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Hungary eases out of Warsaw Pact

Published Oct. 18, 2005

Parliament on Monday unanimously voted to strike out any reference to the Warsaw Pact in its defense law, state radio said. Hungarian politicians serving in the nation's first democratically elected government in more than four decades have served notice that they intend to pull out of the alliance, Soviet led before the wave of democracy ended East Europe's communist era. As in Czechoslovakia, Soviet troops stationed for decades are in the process of pulling out. Hungary plans to reduce its own armed forces by more than 30 percent after the initialing of a Warsaw Pact-NATO deal later this year on cutting conventional weapons.Indian police block

march to mosque

LUCKNOW, India _ The besieged state of Uttar Pradesh was all but sealed off from the rest of India on Monday night as the government sought to prevent a mosque there from being overrun Tuesday by 10,000 militant Hindus determined to build a temple on the site. The determination of Prime Minister V.P. Singh and his allies in the state to stop the crusade, which is reviving a religious fanaticism that modern leaders had hoped was a thing of the past, has put Singh's political future in jeopardy. The Hindu-based Bharatiya Janata Party, whose leaders have been prominent in the temple drive, withdrew its support for the Singh government on Oct. 23, leaving the prime minister without a majority in Parliament. He faces a no-confidence vote Nov. 7. Thousands of paramilitary troops and police officers sealed off roads into Uttar Pradesh and cordoned off the shrine in Ayodhya, where militant Hindus say they will begin constructing a temple to the god Rama. The Hindus say that the god, the hero of the epic Ramayana, was born at the site.

Elsewhere . . .

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan _ Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto called national and provincial elections "sheer daylight robbery" Monday and demanded fresh polling in 100 seats. "People of Pakistan have been cheated,"she said.

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador _ Envoys of the Salvadoran government and leftist rebels began informal meetings in Mexico Monday to seek ways out of an impasse in United Nations-sponsored peace talks, President Alfredo Cristiani said. Formal talks to end the 11-year civil war, which has claimed 75,000 lives, were to resume by Nov. 4.

OSLO, Norway _ The center-right government resigned Monday after the junior member of the year-old coalition refused to support increased ties to the European Economic Community.