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Bush Urges Pakistan to Stop Kashmir Cross-Border Attacks - 2002-05-30

President Bush says Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf must do more to stop attacks across the Kashmiri border region with India. The Bush administration is trying to head-off a war between the nuclear powers.

President Bush says India and Pakistan must step back and stop their growing conflict from spiraling out of control.

"We are making it very clear to both Pakistan and India that war will not serve their interests," the president announced. "We are part of an international coalition applying pressure to both parties, particularly to President Musharraf. He must stop the incursions across the line of control. He must do so. He said he would do so. We and others are making it clear to him that he must live up to his word."

U.S. intelligence officials are concerned that al-Qaida terrorists may take advantage of increasing tension between India and Pakistan, especially as President Musharraf says he is considering moving troops from the Afghan border to the Indian border. President Bush says coalition forces are continuing to patrol the Pakistani-Afghan border to prevent al-Qaida fighters from returning to Afghanistan where they may try to disrupt plans for a new transitional government.

"We are doing everything we can to continue to shore-up our efforts on the Pakistani-Afghan border. And they shouldn't think they are going to gain any advantage as a result of any conflict that might be, or talk of conflict between India and Pakistan, because we are still going to hunt them down," Mr. Bush warned.

Gunmen attacked an Indian army camp in Kashmir earlier this month, killing more than 30 people most of them family members of Indian soldiers.

Since then, India has threatened military action against Pakistan unless President Musharraf stops Islamic militants from crossing into Indian Kashmir.

President Musharraf says his government is not helping the militants and will prevent them from crossing the border.

President Bush says Secretary of State Colin Powell and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are studying ways to protect Americans in India and Pakistan in case the countries do go to war.