News

DATE=6/13/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-250594 TITLE=PAK/INDIA/KASHMIR (L-ONLY) BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: PAKISTAN PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF HAS TELEPHONED (SUNDAY) HIS INDIAN COUNTERPART IN AN EFFORT TO EASE GROWING TENSIONS OVER THE DISPUTED REGION OF KASHMIR. AYAZ GUL REPORTS FROM ISLAMABAD. TEXT: AN OFFICIAL PAKISTANI STATEMENT SAYS MR. SHARIF URGED INDIAN PRIME MINISTER -- ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE -- TO FIND MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE WAYS TO PREVENT THE REGION FROM DESCENDING INTO, WHAT MR. SHARIF CALLS -- CHAOS AND CONFLAGRATION. THE STATEMENT SAYS PRIME MINISTER SHARIF MADE THE TELEPHONE CALL AFTER RECEIVING A BRIEFING FROM HIS FOREIGN MINISTER -- SARTAJ AZIZ -- ON HIS MEETINGS IN NEW DELHI WITH INDIAN LEADERS. THE MEETINGS WERE AIMED AT DEFUSING THE ESCALATION ON THE KASHMIR BORDER, BUT THEY ENDED WITHOUT AGREEMENT. THIS HAS INCREASED INTERNATIONAL FEARS OF A WIDER CONFLICT BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN MR. SHARIF TOLD THE INDIAN PRIME MINISTER THE CRISIS IN KASHMIR NEEDS TO BE RESOLVED THROUGH DIALOGUE. HE SAYS BOTH INDIA AND PAKISTAN SHOULD MAKE EVERY EFFORT FOR DE-ESCALATION AND RETURN OF PEACE TO THE REGION. TENSIONS HAVE INCREASED IN THE DISPUTED REGION OF KASHMIR SINCE LATE LAST MONTH WHEN INDIA LAUNCHED AIR STRIKES TO DISLODGE WHAT IT SAYS ARE HUNDREDS OF PAKISTANI-BACKED INFILTRATORS WHO HAVE SEIZED KEY MOUNTAIN HEIGHTS IN INDIAN KASHMIR. PAKISTAN DENIES INVOLVEMENT WITH THE INFILTRATORS INDIA SAYS THE INFILTRATORS MUST WITHDRAW FROM INDIAN KASHMIR BEFORE BEGINNING A DIALOGUE ON HOW TO EASE THE LATEST TENSION IN KASHMIR. MEANWHILE, PAKISTAN'S MILITARY IS ACCUSING INDIA OF USING CHEMICAL SHELLS IN ARTILLERY ATTACKS ACROSS THE "LINE OF CONTROL=94" DIVIDING KASHMIR. A MILITARY SPOKESMAN DESCRIBES THE ALLEGED INDIAN ATTACKS ON PAKISTANI POSITIONS AS UNACCEPTABLE. HE SAYS PAKISTAN RESERVES THE RIGHT TO RETALIATE. INDIA HAS DENIED THE ACCUSATIONS ITS ARMY IS USING CHEMICAL SHELLS. PAKISTAN AND INDIA HAVE FOUGHT TWO WARS OVER KASHMIR AND THE RECENT MILITARY CONFRONTATION IS THE MOST SERIOUS DEVELOPMENT IN THE DISPUTED REGION FOR NEARLY 30-YEARS. (SIGNED) NEB/AG/RAE 13-Jun-99 2:52 PM EDT (1852 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .