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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid