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India, Pakistan Reach Some Agreement

November 15, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

After six days of talks aimed at normalizing relations, India and Pakistan agreed to allow passenger buses to travel between the two countries. However, the talks mostly revealed the wide and treacherous gap between India and Pakistan, each of which tested nuclear weapons in May. The talks covered a wide range of issues, from cultural ties to the frequent clashes along the countries' common border. The main dispute is over rival claims to Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan. The countries have fought two of their three wars over the region. In New Delhi, Pakistani foreign office spokesman Tariq Altaf said broad agreement had been reached on the bus service, which will make it easier for citizens of both countries to visit each other. He predicted that trips would start by the end of the month. Indian officials confirmed that the private service would begin soon, but they would not give a date. India and Pakistan also agreed to consider proposals for granting more visas and arranging sports and cultural exchanges.

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