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



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Monday, June 14, 1999 Published at 22:27 GMT 23:27 UK


World: South Asia

Hand-to-hand fighting in Kashmir

India continued its assault on enemy positions despite losses

India says its troops have regained strategic positions in Indian-administered Kashmir following fierce hand-to-hand fighting.

Kashmir Conflict
As the conflict intensified, US President Bill Clinton called for talks with Pakistan to resume.

The Indian gains came at a cost, with 17 Indian soldiers reported killed. The Indians say that the bodies of several Pakistan soldiers were also found.

There has been no independent confirmation of the Indian account.


BBC's Mike Wooldridge: Future of conflict seems as uncertain as ever
Defence sources told reporters that India had captured the 4,500-metre Tololing peak, which overlooks the strategic National Highway 1A, linking Srinagar and Leh.

Reports say another post, overlooking the town of Drass, was also captured.

(Click here to see a map of the area)

India has suffered heavy casualties in the ongoing conflict, a military spokesman revealed.

"Our figure is 103 killed, 242 wounded and eight missing," Indian Army spokesman Colonel Bikram Singh told reporters at a briefing.

He said that 267 Pakistani soldiers had been killed.

Clinton urges diplomacy

President Clinton has joined the international effort to persuade India and Pakistan to negotiate an end to the fighting.


[ image: Vajpayee: 'India is prepared for any eventuality']
Vajpayee: 'India is prepared for any eventuality'
Mr Clinton spent 10 minutes speaking by telephone to the Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, urging him to resume direct talks with Pakistan, and calling for restraint in the fighting.

Mr Clinton is expected to speak directly to the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, who has already offered direct talks with Delhi.

Mr Sharif said on Monday the crisis should be resolved through talks, but that Pakistan was also ready to defend its security interests.

Mr Vajpayee said India would only hold talks after Pakistan withdrew its forces.

"For the last 22 years there was peace on this border. You have committed this aggression. You withdraw your troops and then we are prepared for talks," he said.

Talks with China


The BBC's Mike Wooldridge: "Jaswant Singh's visit will be closely watched in Pakistan"
Meanwhile, India's External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh has been holding high-level talks in Beijing in the first visit to China in eight years by an Indian foreign minister.

Mr Singh met Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan on Monday evening, and is to meet Premier Zhu Rongji on Tuesday.

His visit closely follows that of Pakistani Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz to Beijing and Delhi, in efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict.



[ 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

14 Jun 99 | South Asia
Analysis: China's balancing act

14 Jun 99 | South Asia
India 'using chemical weapons' in Kashmir

13 Jun 99 | South Asia
No deal at Kashmir talks

11 Jun 99 | South Asia
Analysis: A dialogue of the deaf?

10 Jun 99 | South Asia
Kashmir: Was India caught out?

10 Jun 99 | South Asia
India outraged at 'mutilated soldiers'

10 Jun 99 | South Asia
Analysis: China stays on the sidelines





Internet Links


UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan

Chemical Weapons Convention

Indian Ministry of External Affairs

Pakistan Government


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