News / Asia

Pakistan Hopes Successful Afghan Election Will Improve Ties

An Afghan police officer stands guard as election workers (R) note serial numbers of ballot boxes at a warehouse of the Independent Elections Commission warehouse in Kabul, April 6, 2014.
An Afghan police officer stands guard as election workers (R) note serial numbers of ballot boxes at a warehouse of the Independent Elections Commission warehouse in Kabul, April 6, 2014.
Ayaz Gul
While congratulating Afghan authorities on successfully holding Saturday’s presidential and provincial council elections, officials and political observers in neighboring Pakistan hope the development will help improve their usually uneasy bilateral relations.
 
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says he hopes the Afghan elections will be “instrumental in creating unity and harmony among the war-torn people” of Afghanistan. An official statement released in Islamabad quotes him as promising to work in collaboration with the new leadership in Kabul for regional peace and stability.  
 
Before Saturday’s polls, Pakistan and Afghan security forces closed all border crossings and deployed additional troops to beef up security on the mostly porous border between the two countries.  
 
Sharif has said the election in “brotherly” Afghanistan would prove to be a historic moment for its people in their democratic journey. As he put it, making decisions through ballot boxes by the Afghan people reflects their determination and keen interest for adopting democratic culture.
 
Pakistan Senate Defense Committee Chairman Mushahid Hussain says the Pakistani government adhered to a policy of non-interference in the Afghan election process and that the principal Afghan presidential candidates avoided Pakistan-bashing during campaign rallies.  

The opposition senator says he is hopeful the outcome of the democratic process in Afghanistan will prove to be “a major leap-forward” for bilateral relations.  He says "this is a great opportunity for Pakistan."

"A new leadership would be in place very soon in Kabul, a new leadership which has popular legitimacy, which has the support of the international community and mind you that this leadership during the entire election campaign did not target Pakistan, in fact they had positive feelings about Pakistan," he said. "So, I think we should build upon this goodwill build upon this positive environment and ensure that peace in Afghanistan and stability in Afghanistan is inextricably intertwined with peace, security and stability in Pakistan.”
 
Hussain says the Afghan elections also have a “loud and clear message” for Pakistani leaders struggling to deal with domestic Taliban militants.
 
"With such a large turnout at 60 percent in a country which is strife-torn like Afghanistan, it shows that Afghanistan today is a changed and transformed place where the supremacy of the ballot over the bullet is evident," he said. "The people have spoken and they have reinforced their faith the future Afghanistan as a democratic pluralist country.”
 
Hussain said that under Sharif the Pakistani state, particularly its military, is no longer supporting Afghan groups for influence in Afghanistan. He says,  “Pakistan has turned the corner. It is a new chapter and there is a new leadership in Pakistan of the armed forces, also a new political leadership as well."

"And the proof lies in the pudding as they say because in practical terms in the elections in Afghanistan, Pakistan had no role," he said. "Pakistan was not even accused of any interference, so that shows that Pakistan is sincere and keen that Afghanistan develop as a friendly sovereign neighbor of Pakistan. So, I feel that this is a good building block for a new relationship.”
 
Pakistan helped the Taliban take control of most of Afghanistan in late 1990s and elements within its military have allegedly helped the Islamist group in its insurgent attacks to this day, charges Pakistani officials deny.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ralphee from: eastern U .S .
April 13, 2014 5:40 PM
While too early to tell how Afghan- Pakistani relations will play out; these expressions of good will and tolerance bode well for regional stability....personally it feels like an answer to specific prayers I've made and continue to do for the future of the Afghan people whether Pashtu or Hazara/Dari, as well as for Afghani/US/Pakistan relations.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid