News

DATE=5/27/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-249853 TITLE=INDIA / KASHMIR / L BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: INDIA THURSDAY LAUNCHED NEW AIRSTRIKES IN KASHMIR AGAINST WHAT IT DESCRIBES AS "INFILTRATORS," DUG IN ON HIGH GROUND ON THE INDIAN BORDER WITH KASHMIR. V-O-A'S JIM TEEPLE REPORTS FROM NEW DELHI SENIOR INDIAN COMMANDERS SAY THEY WILL CONTINUE ATTACKING UNTIL THEY EVICT THE INFILTRATORS. TEXT: SENIOR INDIAN COMMANDERS SAY THEY ARE CONCENTRATING AIR ATTACKS ON SUPPLY ROUTES AND HIDEOUTS THEY SAY THE INFILTRATORS ARE USING NEAR THE TOWNS OF KARGIL AND DRAS. THE AREA IS ABOUT 200 KILOMETERS NORTHEAST OF SRINIGAR -- THE SUMMER CAPITAL OF INDIA'S JAMMU AND KASHMIR STATE. SENIOR INDIAN COMMANDERS DIRECTING THE OPERATION ARE CALLING THEIR ATTACKS A LOCAL OPERATION DESIGNED TO FLUSH OUT THE INFILTRATORS AND FORCE THEM BACK ACROSS THE PAKISTAN BORDER. MAJOR GENERAL J-J SINGH A SENIOR ARMY COMMANDER SAYS REPORTS FROM HIS GROUND TROOPS INDICATE THE AIRSTRIKES ARE HAVING THEIR INTENDED EFFECT. // SINGH ACTUALITY // WE HAVE RELIABLE REPORTS THAT SOME OF THESE POSITIONS ARE FINDING IT VERY DIFFICULT TO STAY ONE. THEY HAVE SUFFERED HEAVY CASUALTIES DUE TO OUR GROUND ACTION WHICH INCLUDES ARTILLERY SHELLING AND THE EFFECTIVE AIRSTRIKES. // END ACTUALITY // GENERAL SINGH SAYS THE MAIN OBJECTIVE FOR INDIAN GROUND TROOPS IS TO CUT OFF SUPPLY ROUTES TO THE INFILTRATORS, AND ENCIRCLE THEIR POSITIONS. HE SAYS HIS TROOPS HAVE INFLICTED HEAVY CASUALTIES. THE GENERAL SAYS MANY OF THE INFILTRATORS, HAVE BEEN WOUNDED AND THEY HAVE LITTLE OR NO CHANCE OF RECEIVING HELP FROM THE PAKISTANI SIDE OF THE LINE OF CONTROL, WHICH DIVIDES KASHMIR. AIR FORCE COMMANDERS WILL NOT SAY HOW MANY COMBAT AIRCRAFT ARE INVOLVED IN THE STRIKES, BUT THEY SAY MIG FIGHTER JETS AND HELICOPTER GUNSHIPS ARE CARRYING OUT NUMEROUS SORTIES. THE INDIAN AIR FORCE HAS OVER 700 COMBAT AIRCRAFT AND HELICOPTER GUNSHIPS. AIR COMMODORE SUBASH BHOJWANI -- WHO DIRECTS OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS FOR THE INDIAN AIR FORCE -- SAYS HIS FORCES WILL CONTINUE STRIKING THEIR TARGETS FOR AS LONG AS NECESSARY. // BHOJWANI ACTUALITY // FRANKLY IT'S NOT REALLY POSSIBLE TO LAY DOWN A TIME FRAME. THIS IS WAR. WE MAKE PLANS. THE ENEMY MAKES OPPOSITE PLANS. THEY TRY AND THWART WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO AND VICE VERSA. SO REALLY THERE IS NO WAY WE CAN LAY DOWN A TIME FRAME. // END ACTUALITY // INDIAN COMMANDERS SAY THE INFILTRATORS HAVE BEEN OCCUPYING THEIR POSITIONS FOR SEVERAL MONTHS AND THAT IT COULD TAKE THREE TO SIX MONTHS TO FLUSH THEM OUT OF THE KARGIL AND DRAS REGION. // REST OPTIONAL // AMERICAN AND BRITISH DIPLOMATS ARE URGING RESTRAINT ON BOTH SIDES, SAYING THE PRIME MINISTERS OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE BEEN IN TOUCH BY TELEPHONE. THIS IS THE FIRST MAJOR CONFRONTATION BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN SINCE BOTH COUNTRIES CONDUCTED NUCLEAR TESTS, LAST YEAR. (SIGNED) NEB / JLT / WD / WD 27-May-99 5:36 AM EDT (0936 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .