Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

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.

Kashmir Conflict
Officials say weather conditions are atrocious and their troops are having to contend with snow more than a metre deep.

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.

The BBC's David Willis: "Unrelenting ground and air attacks"
"The air strikes are now a routine exercise and it will continue until the infiltrators and their weapons are neutralised in these occupied areas," a defence official in Srinigar told the Reuters news agency.

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.

(Click here to see a map of the area)

Villages evacuated

[ image: Entire villages are being evacuated from the battlezone]
Entire villages are being evacuated from the battlezone
On Wednesday, the Pakistani Government said three schoolchildren were killed by Indian mortar bombs landing in a border village on its side of the line.

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.

Nuclear madness

[ image: Indian nationalists have been staging anti-Pakistan protests]
Indian nationalists have been staging anti-Pakistan protests
On Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was quoted as saying he hoped Pakistan would not embark on what he called "the mad course" of exercising the nuclear option.

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."

Security meeting

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.

[ image:  ]

(click here to return)

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

03 Jun 99 | UK
Britons 'trapped in Kashmir'

02 Jun 99 | South Asia
Guerrillas reject Kashmir peace move

27 May 99 | South Asia
The balance of firepower

28 May 99 | South Asia
Who are the Kashmir militants?

26 May 99 | South Asia
India and Pakistan: Troubled Relations

Internet Links

Indian Government

Pakistan Government

UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Sharif: I'm innocent

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

From Sport
Saqlain stars in Aussie collapse

Pakistan fears Afghan exodus

Hindu-Buddhist conference in Nepal

Afghan clerics issue bin Laden fatwa

Culture awards at Asian festival

Gandhi pleads for husband's killer

UN condemns Afghan bombing

Gandhi prize for Bangladeshi