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June 5, 1999
Nawaz Sharief warns of war
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief today accused India of thwarting peace talks and warned that war between the world's newest nuclear countries is a possibility.
"Chances of a war between Pakistan and India cannot be ruled out," Sharief told reporters in his hometown, Lahore.
His statement came just hours after New Delhi said it was not ready to hold a meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries on Monday as hoped for by Pakistan.
"India is not serious about holding peace talks," Sharief said, accusing New Delhi of violating the Lahore Declaration signed between the two countries in February in which both India and Pakistan had agreed to settle their disputes, including Kashmir, through negotiations.
Sharief warned that because the two countries are declared nuclear powers, there is an added responsibility on the governments of India and Pakistan to pursue negotiations.
"Both the countries are nuclear powers... It is their responsibility to defuse tensions through negotiations," he said.
In a telephone interview, Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan would await new dates.
But "the sooner talks are held the better", he said.
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