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DATE=7/21/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251989 TITLE=INDIA / KASHMIR (L ONLY) BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: MILITARY COMMANDERS IN NEW DELHI SAY THAT ALTHOUGH SOME ISLAMIC FIGHTERS STILL REMAIN IN INDIAN TERRITORY, INDIAN TROOPS HAVE WON A DIFFICULT VICTORY IN KASHMIR. FROM NEW DELHI, ANJANA PASRICHA HAS THIS REPORT. TEXT: OFFICIALS IN NEW DELHI SAY INDIAN SOLDIERS HAVE FIRED ROCKET LAUNCHERS AND OPENED HEAVY ARTILLERY FIRE ON ABOUT 100 PAKISTANI-BACKED TROOPS HOLDING ON TO THREE MOUNTAIN PEAKS IN INDIAN KASHMIR. MAJOR GENERAL H.M. KHANNA, COMMANDER OF INDIA'S NORTHERN FORCES, SAYS MOST INDIAN TERRITORY HAS BEEN VACATED, AND THESE FIGHTERS ARE NOT A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE 10-DAY TRUCE. /// INSERT KHANNA ACT /// THEY ARE NOT OF ANY NERVE-SHATTERING TACTICAL RELEVANCE, BUT THE FACT REMAINS THEY ARE ON OUR SIDE OF THE L.C. (LINE OF CONTROL) AND WE WILL HAVE TO PUSH THEM OFF IF THEY DON'T WITHDRAW BY THEMSELVES. /// END ACT /// THE DEADLINE FOR FIGHTERS TO WITHDRAW ENDED SATURDAY. INDIA OPENED FIRE FOR THE FIRST TIME TUESDAY ON THE LINGERING INTRUDERS. MAJOR GENERAL KHANNA SAYS THE ARMY WILL STAY ON HIGH ALERT AS THOUSANDS OF INDIAN SOLDIERS CONTINUE TO PATROL THE KASHMIR MOUNTAINS. /// INSERT KHANNA ACT /// I THINK THE ARMY HAS LEARNT A FEW LESSONS, THE MOST IMPORTANT AMONG THEM BEING NEVER TO LET OUR GUARD DOWN, KEEP SURVEILLANCE AT THE FOREFRONT. /// END ACT /// MEANWHILE, PAKISTAN HAS REACTED COOLLY TO AN INDIA'S OFFER OF PEACE TALKS. PAKISTAN'S FOREIGN SECRETARY, SHAMSHAD AHMAD, SAYS THE KASHMIR ISSUE CAN ONLY BE SOLVED WITH OUTSIDE MEDIATION AND WHAT HE CALLS "REAL DIALOGUE". INDIAN FOREIGN MINISTER JASWANT SINGH SAID TUESDAY NEW DELHI IS READY FOR A PEACE DIALOGUE WITH ISLAMABAD SINCE MOST ISLAMIC FIGHTERS HAVE LEFT KASHMIR. IN A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH INDIAN PRIME MINISTER ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE TUESDAY, PRESIDENT CLINTON ALSO STRESSED THAT BILATERAL TALKS WERE IMPORTANT FOR LONG-TERM PEACE IN THE REGION. BUT ANALYSTS SAY INDIA IS UNLIKELY TO OPEN A DIALOGUE WITH PAKISTAN UNTIL A NEW GOVERNMENT IS ELECTED IN OCTOBER. INDIA'S ELECTIONS BEGIN SEPTEMBER. (REST OPT) THE KASHMIR CONFLICT HAS ALREADY BECOME A SENSITIVE POLITICAL ISSUE IN INDIA AS MAINSTREAM PARTIES LAUNCH THEIR ELECTION CAMPAIGN. THE OPPOSITION CONGRESS PARTY IS ACCUSING THE HINDU NATIONALIST COALITION OF NOT PREVENTING THE INTRUSIONS BY ISLAMIC FIGHTERS. THE HINDU NATIONALIST COALITION IS CLAIMING CREDIT FOR A MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC VICTORY OVER PAKISTAN IN RESOLVING THE KASHMIR CRISIS. (SIGNED) NEB/AP/KL 21-Jul-99 8:22 AM EDT (1222 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .