News / Asia

Kerry Leaves Pakistan Hopeful, Despite Divides

Kerry Leaves Pakistan Hopeful, Despite Dividesi
X
August 02, 2013 10:19 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up a visit to Pakistan Wednesday with an agreement by the two countries to resume a dialogue on security issues. The agreement ends a chill in relations that goes back to the U.S. raid that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden two years ago. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports from the State Department on where the United States and Pakistan go from here.

Related video report by Jeff Seldin

TEXT SIZE - +
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has wrapped up a visit to Pakistan with an agreement by the two countries to resume a dialogue on security issues.  The agreement ends a chill in relations that goes back to the U.S. raid that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden two years ago.

It was handshakes and smiles during John Kerry’s first visit to Pakistan as secretary of state.  He walked away from key meetings sounding hopeful.
 
“This revitalized dialogue will address in a realistic fashion all of the many issues between us, from border management to counterterrorism, to promoting U.S. private investment and to Pakistan's own journey to economic revitalization,” said Kerry.
 
Yet just how much comes from this visit, and what the push for a “full partnership” actually yields may be in doubt.  Michael Kugelman at the Wilson International Center is skeptical.
 
"There are so few convergent interests in this relationship from views on militancy in terms of who the enemy is, who the targets are to go after," said Kugelman.
 
The biggest divide is over U.S. drone strikes targeting militants in Pakistan's northwest tribal areas, used as safe havens by militants launching attacks in Afghanistan.
 
Pakistani foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz, speaking after Kerry’s visit, was clear about the Pakistani government's position.  "We are asking them to stop it, not just contain it," Aziz said of the program.
 
During his visit, Kerry suggested in an interview with Pakistani TV that the strikes could end as soon as the threats are eliminated.
 
That may please newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but the Wilson Center’s Kugelman says it may not play well with Pakistan’s military.
 
"There's good reason to assume that what the Pakistani government criticizes publicly, it actually sanctions privately. And at the least, we know based on recently leaked documents that the Pakistani military has, in fact, had an agreement with the United States where it signs off on these drone strikes," said Kugelman.
 
Still, the U.S. and Pakistan have much to gain in fixing their relationship.  Pakistan needs U.S. investment and help with an infrastructure that has left many without power.  And the U.S. needs stability in Pakistan as it prepares to withdraw from neighboring Afghanistan next year.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid