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Pakistani Leader Says No Defense Budget Cuts


http://gdb.rferl.org/813596cb-deb8-4dcf-9ae2-29489c0718eb_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/813596cb-deb8-4dcf-9ae2-29489c0718eb_mw800_mh600.jpg President Musharraf (file photo) (CTK) 31 October 2005 -- Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf today said his country has no plan to cut its defense budget to divert money to reconstruction and rehabilitation of quake-hit regions.


However Musharraf told journalists that India and Pakistan should make the earthquake an opportunity to move forward a resolution to their rivalry over the Himalayan territory of Kashmir.


The 8 October earthquake left more than 58,000 people dead in Pakistan, with nearly 78,000 wounded and another 3 million without shelter.


The costs of rebuilding, which Pakistan has estimated at more than $5 billion, had raised speculation about defense deals.


(dpa/Reuters)

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