- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 4, 2002

ALMATY, Kazakhstan The leaders of India and Pakistan arrived at a regional security summit here yesterday determined to avoid nuclear war but bringing with them no plans for a face-to-face meeting.
Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf met separately with the summit's host, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, as heads of state and senior ministers arrived for meetings that begin today.
Gen. Musharraf repeated his appeal for talks with Mr. Vajpayee in the meeting.
"The world needs peace," said Nizar Menon, a Pakistani minister. "The president of Pakistan has come here in search of peace and dialogue with India on all outstanding issues including Kashmir."
India continued its refusal to meet, claiming that Gen. Musharraf had not done enough to stop raids by Pakistani-based militants into Indian held parts of Kashmir.
Brajesh Mishra, Mr. Vajpayee's national security adviser, said that not only would Mr. Vajpayee not speak to Gen. Musharraf, but also that no talks were expected to take place even among lower-ranking officials.
Officials from both nations have told the world they have no plans to use nuclear weapons, even as the prospect of war looms with 1 million troops stationed along the border which splits Kashmir into two.
Violence continued in Kashmir yesterday. At least eight civilians were killed and 23 injured as Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged heavy artillery and machine-gun fire along their frontier.
Also, Norway advised its citizens against traveling to India and Pakistan because of the tensions. Similar warnings have been issued by the United States, at least 12 other countries and the United Nations.
Mr. Mishra said that India does not believe past promises by Gen. Musharraf to halt incursions by Pakistani militants.
He recalled that in a speech on January, Gen. Musharraf promised an end to incursions across the Line of Control that splits Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani zones.
"In February, there was a significant downturn in terrorist activity, but I can tell you that in March, April and May, there were 300 incidents of terrorism each month and about 300 people were killed each month," he said.
"So obviously, something which was controlled in January was allowed to go up again" afterward, Mr. Mishra said. "This gives us cause to look at the new promise very carefully and wanting it to be implemented as promised."
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived last night, is expected to begin a campaign to defuse the crisis after a ceremony this morning creating the 16-nation Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building measures in Asia (CICA).
The new organization is to be modeled on the Helsinki-founded Organization of Cooperation and Security in Europe.


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