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India backs down and agrees to SAARC Summit with Musharraf's Pakistan.

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    India backs down and agrees to SAARC Summit with Musharraf's Pakistan.

    India has spent 16 months of sulking over General Musharraf's assumpition of power and refusing to deal with a "military ruler". And has bullied others in SAARC to delay a full meeting, so as to avoid with the the Great CE.

    Now it has had to eat a lot of humble pie, probably with an eye on its failing ceasefires in IOK, and agreed to the first SAARC summit since the CE came to power.

    India's approval of Saarc meeting gains US interest

    By Amir Mateen

    WASHINGTON: India's approval of Saarc's standing committee meeting in May, which can pave the way for a possible Vajpayee-Musharraf meeting later this year, has stirred considerable interest in Washington.

    Coming at the heels of India's cease-fire extension in Kashmir, the scheduled visit of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to South Asia and the current visit of the US congressional team to the sub-continent, local experts see positive vibes emanating from the region.

    The decision to hold foreign secretary-level Saarc standing committee meeting in the second half of May was announced following Indian Prime Atal Behari Vajpayee's meeting with Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

    A possible meeting between the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India on the sidelines of the Saarc meeting, can set the stage for the Musharraf-Vajpayee meeting that media had been speculating about since long.

    Observers believe it is no coincidence that the cease-fire too has been extended till May. So India has not committed anything in concrete terms. It will assess the situation till May and if the reciprocity from the Pakistani side is satisfactory, Vajpayee could afford to take the plunge in agreeing to see Musharraf.