Indian PM urges Pakistan to work for peace

Aug. 15, 2003 at 5:51 PM
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NEW DELHI, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- India's prime minister said Friday his country and neighbor, Pakistan, should fight poverty instead of each other.

Speaking on the 56th anniversary of India's independence from Britain in 1947, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee invited Pakistan to join India on the road to peace, BBC reported.

Pakistan, carved out of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, observed its independence on Thursday.

"We have been fighting for 50 years, how much more blood shall we spill?" Vajpayee said in his address to the nation.

Last year's celebrations were overshadowed by threats of a third Indian-Pakistani war over Kashmir, following an attack on the Indian parliament, the report said.

Relations between the two nuclear powers have improved in recent months, with ambassadors exchanged and a cross-border bus service restored, the report said.

Vajpayee spoke during heavy rain and from behind a three-sided bullet-proof cabin at the historic Red Fort.

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