News

DATE=6/21/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-250913 TITLE=INDIA / PAK / KASHMIR / FIGHTING (L) BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: INDIA SAYS IT HAS MORE EVIDENCE THAT ITS TROOPS ARE FIGHTING PAKISTANI SOLDIERS IN KASHMIR AND NOT AFGHAN MERCENARIES OR KASHMIRI ISLAMIC MILITANTS. VOA'S JIM TEEPLE SAYS INDIA SAYS IT HAS LOST 149 MEN IN THE FIGHT TO REGAIN ITS TERRITORY IN KASHMIR WHILE KILLING 326 ENEMY SOLDIERS. TEXT: INDIAN COMMANDERS SAY AFTER THEIR TROOPS SCALED AN ALMOST VERTICAL WALL OF ROCK TO CAPTURE A STRATEGIC PEAK AT FIVE-THOUSAND ONE-HUNDRED-FORTY METERS THEY RECOVERED THE PAYBOOK OF A PAKISTANI OFFICER. ARMY COLONEL BIKRAM SINGH SAYS INDIA BELIEVES THERE ARE ELEMENTS OF SEVERAL BATTALIONS OF PAKISTANI TROOPS FIGHTING INSIDE INDIAN TERRITORY. // SINGH ACTUALITY // WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ESTABLISH THE IDENTITY OF THREE, FOUR, FIVE AND SIX BATTALIONS OF PAKISTAN'S NORTHERN LIGHT INFANTRY IN THE POCKETS OF INTRUSION. // END ACTUALITY // COLONEL SINGH SAYS THE INDIAN ARMY IS FIGHTING ABOUT 700 PAKISTANI TROOPS WHO ARE SUPPORTED BY WHAT HE CALLS TWO TO THREE THOUSAND "FIGHTING PORTERS" MADE UP OF AFGHAN MERCENARIES OR KASHMIRI ISLAMIC MILITANTS. THE INDIAN ARMY COLONEL SAYS IT IS USUALLY THE MERCENARIES OR MILITANTS WHO ENTER INDIAN KASHMIR WITH LOGISTICAL SUPPORT FROM PAKISTAN. PAKISTAN STRONGLY DENIES THAT ITS TROOPS ARE FIGHTING INSIDE INDIA'S TERRITORY OR EVEN THAT IT SUPPLIES FIGHTERS THERE SAYING ONLY DIPLOMATIC AND MORAL SUPPORT IS GIVEN TO WHAT PAKISTAN CALLS KASHMIRI FREEDOM FIGHTERS. MEANWHILE, INDIAN DIPLOMATIC OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO SAY THEY FEEL THEIR POSITION HAS BEEN VINDICATED FOLLOWING A STATEMENT COMING OUT OF THE GROUP OF EIGHT MEETING ON SUNDAY IN COLOGNE, GERMANY. THE STATEMENT CONDEMNED THE BREACH OF THE LINE OF CONTROL WHICH DIVIDES KASHMIR AND CALLED FOR AN IMMEDIATE END TO THE FIGHTING. INDIA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, RAMINDER JASSAL, SAYS IT IS NOW UP TO THE G-8 NATIONS TO REVIEW THEIR POLICIES ON INTERNATIONAL LENDING TO PAKISTAN. // INSERT JASSAL ACTUALITY // WE HAD EARLIER CRITICIZED THE RESUMPTION OF I-M-F LENDING TO PAKISTAN. WE HAD SAID THAT THESE FUNDS WERE NOT BEING USED FOR THE PURPOSES INTENDED, WELL SUBSEQUENT EVENTS HAVE BORNE US OUT. THEY (THE PAKISTANI'S) WERE RATHER EMBOLDENED BY THE ATTITUDE (OF THE LENDERS). WE EXPECT THAT THE GOVERNMENTS (G-8) WOULD THINK AFRESH THEIR RATIONALE OF THEIR ASSISTANCE TO PAKISTAN. // END ACTUALITY // MEANWHILE, INDIA'S NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, BRAJESH MISHRA, SAYS INDIA DOES NOT WANT TO PERMANENTLY STATION TROOPS ALONG THE THE 140-KILOMETER STRETCH OF HIGH MOUNTAIN RIDGES WHERE FIGHTING IS NOW TAKING PLACE. MR. MISHRA SAYS ONCE THE FIGHTING IS OVER INDIA WOULD LIKE TO RESUME BILATERAL TALKS WITH PAKISTAN TO SETTLE THE BOUNDARY ISSUE PEACEFULLY. (SIGNED) NEB/JLT/KL 21-Jun-99 9:25 AM EDT (1325 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .