- The Washington Times - Friday, September 24, 2004

Pakistan, India agree to ease tensions

NEW YORK — The leaders of India and Pakistan promised yesterday to work together to “restore normalcy and cooperation” between their countries and seek peace in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, meeting for the first time since Mr. Singh took office in May, also discussed the possibility of running a natural gas pipeline between their nations.

Dialogue between the nuclear-armed rivals started in January when Gen. Musharraf met with Mr. Singh’s predecessor, Atal Behari Vajpayee in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. forces kill 5 Taliban suspects

KANDAHAR — U.S. troops and helicopter gunships killed five suspected Taliban rebels Monday, hours after militants attacked Afghan army troops in southern Afghanistan, a provincial governor said.

The Taliban fighters attacked a checkpoint of Afghanistan’s fledging national army at midnight in the area of Thor Nasar in Deh Rawood district, 105 miles north of Kandahar, said Jan Mohammed Khan, governor of Uruzgan province.

Army forces fought back, and the attackers fled after wounding four soldiers, he said.

INDIA

Nuclear scientist Raja Ramanna dead

BANGALORE — Raja Ramanna, architect of India’s nuclear weapons program, died yesterday. He was 79.

As director of the government-run research center in Bombay, Mr. Ramanna headed the team that built and tested India’s first atomic bomb in the western state of Rajasthan in 1974.

Mr. Ramanna had been undergoing treatment for an intestinal ailment at a Bombay hospital, an assistant in his office at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore said.

Born on Jan. 28, 1925, Mr. Ramanna earned a doctorate in atomic energy from the University of London.

PAKISTAN

Indian woman granted citizenship

ISLAMABAD — Love triumphed over red tape and diplomatic rivalry yesterday as Pakistan granted citizenship to an Indian woman, letting her live with her Pakistani husband.

Hafsa Khan married Aman Khan last year but Pakistani authorities refused to give her citizenship and ordered her to leave the country on the expiration of her visa in March.

Mr. Khan challenged the Interior Ministry order in court and secured a stay, and yesterday the ministry issued a new order granting citizenship to Mrs. Khan.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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