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November 11, 1999
Durban will focus on Pak developments
Sheikh Manzoor Ahmed in Durban
The suspension of Pakistan from the Commonwealth has given a great relief to India as its leaders were not in any hurry to establish contact with Islamabad at the highest level in view of the military rulers' hawkish approach towards New Delhi.
India is not eager to resume talks with Pakistan in the present circumstances because of Islamabad's continuous support to cross-border terrorism and patronage to dreaded militant groups, which are actively involved in militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian leaders also took the initiative to get the recent South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit postponed in view of the military coup in Pakistan.
The Pakistan government's permission to Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was responsible for the attack on the military headquarters in the Kashmir valley, to hold its three-day international conference has been condemned by India.
The United States and some Western nations have been persuading both India and Pakistan to enter into dialogue to discuss all bilateral issues. But India has been insisting that Pakistan must first stop its support to cross-border terrorism.
Meanwhile, some countries have demanded tough measures for those nations which had no regard for democracy and human rights.
The key issue at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Durban will be the developments in Pakistan, which has been suspended following the military coup.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee leaves New Delhi for the Durban summit today.
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