News / Asia

    Republican US Election Victory Could Impact South Asia

    House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, right, joined by House GOP Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., talks about the changes in balance of power in Congress that will elevate him to speaker of the House, 3 Nov. 2010.
    House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, right, joined by House GOP Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., talks about the changes in balance of power in Congress that will elevate him to speaker of the House, 3 Nov. 2010.

    Multimedia

    Audio


    Many people in South Asia are assessing the results of the U.S. midterm elections.

    The opposition Republicans have taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives from President Barack Obama's Democratic Party and analysts in Pakistan say that could have an impact on some of America's international policies.

    "I think Pakistan will have to understand that there has been a change in the political landscape of the United States," said Retired Pakistani Army Lieutenant General Talat Masood. He points out the U.S. election results were, in part, fueled by voter anger because of the poor economy and U.S. government spending.

    Pakistan is one of the major beneficiaries of U.S. foreign aid and receives billions of dollars in economic and military assistance.

    The increase in the number of Republicans in Congress is likely to have an impact on bilateral relations, said Masood.

    "I think there will be a greater scrutiny as far as assistance is concerned and greater conditionality imposed on Pakistan," he said.  "And I think Pakistan would be expected now to do even a lot more and perhaps there will be even greater pressure on Pakistan."

    Terrorism

    The United States and Pakistan have been partners in the war against terror, but do not always agree on the best strategy to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaida backed insurgents.

    The Pakistani Army has resisted any immediate military action against militants in the region of North Waziristan along the border with Afghanistan, which has been a safe haven U.S. military leaders have called the "epicenter of terrorism."

    Now an Islamabad-based defense analyst, Talat Masood believes Republicans will bring more demands on the Pakistani Army he says is already stretched too thin.

    "Pakistan's sanctuaries in North Waziristan and other areas, perhaps there will be greater pressure that Pakistan launch and clear those sanctuaries," Masood said.

    Afghanistan

    While the Republicans have generally supported President Obama's strategy for fighting the war in Afghanistan, many have opposed the president's July 2011 deadline for beginning a U.S. troop withdrawal.  They say setting such a date sends the wrong message about the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan and could embolden the insurgents to wait out the American military's departure.

    Security Studies Professor Riffat Hussain of Quiad-e-Azam University in Islamabad says the Republican victory in the U.S. elections could force President Obama to adjust his strategy for the Afghan war.

    "So I think [U.S. and NATO commander] General [David] Petraeus and the hardliners who think that the United States needs more time to make things work in Afghanistan, I think their hands will be strengthened," Hussain said.  "So, I think President Obama may have to shift the withdrawal date and postpone it at least by six months to a year."

    Obama's Asia trip

    One thing the Pakistanis will be watching very closely is President Obama's overseas trip later this week to its arch-rival and nuclear-armed neighbor India.

    Professor Hussain says the key issue for Islamabad is the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, the source of two wars between India and Pakistan.

    "It depends how this visit gets played out by the Indian media, and particularly on the very sensitive issue of Kashmir," he explained.  "What is going to be the policy stance or the verbal utterances by President Obama?"       

    President Obama has promised to visit Pakistan sometime next year.

    You May Like

    Wife of IS Leader Charged in Death of US Hostage

    Suspect allegedly admitted to being responsible for American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who officials say was sexually abused and ‘owned’ by one IS member

    Year of the Monkey Could Prove Economic Balancing Act for China

    China is up against a tricky situation on the financial front, facing the need to fight capital flight while also stopping a further slide of foreign currency reserves

    Runners Attempt 26-mile South Pole Marathon in Sub-Zero Temperatures

    How alluring is running 26.2 miles at 10,000 feet when it’s minus 31 Celsius out?

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.