News / Asia

India's New FM to Focus on Pakistan, China Relations

Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, left, prepares to shake hands with Bangladesh's opposition leader Khaleda Zia as they pose for the media before a meeting in New Delhi, India, October 30, 2012.
Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, left, prepares to shake hands with Bangladesh's opposition leader Khaleda Zia as they pose for the media before a meeting in New Delhi, India, October 30, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
India’s new foreign minister says he will strengthen relations with Pakistan and China. Salman Khurshid is expected to bring new energy to the government's efforts to improve ties with regional neighbors.

Forging relations

In one of his first comments after taking over as foreign minister, Khurshid said he hopes to work more closely with Pakistan.

Khurshid, 59, is much younger than his 80-year-old predecessor and is widely described as one of India’s most sophisticated and articulate politicians.

Khurshid comes from an illustrious Muslim family. And he is not a newcomer to the foreign ministry -- he was junior foreign minister in the 1990s.

The head of New Delhi’s Center for Media Studies, Bhaskar Rao, says the new minister will give momentum to India’s efforts to resolve differences with its Muslim neighbor.

“First and foremost the name itself rings a bell with people on the other side of the border. On any of these contentious issues, he is not known for taking  [a] hard stand. He is a good negotiator. He would be able to establish a wavelength,” said Rao.

Peace talks between the nuclear-armed neighbors - put on hold after the 2008 Mumbai attacks -- restarted last year. But Islamabad’s failure to prosecute the Pakistani militants who allegedly plotted those attacks has stifled progress.

Common ground

Nevertheless, Khurshid is optimistic and suggests India has more common ground with Pakistan than ever before. He says issues New Delhi has highlighted in the past have emerged as a concern for Pakistan.

C. Rajamohan, a strategic affairs analyst at the Observer Research Foundation, says Khurshid is referring to India’s long-held concerns about terrorism and militant groups based in Pakistan.

“India’s terrorism comes from across Pakistan and [in] Pakistan, much of the threat is coming from within. I think the idea is that look as Pakistan’s civilian leaders and probably even its military recognize that terrorism is a threat to themselves it is possible to work together and try and find a way of working together to combat terrorism and then in the process also look at resolving outstanding disputes like Kashmir and other issues,” Rajamohan stated.

Closer ties with China

Khurshid is also optimistic about India’s ties with China. He says the potential for growth is huge and that the passage of time and emergence of a new economic order in the world has brought China and India far closer together.

As he vows to take India’s foreign policy ahead, the new foreign minister recommends so-call out-of-the-box thinking.

Analysts say Khurshid will likely display more diplomatic skill than his predecessor, whose reputation was battered by several public gaffes.
 
S.M. Krishna once began reading from the Portuguese foreign minister's speech at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York. Another embarrassment came when he was accused by his Pakistani counterpart at a press conference in 2010 of having to take his orders by phone from New Delhi.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs