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Visit to India by Pakistani Envoy Overshadowed by Kashmir Suicide Attack - 2003-06-30

Pakistan has condemned the weekend suicide attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir, as the country's top envoy to New Delhi arrives on Indian soil for the first time in more than a year.

Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesman Masood Khan said the attack that left 12 Indian soldiers dead was a "terrorist act" and should not interrupt the recent process to improve relations between the rival nuclear powers. The Saturday raid on an army camp was one of the worst attacks since the two countries began easing tensions over the disputed region in April.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani ambassador-designate to India, Aziz Ahmed Khan, told reporters Monday that normalizing relations between the two countries is his top priority. Mr. Khan said Pakistan is interested in solving all disputes, including the Kashmir issue.

The Pakistani diplomat spoke to reporters at the Wagah border where he crossed into India by land. He is expected to reach New Delhi Monday evening.

India says its new envoy to Pakistan Shiv Shankar Menon is scheduled to go to Islamabad in mid-July.