Voters in Indian-controlled Kashmir turned out in moderate numbers for the first round of a state election Monday, defying threats of violence from separatist militants protesting Indian rule in the region long disputed by India and Pakistan.
Despite recent efforts to ease tensions between nuclear-capable rivals India and Pakistan, twelve people were killed last night during clashes within the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir. Nine of those killed were separatist militants.
Following separate meetings with the leaders of India and Pakistan, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said tensions between the nuclear-capable neighbors are beginning to ease, but the threat of war still looms in the embattled region.
Attempts to spur a meeting between Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee continued to flounder Tuesday as tensions over the disputed Kashmir region remained high.
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf offered to hold face-to-face peace talks with India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to resolve their military standoff, as fierce fighting continued between the two nations in the region of Kashmir.
The U.S. State Dept. urged some 60,000 Americans and its nonessential diplomatic staff to leave India on Friday, citing increased conflict along the Pakistani border.
President Bush announced Thursday he is sending Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to the Asian subcontinent to try to quell tensions heightened by fighting in the disputed province of Kashmir.
Officials in India called Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's speech on the military standoff over Kashmir "disappointing and dangerous" and accused Pakistan of further heightening tensions between the neighboring nuclear rivals.
Following a weekend of missile tests and tough talk, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said Monday that his nation would not start a war with neighboring India, but would respond with "full might" should India launch an attack.
As nearly one million Indian and Pakistani troops continued to mass along the border and near the disputed region of Kashmir, India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee rallied his troops to be ready for war.
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