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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora