Thursday, June 3, 1999 Published at 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
World: South Asia
India continues Kashmir strikes
India has vowed to continue with strikes until the guerrillas are removed
India has launched a ninth day of air attacks along the Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir against groups of what it says are Pakistan-backed guerrillas.
But, with reports of hand-to-hand fighting taking place, they have vowed to continue with ground and air strikes until the guerrillas, who entered its territory from Pakistan, are evicted.
All India Radio said new advances had been made against the guerrillas and quoted a senior military officer as saying several important heights had been recaptured.
Firing across the LOC has also intensified and the Pakistani Government has described the situation there as dangerous and tense.
India has described the charge as "false and motivated."
As the fighting continues, entire villages near the LOC are being evacuated. Worst hit are the regions of Dras and Kargil, on the Indian side of the line, where the fighting has been heaviest.
India says the Pakistani Government is actively supporting the guerrillas, a charge repeatedly denied by Islamabad.
In a further sign of Indian anger, the government has banned cable operators from broadcasting Pakistani state television (PTV) because of what it calls its "malicious contents."
Local authorities have been told to enlist police help if necessary to implement the ban, which means that cable operators could be prosecuted for airing the channel.
Earlier, Mr Vajpayee said he was prepared to offer the guerrillas safe passage to Pakistan if they agreed to leave Indian territory. But the proposal has been dismissed by groups representing the guerrillas saying it would amount to an admission of defeat.
The Pakistani Foreign Minister, Sartaj Aziz, is planning to travel to India for talks on the crisis, but Indian officials say there is little to talk about whilst intruders remain on its territory.
Nonetheless Mr Aziz says he expects the visit to go ahead next week.
"We don't want to engage in a war with India," he said. "We have concluded that a military solution to Kashmir is not possible."
Meanwhile, the central government in Delhi has called a meeting of senior state law and order officials to discuss the security situation in the country.
It is thought the meeting will focus on the level of preparedness in each state in case the current conflict intensifies.
The Indian Government has already alerted state authorities to guard against the possibility of internal disturbances.
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