News



DATE=5/21/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232560
TITLE=INDIA / KASHMIR / L
BYLINE=DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN
DATELINE=NEW DELHI
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  INDIA SAYS PAKISTAN HAS STEPPED UP MILITARY ACTIVITY 
ALONG THE KASHMIR CEASEFIRE LINE.  V-O-A NEW DELHI CORRESPONDENT 
DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN REPORTS THE DEVELOPMENT FOLLOWS STRONG WORDS 
ABOUT KASHMIR FROM INDIA'S HOME MINISTER, THIS WEEK.

TEXT:  A GOVERNMENT STATEMENT RELEASED IN SRINAGAR -- THE CAPITAL
OF INDIAN KASHMIR -- SAYS, OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS, PAKISTAN HAS 
BEEN FIRING ARTILLERY, MORTAR AND AUTOMATIC WEAPONS IN THE 
FORWARD KUPWARA DISTRICT.

THE STATEMENT SAYS THE FIRING IS UNPROVOKED AND APPEARS TO BE A 
COVER FOR SENDING HEAVILY-ARMED MILITANT GROUPS INTO THE KASHMIR 
VALLEY.  THE STATEMENT SAYS INDIA'S RESPONSE HAS BEEN RESTRAINED.
THERE IS NO INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION OF THE ACCOUNT.

THE DEVELOPMENT FOLLOWS REMARKS BY INDIAN HOME MINISTER LAL 
KRISHNA ADVANI MONDAY SUGGESTING PAKISTAN IS LIKELY TO STEP UP 
HOSTILE ACTIVITIES IN KASHMIR, FOLLOWING INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS.  
IN ANOTHER STATEMENT WEDNESDAY, MR. ADVANI INDICATED INDIA WILL 
DEAL MORE AGGRESSIVELY WITH MILITANCY IN KASHMIR.  HE SAYS IT 
WILL BE HANDLED PRO-ACTIVELY, NOT REACTIVELY AS IN THE PAST.     
                                       

EARLIER THIS MONTH, INDIAN KASHMIR CHIEF MINISTER FAROOQ ABDULLAH
ANNOUNCED A MILITARY OPERATION AGAINST MUSLIM MILITANTS, 
FOLLOWING SEVERAL MASSACRES OF HINDUS IN INDIAN KASHMIR.  
HOWEVER, HE DID  NOT  SAY WHEN THE OPERATION WOULD BEGIN.

OUTBREAKS OF SHELLING ALONG THE CEASEFIRE LINE THAT DIVIDES 
INDIAN AND PAKISTANI KASHMIR ARE NOT UNCOMMON.  IT IS ONLY HEAVY 
EXCHANGES THAT DRAW ATTENTION. 

KASHMIR IS A DISPUTED TERRITORY OVER WHICH INDIAN AND PAKISTAN 
HAVE FOUGHT TWO WARS.  INDIA ACCUSES ISLAMABAD OF ARMING MILITANT
GROUP'S BATTLING FOR KASHMIR'S INDEPENDENCE, BUT PAKISTAN SAYS IT
PROVIDES ONLY DIPLOMATIC AND POLITICAL SUPPORT.  (SIGNED)

NEB / WD / WD



21-May-98 6:27 AM EDT (1027 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.