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June 26, 1999
India against Pakistan's participation in ASEAN meet
India today intensified efforts to block the possible participation of Pakistan in a regional security consultative forum.
Some members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are sounding off the possibility of allowing both countries to use the ASEAN Regional Forum as a venue to settle what is feared to become the worst clash over Kashmir in about 30 years.
Indian ambassador to the Philippines, C P Ravindranathan, stressed that the ongoing conflict between the two countries was a bilateral issue.
He pointed out that the G-8 nations G-8, in a recent meeting, had acknowledged that Pakistan may have provoked the hostilities and called on Islamabad to stop the aggression.
''Instead of inviting (Pakistan) in, wouldn't it be more appropriate if ARF would make a similar call instead?'' he said.
The ARF is a consultative body organised by the ASEAN as a venue to discuss security issues in Asia. India is a participant of the forum, but Pakistan is not.
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