India/Pakistan “Cricket Peace Summit”

May 03 2011

India/Pakistan “Cricket Peace Summit”

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Since their division in 1947, India and Pakistan have historically had a very unstable relationship. The two countries have fought three wars and have been trying to establish a peaceful relationship for a very long time, but multiple roadblocks have stood in the way. The two countries have several points they disagree on, including counterterrorism, the drug trade, foreign currency, Kashmir, and Indian dams, among other things.

This marks a significant milestone as it is the first time peace talks will engage since they were interrupted in 2008 by the Mumbai terror attack that killed 160 people. The prime ministers of both countries will be meeting to watch a semi final World Cup cricket match. Cricket has been used frequently in the past as an attempt to heal relations, in 2005 as well as 1987.

Peaceful relations between these two countries is essential. They are both very large and powerful nations and another war between them could be extremely destructive. Both are nuclear capable which adds another dimension to the importance of peace. Pressuring the two countries to resolve their issues has been high in U.S. foreign policy agenda for a long time and US government frequently pressures them to talk. The countries do not expect to resolve much but the gesture is important and is the first step down a potentially very long road to peace.

The situation in Yemen continues to worsen as the U.S. tries to decide how to handle it and what outcome would be the best. Recently an ammo dump taken over by militants on Sunday exploded, killing 141, with a higher death toll expected. The dead were mostly civilians who were ransacking the dump. The situation in Yemen has worsened as more Al Qaeda and militant forces have moved against the reigning government. The president, Saleh, has been trying desperately to hold on to power through the end of his term. He has been in power since 1978 and the people are very unhappy with him, citing high unemployment and corruption within the government. Saleh has conceded to hold parliamentary reelections by the end of the year and has promised not to run in the next election. However opposition is not satisfied with these concessions and claim that he his only trying to buy time and has no intention of giving up power. Saleh has been a strong ally of the U.S. government in anti terrorist movements and a “good working partner.”

The situation has put the U.S. in a curious situation. Although Saleh is clearly not a well loved leader within Yemen, allowing the government to be overthrown may result in a power shift favoring Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and will put Yemen in a situation of turmoil for years to come as they try to establish a new government. The best course of action for the people would simply be to accept the concessions already made as it insures Saleh is on his way out the door.

One Response to “India/Pakistan “Cricket Peace Summit””

  1. mmonitto Says:

    Isn’t it interesting how sports can bring countries closer? I think it’s fascinating, and I hope that some good can come out of it. I don’t follow India, Pakistan, or cricket closely, but it was pretty widely discussed on the major sports networks (I know had a piece about it), so I’ve got some hope for that region now.

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