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June 10, 1999
Benazir warns of 'nuke exchange'
Warning of a 'potential nuclear exchange' in south Asia over the Kashmir issue, former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto today called for international mediation.
''It is time for the international community to take a more active and engaged approach before the unstable regimes in Pakistan and India lead the region into a wider conflict, if not potential nuclear exchange,'' Bhutto wrote in letters to the leaders of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
On Saturday, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz is to travel to New Delhi to open talks to defuse tensions on the border.
He will go to New Delhi armed with a resolution unanimously passed in Pakistan's National Assembly today condemning India, reaffirming a commitment to dialogue and expressing ''full confidence in the armed forces to meet all challenges faced by the country''.
In her letters, Bhutto warned world leaders against underestimating India and ''not (misjudging) Indian intentions, as was done with their nuclear tests in May 1998.''
''Unless the international community takes an active role in resolving this conflict, it is my deep concern that the situation will further disintegrate, prompting a larger and potentially nuclear conflict in the region,'' she said.
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