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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid