News




DATE=5/26/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232795
TITLE=PAK KASHMIR (L)
BYLINE=MEREDITH BUEL
DATELINE=ISLAMABAD
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  THE PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTANI KASHMIR -- SULTAN MAHMOOD
CHAUDHRY -- SAYS DEFENSE COMMITTEES ARE BEING ORGANIZED ALONG THE
DISPUTED BORDER WITH INDIAN KASHMIR AND WEAPONS ARE BEING HANDED 
OUT TO CIVILIANS IN THE AREA.  V-O-A ISLAMABAD CORRESPONDENT 
MEREDITH BUEL REPORTS. 

TEXT:  THE TOP ELECTED OFFICIAL IN PAKISTANI KASHMIR -- SULTAN 
MAHMOOD CHAUDHRY -- SAYS TENSION IS VERY HIGH ALONG THE LINE OF 
CONTROL THAT SEPARATES INDIAN AND PAKISTANI KASHMIR.

MR. CHAUDHRY SAYS BECAUSE OF INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS AND A RECENT 
MASSACRE NEAR THE LINE OF CONTROL, PEOPLE FEAR FOR THEIR SAFETY.

                       // CHAUDHRY ACT //

         WE HAVE ORGANIZED VILLAGE DEFENSE COMMITTEES NEAR THE 
         CEASE FIRE LINE AND WE ARE ALSO GIVING WEAPONS TO THESE 
         DEFENSE COMMITTEES TO PROTECT THEMSELVES.

                          // END ACT //

MR. CHAUDHRY SAYS ABOUT 150 DEFENSE COMMITTEES ARE OPERATING AND 
ABOUT TWO-THOUSAND RIFLES HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED.  HE SAYS THE 
DEFENSE COMMITTEES ARE ALSO BEING GIVEN COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT.

LAST MONTH MORE THAN 20 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN BINDALA VILLAGE BY 
UNIDENTIFIED GUNMEN IN PAKISTANI KASHMIR.

BINDALA IS ABOUT 600-METERS FROM THE LINE OF CONTROL. ISLAMABAD 
ACCUSES INDIA OF BEING BEHIND SUCH VIOLENCE.  NEW DELHI DENIES 
TARGETING CIVILIANS IN THE DISPUTED REGION. 

SINCE INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS THE GOVERNMENT IN NEW DELHI HAS 
INDICATED IT WILL TAKE A HARDER LINE IN DEALING WITH THE KASHMIR 
DISPUTE.

MR. CHAUDHRY SAYS HE IS CONCERNED INDIA MAY TRY TO SOLVE THE 
KASHMIR ISSUE WITH MILITARY FORCE.  HE SAYS PAKISTAN IS JUSTIFIED
IN TESTING ITS OWN NUCLEAR DEVICE BECAUSE OF WHAT HE DESCRIBES AS
THE MILD INTERNATIONAL REACTION TO INDIA'S TESTS.  

                       // CHAUDHRY ACT //

         IT WAS A VERY MILD CONDEMNATION, EQUAL TO NOTHING.  THAT
         IS WHY I SAY PAKISTAN HAS FULL JUSTIFICATION TO GO 
         AHEAD.  THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE THE BALANCE OF 
         POWER SHOULD REMAIN AND THE DETERRENCE MUST BE THERE FOR
         THE SECURITY AND PEACE IN SOUTH ASIA. 

                          // END ACT //

INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE FOUGHT TWO WARS OVER KASHMIR, AND IT IS 
CONSIDERED A MAJOR FLASH POINT IN SOUTH ASIA.  NEW DELHI CONTROLS
ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF THE HIMALAYAN REGION, WHILE PAKISTAN CONTROLS
THE REST.  (SIGNED)

NEB/MB/LTD/MMK

26-May-98 9:23 AM EDT (1323 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.