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Pakistan-India Leadership Meeting Seems Unlikely

The leaders of India and Pakistan travel to the central Asian nation of Kazakhstan Sunday for a 16-nation Asian security summit. But, it seems unlikely that a hoped-for meeting between the two men will take place.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said before leaving for the summit that he had no plans to meet with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. But he said he would give serious consideration to the idea of holding talks sometime in the future if he sees evidence that Mr. Musharraf makes good on his promise to crack down on Islamic militants.

Mr. Musharraf has said he is willing to hold talks with his Indian counterpart at the conference in order to defuse tensions between the two nuclear neighbors, which have massed a million soldiers along their border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will also attend the summit. He has been urging the two sides to come together to defuse the crisis and has offered to mediate.

The Pakistani leader said Saturday that possibility of a nuclear war with India is unthinkable. He told American television that he does not think either country is "irresponsible enough to go that far." He said such a possibility should not even be discussed.

The escalating tensions between India and Pakistan led the United Nations, the United States, Britain, Israel and several other nations to pull staff out of the area and urge their citizens to leave India and Pakistan.

Cross-border clashes continued Saturday between India and Pakistani troops in disputed Kashmir. India and Pakistan are also trading accusations of mistreatment of diplomats.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage are making separate trips to South Asia in coming days as part of U.S. efforts aimed at defusing the crisis.