|Pakistan||GOVT MINISTER TO SEEK POPE'S ASSISTANCE|
Pakistan's minister for minorities affairs, Derick Cyprian, will hold a meeting with Pope John Paul II next week, to convey a message from the country's military leader General Pervez Musharraf, requesting the Holy Father to extend peace initiatives in South Asia and to visit Pakistan.
The minister, who is also scheduled to meet the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, will carry a personal letter from the chief executive to be delivered in person to the Pope.
He said he plans to discuss with the secretary various aspects of Pakistan's image in the world, particularly in connection with human rights issue. The human rights situation in occupied Kashmir would also be discussed in the meeting, he added.
During the meeting, he said, he would request the secretary to use his influence and good offices to exert pressure on India to immediately halt atrocities in Kashmir and to initiate dialogue on the issue.