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

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs