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Saturday, June 5, 1999 Published at 09:08 GMT 10:08 UK

World: South Asia

India: Bombing halted in Kashmir

Indian soldiers remain on alert in Kashmir

Kashmir Conflict
There has been a pause in Indian air force bombing raids in Kashmir against what India says are Pakistan-backed infiltrators, Indian military officials have said.

The move comes less than 24 hours after an Indian fighter pilot captured by Pakistani forces returned home to a hero's welcome.

David Willis in Delhi: A warm welcome and emotional family reunion in Delhi
Flight Lieutenant K Nachiketa was handed over to India's diplomatic mission in Islamabad after being released by the Pakistani authorities.

[ image: Flt Lt Nachiketa is back into India]
Flt Lt Nachiketa is back into India
He had been taken prisoner on 27 May after his MiG fighter came down close to the border between Indian- and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, described the release as a "goodwill" gesture aimed at reducing tensions between Pakistan and India.

Preparing for talks

On Friday, India strongly criticised remarks by Pakistani Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz that the Line of Control between the two countries in Kashmir is not clearly defined.

An Indian government statement accused Pakistan of "manufacturing a rationale for aggression".

Mr Aziz is due to travel to India next week for talks aimed at defusing the crisis over Kashmir and "prevention of further deterioration" in the situation there.

India says comments relating to the Line of Control (LoC) cannot be subjects for discussion.

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