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

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs