KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) A brief meeting between the leaders of India and Pakistan failed to resolve a standoff between the nuclear-armed neighbors. Last night India said it downed a small, unmanned Pakistani spy aircraft.
The private meeting at a regional summit in Nepal was the first between Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf since both countries put their armies on war alert last month.
The continuing tension was apparent last night as the Indian military claimed to have shot down the drone after it intruded 2.5 miles into Indian air space over the disputed region of Kashmir. Pakistani officials immediately denied this, and the state-run news agency claimed the aircraft was India”s own.
Indian defense analyst C. Uday Bhaskar said in New Delhi that he did not believe the downing of the aircraft would lead to war, but emotions remained high in Kashmir. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan province, which is claimed by both South Asian nations.
As they left for home after the two-day South Asian summit in Nepal, Vajpayee and Musharraf said neither their brief chat nor televised handshakes had eased tensions along the 1,100-mile border that divides their countries.