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DATE=7/1/99 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT NUMBER=5-43782 TITLE=KASHMIR CONFLICT BYLINE=AKRAM GIZABI DATELINE=WASHINGTON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THERE HAS BEEN A SERIOUS ESCALATION OF THE KASHMIR CONFLICT DURING THE PAST SIX WEEKS. INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE USED HEAVY ARTILLERY IN SHELLING EACH OTHER'S POSITIONS. SINCE MAY 25TH, THE INDIAN AIR FORCE HAS STARTED A BOMBING CAMPAIGN TO DISLODGE WHAT IT CALLS PAKISTAN-BACKED INFILTRATORS IN THE INDIAN-CONTROLLED KASHMIR. V-O-A'S AKRAM GIZABI HAS TALKED TO VARIOUS SIDES IN THE CONFLICT. (HIS FIRST REPORT WAS A BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF KASHMIR. IN THIS SECOND PART HE LOOKS AT THE MILITARY SITUATION.) TEXT: IN A PREDOMINANTLY HINDU COUNTRY, JAMMU AND KASHMIR IS THE ONLY INDIAN STATE WITH A MAJORITY POPULATION OF MUSLIMS. INDIA AND PAKISTAN NEVER ACCEPTED THE DOMINATION OF THE OTHER OVER THE TWO DIVIDED PARTS. EACH SIDE CALLS THE OTHER OCCUPIED KASHMIR. THE TWO COUNTRIES HAVE GONE TO WAR TWICE OVER KASHMIR, IN 1948 AND AGAIN IN 1965, WITH LITTLE CHANGE IN THE LINE OF CONTROL ESTABLISHED IN 1949. THE LONG-SIMMERING STRUGGLE FOR KASHMIR ACTIVELY STARTED IN 1989, WHEN THE PEOPLE OF KASHMIR TOOK ARMS AGAINST THE INDIAN AUTHORITIES. SAYED ALI GAILANI, OF THE ALL PARTIES HURRYYAT CONFERENCE, SAYS FOR A LONG TIME THE PEOPLE OF KASHMIR WORKED FOR THEIR RIGHTS THROUGH PEACEFUL MEANS. /// FIRST GAILANI ACT /// BUT, UNFORTUNATELY, INDIA DENIED ALWAYS THOSE PEACEFUL MEANS AND THEN THE PEOPLE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR STARTED THE ARMED STRUGGLE TO ACHIEVE THIS OBJECTIVE RIGHT FROM 1989. THAT ARMED STRUGGLE HAS CONTINUED TO DATE AND INDIA IS FIGHTING AGAINST THOSE FREEDOM FIGHTERS WITH HEAVY MIGHT AND WITH (AN) IRON HAND. THEY ARE USING ALL THE BRUTAL MEANS TO CRUSH THIS FREEDOM MOVEMENT. /// END ACT /// HOWEVER, INDIA MAINTAINS THAT IT IS PAKISTAN THAT FOMENTS UNREST IN INDIAN-CONTROLLED KASHMIR. ACCORDING TO INDIA, THE CAUSE OF THE LATEST ERUPTION OF HOSTILITIES BETWEEN THE TWO SOUTH ASIAN NUCLEAR STATES IS THE PRESENCE OF PAKISTANI-BACKED INFILTRATORS, WHO HAVE OCCUPIED SOME OF THE INHOSPITABLE HIGHLANDS IN THE FRONTIER DISTRICT. INDIA CLAIMS THE FOREIGN ELEMENTS, INCLUDING BATTLE HARDY AFGHANS TRAINED AND HELPED BY PAKISTAN, HAVE INFILTRATED THE BORDER AND HAVE ENTRENCHED IN THE HILLS OVERLOOKING A MAJOR HIGHWAY. THE INDIAN AMBASSADOR TO WASHINGTON, NARESH CHANDRA, SAYS THE EXTREMISTS ARE ARMED, SENT, AND LOGISTICALLY SUPPORTED BY THE PAKISTANI ARMY. HE SAYS COMMUNICATIONS INTERCEPTED IN THE INDIAN-CONTROLLED KASHMIR SHOW THE INFILTRATORS ARE HIGH RANKING PAKISTANI ARMY OFFICERS. /// CHANDRA ACT /// I DON'T THINK PEOPLE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCE IN SUCH MATTERS HAVE ANY DOUBT THAT THEY ARE A MIX OF PAKISTANI REGULARS AND BATTLE-TESTED, TRAINED MERCENARIES. /// END ACT /// AMBASSADOR CHANDRA SAYS THAT THE ALLEGED INFILTRATORS ARE THE "BATTLE TESTED" TALEBAN WHO WERE TRAINED BY PAKISTAN TO FIGHT IN KASHMIR. PAKISTAN'S AMBASSADOR IN WASHINGTON, RIAZ KHOKHAR, CONSIDERS THE INDIAN CHARGES TO BE THE USUAL PROPAGANDA THAT ACCORDING TO HIM INDIA HAS CARRIED OUT FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS. HE SAYS PAKISTAN'S ONLY INVOLVEMENT IS IN DEFENSE OF ITS POSITIONS AGAINST THE INDIAN FORCES. /// KHOKHAR ACT /// OF COURSE, WE ARE INVOLVED ONLY IN THE SENSE THAT THE INDIAN AIRCRAFT HAVE VIOLATED PAKISTAN'S AIRSPACE AND HAVE VIOLATED AZAD KASHMIR. /// END ACT /// ARE FIGHTERS FROM PAKISTAN, OR AS INDIA CALLS THEM, MERCENARIES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES, INVOLVED IN THE CURRENT KASHMIR CONFLICT? HABIBULLAH SHAH IS A SPOKESPERSON FOR HARARKATUL JEHAD-E-ISLAMI, ONE OF THE MILITANT GROUPS BASED IN PAKISTAN WHICH IS ACTIVE IN THE REGION. /// OPT /// HE SAYS HIS GROUP'S MEMBERS IN KASHMIR ARE NOT FIGHTERS BUT MUJAHED (HOLY WARRIORS). THE TERM EXISTED BEFORE IN ISLAMIC CULTURE BUT WAS POPULARIZED BY AFGHAN FREEDOM FIGHTERS AGAINST THE FORMER SOVIET UNION. // END OPT /// /// SHAH ACT IN URDU /// HE SAYS, WE ARE HERE (IN KASHMIR) FOR ABOUT THREE MONTHS. BUT OUR INVOLVEMENT IN KASHMIR HAS BEEN EVER SINCE OUR COMING TO BEING AS A GROUP. MR. SHAH SAYS THAT HIS GROUP IS INVOLVED IN KASHMIR ON THE BASIS OF IDEOLOGY AND DOCTRINE, TO WAGE WAR AGAINST WHAT HE CALLS THE OCCUPATION, SUPPRESSION, AND OPPRESSION OF THE KASHMIRI PEOPLE BY THE INDIAN ARMY. MR. SHAH CONSIDERS FIGHTING IN KASHMIR A RELIGIOUS DUTY, NOT A WAR OF ATTRITION OR A PROXY WAR AGAINST INDIA. HE THEREFORE, DENIES ANY ASSISTANCE FROM THE PAKISTANI ARMY OTHER THAN MORAL SUPPORT. THIS SENTIMENT IS ECHOED BY ANOTHER ISLAMIC RADICAL GROUP, WHICH IS ALSO BASED IN PAKISTAN AND FIGHTING IN KASHMIR -- THE LASHKAR-E-TAYABA (L-T). THE L-T SPOKESMAN IN PAKISTAN IS YAHYA MUJAHED. /// MUJAHED ACT IN URDU /// HE SAYS, IN KASHMIR, WE ARE HELPING THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE THE VICTIMS OF INDIAN MILITARY FORCES OPPRESSION. HE SAYS, THE INDIAN ARMY HAS CARRIED OUT A CRACKDOWN ALL OVER KASHMIR SO FROM THE PLATFORM OF L-T, WE ARE CONFRONTING THE INDIAN ARMY ON EVERY FRONT. HE SAYS, OUR MUJAHEDDIN ARE BUSY FIGHTING IN EACH AND EVERY DISTRICT OF (OCCUPIED) KASHMIR. WE ARE ALSO ACTIVE ON THE RECENTLY OPENED FRONTS OF KARGIL, DRAS AND BATALIK. MR. MUJAHED SAYS THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE FIGHTING IN KASHMIR ARE THE KASHMIRIS THEMSELVES, ALTHOUGH HE ADMITS THERE ARE "ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE" UNDER THE L-T UMBRELLA. /// BEGIN OPT /// CONCERNING THE RECRUITMENT OF THE PEOPLE TO FIGHT IN THE WAR, SAYED ALI GAILANI (OF THE ALL PARTIES HURRYYAT CONFERENCE) SAYS THE WIDESPREAD ABUSE AND VIOLATION OF BASIC RIGHTS OF THE KASHMIR PEOPLE COMPEL THE YOUNG KASHMIRIS TO FIGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS. HE SAYS THEIRS IS A FIGHT AGAINST THE FORCES OF OCCUPATION. /// SECOND GAILANI ACT /// THEY ARE DEFINITELY OCCUPYING FORCES, THEY ARE NOT HAVING ANY LEGITIMACY AND THEY ARE NOT HAVING ANY CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL RIGHTS TO BE THERE. THEY ARE THERE ON THE BASIS OF FORCE, ON THE BASIS OF GUNS, ON THE BASIS OF MIGHT AND THE PEOPLE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR ARE NOT ACCEPTING THEIR EXISTENCE THERE. /// END ACT /// /// END OPT /// SOME KASHMIRIS, LIKE GHULAM NABI FAI OF THE KASHMIRI-AMERICAN COUNCIL, SAY THAT IT IS NOT ONLY INDIAN TROOPS THAT ARE NOT WELCOME IN THE TERRITORY. HE SAYS NO FOREIGN FORCES ARE WANTED. /// FAI ACT /// WE KASHMIRIS DO NOT WANT ANY ALIEN FORCE TO BE IN KASHMIR, ANY ALIEN ARMY TO BE IN KASHMIR, WHETHER THAT IS INDIA, PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, OR SUDAN. WE WANT THE PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF THE ISSUE OF KASHMIR. /// END ACT /// IN MR. FAI'S VIEW, THERE IS NO MILITARY SOLUTION TO THE KASHMIR CONFLICT. (SIGNED) NEB/AG/LTD/GM 01-Jul-99 3:32 PM EDT (1932 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .