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Tom Mintier: Assurances from Pakistan


(CNN) -- India and Pakistan remain locked in a bitter battle over control of the state of Kashmir. Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Richard Armitage met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday -- and will hold talks with India's Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday.

CNN Correspondent Tom Mintier is in Islamabad, Pakistan, to cover the diplomatic efforts to head off an all-out conflict between the nuclear neighbors.

MINTIER: It was indeed a very busy day for the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. He had three meetings, and two of them went into overtime.

This is the beginning of a tag team match, if you will, of diplomacy.

First, the deputy secretary of state comes to the region, next week followed by the secretary of defense. Now, in the first meetings today -- we are at the foreign ministry -- [he met] first with his counterpart, then with the foreign minister, and then in one hour and 45 minutes, with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Now, in that meeting, Mr. Armitage received assurances from the Pakistani president that he was not interested in war, would not start it and wanted to find a peaceful resolution to the problem, to de-escalate the tension.

He also said that he gave assurances to the deputy secretary of state that there was no cross-border infiltration going on into Kashmir from the Pakistani side.

They also discussed President Bush's telephone call that came in the middle of the night here, a telephone call that was also repeated with the Indian prime minister.

Details of the discussions, though, were not really provided.




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