News / Asia

Pakistan Ponders Panetta's Visit to India

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, second left, walks with Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony, left, to the defense minister's office, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 6, 2012.U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, second left, walks with Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony, left, to the defense minister's office, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 6, 2012.
x
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, second left, walks with Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony, left, to the defense minister's office, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 6, 2012.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, second left, walks with Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony, left, to the defense minister's office, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 6, 2012.
Sharon Behn
ISLAMABAD - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s visit to Pakistan’s rival, India, highlights Washington’s increasingly friendly ties with New Delhi. His visit may pressure Pakistan to consider the kind of approach it wants to take with the United States.
 
Defense Secretary Panetta on Wednesday called on India to provide additional support to Kabul, including to Afghanistan's security forces. He added that peace in South Asia requires closer India-Pakistan ties.
 
The reaction in Islamabad from Foreign Ministry spokesman Moazzam Ali Khan was muted. “Any initiative which is solely based on this objective of achieving stability and prosperity and security of Afghanistan in terms of a strategy, we have no issue with that," he said.

Some in Pakistan fear the country is getting boxed in between its nuclear-armed rival India to the east and a pro-India Afghanistan to its west.  Anti-government parties have played on that fear.
 
Shireen Mazari, foreign affairs spokesperson for the increasingly popular opposition party of Imran Khan, said there are major strategic differences between Pakistan and the United States. "Maybe the U.S. and Pakistan have certain tactical interests in common and there is no harm in cooperating, but our strategic goals are clearly different, because we don’t want India to be the hegemon in the region," she said.

She said those differences mean that Pakistan has to weigh the costs of siding with the United States and its war on terror. "Frankly, we feel that some of the costs are far greater than some of the benefits that may flow," she said.

Pakistan receives billions of dollars in aid from the United States.  And until relations hit rock bottom after Pakistan shut down supply routes to Afghanistan to protest a U.S. airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last November, it also enjoyed military-to-military cooperation.
 
Panetta’s visit to India is aimed at deepening defense cooperation with New Delhi.
 
Moreover, NATO recently secured alternative routes into Afghanistan from the north through Central Asia, and the United States, ignoring Islamabad’s protests, has continued airstrikes targeting militants hiding out in Pakistan.
 
Independent security analyst Hasan-Askari Rizvi says that while Pakistan is still a regional player, the U.S. has other options, which means Pakistan's "relevance is decreasing."  

He says Panetta’s talks with India on helping Afghanistan provide for its own security means Pakistan will have to ask itself what role it wants to play. “Will it continue with the current distrust and confrontation with the U.S., or it has to modify, keeping in view the kind of new developments that are taking place within the region," he said.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Ali Khan played down the differences between Islamabad and Washington.  He insisted that while there may be ups-and-downs in the relationship, both countries want to resolve their differences in ways that are mutually acceptable.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: sunil from: india
June 07, 2012 1:53 PM
Pakistan wanted to cut bleed and cut india into pieces but from thousands of years we indians believe in the law of karma....pakistan failed in its satanic attempts against india and now same monsters that pak created to harm india are burning and cutting pakistan into pieces.

God is helping indian hibdu civilization from thousands of years...he even promised in quran tgat i help those who saved my original message (vedas).

Whole world is slowly siding with india. Atleast now pakistan should learn that truth always win and no one can beat truth.

by: Sardar KHAN from: Pakistan
June 07, 2012 11:43 AM
If terrorist americans think they can bully Pakistan by playing Bunderstani(indian0 card.They will be the loosers,as Pakistan can also play Iranian & China cards.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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