News

DATE=7/12/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251684 TITLE=PAK / INDIA (L-ONLY) BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: WITH THE FIGHTING IN KASHMIR APPARENTLY OVER, PAKISTAN PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF HAS CALLED FOR A SUMMIT WITH INDIAN PRIME MINISTER ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE TO IMPROVE RELATIONS AND AVERT THE DANGERS OF WAR. AYAZ GUL REPORTS FROM ISLAMABAD. TEXT: ADDRESSING HIS NATION ON TELEVISION (MONDAY), MR. SHARIF CALLED FOR A PEACEFUL SOLUTION OF THE KASHMIR DISPUTE WITH INDIA. //SHARIF ACT IN URDU, IN AND FADE UNDER// PRIME MINISTER SHARIF SAYS IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF BOTH PAKISTAN AND INDIA TO BEGIN PEACE TALKS TO SAVE THE PEOPLE OF THE TWO COUNTRIES FROM THE DANGERS OF WAR. IN HIS SPEECH, MR. SHARIF ALSO DEFENDED HIS AGREEMENT WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON EARLIER THIS MONTH TO PERSUADE THE ISLAMIC GUERRILLAS TO LEAVE INDIAN KASHMIR, SAYING THE GUERRILLAS HAVE SUCCEEDED IN FOCUSING WORLD ATTENTION ON THE KASHMIR ISSUE. THE PRIME MINISTER MAINTAINS, BY AGREEING TO WITHDRAW FROM THEIR POSITIONS, THE ISLAMIC GUERRILLAS HAVE CREATED A NEW OPPORTUNITY TO SOLVE THE KASHMIR DISPUTE THROUGH BILATERAL TALKS. PAKISTAN'S OPPOSITION PARTIES AND SOME RELIGIOUS GROUPS HAVE CONDEMNED THE DEAL BETWEEN MR. SHARIF AND PRESIDENT CLINTON AS A BETRAYAL OF THE KASHMIR CAUSE. BUT IN HIS NATIONWIDE ADDRESS, MR. SHARIF SAYS PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS PROMISED TO TAKE A PERSONAL INTEREST IN FINDING A SOLUTION TO THE NEARLY 50-YEAR-OLD DISPUTE, WHICH HAS LED TO TWO WARS BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN. THE RECENT ROUND OF HOSTILITIES IN KASHMIR BEGAN IN EARLY MAY. INDIA SAYS HUNDREDS OF ISLAMIC GUERRILLAS, BACKED BY PAKISTANI TROOPS, SEIZED MOUNTAIN POSITION ON INDIAN SIDE OF KASHMIR. NEW DEHLI LAUNCHED AIR AND GROUND ATTACKS IN MAY TO EXPEL THE INVADERS FROM ITS TERRITORY. PAKISTAN DENIES THAT ITS ARMY WAS INVOLVED IN THE CONFLICT. IT SAYS THE FIGHTERS ARE REBELS FIGHTING AGAINST THE INDIAN RULE IN KASHMIR. SUNDAY, PAKISTAN AND INDIA AGREED ON A PLAN TO CEASE HOSTILITIES AND TO ALLOW THE INFILTRATORS TO PULL OUT FROM THEIR POSITIONS IN INDIAN KASHMIR. THIS APPEARS TO HAVE DEFUSED THE WORST MILITARY STANDOFF BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS IN THREE DECADES. (SIGNED) NEB/AG/RRM 12-Jul-99 5:05 PM EDT (2105 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .