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

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition 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.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs