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
TEXT SIZE - +


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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid