News

DATE=9/3/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=PAKISTAN-INDIA (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-253428 BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Pakistan is releasing two Indian soldiers captured during a recent (last Monday) military offensive along the disputed border in the Kashmir region. Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad, Pakistan has asked the International Committee of the Red Cross to take custody of the two Indians. TEXT: A foreign ministry statement (Friday) says Pakistan has decided to immediately release the two Indian soldiers it says were captured during a failed attempt by India last Monday to seize territory on the Pakistani side of Kashmir. The Pakistani statement says Pakistan government has requested the I-C-R-C to make "appropriate" arrangements to receive the Indian soldiers and hand them over to New Delhi. The announcement comes a day after Pakistani authorities showed a videotape of the two Indians (identified as Ram Singh and Bajander Singh) as proof of Pakisan's allegation that India had launched a ground attack against a Pakistan military post (Shyok-Turtok area) in Kashmir. The area is close to Kargil, which was the scene of fierce fighting between Indian troops and Pakistani-backed Islamic rebels. India denies its forces have carried out any military offensive in recent days in Kashmir. It says the two Indian soldiers disappeared, along with four other colleagues, while on patrol along the "Line of Control" that divides Kashmir. A Pakistan military spokesman, Rashid Qureshi, on Thursday accused India of escalating border tensions in the Kashmir region. // QURESHI ACT // Indians have continued to attack (Pakistani) areas along the line of control (in Kashmir) despite Pakistan's best efforts to de-escalate. They also continue to deceive the world by not admitting their offensive designs. // END ACT // Meanwhile, Pakistan has asked the United Nations Security Council to support Islamabad's request for a U-N-sponsored investigation into the downing of a Pakistan naval aircraft by India in early August. Sixteen people were killed in the incident. Pakistan is also claiming 60-million dollars in compensation from India, a demand that India has already rejected. (SIGNED) NEB/AG 03-Sep-1999 11:54 AM EDT (03-Sep-1999 1554 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .