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Japanese Envoy:  Pakistan Promises to Stop Cross-Border Infiltration - 2002-05-29


A senior Japanese official says Pakistan has promised it will step up efforts to curb infiltration by militants into Indian-controlled Kashmir. The cross-border incursions have brought Pakistan close to war with India.

Japan's senior deputy foreign minister, Seiken Sugiura, is in Islamabad as part of intense international efforts to prevent a military conflict between India and Pakistan. The Japanese envoy met Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar Wednesday to discuss the crisis.

After the meeting, Mr. Sugiura told reporters he has asked Pakistan to take "concrete and visible measures" to stop infiltration by militants into Indian Kashmir.

The Japanese envoy says that foreign minister Sattar has assured him his country will increase efforts to prevent infiltration across the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir. He declined to give more details of his talks.

Mr. Sugiura will visit New Delhi on Friday for similar discussions with Indian officials. He says he will appeal to leaders in India to "exhaust all diplomatic efforts" to avoid another conflict in the region.

India has refused to pull back forces from the border until Pakistan stops what India calls cross-border terrorism. Islamabad denies Indian allegations that it is behind recent terrorist attacks on India's territory.

Meanwhile, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is sending special envoys to the United States, Europe and several Muslim countries to explain Pakistan's position on the current tensions with India.

Officials say the Pakistani ambassadors will carry the President's message that Pakistan does not want war with India and is ready to resolve the outstanding disputes through dialogue.

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