News

DATE=5/27/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-249888 TITLE=PAKISTAN - Q & A WITH SCOTT ANGER BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE PAKISTANI MILITARY HAS FLOWN A GROUP OF JOURNALISTS TO THE REGION NEAR THE LINE OF CONTROL (L-O-C) -- WHICH DIVIDES THE INDIAN AND PAKISTANI PARTS OF KASHMIR -- TO VIEW THE WRECKAGE OF THE INDIAN PLANES THAT WERE SHOT DOWN. VOA CORRESPONDENT SCOTT ANGER HAS TRAVELED TO THE MOUNTAINOUS REGION. AYAZ GUL IN ISLAMABAD HAS DONE A Q&A WITH SCOTT ANGER. HERE IS THE TRANSCRIPT: Q: WHAT IS THE CONDITION OF THE INDIAN PILOT WHO WAS CAPTURED BY THE PAKISTANI TROOPS ? A: HIS CONDITION IS NOT KNOWN AT THIS TIME, BUT WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT HE IS ALIVE. THE PAKISTANI ARMY SAYS WE WILL BE TAKEN TO SEE THE CAPTURED PILOT EARLY FRIDAY MORNING AND THE MILITARY WILL ALSO TAKE US TO THE WRECKAGE SITE, WHICH REPORTEDLY IS IN VERY ROUGH TERRAIN. Q: HOW WERE THE INDIAN PLANES BROUGHT DOWN? THE PAKISTAN ARMY SAYS BOTH INDIAN MIGS WERE BROUGHT DOWN BY SURFACE TO AIR MISSILES WHICH WERE FIRED FROM THE PAKISTANI SIDE OF THE LINE OF CONTROL (IN KASHMIR). THE INCIDENT DOES THREATEN TO ESCALATE AN ALREADY TENSE SITUATION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. Q: IS THERE ANY MILITARY ACTIVITY WHERE YOU ARE NOW? A: YES, HERE IN SKARDU (AT A HEIGHT OF OVER 17-HUNDRED METERS), WHICH IS ABOUT 130 KILOMETERS NORTH OF THE REGION WHERE THE INDIAN AIRSTRIKES HAVE TAKEN PLACE. A NUMBER OF TROOPS HAVE BEEN SEEN LOADING SUPPLIES IN THE TRUCKS AND THE MILITARY AIRBASE HERE IS ACTIVE WITH THE HELICOPTER TRAFFIC AND THE PAKISTAN ARMY REMAINS ON HIGH ALERT HERE AND PAKISTAN HAS CALLED FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDIATION TO DEFUSE THE SITUATION. NEB/KL 27-May-99 1:59 PM EDT (1759 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .