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June 25, 1999
India to turn on the heat diplomatically
India is stepping up its diplomatic offensive on Kargil with Foreign Secretary K Raghunath scheduled to travel to Britain and France next week.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi today, a spokesman for the external affairs ministry said Raghunath would hold discussions with his counterparts and other officials in London and Paris on June 28 and 29.
But the spokesman added that Raghunath would hold "normal diplomatic consultations" in the two European capitals and "I am not aware if any special meeting is being held on Kargil".
The spokesman said India does not consider such diplomatic consultations with other countries as seeking third-party mediation in any of its disputes with Pakistan. There is no change in India's stand that Pakistan and India should resolve their differences bilaterally.
Asked if the dialogue between the neighbours could be put back on track, he said it could be considered once the Pakistan-supported intrusion in Kargil is vacated.
On US Marines General Anthony Zinni asking Islamabad to pull back the intruders, the spokesman said: "The call for Pakistan to back out of the intrusion engineered by it is in consonance with the policy of the US and the G-8 countries."
He noted that the Western countries have been consistently asking Pakistan for the past few weeks to end the intrusion. "There has been appreciation all round of the logic behind India's position."
The spokesman said he was unaware when US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gibson Lanpher, who is now in Islamabad, would visit New Delhi.
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