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Powell to talk tough in Pakistan

March 16, 2004 20:02 IST

Ahead of his visit to Pakistan, US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Tuesday said he would speak to President Pervez Musharraf about nuclear proliferation and underline the need to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in that country.

After meeting Indian leaders, Powell, who was on a two-day visit to New Delhi, stated that the US would not be satisfied until the entire clandestine nuclear export network run by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan was busted.

Powell, who had a busy schedule, called on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and had meetings with External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha, Finance Minister Jaswant Singh, National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca and US Ambassador to India David Mulford accompanied him. Visiting Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, Alan Larson, joined him for delegation-level talks with Sinha.

Powell, who will also travel to Afghanistan to meet President Hamid Karzai and other leaders, said the US had not taken any decision for selling F-16 aircraft to Pakistan.

"No decisions have been made in respect to any particular military package, especially F-16s," he said at a joint press conference with Sinha.

He said the US was "pleased" to know about efforts to dismantle terrorist camps in Pakistan but stressed that this should be of a "permanent nature".

Observing that substantive time in their discussions were devoted to bilateral economic relationship, Sinha said it was agreed that over the next month, officials from the two sides would hold discussions to chart out a clear roadmap.

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Read about: Indo-Pak Peace Talk | Coup in Pakistan

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