News / Asia

Sharif Urges Pakistan, India to Join Hands Against Poverty, Illiteracy

People watch Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif addressing the nation, at an electronic shop in Karachi,  Aug. 19, 2013.
People watch Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif addressing the nation, at an electronic shop in Karachi, Aug. 19, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says that instead of wasting resources on “useless” military confrontations, Pakistan and India should join hands to wage a war against poverty and illiteracy plaguing their region.

He made the conciliatory gesture in a nationally televised speech Monday night, amid heightened military tensions between the nuclear armed countries along their disputed Kashmir border.

Addressing the Pakistani nation for the first time since taking office in June, Prime Minister Sharif called for establishing “friendly relations” with India, saying he has made it a priority for achieving durable regional peace.

"Leadership on both sides should be well aware that past wars have put India and Pakistan behind for decades. "Both the countries should now realize they need to wage a meaningful war against poverty, ignorance and diseases rather than wasting their energies on fruitless military conflicts," said Sharif.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have been running high along their disputed border in Kashmir since early this month, when five Indian soldiers were ambushed and killed in a remote district. The incident outraged Indian authorities who blame Pakistani troops for carrying out the violence.  

Pakistan denies any involvement and in turn accuses Indian troops of opening “unprovoked” fire across the Kashmir line of control. It has reported the deaths of two people, including a Pakistani soldier, and claims Indian fire also has wounded more than a dozen civilians.

The divided Himalayan region is blamed for two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. The territorial dispute brought them to the brink of a third conflict in 1999.

In his Monday night speech, Prime Minister Sharif also discussed his government’s plans to tackle Islamist militants waging a bloody insurgency in northwestern districts of Pakistan. He stated that his offer of mutual consultation and reconciliation to stabilize the country is not limited to political parties only.

"In order to end the violence,  I would like to take a step further and invite those elements for dialogue who have unfortunately taken the path of extremism.” Sharif did not rule out the use of force in future.  

Sharif said that like every Pakistani, he wants “an early end to this bloodshed, whether it is through the process of dialogue or heavy use of the state force.”

The Pakistani military has launched major offensives against suspected hideouts of local Taliban insurgents in the country’s militant dominated northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan. The militants have responded by carrying out suicide and other deadly terrorist attacks across the country, killing thousands of Pakistanis in recent years.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid