News

DATE=6/26/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251139 TITLE=INDO / PAK / KASHMIR (L) BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: /// EDS: GIBSON LANPHER DUE TO ARRIVE NOON EDT / 1600 UTC /// INTRO: INDIA SAYS ITS MILITARY OFFENSIVE IN INDIAN KASHMIR TO EVICT ARMED INTRUDERS IS MAKING PROGRESS. THE MILITARY OFFENSIVE WAS LAUNCHED A MONTH AGO (ON MAY 26TH). MEANWHILE A U-S OFFICIAL IS ARRIVING IN NEW DELHI TO BRIEF INDIAN OFFICIALS ABOUT TALKS ON THE KASHMIR CONFLICT HELD IN ISLAMABAD BETWEEN A TOP U-S GENERAL AND PAKISTAN'S PRIME MINISTER. ANJANA PASRICHA HAS A REPORT FROM THE INDIAN CAPITAL. TEXT: INDIAN TROOPS HAVE REGROUPED FOR AN INTENSIFIED ASSAULT ON TIGER HILLS -- ONE OF THE LAST MAJOR PEAKS IN KASHMIR'S DRAS REGION WHICH HAS BEEN CAPTURED BY ARMED INFILTRATORS. DEFENSE OFFICIALS SAY AIR STRIKES AGAINST THE INTRUDERS HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE IN THE LAST TWO DAYS. INDIA IS NOW USING ADVANCED, FRENCH-BUILT MIRAGE 2000 JETS TO BOMB GUERRILLA CAMPS. DEFENSE SPOKESMAN COLONEL BIKRAM SINGH SAYS INDIA HAS EVIDENCE SEVERAL BATTALIONS OF PAKISTANI TROOPS ARE FIGHTING IN KASHMIR -- AND ARE SUFFERING CASUALTIES. /// SINGH ACT /// WE HAVE INFORMATION POINTING TO THE FACT THAT FOUR NORTHERN LIGHT INFANTRY WHICH HAS BEEN FIGHTING IN THE AREA OF BATALIK IN THE POCKETS OF INTRUSION HAS SUFFERED 70 ALL RANKS KILLED -- SEVEN ZERO. /// END ACT /// HEAVY ARTILLERY SHELLING ALSO CONTINUES ALL ALONG THE LINE OF CONTROL WHICH DIVIDES KASHMIR BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. MEANWHILE DIPLOMATIC MOVES ARE ON TO DEFUSE THE CRISIS BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS. U-S ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE GIBSON LANPHER WILL BRIEF INDIAN OFFICIALS SUNDAY ON TALKS HELD IN RECENT DAYS WITH PAKISTAN ON THE KASHMIR CONFLICT. MR. LANPHER COMES TO NEW DELHI FROM ISLAMABAD, WHERE HE AND A SENIOR U-S GENERAL, ANTHONY ZINNI, MET THE PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER AND SENIOR MILITARY COMMANDERS. THE UNITED STATES IS URGING ISLAMABAD TO WITHDRAW INFILTRATORS FROM INDIAN KASHMIR. INDIA IS ALSO COUNTING ON INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE TO PERSUADE PAKISTAN TO PULL BACK THE INTRUDERS. LATE FRIDAY, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE HELD CONSULTATIONS WITH SENIOR CABINET MINISTERS TO DISCUSS THE KASHMIR CONFLICT. // OPT // THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWSPAPER SAYS THE CABINET DISCUSSED A PROPOSAL THAT INDIAN FORCES WOULD ALLOW THE INTRUDERS TO GO BACK TO PAKISTANI KASHMIR WITHIN A FIXED TIME FRAME. OFFICIALS IN NEW DELHI SAY THEY ARE NOT AWARE OF THE PROPOSAL. // END OPT // MEANWHILE, FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN R.S. JASSAL IS CHARGING THE PAKISTANI ARMY IS CLOSELY INVOLVED WITH MUSLIM MILITANTS IN THE KARGIL OPERATION. /// JASSAL ACT /// THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE MEMBERS OF THE PAKISTAN ARMED FORCES AND CADRES OF EXTREMIST GROUPS HAS BLURRED, AND ONE COULD EVEN SAY THE IDENTITY OF THE TWO HAS MERGED IN ONE. /// END ACT /// PAKISTAN DENIES INDIAN ALLEGATIONS THAT IT IS SUPPORTING MUSLIM MILITANTS IN KASHMIR, AND SAYS THE GUERRILLAS ARE KASHMIRI SEPARATISTS OVER WHOM IT HAS NO CONTROL. (SIGNED) NEB/AP/WTW 26-Jun-99 9:28 AM EDT (1328 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .