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JIM LEHRER: The India-Pakistan confrontation over Kashmir. President Bush directly intervened today, calling the leaders of both countries to urge restraint.
We’ll hear from the Pakistani and Indian ambassadors, but first, here’s a report from Ian Williams of Independent Television News.
IAN WILLIAMS: Pakistan’s President arrived home early this morning, having achieved little of substance during a regional summit in Kazakhstan.
Not only had his Indian counterpart refused a face-to- face meeting, but the two leaders, on the brink of war, had barely acknowledged each other.
Mr. Vajpayee, the Indian Prime Minister, stayed on, proposing joint Indian-Pakistan patrols to stop infiltration of militants across the line of control separating them in Kashmir.
But with tensions remaining high, Pakistan said the idea’s old and probably not workable, though Islamabad didn’t reject it out of hand, asking for a formal proposal.
In Pakistan’s main cities, the authorities have been carrying out civil defense exercises. In Rawalpindi, where Richard Armitage, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, is due to land tomorrow, they had an air raid drill– a resounding success, they claimed.
MOHAMMAD AJAZ, Civil Defense Organization, Rawalpindi (Translated): The people, volunteers, and all civic agencies of Rawalpindi are fully prepared for any type of emergency, and they’re ready to defend their country.
IAN WILLIAMS: A demonstration of readiness, they said, though to others it was further evidence of how little is really understood of the impact of a war that could quickly turn nuclear.