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India Makes Peace Overtures to Pakistan

October 23, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW DELHI — India unveiled proposals Wednesday to improve relations with Pakistan by expanding travel and renewing sports events. Pakistan said it saw some positive elements but expressed disappointment at the failure to include negotiations on Kashmir.

The pronouncements by Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha were seen here as a move to revive Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's stalled peace initiative with Pakistan before elections next year.

The travel proposals include the resumption of air and rail links, and running buses between the capitals of Kashmir, the disputed Himalayan territory divided between the two South Asian rivals.

India also hopes to resume bilateral sporting events in a region obsessed with cricket. The nations have not played against each other in either country since 1999, though they have met at foreign venues.

In Islamabad, a Pakistani Foreign Ministry statement said the proposals would be given serious consideration.

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