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Sunday, 15 July, 2001, 18:50 GMT 19:50 UK
Positive start to Agra summit
President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee
The leaders held a long one-to-one talk
India and Pakistan say their landmark summit in the historic city of Agra has been very constructive and a third round of talks will be held on Monday.

But fighting erupted in the disputed Kashmir region as Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee held direct talks without aides.

The safe conclusion should be that there is understanding and there is positive movement

Pakistan spokesman Rashid Qureshi
Indian officials said at least 18 Islamic militants were killed in fighting in the Poonch district of Kashmir, near the border with Pakistan.

Despite the optimistic signals from the summit - the first such meeting for more than two years - no dramatic breakthrough on the Kashmir question is expected.

Kashmir dispute

There has been no clear indication yet of the substance of the talks.

President Pervez Musharraf and his wife Sehba at Taj Mahal
Mr Musharraf took time out to visit the Taj Mahal with his wife

In the run-up to the meeting Mr Musharraf had made it clear that the summit could only succeed if Kashmir was the focus. But the Pakistani side has signalled a softening of that hard line.

India, which does not want to yield its sovereign rights over Kashmir, said it wanted a broad-based dialogue covering other pressing areas of dispute, including trade, nuclear weapons and militants.

Mr Vajpayee has accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan.

Formal talks

The formal talks are being held against the backdrop of the Taj Mahal.

The first one-to-one meeting lasted far longer than had been expected.

The BBC's Susannah Price in Agra says no one is expecting any clear answers to the huge differences between India and Pakistan.

However, a structure for continuing a dialogue would be welcomed by both sides.

The closing summit declaration is expected to be very carefully worded so that both leaders can present the outcome as a success to their own peoples.

Mr Musharraf and his wife also visited the Taj Mahal, where they posed for photographs in front of the world's most celebrated monument to love.


The summit is taking place under heavy security.

Guards at the Taj Mahal
20,000 troops are on hand at Agra
Police arrested 15 members of the Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party who were protesting against the meeting,

The hotels where the two leaders are staying have been sealed and handed over to the security agencies.

Nearby streets are being patrolled by police with bomb-sniffer dogs, overlooked by sharpshooters, who have taken up rooftop positions.

Police also patrolled the nearby Yamuna River in boats, with professional divers aboard, looking for bombs.

"We have deployed nearly 20,000 policemen in Agra," said A K D Dwivedi, the local police chief.

All vehicles entering Agra are being registered by the police and trains and buses are also under surveillance.

A weekly animal market which is normally held in the city on Sunday has also been cancelled, police said.

The Taj Mahal remains open to tourists, but far fewer than normal are enjoying the attraction, and those who are have been outnumbered by the guards, commandos and police touring the compound.

The BBC's Jill McGivering
"India's prime minister seemed a nervous host"
The BBC's Susannah Price
"No details have been released about the substance of the talks or what was said about Kashmir"
The BBC's Nik Gowing, Satish Jacob and Zaffer Abbas
discuss the forthcoming summit and see the leaders meet in Agra
The BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones in Islamabad
"There is blanket coverage of the summit on Pakistan television"
See also:

14 Jul 01 | South Asia
Musharraf seeks fresh start with India
14 Jul 01 | South Asia
Indian press cautious on summit
15 Jul 01 | South Asia
Media positive on summit's first day
06 Jul 01 | South Asia
India and Pakistan: Troubled relations
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