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Pakistani President Visits India

Sunday, April 17, 2005; Page A28

NEW DELHI, April 16 -- Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, planned to hold formal talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday, part of a weekend of cricket-watching and politics, during his first visit to India in four years.

Pakistani officials have expressed hope that the visit, which comes at a time of improving relations with India, will yield progress toward a settlement of the long conflict over the divided Himalayan province of Kashmir.


Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and his wife, center, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, greet state dinner guests, including actress Rani Mukherjee. (AP)

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"We have brought a message of peace from Pakistan," Musharraf said Saturday during a stop in the Indian state of Rajasthan, where he visited a Sufi Muslim shrine. "I have prayed for peace between India and Pakistan. Development of the countries and people can happen only if there is peace."

Musharraf is making his first trip to India since a summit in 2001, which broke down over the issue of Kashmir. His visit comes little more than a week after the two nuclear-armed rivals kicked off a path-breaking bus service to carry civilians across the cease-fire line that divides Indian and Pakistani forces in Kashmir. Musharraf, who was scheduled to dine with Singh on Saturday night, planned to watch a cricket match between the Indian and Pakistani national teams in New Delhi on Sunday.

-- John Lancaster


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