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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid