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DATE=2/20/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-245751 TITLE=INDO / PAK BUS (L) BYLINE=SCOTT ANGER DATELINE=LAHORE CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: PAKISTAN'S PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF MET INDIAN PRIME MINISTER ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE AS HE STEPPED OFF A BUS IN PAKISTAN AT THE WAGAH BORDER CROSSING. AS V-O-A'S SCOTT ANGER REPORTS, THE INDIAN PRIME MINISTER'S ARRIVAL MARKS A HISTORIC TIME AS BOTH COUNTRIES WORK TOWARD BETTER RELATIONS. ///SOUNDS OF HONOR GUARD AND MUSIC/// TEXT: BANDS FROM BOTH INDIA AND PAKISTAN PLAYED THEIR NATIONAL ANTHEMS AS INDIAN PRIME MINISTER ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE STEPPED OFF A LARGE PASSENGER BUS ONTO PAKISTANI SOIL. HE WAS MET BY PAKISTAN'S PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF JUST A FEW METERS INSIDE PAKISTAN. MR. VAJPAYEE IS ONLY THE SECOND INDIAN PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT PAKISTAN SINCE THE TWO COUNTRIES DIVIDED 50 YEARS AGO. THE HISTORIC VISIT COMES IN THE WAKE OF INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE TO RESOLVE LONG-STANDING ISSUES. BOTH PAKISTAN AND INDIA CONDUCTED NUCLEAR TESTS LAST MAY, WHICH RAISED CONCERNS OF A NUCLEAR CONFLICT IN THE REGION. THE TWO ALSO REMAIN DEADLOCKED OVER THE DISPUTED TERRITORY OF KASHMIR. MUSHAHID HUSSAIN, PAKISTAN'S MINISTER OF INFORMATION, CALLS THE VISIT OF THE INDIAN PRIME MINISTER ANOTHER SIGN RELATIONS ARE MOVING FORWARD. ///HUSSAIN ACT/// SUCCESS MEANS WE ARE NOT SHOOTING AT EACH OTHER, IT MEANS WE ARE NOT SHOUTING AT EACH OTHER AND WE ARE NOT TALKING AT EACH OTHER. WE ARE NOW TALKING TO EACH OTHER. ///END ACT/// BUT SOME GROUPS DO NOT WANT BETTER RELATIONS WITH A NEIGHBOR THEY CONSIDER AN ENEMY. THE JAAMAT-I-ISLAMI RELIGIOUS GROUP MARCHED THROUGH THE STREETS OF LAHORE PROTESTING THE TALKS. ///SOUNDS OF PROTEST/// POLICE FIRED TEAR GAS INTO A CROWD OF ABOUT 7-THOUSAND PROTESTERS GATHERED IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY. THE RELIGIOUS GROUP DEMANDS THE RESOLUTION OF ISSUES, SUCH AS KASHMIR, BEFORE RELATIONS IMPROVE BETWEEN THE COUNTRIES. ALTHOUGH THE PRIME MINISTERS MET BRIEFLY AT THE BORDER, FORMAL TALKS WILL BE HELD SUNDAY AT THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE IN LAHORE. INDIAN SPOKESMAN K. C.SINGH SAYS NO AGENDA HAS BEEN SET FOR THE TALKS, ONLY THE WILLINGNESS TO CONTINUE BUILDING BETTER RELATIONS. ///SINGH ACT/// THERE IS CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM AS FAR AS INDIA IS CONCERNED. THERE IS A COMMITMENT TO TAKE THIS MOMENTUM WHICH IS BUILDING UP AND TO DEVELOP PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES IN A LOGICAL DIRECTION. ///END ACT/// AT A BANQUET, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER VAJPAYEE EXTENDED AN INVITATION TO PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER SHARIF TO VISIT INDIA SOON. (SIGNED) NEB/SA/GE 20-Feb-99 11:33 AM EST (1633 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .