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DATE=6/29/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251214 TITLE=CHINA / PAKISTAN (L-O) BYLINE=ROGER WILKISON DATELINE=BEIJING CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF HAS DECIDED TO CUT SHORT HIS VISIT TO CHINA AND RETURN HOME TO DEAL WITH HIS COUNTRY'S DISPUTE WITH INDIA OVER KASHMIR. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ROGER WILKISON REPORTS MR. SHARIF WAS APPARENTLY UNABLE TO CONVINCE CHINA'S LEADERS TO FIRMLY SUPPORT PAKISTAN'S CALL FOR A NEGOTIATED FINAL SETTLEMENT OF THE HALF-CENTURY-OLD DISPUTE. TEXT: MR. SHARIF HAD ORIGINALLY PLANNED TO STAY IN CHINA UNTIL SATURDAY, BUT PAKISTANI DIPLOMATS IN BEIJING SAY HE IS GOING HOME EARLY BECAUSE OF THE SITUATION IN KASHMIR. FOR THE PAST MONTH, INDIA HAS BEEN TRYING TO EXPEL GUERRILLAS LODGED IN THE KASHMIRI HIGHLANDS ON ITS SIDE OF THE DE FACTO BORDER WITH PAKISTAN. INDIA CALLS THE INSURGENTS PAKISTANI-BACKED INFILTRATORS. PAKISTAN DESCRIBES THE GUERRILLAS AS KASHMIRI FREEDOM FIGHTERS. MR. SHARIF HELD SEPARATE MEETINGS TUESDAY IN BEIJING WITH PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN AND LI PENG --THE HEAD OF CHINA'S PARLIAMENT AND THE NUMBER TWO MAN IN THE COMMUNIST HIERARCHY. ON MONDAY, HE MET WITH PREMIER ZHU RONGJI. NEITHER SIDE DISCLOSED DETAILS OF THE TALKS. DIPLOMATS IN THE CHINESE CAPITAL SAY THE PAKISTANI LEADER SOUGHT CHINA'S SUPPORT FOR ISLAMABAD'S INSISTENCE THAT THE KASHMIR DISPUTE CAN ONLY BE SETTLED THROUGH A UNITED NATIONS-MANDATED PLEBISCITE IN THE REGION. PAKISTAN MAINTAINS SUCH A PLEBISCITE WOULD ALLOW THE MOSTLY MUSLIM KASHMIRIS TO CHOOSE WHETHER TO JOIN MAINLY HINDU INDIA OR ISLAMIC PAKISTAN. ALTHOUGH IT IS A CLOSE ALLY OF PAKISTAN AND HAS SUPPLIED THE ISLAMIC STATE WITH WEAPONS, CHINA HAS BEEN STUDIOUSLY NEUTRAL IN ISLAMABAD'S CURRENT CRISIS WITH INDIA OVER KASHMIR. CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN ZHANG QIYUE -- SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER TUESDAY -- REPEATED BEIJING'S PREVIOUS CALLS FOR BOTH SIDES TO WORK TOWARD A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT. /////INTERPRETER ACTUALITY///// WE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED OVER THIS SITUATION. WE BELIEVE THAT BOTH INDIA AND PAKISTAN ARE IMPORTANT COUNTRIES IN THIS REGION AND THEY BEAR IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR REGIONAL PEACE AND STABILITY. /////END ACTUALITY///// MS. ZHANG SAYS BOTH SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRIES SHOULD MAKE EFFORTS TO FURTHER AVOID AGGRAVATING THE SITUATION IN KASHMIR. DIPLOMATS IN BEIJING SAY THAT, DESPITE CHINA'S TRADITIONAL FRIENDSHIP WITH PAKISTAN AND RIVALRY WITH INDIA, CHINA IS WORRIED ABOUT A WAR ON ITS WESTERN BORDER INVOLVING TWO COUNTRIES THAT ARE NOW ARMED WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS. (SIGNED) NEB/RW/JO/KL 29-Jun-99 6:58 AM EDT (1058 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .