News / Asia

India, Pakistan Work to Restore Cross-border Ceasefire

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sept. 29, 2013.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sept. 29, 2013.
Reuters
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, agreed on Sunday to work to restore a cross-border ceasefire after a spate of shootings in order to improve strained ties, officials said.
 
Singh and Sharif met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, amid heightened tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors over the Kashmir region, sparked by series of fatal clashes on their de facto Himalayan border.
 
India emerged from the meeting of more than an hour calling the talks “useful” while Pakistan called the atmosphere “very positive.”
 
They both expressed a desire to improve ties but agreed that “peace and tranquility across the LOC [Line of Control] is a precondition,” Indian national security adviser Shivshankar Menon told reporters in New York.
 
“We need to address the issues that we face today and then we hope to move it forward,” he said.
 
Pakistan's Secretary for Foreign Affairs Jalil Abbas Jilani told reporters the New York meeting set the stage for future cooperation even though they did not reach specific agreements.
 
“The most significant aspect of the meeting was that the leaders expressed their commitment to ... better relations between the two countries,” he told reporters at a separate New York briefing.
 
“Both sides wish to see a better India-Pakistan relationship than we have today,” said Menon.
 
A series of fatal clashes along the so-called Line of Control dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan have killed at least eight soldiers from both countries in less than two months. The South Asia Terrorism Portal, a website that tracks the violence, says this year's toll is 44 members of the security forces, up from 17 for all of last year.
 
In their speeches to the U.N. General Assembly, both leaders said they wanted to improve relations between their countries, which have fought three wars since becoming independent from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.
 
But Singh told the assembly on Saturday that neighboring Pakistan is the “epicenter of terrorism in our region,” and in talks with Sharif he urged Pakistan to address Indian complaints that Pakistan is the source of cross-border attacks, Menon said.
 
India has long accused Pakistan of supporting the militants fighting Indian rule in an insurgency in its part of Muslim-majority Kashmir since 1989. Pakistan denies this.
 
“Terrorism is as much a concern of Pakistan as it is of India,” Pakistan's Jalil said.
 
The two prime ministers agreed to instruct military officials to work together to develop a mechanism to stop ceasefire violations, Menom and Jalil said.
 
Asked whether he thought Pakistan can bring calm to the frontier in Kashmir, Menom said: “The only proof will be in the months to come.”
 
The two leaders accepted invitations to visit each other's countries, but no dates were set, Menon added.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid