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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid