- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 11, 2001

Pakistan, India stall on visit
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Senior Indian and Pakistani officials met yesterday for the first time since July's fruitless summit, but there was no sign of softening on either side and no date set for another top-level meeting.
Indian Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer and her Pakistani counterpart, Inamul Haq, said their meeting on the sidelines of a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation conference in Colombo was a continuation of a process started at last month's summit.
But both said the countries were still trying to set a date for Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to visit Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
"It is only a question of trying to work out the date, which we hope to do so," said Miss Iyer, who added that a meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session next month was "also under consideration."
Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh told Parliament in New Delhi that Pakistan's "compulsive and perpetual hostility" stood in the way of friendly ties.

South Asian envoys agree on summit
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — South Asian diplomats ended a two-day meeting in Sri Lanka yesterday with a call to revive their tottering regional grouping and hold a delayed summit by December.
Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary G. Wijesiri said there was "full agreement" for an early summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to rejuvenate the organization, which includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Delhi taxis strike over clean gas
NEW DELHI —Taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers went on strike in much of India's capital yesterday to protest shortages of the cleaner-burning gasoline required by the government.
The Supreme Court ordered the cleaner-burning gasoline two years ago for all public transportation buses, taxis and auto rickshaws in a campaign to clean up New Delhi's polluted air.
Most public-transport vehicles have been converted for the compressed natural gas. The problem is, they can't get enough of it. Drivers line up every evening to get their supply before it runs out.

Dalai Lama calms Indian Kashmir reaction
NEW DELHI — Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Tuesday tried to put an end to a snowballing controversy over his remarks calling for self-rule in the disputed Indian state of Kashmir.
The Indian government, meanwhile, reminded the Dalai Lama of New Delhi's track record on human rights and said the Tibetan spiritual leader was an "honored guest," although he held the status of a political refugee since his arrival in the country in April 1959.
"Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. His holiness the Dalai Lama knows of India's commitments to human rights, to democracy and to our constant pursuit of peace," the foreign minister's spokeswoman, Nirupama Rao, said.

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