News

DATE=7/25/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=PAK-KASHMIR PROTEST (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-252128 BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Tens of thousands of Islamists have taken part in a rally (Sunday) in the Pakistani city of Lahore to condemn prime minister Nawaz Sharif for his decision to pull-back Muslim militants from Indian Kashmir. Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad. Text: this was the most significant street demonstration by Pakistan's Islamists since Pakistani- backed guerrillas pulled out of Indian territory in Kashmir a week ago. The anti-government rally, staged by Pakistan's main religious party,Jamaat-I-Islami, marched through the main streets of Lahore, prime minister Sharif's hometown. Several speakers at the huge rally called mr. Sharif a traitor and accused him of betraying the Kashmir cause by asking militants to leave the Indian side of the disputed region. The head of the Islamic party, Q-a-z-i hussain Ahmed, announced his party will organize more such anti- government protests unless Mr. Sharif steps down. Mr. Hussain and his party believes prime minister Sharif bowed to pressure from Washington when he agreed to meet in Washington with president Clinton, earlier this month on the Kashmir issue. The Pakistani government argues that the withdrawal agreement came only after president Clinton promised to take personal interest in settling the Kashmir dispute with India. The Muslim guerrillas' incursion into Indian Kashmir in early may raised military tensions between India and Pakistan to a point that threatened a full-scale war. The Kashmir dispute has led to two wars between India and Pakistan since the partition of British India in 1947. New Delhi controls two-thirds of Kashmir and Islamabad the rest. (signed) Neb/Ag/pt 25-Jul-1999 18:20 PM LOC (25-Jul-1999 2220 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .