DATE=10/13/1999 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT TITLE=PAK POL - INDIA REACT NUMBER=5-44489 BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: News of Tuesday's military coup in Pakistan has sent a chill through the political establishment in India. India and Pakistan clashed earlier this year in the Kargil region of Kashmir but there were hopes in New Delhi that relations could improve once Indian Prime Minster Atal Behari Vajpayee formed his new government. VOA's Jim Teeple reports the coup in Pakistan is likely to raise tensions once again between Islamabad and New Delhi. Text: Just a few days ago, following his resounding victory in parliament elections, Atal Behari Vajpayee sounded optimistic about relations with Pakistan. Mr. Vajpayee said one of his top priorities would be to try and re-start the dialogue with Pakistan that has been suspended ever since fighting broke out in the Kargil region of Kashmir in May. Despite their considerable differences, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif enjoyed a personal chemistry. In February Mr. Vajpayee traveled to Pakistan on a bus, and the trip led to the Lahore Declaration, a statement of principles on improving relations between New Delhi and Islamabad. Relations between Pakistan's military and Mr. Vajpayee are not likely to be as cordial says Brahma Chellaney, a leading policy analyst in New Delhi, who is also a professor at the independent Center for Policy Research. // CHELLANEY ACTUALITY // The Pakistan military has never sought to build a friendly relationship with India. Whenever the military has held the reigns of power the relationship with India has suffered, and whenever Pakistan has had an elected civilian government that government has not been given the room by the military to develop better relations with India. // END ACTUALITY // India and Pakistan came close to war this year after Indian troops confronted infiltrators who had crossed into Indian territory in Kashmir from the Pakistani side of the border. India says the bulk of the infiltrators were Pakistani paramilitary forces supported by Islamic militants. Even though Nawaz Sharif agreed to work to withdraw the infiltrators, Pakistan never admitted involvement in the operation. The conflict lasted more than two months leaving thousands dead and tensions high between New Delhi and Islamabad. Last year both India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests, raising fears of nuclear proliferation, and an all-out arms race in the region. Brahma Chellaney of the Center for Policy Research says even though Pakistan's military is believed to favor a more confrontational approach with India over Kashmir, there are unlikely to be any immediate problems between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, or Nuclear issues. // CHELLANEY ACT // I do not see the ground situation changing along the line of control with Kashmir nor do I see this development impacting on the nuclear plans of either country because the Pakistan military has been in charge of the nuclear program in Pakistan and they have been calling the shots there right from the beginning. // END ACT / Brahma Chellaney says while there is unlikely to be any new confrontation between India and Pakistan as a result of the military coup -- relations between the two countries are likely to harden. Pakistan's military he says has been traditionally antagonistic towards India, and the new government in New Delhi will be reluctant to deal with a military regime or even an interim government that does not have a popular mandate. (Signed) neb/jlt/plm 13-Oct-1999 03:20 AM EDT (13-Oct-1999 0720 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .