News

DATE=7/2/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251369 TITLE=PAK / INDIA /KASHMIR (L-ONLY) BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: PAKISTAN'S POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERSHIP MET FRIDAY TO RENEW ISLAMABAD'S CALL FOR A NEGOTIATED END TO THE CONFLICT WITH INDIA OVER KASHMIR. THE CONFRONTATION HAS LED TO FEARS OF AN ALL-OUT WAR BETWEEN THE WORLD'S NEWEST NUCLEAR POWERS. AYAZ GUL REPORTS FROM ISLAMABAD. TEXT: WITH MILITARY CONFRONTATION BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN GROWING, A KEY DEFENSE COMMITTEE OF THE PAKISTANI CABINET HAS EXPRESSED THE HOPE THAT INDIA WILL REALIZE THE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES OF A WIDER CONFLICT. AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT ISSUED AFTER A MEETING OF THE DEFENSE COMMITTEE, WHICH IS CHAIRED BY PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF, SAYS PAKISTAN DOES NOT WANT WAR WITH INDIA. BUT IT ADDS THAT PAKISTAN IS FULLY CAPABLE OF GIVING AN EFFECTIVE RESPONSE IF WAR IS IMPOSED ON IT. THE COMMITTEE, WHICH INCLUDES MR. SHARIF'S MILITARY CHIEFS, HAS RENEWED PAKISTAN'S CALL FOR A NEGOTIATED END TO THE CRISIS IN KASHMIR. IT ALSO ACCUSES INDIA OF FAILING TO RESPOND TO PREVIOUS PAKISTANI MOVES TO DEFUSE THE TENSION AND WANTS NEGOTIATIONS TO SETTLE THE DISPUTE OVER KASHMIR. INDIA, WHICH CONTENDS PAKISTANI FORCES ARE ACTIVELY SUPPORTING INFILTRATORS IN INDIAN KASHMIR, SAYS THERE CAN BE NO TALKS UNTIL PAKISTAN ENDS ITS INVOLVEMENT. ISLAMABAD SAYS IT HAS NO CONTROL OVER THE INFILTRATORS IN INDIAN TERRITORY. PAKISTANI OFFICIALS SAY THE GUERRILLA FIGHTERS INDIA IS TRYING TO FLUSH OUT (FROM THE KARGIL REGION) ARE KASHMIRI MUJAHEDIN [HOLY WARRIORS] SEEKING INDEPENDENCE FROM INDIA. PAKISTAN SAYS IT PROVIDES POLITICAL, MORAL AND DIPLOMATIC SUPPORT TO THE KASHMIRI GROUPS IN THEIR FIGHT FOR FREEDOM FROM INDIA -- BUT NOTHING MORE. THE DISPUTE OVER KASHMIR HAS ALREADY LED TO TWO WARS BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN. THE TWO RIVAL NATIONS ARE THE WORLD'S NEWEST NUCLEAR POWERS, WHICH HAS INCREASED FEARS THAT A CONVENTIONAL WAR BETWEEN THEM COULD ESCALATE TO A NUCLEAR EXCHANGE. (SIGNED) NEB/AG/LTD/WTW 02-Jul-99 3:10 PM EDT (1910 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .