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DATE=7/19/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251908 TITLE=INDIA/KASHMIR (L-O) BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: INDIA SAYS ITS TROOPS WILL MAINTAIN A YEAR-ROUND PRESENCE ON THE KASHMIR MOUNTAINS WHICH HAD BEEN CAPTURED BY ISLAMIC FIGHTERS. ANJANA PASRICHA REPORTS FROM NEW DELHI, INDIA'S ARMY CHIEF V-P MALIK VISITED KASHMIR (MONDAY) TO MEET INDIAN TROOPS. THE ARMY HAS ALSO BEGUN FOCUSING ATTENTION ON HOW TO SECURE THESE MOUNTAINS IN THE FUTURE. TEXT: INDIA'S DEFENSE MINISTER, GEORGE FERNANDES, SAYS THE HIGH MOUNTAINS WHERE INDIAN TROOPS BATTLED MUSLIM FIGHTERS WILL NOW BE MANNED THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. THIS INHOSPITABLE REGION HAS PEAKS UP TO FIVE-THOUSAND-METERS HIGH. IT WAS USUALLY ABANDONED IN THE COLD WINTER MONTHS WHEN TEMPERATURES FALL TO MINUS-60 DEGREES CELSIUS. BUT THIS YEAR, ISLAMIC FIGHTERS MOVED IN JUST BEFORE SUMMER, WHEN THE SNOWS BEGAN MELTING. DEFENSE SPOKESMAN COLONEL BIKRAM SINGH SAYS THE ARMY IS BUILDING PERMANENT POSTS TO PREVENT FURTHER INCURSIONS OF THIS NATURE. /// INSERT SINGH ACT /// WE ARE THINKING IN TERMS OF HOLDING CERTAIN POSITIONS. WE ARE GOING TO HOLD CERTAIN FEATURES DURING WINTER TOO. /// END SINGH ACT /// ENGINEERS ARE BLASTING MOUNTAINSIDES, AND BUILDING TRACKS TO STRATEGIC PEAKS THAT ARE BEING IDENTIFIED FOR YEAR-ROUND PATROLLING. NEW BUNKERS WILL BE BUILT. THE GUERRILLAS DUG DOZENS OF STONE BUNKERS IN THE AREA -- BUT INDIAN TROOPS SAY THESE WILL HAVE TO BE REDESIGNED BECAUSE THEY FACE INDIAN TERRITORY. SUPPLYING TROOPS IN THE WINTER MONTHS WILL BE A MAJOR CHALLENGE. HELICOPTERS CANNOT LAND IN THE DIFFICULT TERRAIN. SUPPLIES HAVE TO BE CARRIED BY PORTERS OR PONIES -- AND TROOPS WILL HAVE TO BE STOCKED BEFORE WINTER SETS IN. THE ARMY IS ALSO PLANNING ELECTRONIC MONITORING, WHICH COULD INCLUDE AIR RECONNAISSANCE, AND THE USE OF SATELLITES. THE "PIONEER" NEWSPAPER ESTIMATES THE YEAR-ROUND VIGIL COULD COST MORE THAN TWO-MILLION DOLLARS A DAY. INDIA'S MILITARY OFFENSIVE WILL PUSH UP DEFENSE SPENDING IN OTHER WAYS AS WELL. DEPLETED WEAPONS STOCKS HAVE TO BE REPLENISHED. MODERNIZATION PROJECTS NEGLECTED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS DECADE WILL AGAIN TOP THE NATIONAL AGENDA. DURING THE MILITARY OPERATION, THE ARMY SAID -- WE WILL FIGHT WITH WHAT WE HAVE -- BUT COMMANDERS ARE PRESSING FOR BETTER WEAPONS AND MORE EQUIPMENT DESIGNED FOR HIGH-ALTITUDE WARFARE. INDIA SHARES A 74O-KILOMETER BORDER WITH PAKISTAN IN KASHMIR, BUT THE FIGHTING WAS CONFINED TO A SERIES OF MOUNTAIN RIDGES ALONG 140-KILOMETERS. (SIGNED) NEB/AP/LTD/RAE 19-Jul-99 7:44 AM EDT (1144 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .