News / Asia

Indian, Pakistani Leaders Hold Landmark Talks

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, shakes hand with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif before the start of their meeting in New Delhi, India, May 27, 2014.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, shakes hand with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif before the start of their meeting in New Delhi, India, May 27, 2014.
Anjana Pasricha
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to crack down on militancy during their talks in New Delhi.

The two leaders have held a landmark meeting in New Delhi, marking a thaw in their frosty ties. India has called on Pakistan to meet its commitment of cracking down on Islamic militants as the Pakistani leader expressed optimism about the prospect of peace.     
 
Sharif spoke with hope following a meeting with his Indian counterpart Modi in New Delhi Tuesday.
 
Sharif said the two countries' common agenda of development and economic revival cannot be achieved unless there is peace in the region. He said he told the Indian prime minister that “together we should rid the region of instability and insecurity.”
 
“I urged that we had to strive to change confrontation into cooperation. Engaging in accusations and counter-accusations would be counter-productive, I emphasized. My government therefore stands ready to discuss all issues between our two countries in a spirit of cooperation. After all, we owe it to our people to overcome the legacy of mistrust and misgivings,” he said.
 
The two leaders met a day after Sharif came to the Indian capital following an unexpected invitation to all South Asian leaders to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new Indian prime minister.
 
Modi and Sharif shook hands warmly and their meeting extended well beyond the scheduled half hour.
 
  • India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif smile before the start of their bilateral meeting in New Delhi, May 27, 2014.
  • Chief cleric Syed Ahmed Bukhari gestures as he shows Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif around Jama Masjid in the old quarters of New Delhi, May 27, 2014.
  • Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks with chief cleric Syed Ahmed Bukhari during his visit to Jama Masjid in the old quarters of New Delhi, May 27, 2014.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, as Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam watch during Mr. Modi’s inauguration in New Delhi, May 26, 2014.
  • Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif waves as he arrives to attend the swearing in ceremony of India’s prime minister elect Narendra Modi in New Delhi, May 26, 2014.

India says the core concern that has prevented the two countries from moving ahead is, in India's view, Pakistan’s failure to clamp down on Islamic militant groups which New Delhi blames for terror strikes in India. The worst attack took place in Mumbai in 2008, killing more than 160 people. India has complained about postponements and delays in the trial of the suspects.
 
“It was conveyed that Pakistan must abide by its commitment to prevent its territory and territory under its control for being used for terrorism against India," said Sujatha Singh, India’s foreign secretary.  "We also expect necessary steps will be taken in the Mumbai terror attack trial under way in Pakistan to ensure speedy progress of the case,” she said.
 
Modi told his counterpart that the two countries could immediately move to normalizing trade relations which have been held hostage to their political differences.
 
For the time being, the two countries appear to have broken the ice. Officials said the foreign secretaries of the two countries will be meeting soon to discuss “how to move the relationship forward."
 
Sharif sounded optimistic that the clear mandate which both leaders have could help in turning a new page in their relations.
 
Although Tuesday’s meeting was a milestone, political analysts say it is too early to say how talks between the two countries will progress. However, they say Modi’s initiative in calling the Pakistani leader, and Sharif’s decision to come to New Delhi, show that both sides are willing to break the deadlock. The two rivals, who have fought three wars, have not held official talks for nearly two years.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mehtasaab from: Washington, DC
May 28, 2014 4:46 PM
India and Pakistan can be friends. They are two sons of the same mother. Because of dirty politics of British, They separated India and Pakistan. Both countries enjoy same bollywood movies, bollywood songs and same food. They also talk same language Hindi and Urdu (both sister language). I hope western world stay out of dirty politics.

by: Hafizur Rahim from: Bellerose, NYC, USA.
May 27, 2014 7:03 PM
It is of utmost importance to shed the hatred of partition of British India and look forward for peace in the region. This will help economic progress and progress in other fields. Hatred to each other consumes the energy which can be better utilized in construc-tive fields. Leaders should have that vision for the welfare of each community.

by: Anonymous
May 27, 2014 9:03 AM
I guess you can always ask the guy whose government hid bin Ladin to crack down on terror...
In Response

by: lacky from: Boise
May 27, 2014 10:57 AM
You might want to read about Sharif.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs