Monday, October 28, 2013

Asia This Day:Pakistan-US Relations;Indian Grand Prix

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif concluded several days of dialogue in Washington when he met with President Barack Obama on Wednesday.Mr.Sharif,63,had begun his unprecedented third term as Prime Minister on June 5,2013 following a smooth democratic process.A noted businessman,he owns the industrial conglomerate Ittefaq Group.
Speaking at the White House,the two Leaders assessed their talks for the news media in a serious yet relaxed atmosphere.To see a peaceful transition was an enormous milestone for Pakistan and a testament to the Pakistani people's desire for democracy,the President said.The United States considers Pakistan to be an important strategic partner.
We discussed how the United States could potentially be helpful on energy projects and infrastructure projects.The Prime Minister emphasized how trade can be a powerful engine for growth as well.
We talked about security.We agreed we need to find constructive ways to partner together,in ways that respect both countries.Both the Pakistani people and the American people have suffered from terrorism in the past.It can be a source of strength for our two countries to work together in this way.I pledged to fully brief the Prime Minister and his government as we make progress not only for the Afghan elections,but to long term progress in the region.
The resources India and Pakistan are spending on arms would be better spent on social programs,for the good of the world.We want want to be fully supportive of continued progress in Pakistan.As a young man,I had the opportunity to visit Pakistan,the President recalled warmly.
Despite occasional misunderstanding and tensions,the fundamental good will between the American and Pakistani people will be reflected in our governmental relations,President Obama said.*
I have just had a most cordial exchange of views with the President,Prime Minister Sharif said.Over the past 65 years,our two nations have traveled together.I advised him of our domestic and foreign policy priorities:the economy;education;and combating extremism.We both agreed focusing on these areas is indispensable.
Pakistan and the United States have a strong ongoing counterterrorism cooperation.I raised the issue of drones and the need to end these strikes.Let there be no doubt about our commitment for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.I told President Obama about my sincere commitment to build a peaceful relationship with India.I also assured the President as a responsible nuclear state,Pakistan would continue to act with restraint.
I look forward to welcoming you and Mrs.Obama to Pakistan,Mr.Sharif concluded.*
In sport,Red Bull Racing scored their fourth straight double victory at the Formula One Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi Sunday,taking both the constructor's title and the world driving championship with Sebastian Vettel,who seemed to be quite the fan favourite in India.It was Vettel's tenth win of the season,and his sixth straight,as he enters the upper echelon of drivers in the history of the sport.
Vettel,26,was beside himself with joy,ignoring his instructions to follow the staid post-race protocol of F1.Instead,he made several donuts with his car to the delight of the fans,then got out of the car and made prostrations to the crowd.Their were no boos such as he faced in Europe as he mounted the podium;only chants of approval from his legion of Indian followers.
For me to join people like Prost,Fangio and Michael(Shumacher) is unbelievable,Vettel said.So many people I have to thank that have been teaching me a lot.I don't feel old.Maybe in 10 years' time I'm a little bit better at understanding what we have done this far,the German driver reflected.At his age,the great Alain Prost had yet to achieve his first Grand Prix win.*
In golf,the CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club,Malaysia,the historic first ever PGA Tour event in Asia,was won by American Ryan Moore,30,in a playoff with his compatriot Gary Woodland.It was Moore's third career victory and his second in twelve months.He has played on the PGA Tour for nine years.
Next weekend,the PGA Tour moves on to Shanghai for its second and final Asian stop of the 2013-14 season.It is generally recognised as being the pre-eminent tour in professional golf.*

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