Sunday, May 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Keep your word, Bush tells Pak

President George W. Bush puts his arm around Russian President Vladimir Putin
President George W. Bush puts his arm around Russian President Vladimir Putin after Putin gave Bush copies of the first diplomatic documents between the two countries during a visit to St. Petersburg State University on Saturday. 
— Reuters photo

Saint Petersburg (Russia), May 25
US President George W. Bush today pressed his ally, Pakistan, to prevent cross-border attacks in Kashmir that have edged it closer to a war with India.

He said Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, a vital supporter of Bush’s anti-terror campaign, had to keep to his word to crack down on militants who have attacked Kashmir. Mr Bush’s remarks came as he met Russian President Vladimir Putin here.

“It’s very important for President Musharraf to do what he said he was going to do ... and that is to stop the incursions across the border,” the US leader said.

“We are deeply concerned about the rhetoric,” said Mr Bush. “It’s important that India know that he is going to fulfil his promise.”

Interfax reported that Mr Putin would invite Gen Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for a meeting next month in Kazakhstan in a bid to ease the simmering tension between the two neighbours.

Mr Putin said he had discussed the meeting with Mr Bush.

Russia is planning to invite Mr Vajpayee and Gen Musharraf in the beginning of June, he said. “I hope they will come, so that we could discuss the ways to prevent further escalation of the conflict,” Mr Putin said. The Russian President regretted that Pakistan was carrying out missile tests amid heightened tension along the borders. AFP, PTI


Prevail upon Pak, India asks USA

New Delhi, May 25
India today asked the USA to tell Pakistan in clear terms to end terrorism and said that trying to persuade Gen Pervez Musharraf by building him up was not the way to fight terrorism.

Defence Minister George Fernandes said as far as India was concerned, it had been at war against terrorism for the past 15 years. Repeated terrorist outrages like the Kaluchak incident where families of soldiers, including women and children, were killed were not only steeling the resolve of the country, but making “Indian soldiers raring to go”.

On reports that New Delhi had given an assurance that there would be no action for two weeks, the Defence Minister said, “I do not have any (such) information.”

“We are yet to decide shall I say on D-day or D-hour and that is something which does not get announced earlier”, Mr Fernandes said in an interview to CNN.

Commenting on Pakistan undertaking the longer-range Ghauri missile test, the minister labelled it as a “demonstrative act which shows there is nervousness out there”.

He said these tests need not be responded because these were of missiles acquired some time back from China.

Asked if Pakistan would exercise the nuclear option in case of a conflict, the Defence Minister said “that would be the most irresponsible act on the part of the Pakistan army, among the whole list of irresponsible acts they keep on perpetrating”.

Asked to define the situation on the Line of Control, Mr Fernandes said even last night there was a bid to infiltrate foreign mercernaries in which two of them were killed and one was captured alive. PTI

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