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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs