreign minister Salman Khurshid during an interview with Reuters in Santiago, February 5, 2013 file photo.
    Anjana Pasricha
    With former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appearing set to take power in Pakistan, India has expressed hope that relations with its arch rival will improve, while Afghanistan is hoping for more cooperation in ending the Taliban insurgency. 

    As news emerged in that Nawaz Sharif was headed to become Pakistan’s prime minister for a third term, Indian foreign minister, Salman Khurshid sounded a note of optimism. 

    Khurshid said he hopes India can continue to have good relations and boost ties with Pakistan if Sharif comes to power. 

    Positive assurances

    The Indian foreign minister says that statements by Sharif to the media indicate New Delhi can have faith his initiatives will be positive and India can respond accordingly.

    In the run up to the parliamentary elections, Sharif made several assurances that struck the right note in New Delhi.  He told Indian media that if elected, he will work to normalize ties with Pakistan's bigger neighbor.  He said the two countries have issues to resolve, but says there are examples of countries opposed to each other that have resolved more difficult problems. 

    The veteran Pakistani leader has said he will not allow militant groups to mount attacks on India from Pakistan - a repeated demand by New Delhi.  He has promised a joint investigation into Indian allegations that Pakistani intelligence agencies played a role in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks in India. 

    Relations between India and Pakistan nosedived in after those attacks.  Although they are improving now, the relationship is still dogged by suspicion. 

    But Indian analysts caution against expecting swift improvement.  They point out any move on Sharif’s part to establish friendlier ties with India will only bear fruit if it is backed by the military, which continues to be a powerful player in Pakistan.

    India and Pakistan’s competing claims to the Himalayan territory of Kashmir lie at the heart of their often bitter ties, and have triggered two of their three wars.

    But Sharif’s victory was welcomed in Indian-administered Kashmir.

    The chief minister of the India's Jammu and Kashmir state, Omar Abdullah, urged the Indian prime minister to extend a hand of friendship to Nawaz Sharif so that Kashmiris can benefit. 

    He says until the two countries have friendly ties, the region can build roads, schools and bridges, but the core dispute between two countries will remain unaddressed.

    Afghan reaction

    Pakistan’s western neighbor, Afghanistan, also expressed hope Pakistan’s new government will help it end the Taliban insurgency it has been battling for more than a decade.  Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the two countries need to cooperate to be saved from the menace of terrorism and to root out terrorist sanctuaries.

    Sharif’s victory was not just welcomed by the political class in India.  There were also jubilant celebrations in a small Indian village, Jatti Umra, in the northern Punjab state where Nawaz Sharif’s family lived before migrating to the Pakistani city of Lahore before the two countries were partitioned in 1947.   

    An elderly resident, Massa Singh, says the villagers have been praying for Sharif’s success.  He says villagers are very happy because Sharif has made the village proud.

    Like others in India, this tiny village too is hoping for an easier chapter in the uneasy ties between the two countries.

    You May Like

    How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Probe Targeting China's Statistic Head Sparks Concern

    Economists now asking what prompted government to launch an investigation only months after Wang Baoan had been vetted for crucial job

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.