Quake may bolster India-Pakistan telecom ties

October 20, 2005

India and Pakistan continue discussions that could lead to closer telecommunications ties between the two longtime rivals.

Officials from the two governments have been exploring new landline and mobile-phone links along the Line of Control in the disputed border region that was recently devastated by a killer earthquake.

The Oct. 8 quake destroyed nearly half of the telecom infrastructure in the area, prompting offers of cooperation in repairs and establishing mobile services to allow families to communicate across the militarized border.

The Hindu said India Wednesday responded positively to Pakistani proposals that fiber-optic cables be linked to further improve cross-border communications. An External Affairs Ministry statement proposed linking up "at Attari-Wagah where the optical fibers of both countries are nearest."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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