News / Asia

Pakistani PM Calls for Defusing Kashmir Tensions

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) speaks with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during a joint news conference at the Prime Minister's residence in Islamabad, August 14, 2013.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) speaks with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during a joint news conference at the Prime Minister's residence in Islamabad, August 14, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
Pakistan’s prime minister says Islamabad and New Delhi will have to “defuse tension and de-escalate the situation” in the disputed Kashmir region, following days of firing across the military line of control. Nawaz Sharif spoke to reporters after talks with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Sharif said that as part of Pakistan’s efforts to promote regional peace and stability, he wants to ease tensions with India and begin a dialogue to address bilateral issues, including the territorial dispute over Kashmir.

His remarks came as the Pakistani military on Wednesday accused Indian troops of launching a fresh round of shelling along the disputed Kashmir border, called the Line of Control. Pakistani military sources reported at least one civilian had been killed in what they called “unprovoked” attacks. Indian authorities earlier accused Pakistani forces of similar attacks that killed five Indian soldiers.

Speaking alongside the U.N. secretary-general, Sharif said he and Ban had discussed the current tensions.  

“We hope that the U.N. will play its due role in resolving the Kashmir dispute," he said. "The escalation of tensions along the Line of Control is a matter of concern for us and the secretary-general. Pakistan will continue to respond to the situation with restraint and responsibility in the hope that steps will be taken by India to help reduce tensions. We have to defuse tension and de-escalate the situation. Our objective is peace. For that what we need is more diplomacy.”

The U.N. secretary-general praised Prime Minister Sharif’s efforts to establish peace in the region, without referring to Pakistan’s tensions with India.

“I whole heartedly welcome all [your] efforts to tackle serious challenges at home and strengthen relations with your neighbors,” he said.

The Kashmir conflict dates back to 1947 when India and Pakistan gained independence from British colonial rule. Both countries claim the Himalayan region in its entirety. The dispute is blamed for causing two of their three wars and in 1999 again brought the nuclear-armed rivals to the brink of war.

There have been resolutions pending in the United Nations for more than six decades that propose a plebiscite allowing people on both sides of the frontier to decide whether they want to join Pakistan or India. But Islamabad and New Delhi in recent years have held peace talks to resolve the dispute bilaterally.

As part of those efforts, both sides declared a cease-fire on the line of control in 2003. The cease-fire largely held until more than a week ago when skirmishes broke out over the killing of five Indian soldiers in a remote district of Kashmir. Pakistan denies allegations its forces were responsible. 

Officials in both countries have accused each other of cease-fire violations since then, raising tensions that some worry could derail efforts to resume stalled wide-ranging peace talks.

The Kashmir escalation could also undermine an expected meeting next month between Prime Minister Sharif and his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs