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DATE= 05/29/99 TYPE= EDITORIAL NUMBER= 0-08313 TITLE= EDITORIAL: KASHMIR FIGHTING CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 05/29/99. ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES. NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. VOICE: THERE HAS BEEN A DANGEROUS ESCALATION IN FIGHTING BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN OVER THE DISPUTED TERRITORY OF KASHMIR. THIS PAST WEEK, INDIAN COMBAT JETS AND HELICOPTER GUNSHIPS ATTACKED POSITIONS OCCUPIED BY INFILTRATORS IN NORTHERN KASHMIR. INDIA SAID IT WAS LIMITING ATTACKS TO ITS SIDE OF THE LINE SEPARATING INDIAN AND PAKISTANI FORCES. BUT PAKISTAN SAID THAT SOME AIRCRAFT CROSSED THE LINE. PAKISTANI ANTI-AIRCRAFT FIRE BROUGHT DOWN ONE INDIAN JET, AND ANOTHER WAS EITHER SHOT DOWN OR CRASHED. KASHMIR HAS BEEN A SOURCE OF CONFLICT BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN SINCE BOTH COUNTRIES GAINED THEIR INDEPENDENCE FROM BRITAIN IN 1947. AFTER TWO YEARS OF FIGHTING, INDIA AND PAKISTAN AGREED TO A UNITED NATIONS CEASE-FIRE IN 1949 THAT LEFT ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF THE MOUNTAINOUS AREA UNDER INDIAN CONTROL AND THE REST IN PAKISTANI HANDS. ANOTHER KASHMIR-RELATED WAR, IN 1965, LASTED ONLY A FEW WEEKS, BUT HOSTILITIES HAVE SIMMERED EVER SINCE. OVER THE YEARS, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED. CLEARLY, THIS DISPUTE NEEDS TO BE RESOLVED. AND AS BOTH SIDES REALIZE, THE WAY TO DO IT IS THROUGH NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN THAT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE WISHES OF THE KASHMIRI PEOPLE THEMSELVES. FORTUNATELY, INDIAN AND PAKISTANI LEADERS HAVE MADE SOME RECENT DIPLOMATIC BREAKTHROUGHS. IN FEBRUARY, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE [AH-'TAHL BIH-'HAH-REE WAHJ-PAY-'EE] TRAVELED TO THE PAKISTANI CITY OF LAHORE [LAH-'HOAR] TO MEET WITH PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF [NAH-'WAHZ SHAH-'REEF]. AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE TWO LEADERS PLEDGED TO INTENSIFY EFFORTS TO RESOLVE THE KASHMIR DISPUTE. THEY ALSO AGREED TO SET UP A SPECIAL TELEPHONE LINK FOR CRISIS SITUATIONS. IT IS ENCOURAGING THAT THEY HAVE BEEN MAKING USE OF THAT LINK IN RECENT DAYS. THE NEED FOR INDIA AND PAKISTAN TO RESOLVE THEIR DIFFERENCES HAS BEEN UNDERSCORED BY OTHER DEVELOPMENTS AS WELL. A YEAR AGO, INDIA AND PAKISTAN CONDUCTED NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTS. AND LAST MONTH, THEY TESTED IMPROVED VERSIONS OF BALLISTIC MISSILES CAPABLE OF CARRYING A NUCLEAR WARHEAD. DOES ANYONE DOUBT THAT ANOTHER INDIA-PAKISTAN WAR COULD HAVE TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES FOR THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH ASIA? ANNCR: THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. IF YOU HAVE A COMMENT, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, V-O-A, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. YOU MAY ALSO COMMENT AT WWW-DOT-VOA-DOT-GOV-SLASH-EDITORIALS, OR FAX US AT (202) 619-1043. 28-May-99 4:06 PM EDT (2006 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .