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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid