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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid