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Old May 31st, 2002, 07:30 AM
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State Dept. Issues India Advisory

http://wire.ap.org/?SLUG=US%2dINDIA%2dPAKISTAN

State Dept. Issues India Advisory

By BARRY SCHWEID
AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) The State Department on Friday advised all but essential American diplomats
in India to leave and urged about 60,000 Americans there to depart as well because of a rising risk
of conflict between India and Pakistan.

``Tensions have risen to serious levels'' and those Americans who chose to remain should steer
clear of all border areas between the two countries, the State Department said.

About 60,000 U.S. citizens in India also were urged to depart. ``Conditions along India's border with
Pakistan and in the state of Jammu and Kashmir have deteriorated,'' the State Department said in
its travel warning.

The warning cited artillery exchanges between Indian and
Pakistani troops and said terrorist groups linked to the
al-Qaida network and implicated in attacks on Americans
have attacked and killed civilians.

It was not clear how many Americans would take the State
Department's advice.

The departures will be on commercial flights, which are
plentiful, a senior U.S. official said.

Dependents of nonessential U.S. personnel in the embassy
in New Delhi and U.S. consulates in Calcutta, Mumbai and
Chennai also were encouraged to depart at U.S.
government expense.

India regularly warns the State Department of preparations for war with
Pakistan because of the influx of Islamic extremists into the Indian side of
disputed Kashmir, said a senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of
anonymity.

While India has not indicated a timetable, the administration takes the
warnings seriously.

On Thursday, President Bush took a tough line toward Pakistan, a major ally in
the U.S. war against the al-Qaida terror network, demanding that President
Pervez Musharraf ``live up to his word'' and crack down on Islamic extremists'
cross-border attacks in Kashmir.

While the State Department said it still had no assessment whether Musharraf was making good on
his promise last winter to deny Pakistani territory to terrorists, Bush took the initiative as India and
Pakistan teetered on the brink.

He also deployed top American officials in the region Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is
due there a week from Sunday and said: ``We are making it very clear to both Pakistan and
India that war will not serve their interests.''

Locked in a dispute over the Kashmir border district, and with 1 million troops in a standoff at their
frontier, India and Pakistan continued to alarm the world with their troop movements and their
rhetoric, their nuclear armaments looming always in the background.

Secretary of State Colin Powell will send his deputy, Richard Armitage, to India and Pakistan for
talks next Thursday and Friday, with Rumsfeld to arrive shortly afterward, State Department
spokesman Richard Boucher said.

``We have no desire to make ourselves the mediator,'' Boucher said. He said any solution to the
dispute over Kashmir depends on dialogue and taking into account the wishes of the people of the
territory, he said.

Under rules guiding the 1947 partition of British India, overwhelmingly Muslim Kashmir went to
Indian control because its Hindu maharajah wanted it. The first India-Pakistan war over Kashmir
resulted in a cease-fire line, which became a ``line of control'' under a 1972 agreement, with Hindu
India controlling three-fifths of the fertile, predominantly Muslim Himalayan region.

The United Nations has been on record since the late 1940s that Kashmir's political status should be
decided by its people, including a series of Security Council resolutions demanding plebiscites.
Pakistan's position is that the resolutions should be implemented.

India has rejected the resolutions, for reasons including that no test of the people's will was required
in other British India principalities divided because of their leaders' wishes and that Pakistan has not
withdrawn from territory it controls.

The Bush administration has focused its diplomacy on trying to pry the two armies apart.

Powell said Thursday ``there is nothing active'' for the two sides to discuss in the way of a
settlement. And, he said on PBS' ``NewsHour With Jim Lehrer,'' he did not think there was a role for
the United States or another outside mediator at this point.

Asked if nuclear weapons would be used by India or Pakistan if conflict came, Powell said: ``I can't
answer that question, but I can say this: In my conversations with both sides, especially with the
Pakistani side, I have made it clear that this really can't be in anyone's mind.''

``We are making it very clear to both Pakistan and India that war will not serve their interests,''
Bush said after a Cabinet meeting. ``We are part of an international coalition applying pressure to
both parties.''

In particular, he said, Musharraf must keep his promise to stem attacks across Kashmir's
internationally established dividing line.

``He must stop the incursions across the line of control. He must do so. He said he would do so,''
the president said. ``We and others are making it clear to him that he must live up to his word.''

Despite Pakistan's assertion that it already has begun moving troops away from the Afghan-Pakistan
border because of the tensions with India, Rumsfeld said U.S. officials had as yet seen no signs of a
redeployment.
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