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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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