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DATE=5/24/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-249709 TITLE=INDIA/KASHMIR (L-ONLY) BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: FIGHTING CONTINUES ON THE KASHMIR BORDER BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN. INDIA SAYS IT IS BATTLING TO EVICT PAKISTANI INFILTRATORS FROM A SECTION OF THE CEASEFIRE LINE BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS. TEXT: INDIA'S TOP ARMY OFFICIALS BRIEFED PRIME MINISTER ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE MONDAY ON THE ONGOING FIGHTING IN KASHMIR. EARLIER (ON SUNDAY) ARMY CHIEF V.P. MALIK VISITED KASHMIR TO ASSESS THE SITUATION ON THE BORDER WHERE INDIAN TROOPS ARE FIGHTING ARMED INFILTRATORS. NO DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE. BUT THE PRIME MINISTER'S NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, BRIJESH MISHRA, TOLD A PRIVATE TELEVISION NETWORK, STAR T-V, THAT INFILTRATORS PLANNED TO EXPAND THE REGION OCCUPIED BY PAKISTAN. MR. MISHRA SAYS THE INDIAN ARMY IS TRYING TO ELIMINATE THE INFILTRATORS. THE INDIAN ARMY SAYS IT HAS LAUNCHED ITS LARGEST MILITARY OPERATION IN RECENT YEARS, CALLED "OPERATION FLUSH OUT," TO REMOVE ABOUT 300 INFILTRATORS WHO HAVE OCCUPIED HIGH MOUNTAIN PEAKS IN THE KARGIL REGION. KARGIL LIES ABOUT 200 KILOMETERS NORTHEAST OF KASHMIR'S SUMMER CAPITAL, SRINAGAR. THE FACE-OFF IN KARGIL BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN STARTED TWO WEEKS AGO WHEN THE INDIAN ARMY SAYS IT SPOTTED THE INFILTRATORS. THE ARMY HAS NOT CLARIFIED WHO THE INFILTRATORS ARE -- BUT SAYS THEY ARE MUSLIM MILITANTS BACKED BY PAKISTANI SOLDIERS FIRING HEAVY ARTILLERY. THEY SAY RECENT SATELLITE PICTURES INDICATE ABOUT 300 INFILTRATORS ARE HOLDING GROUND ON RIDGES AS HIGH AS 5,000 METERS. DEFENSE OFFICIALS SAY INDIAN SOLDIERS ARE ATTEMPTING TO ENCIRCLE AND CLOSE THE ESCAPE ROUTE OF THE INFILTRATORS. A DEFENSE ANALYST AT THE INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE STUDIES AND ANALYSIS, MR. SREEDHAR (ONE NAME ONLY), SAYS THE MILITARY ACTION IS LIKELY TO LAST FOR THREE TO FOUR WEEKS. ///INSERT SREEDHAR ACT/// THE INFILTRATORS HAVE TO BE PUSHED BACK, OR CAPTURED OR LIQUIDATED. SINCE THE NUMBER SEEMS TO BE LARGE, RUNNING INTO HUNDREDS, WE WILL BE SORT OF DEPLOYING LARGE NUMBER OF TROOPS TO CAPTURE AS MANY OF THEM AS POSSIBLE LIVE. ///END SREEDHAR ACT/// PAKISTAN HAS BLAMED INDIA FOR WHAT IT CALLS "UNWARRANTED MILITARY ACTION" IN KASHMIR. INDIAN AND PAKISTANI SOLDIERS ROUTINELY EXCHANGE FIRE ALONG THE LINE OF CONTROL THAT DIVIDES THE TWO NATIONS -- BUT THE RECENT FLARE-UP IS MORE SERIOUS. INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE FOUGHT TWO OF THEIR THREE WARS OVER KASHMIR. BOTH COUNTRIES CLAIM THE HIMALAYAN REGION. (SIGNED) NEB/AP/LTD/KL 24-May-99 8:50 AM EDT (1250 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .