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July 2, 1999
India rejects 'breakthrough', insists on Pak pullout
India today rejected any possibility of a dialogue with Pakistan until that country vacated its intrusion in Kargil and hoped Islamabad would heed the advice of the international community to respect the sanctity of the Line of Control.
Reacting to reports in Pakistani newspapers that a ''peace formula'' could be made public in the next 72 hours, an external affairs ministry spokesman told reporters that he was not aware if any contact had been established between India and Pakistan after the visit of Niaz Naik, Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharief's special emissary, to New Delhi.
''We will react when we are made aware of it,'' he said in the context of the ''peace formula''. He claimed the intrusion had been checked by the Indian armed forces. But there was no evidence on the ground to show that Pakistan was withdrawing from the areas under its occupation. The spokesman said the Lahore process could only be resumed once Pakistan withdrew its forces from the Kargil sector. The international community had been urging Pakistan to respect the sanctity of the LoC, he added.
Meanwhile, a major breakthrough to avert the threat of a third Indo-Pakistan war over Kashmir is expected imminently, The News newspaper reported today in Islamabad. In a report from its correspondent in New York, it quoted reliable sources as saying, ''A formula is being worked out which may be acceptable to both India and Pakistan''. The newspaper gave no details of the formula but said ''good news'' for the people of India and Pakistan could be made public, possibly in 48 to 72 hours, ''depending on the communication and consideration of both governments''.
Sharief today met senior cabinet ministers and defence chiefs to review the worst military confrontation between the two rivals in three decades. Pakistan is under intense pressure to take steps to defuse a crisis caused by the capture of strategic heights in Kashmir by militants India says are backed by Islamabad. Pakistan says the insurgents are Kashmiri ''freedom fighters'' over whom it has no control.
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