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

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid