U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has wrapped up two days of talks with leaders in India and Pakistan unable to secure a truce in their dispute over Kashmir. He told reporters as he headed home he believes the threat that the conflict could lead to a nuclear exchange has passed.
Leaving Pakistan, Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters aboard his plane he believes leaders in India and Pakistan are now sensitive to the devastating consequences that an escalating conflict in Kashmir would have on the region and recommended both countries try to reach an agreement limiting their use of force along Kashmir's line of control to self defense.
Otherwise, he expressed concern that the conflict may continue, with each side trying to capitalize on the Kashmir dispute for their own domestic politics.
Still, after weeks of uncertainty about whether India and Pakistan were headed toward war or peace, he ended two days of talks with leaders in New Delhi and Islamabad confident the nuclear threat in South Asia has receded and that the leadership in both countries are now acting more responsibly.