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SLUG: 2-289841 Pak/U-S/India (L-O)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=5/15/02

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-289841

TITLE=PAK /U-S/INDIA (L-O)

BYLINE=AYAZ GUL

DATELINE=ISLAMABAD

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: U-S Under Secretary of State Christina Rocca says she urged both India and Pakistan to ease tensions and resolve disputes through negotiations, during her two day peace mission to both South Asian countries. The senior U-S official spoke to reporters in Islamabad, before departing, as Ayaz Gul reports.

TEXT: Ms. Rocca's visit to the region was aimed at preventing

any escalation in military tensions that have raised fears of a fourth war

between India and Pakistan. She held extensive discussions on the issue with

leaders in both the countries.

At a news conference in Islamabad, the Under Secretary of State said a

dialogue between India and Pakistan is the only way to avert confrontation

in the region.

//ROCCA ACT//

I think this is a major focus of U-S government policy and we continue to

work the issue. We are working with both sides to try to defuse tension and

ultimately no conflict gets resolved without dialogue in the end. So we

continue to push for dialogue.

//END ACT//

Ms. Rocca says the Untied States remains hopeful that it will be able to

defuse tensions between India and Pakistan. But she gave no indication her

visit has helped move the two countries away from a possible confrontation.

//ROCCA ACT//

I don't think I have any thing brand new to tell you that I could talk about

in any public forum. But I think we are going to continue work the issue.

It's of major importance to our government and it's one that we are not

going to give up.

//END ACT//

Pakistan has said it is willing to open talks with India. Officials in New

Delhi maintain that Islamabad must stop the infiltration of Islamic

militants into Indian Kashmir before relations are normalized.

Tensions between the two countries have been running high since

December, when suspected Islamic militants carried out an attack on India's

parliament. Officials in Islamabad deny Indian allegations that Pakistan was

behind it. Both sides have deployed large numbers of extra troops along

their tense border.

A deadly attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir on Tuesday has renewed the

friction. Indian leaders blame Pakistan and have vowed to retaliate for the

attack, which left at least 30 people dead. Pakistan's Information Minister

Nisar Memon has denied the allegations. He has also advised India against

any military action.

//MEMON ACT//

We hope that such a thing they will not venture because Pakistan is ready

and our forces are ready to defend every inch of Pakistan.

//END ACT//

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from Britain in

1947. The two countries have now equipped their armies with nuclear weapons.

(SIGNED)

NEB/AG/FC



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