News / Asia

Leaders of India, Pakistan to Meet on Bhutan Summit Sidelines

The Himalayan nation of Bhutan prepares for the 16th summit-level meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Thimphu, 24 Apr 2010
The Himalayan nation of Bhutan prepares for the 16th summit-level meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Thimphu, 24 Apr 2010

Multimedia

Audio

Government officials from India and Pakistan confirm their respective prime ministers will meet (Thursday) on the sidelines of a regional summit in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

In his opening remarks, India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh avoided direct reference to the state of the relationship with neighbor Pakistan. But he expressed frustration with the lack of cooperation among member nations during SAARC's quarter-century existence.

Mr. Singh warned that if the region does not become better connected and better educated, South Asia risks being marginalized and suffering from stagnation.

"The 21st century cannot be an Asian century unless South Asia marches ahead and marches ahead together," said Prime Minister Singh.

Pakistan's Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani also did not make direct reference to the tense Indo-Pakistani relationship. He did, however, in his speech to SAARC, call for forging a common front among all member countries to combat what he calls "the toxic brew" of extremism and terrorism.

"It has roots in history, in economic neglect and injustice. We need to join hands to fight it individually and collectively," said Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, expressed similar sentiments.

"We will not succeed in achieving this goal until all members of SAARC, without exception or reservation, commit not to allow their territories to be used directly or indirectly to shelter or train terrorist networks," Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.

Host Bhutan expressed frustration with SAARC's dearth of notable achievements. Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley blamed the lack of focus on quarrels among neighbors preventing the community from becoming prosperous.

The annual leaders' summit is frequently criticized as a talking shop that adopts ambitious declarations, which have failed to deliver anything substantive for the region's one-and-one-half billion people.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid