News

DATE=6/1/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-250064 TITLE=INDIA / FIGHTING (L ONLY) BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: FOLLOWING A WEEK OF AIR STRIKES IN KASHMIR, INDIA SAYS IT IS ACHIEVING SUCCESS AGAINST WHAT IT CALLS PAKISTAN-BACKED INFILTRATORS. CROSS-BORDER FIRING IS REPORTED TO HAVE INTENSIFIED ALONG NEW SECTIONS OF THE KASHMIR BORDER, AS BOTH SIDES HAVE DEPLOYED MORE TROOPS IN THE TENSE REGION. ANJANA PASRICHA REPORTS FROM NEW DELHI ON THE LARGEST MILITARY OPERATION LAUNCHED BY INDIA IN THE HIMALAYAN REGION SINCE ITS 1971 WAR WITH PAKSITAN. TEXT: DEFENSE OFFICIALS SAID TUESDAY THERE IS INTENSE FIGHTING IN THE BATALIK SECTOR -- ONE OF THE BORDER REGIONS IN KASHMIR WHERE GUERRILLAS HAVE CAPTURED HIGH MOUNTAIN PEAKS. ACCORDING TO GROUP CAPTAIN K. RAJARAM, JET FIGHTERS HAVE TARGETED NEW GUERRILLA POSITIONS, DESPITE ICY WINDS AND SNOWFALL. /// INSERT RAJARAM ACT /// IN SPITE OF CLOUDY, INCLEMENT WEATHER IN THE MOUNTAINS, AIRCRAFT WAS UTILISED TO ATTACK CERTAIN NEW TARGETS IN THE KARGIL SECTOR AND THE BATALIK SECTOR, BUT ENTIRELY WITHIN OUR AREAS. /// END RAJARAM ACT /// MEANWHILE, HEAVY CROSS-BORDER ARTILLERY SHELLING IS BEING REPORTED FROM NEW AREAS IN SOUTHEASTERN KASHMIR. INDIAN DEFENSE OFFICIALS ADMIT THE LINE OF CONTROL THAT DIVIDES THE TWO COUNTRIES IS "LIVE" -- THAT IS, A LOT OF MILITARY ACTION IS TAKING PLACE THERE. HOWEVER THEY ARE DENYING REPORTS FROM ISLAMABAD THAT PAKISTAN REPULSED THREE INDIAN ATTACKS ON THE BORDER, AND THAT INDIAN ARTILLERY KILLED 10 PAKISTANI SCHOOLCHILDREN. INDIAN OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE RESTRICTING THEIR FIRE TO MILITARY TARGETS. DEFENSE OFFICIALS IN NEW DELHI ALSO SAY INDIA HAS INCREASED ITS MILITARY PRESENCE ALL ALONG THE BORDER TO PREVENT PAKISTAN FROM TRYING TO INFILTRATE INTO NEW REGIONS. DEFENSE ANALYST BRAHMA CHELLANEY, WHO IS WITH THE INDEPENDENT CENTER OF POLICY RESEARCH, SAYS WITH THE TROOP BUILD-UP ON BOTH SIDES, THERE IS DANGER OF THE CONFLICT SPREADING TO OTHER PARTS OF THE KASHMIR BORDER. /// INSERT CHELLANEY ACT /// IF THEY (PAKISTAN) DO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE REBELS WHO ARE HOLED UP IN THE HEIGHTS OF KARGIL, THEN I THINK THE INDIAN MILITARY WOULD HAVE TO OPEN NEW PRESSURE POINTS. THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF A LITTLE WIDER CONFLICT -- RESTRICTED THOUGH TO THE LINE OF ACTUAL CONTROL IN KASHMIR. THERE IS LITTLE POSSIBILITY OF FULL-SCALE OPEN WAR BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN. BUT I THINK THERE IS A REAL DANGER NOW THAT THE CONFLICT COULD SPREAD TO SOME OTHER POINTS. /// INSERT CHELLANEY ACT /// INDIAN TROOPS ARE ALSO CONCENTRATING ON SAFEGUARDING A STRATEGIC HIGHWAY BETWEEN SRINAGAR AND LEH IN THE LADAKH REGION. THIS IS A KEY SUPPLY ROUTE TO THE AREA WHERE THE FIGHTING IS TAKING PLACE. GUERRILLAS ARE REPORTED TO BE ATTACKING MILITARY CONVOYS ON THE ROAD FROM A POSITION OF ADVANTAGE ON HIGH PEAKS. INDIA SAYS IT HAS SUFFERED 46 CASUALTIES IN THE WEEK-LONG OPERATION. 174 SOLDIERS HAVE BEEN WOUNDED. DEFENSE OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE ACHIEVING SUCCESS AGAINST THE GUERRILLAS -- BUT WILL NEED TIME TO DISLODGE THEM FROM THE MOUNTAIN PEAKS WHERE THEY ARE ENTRENCHED. MEANWHILE THE FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS NO DATES HAVE YET BEEN SET FOR A VISIT BY THE PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINSITER TO NEW DELHI. THE VISIT IS AIMED AT DEFUSING TENSIONS BETWEEN THE NUCLEAR-ARMED NEIGHBORS. INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE FOUGHT TWO WARS OVER KASHMIR. (SIGNED) NEB/AP/KL 01-Jun-99 10:10 AM EDT (1410 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .