News / Asia

Pakistan, India Signal 'New Era' of Cooperation

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (R) shakes hands with Indian counterpart Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna before their meeting in New Delhi July 27, 2011.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (R) shakes hands with Indian counterpart Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna before their meeting in New Delhi July 27, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
Kurt Achin

The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan have hailed a "new era of cooperation," after meeting for the first time since peace talks between the rival nations resumed earlier this year.  The officials promised to initiate new trade and travel contacts across their disputed border.

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna accentuated the positive Wednesday, following talks with newly appointed Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in the Indian capital.

"We have some distance to travel, but with an open mind, and a constructive approach ... I am sure we can reach our desired destination," Krishna said.

The peace dialogue between India and Pakistan resumed in February, following a two-year freeze after the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai.  India blamed Pakistan-based Islamist militants for the three-day siege on the country's financial hub.

India has long pressed Pakistan to provide further information into the probe, including voice samples of suspects accused in the attacks. Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, who was also in New Delhi for the talks, told reporters Wednesday there had been some progress on the issue in ways that have not been publicized.

And Indian Foreign Minister Krishna noted the two sides share an understanding on key security issues.

"We have agreed that terrorism poses a continuing threat," Krishna added.  "We have also agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism, to bring those responsible for terror crimes to justice."

The foreign ministers announced India and Pakistan will double the opportunity for traders to cross the so-called "Line of Control" in disputed Kashmir, from two to four days a week. Khar and Krishna also promised to expand travel opportunities for tourism and religious pilgrimages across the tense border separating the Himalayan region.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars for control of the Kashmir Valley, and the dispute remains the key irritant in diplomacy between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

Khar, 34, is Pakistan's youngest-ever foreign minister.  As she stood next to Krishna, more than 40 years her senior, she spoke of a good personal connection during talks.

"I am more confident today, having met you ... than I was yesterday when I arrived in New Delhi, which to me is a good sign," Khar said.

Khar said younger generations in both India and Pakistan are hopeful for better relations than in past decades.

"This is indeed a new era of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, and... I wish to convey to the people of India Pakistan's desire to open a new chapter of amity and understanding between our two countries," said Khar.

The two senior diplomats say they are committed to sustaining dialogue, and that their next minister-level meeting will take place next year.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid