News / Asia

Indian PM Promises to Normalize Ties With Pakistan

As India and Pakistan prepare to resume a dialogue process in July, the Indian prime minister has expressed his commitment to normalizing relations with its neighbor.  The Indian leader is also promising to cut poverty by aiming for higher economic growth.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says lack of trust has been the biggest obstacle in moving ahead with negotiations with Pakistan.

The Indian leader says he hopes that a meeting between the top diplomats of the two countries next month will mark a beginning in tackling the "trust gap".

"This will be the first major effort to deal with the underlying cause, that is lack of adequate amount of trust between our two countries," said Mr. Singh. "I am hopeful that that this process can move forward."

The prime minister promised "every effort" to normalize relations with Pakistan, saying India could only realize its development potential if it has good ties with its neighbors. New Delhi suspended a peace dialogue with Islamabad after the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, but, following a recent thaw, the two countries have decided to resume talks to tackle their deep differences.

Mr. Singh was addressing a news conference after completing one year in office, following the re-election of the Congress-led coalition government for a second term last May.

In the past year, the government has struggled to control rising food prices and to combat an increasingly violent Maoist insurgency. The government has also had problems managing its political allies.

But an economy that has withstood the global recession and continues to grow well has been the bright spot for the government.

Mr. Singh describes his record in the past year as one of "reasonable achievement." He expressed satisfaction at the high economic growth in the country, which he says could touch eight-and-a-half percent this year. He promised steps to control inflation, which he called a matter of "deep concern."

The prime minister says the government's biggest task is to ensure more inclusive growth in a country where hundreds of millions of people are still poor, despite the economic boom. He says his government will aim for even higher rates of growth and focus on widespread development.

"We need in the medium term a growth rate of ten percent per annum," he said. "We need to invest more in infrastructure, social and economic infrastructure. We need to increase the productivity and efficiency of our agriculture."

Mr. Singh is a well-liked prime minister, regarded as being honest in a country where many politicians are seen as corrupt. But his critics say the real power in his government is wielded by the powerful head of the Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs