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US Envoy Meets Musharraf in Islamabad - 2003-05-08


U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has told him there are no militant training camps in Pakistani Kashmir.

He said the general also promised him that if such camps were discovered, "they would be gone tomorrow." India accuses Pakistan of running such training camps and says relations between the two rivals can not be normalized unless those camps are dismantled.

Mr. Armitage met for 90 minutes with General Musharraf on Thursday in Islamabad after meeting the prime minister and foreign minister. Later, Mr. Armitage told reporters he saw the beginnings of a dialogue emerging between the two nuclear-armed rivals and was cautiously optimistic about the process. Mr. Armitage, the Bush administration's key official for South Asian diplomacy, meets with Indian officials in New Delhi on Saturday. The U.S. diplomat's visit comes after the two neighbors exchanged their offers to restore full diplomatic relations and transportation links, with India saying Pakistan will have to do more to curb militant infiltration from its soil into Indian Kashmir.

In another development, a delegation of Pakistani parliament members arrived in India Thursday, for a week-long goodwill mission aimed at promoting peace between the two countries. The delegation carried a banner that read "Open the path to peace." Indian peace activists greeted the delegation at the Wagah border-crossing. A delegation of Indian legislators is expected make a reciprocal visit to Pakistan in a few weeks.

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