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Pakistani Leader Says No Defense Budget Cuts

31 October 2005 -- Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf today said his country has no plan to cut its defense budget to divert money to reconstruction and rehabilitation of quake-hit regions.

However Musharraf told journalists that India and Pakistan should make the earthquake an opportunity to move forward a resolution to their rivalry over the Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

The 8 October earthquake left more than 58,000 people dead in Pakistan, with nearly 78,000 wounded and another 3 million without shelter.

The costs of rebuilding, which Pakistan has estimated at more than $5 billion, had raised speculation about defense deals.

(dpa/Reuters)

Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org



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