News / Asia

    India, Pakistan Sign Visa Agreement

    Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, left, and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar, right, arrive for a meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan, September 8, 2012.
    Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, left, and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar, right, arrive for a meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan, September 8, 2012.
    Ayaz Gul
    The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan met in Islamabad Saturday to review progress the two rival nations have made in their recently resumed wide-ranging peace dialogue.  The extensive discussions also witnessed the signing of a much-awaited new visa agreement to ease tough cross-border travel restrictions. 

    Speaking to reporters at the end of their extensive talks, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and her Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna, told reporters the newly-signed visa agreement is an important step forward in improving relations. 

    Foreign Minister Khar said the pact will enhance trade, business, cultural and political exchanges between India and Pakistan.  She stressed that both countries have made significant progress in the past year toward improving relations and reiterated her country is committed to building on the momentum. 

    "We will move forward.  What has happened until now is history and we will not be held hostage to history," she said. 

    Indian Foreign Minister Krishna equally reciprocated his Pakistani counterpart’s optimism, saying his country is determined to moving forward to write a new chapter of peace and cooperation in the bilateral relationship.  But he admitted that with just few meetings and given the complexities of bilateral relations, India and Pakistan cannot solve their long-running Kashmir and other territorial disputes.

    "India has always believed that a step-by-step approach is what will take this relationship forward," he said. 

    Pakistan and India have fought three wars since 1947, two of them over the divided Kashmir region.  But relations particularly with respect to trade have improved in the last two years. 

    Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari traveled to India in April where he invited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan later this year. 

    At Saturday’s news conference in Islamabad, Foreign Minister Krishna, without giving a firm commitment, said that the Indian prime minister could visit Pakistan.  "I think, the visit will take place at an appropriate time when the atmosphere is ripe, when he feels that something worthwhile will come out of his visit to Pakistan," he said.

    India accuses Pakistan-based militants of planning the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people. Pakistan has detained and put on trial several suspects but faces criticism from New Delhi for a lack of progress in bringing the culprits to justice.  Pakistani authorities cite insufficient evidence as a major hurdle in taking the judicial process to its logical end.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora