News / Asia

    Pakistani PM to Attend Indian PM Inauguration

    FILE - Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Shaif.
    FILE - Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Shaif.
    Ayaz Gul
    Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has accepted India’s invitation to attend the inauguration of prime minister-elect Narendra Modi on Monday. The unprecedented move has raised hope of improvement in the usually tense relations between the nuclear-armed rival nations.   
     
    An official announcement says Prime Minister Sharif will be traveling to New Delhi on Monday along with his senior advisors and officials, to attend the oath-taking ceremony.
     
    On Tuesday, it says, the Pakistani leader will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and call on India's president before returning home the same day.
     
    It will be the first time in the troubled history of bilateral relations that a Pakistani leader will take part in the inauguration of an Indian prime minister.  Many in Pakistan view Modi as an anti-Muslim and anti Pakistan leader. But Sharif was among the first foreign leaders who telephoned and congratulated the Indian prime minister-designate over his Bharatiya Janata Party’s landslide victory in the recent elections.
     
    Some in Pakistan, particularly leaders of Islamist parties, have warned the prime minister against traveling to India, reminding him of  Modi’s anti-Pakistan statements during his election rallies.  
     
    But Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid defended the decision, saying Pakistan respects the mandate given to the BJP by Indian people and wants to work with the new Indian government to address bilateral outstanding disputes.  
     
    The minister says that the BJP will be ruling India for the next five years and formulate national policies as well as determine the nature of relations with neighboring countries. He said for a pleasant relationship with India, Pakistan will have to engage with the new Indian leadership, talk to them and listen to them by forgetting “the bitter and painful past incidents”.  
     
    Pakistan and India have a history of troubled relations and fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947. Their long-running territorial dispute over the Himalayan Kashmir region, the cause of two wars, remains the primary source of tensions.
     
    India suspended bilateral engagements early last year after allegations that Pakistani soldiers crossed the disputed Kashmir border and beheaded several Indian soldiers. Islamabad has denied the charges.  
     
    Indian authorities have also been reluctant to fully resume a so-called composite peace dialogue with Pakistan unless Islamabad concludes trials of several suspected Islamist militants accused of playing a role in the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai. The decade-old dialogue is aimed at resolving outstanding territorial disputes, including Kashmir.  
     
    Foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam insists that resumption of the peace dialogue can help issues like the Mumbai carnage and tensions along the disputed Kashmir border.   
     
    “There are issues that both sides would like to bring to the table," Aslam said. "Unless we talk about those issues we have the opportunity to sit across and address Indian allegations, India provides us evidence for those allegations unless we have the opportunity to share with India our concerns and our information and we get down to addressing the more fundamental issues between us things will remain as they are.”
     
    Since taking office nearly a year ago, Prime Minister Sharif has promised to rebuild relations with India as part of his efforts to deal with chronic economic and energy challenges facing Pakistan. Improved relations between the two countries is also seen as vital ahead of an orderly political and security transition in neighboring Afghanistan.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora