News

DATE=6/27/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251159 TITLE=PAK/CHINA/KASHMIR (L) BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF IS LEAVING ISLAMABAD (SUNDAY, 1900 GMT) FOR A WEEK-LONG VISIT TO CLOSE-ALLY CHINA, TO CONSULT CHINESE LEADERS ABOUT PAKISTAN'S CURRENT CONFLICT WITH INDIA OVER THE KASHMIR REGION. AYAZ GUL REPORTS FROM ISLAMABAD. TEXT: PRIME MINISTER SHARIF'S VISIT TO CHINA IS PART OF PAKISTAN'S DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TO END ITS MOST-SERIOUS MILITARY STANDOFF WITH INDIA IN 30-YEARS. AN OFFICIAL PAKISTANI STATEMENT SAYS MR. SHARIF WILL INFORM CHINESE LEADERS THE DIALOGUE PROCESS WITH INDIA IS BEING DERAILED BY WHAT IT SAYS IS INDIA'S MILITARY ACTION IN KASHMIR. A PAKISTAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN -- TARIQ ALTAF -- SAYS MR. SHARIF'S VISIT TO BEIJING IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR PAKISTAN AT A TIME WHEN TENSION ON ITS BORDER WITH INDIA IS GROWING. /// TARIQ SPOKESMAN ACT /// THE PRIME MINISTER WOULD CERTAINLY BRIEF HIS CHINESE GOVERNMENT AND THE CHINESE LEADERSHIP ON THE SITUATION HERE, AND OUR POINT OF VIEW AND OUR DESIRE FOR DE-ESCALATION AND MUTUAL RESPECT FOR THE LINE OF CONTROL (IN KASHMIR) BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. WE HAVE A TRADITION OF CLOSE CONSULTATION AND COOPERATION, PARTICULARLY IN TIMES OF STRESS. /// END ACT /// PAKISTANI OFFICIALS SAY MR. SHARIF'S TALKS IN BEIJING WILL HAVE A "SPECIAL FOCUS" ON SECURITY, PEACE, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE REGION. THE ESCALATION BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN RESULTS FROM AN INDIAN MILITARY CAMPAIGN IN KASHMIR, WHICH NEW DELHI SAYS IS AIMED AT DISLODGING PAKISTANI-BACKED GUERRILLAS FROM KEY MOUNTAIN-HEIGHTS IN THE DISPUTED REGION. THE PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER'S VISIT TO CHINA IS TAKING PLACE AMID U-S-LED WESTERN PRESSURE ON PAKISTAN TO ENSURE THE GUERRILLAS' WITHDRAWAL. PAKISTAN INSISTS IT HAS NO CONTROL OVER THE INSURGENTS AND THEY ARE KASHMIRI SEPARATISTS. PAKISTAN IS SEEKING INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR ITS DEMAND THE CRISIS OVER KASHMIR BE SETTLED THROUGH BILATERAL TALKS OR THIRD-PARTY MEDIATION, BUT INDIA OPPOSES INTERNATIONALIZING THE DISPUTE. NEW DELHI ALSO HAS RULED OUT TALKS TO DEFUSE THE CURRENT CRISIS UNTIL THE INSURGENTS PULL BACK BEHIND "THE LINE OF CONTROL" WHICH DIVIDES KASHMIR. THE DISPUTE OVER KASHMIR HAS CAUSED TWO OF THE THREE WARS BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN SINCE BOTH GAINED INDEPENDENCE FROM BRITAIN IN 1947. (SIGNED) NEB/AG/TMD/RAE 27-Jun-99 10:54 AM EDT (1454 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .