News / Asia

US, Pakistan Pledge Deeper Dialogue

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, meets with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad, Pakistan, Aug. 1, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, meets with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad, Pakistan, Aug. 1, 2013.
Sharon Behn
The United States and Pakistan are pledging to resume a high-level strategic dialogue on security issues. The pledge came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with senior Pakistani officials in Islamabad to discuss a range of security, regional and bilateral issues.

Kerry said his visit this week aims to resume high level negotiations on key issues and work with Pakistan’s new leadership on counter terrorism, regional stability, and trade and investment.
 
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets staff at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad August 1, 2013. 
  • Secretary Kerry and Pakistan's Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif view live figures for power consumption during their visit to an Islamabad electric supply company substation August 1, 2013.
  • John Kerry and U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson (L)  share an iftar meal with alumni at the Fatimah Jinnah Women's University in Rawalpindi August 1, 2013.
  • Secretary Kerry meets with Pakistan's opposition leader Imran Khan in Islamabad August 1, 2013.
  • John Kerry speaks alongside Pakistan's Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif during their visit to an Islamabad electric supply company substation, August 1, 2013.

He also invited Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the United States for talks with President Barack Obama.
 
“In the last few years, we've experienced a few differences," Kerry noted. "I think we came here today, both the Prime Minister and myself, with the commitment that we cannot allow events that might divide us in a small way to distract from the common values and the common interests that unite us in big ways. As we discussed this morning, the common interests far exceed and far outweigh any differences.”
 
Kerry said meetings this week with Pakistan’s newly-elected civilian leadership were marked by a determination from both countries to resolve issues that have been irritants over the past years.
 
In recent years, relations have deteriorated over U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal northwest, the mistaken killing of Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border in 2011, and the U.S. raid into Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden.
 
Washington has been frustrated by Pakistan’s apparent inability or unwillingness to eradicate terrorist safe havens, some of which are allegedly used to launch cross-border attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
 
With the U.S. troop drawdown in neighboring Afghanistan expected in 2014, Kerry said addressing the threat of cross-border militancy is key. Washington has often pointed to Islamabad's ambiguous stance on terrorist Islamist groups on its soil.
 
"The choice for Pakistanis is clear: will the forces of violent extremism be allowed to grow more dominant, eventually overpowering the moderate majority? And I ask anybody in Pakistan to ask themselves, how many bridges have those terrorists offered to build? How many schools have they opened? How many economic programs have they laid out for the people? How many energy plants have they tried to build? I think the choice is clear," Kerry said.
 
Sartaj Aziz, the prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs, said Pakistan's new government had discussed with Kerry its plans on how to tackle internal terrorism,
 
"On the safe havens, of course we had a very detailed discussion, with our plans, on our overall counterterrorism strategy," Aziz explained, " the All Parties Conference that we are planning to hold, and how the follow up will take place and as it unfolds you will all come to know how we propose to deal with it."
 
Aziz made clear his government’s rejection of U.S. drone strikes, which many Pakistanis believe are a violation of national sovereignty. But Aziz welcomed the resumption of the strategic dialogue with the U.S.
 
"Let me state it clearly that we are committed to work together in all these areas in a very pragmatic and positive manner on the basis of respect for each other's interests and concerns," Aziz said.
 
Pakistani officials also reiterated its pledge to act as a facilitator in talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban, aimed at bringing a peaceful resolution to the conflict in that country. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to visit Islamabad later this year.
 
Kerry has visited Pakistan before as a U.S. senator. This was his first visit as Secretary of State.

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

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: dixie from: usa
August 01, 2013 10:27 AM
that is going to cost the american taxpayer a lot of money
(just a translation)

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