According to APP, Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has expressed his willingness for unconditional talks with Pakistan in response to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif's offer to send his foreign Minister to India but said he is still to get a final communication from Islamabad on the matter.
This was stated by the Indian parliamentary Affairs Minister while briefing newsmen in New Delhi yesterday.
Meanwhile talking to newsmen in Islamabad Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz has said Pakistan has proposed dates for his visit to India for talks on finding ways of defusing tension at the Line of control.
He said the Pakistani High Commissioner in New Delhi is in touch with the Indian authorities to finalise the dates.
Britain has again urged India and Pakistan for restraint in their latest conflict over Kashmir.
A spokesman of the British Foreign office said in London that Foreign Secretary Robin Cook spoke on telephone with his Indian and Pakistani counterpart amid western fears that the border clashes between the two countries could spiral into a big war.
He said Mr. Cook urged both the sides not to escalate the conflict return to the process of dialogue..............
20/2100 HOURS OF 29-05-1999
The Prime Minister Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that the defence of the country is his top priority and declared that peace is our desire and not weakness.
He said this while responding the telephone calls from people all over the country in Islamabad Saturday morning.
Almost all the callers expressed firm resolve to defend the motherland at all costs and assured the Prime Minister that the whole nation was with him in this respect.
The Prime Minister passed on various orders and instructed his aides to collect details from the complainants and ensure implementation of his orders and instructions.
The Prime Minister attended about forty calls from all over the country and devoted ninety minutes for the purpose.
Most of the callers paid rich tributes to the Prime Minister for the bold steps he has taken during past two years and congratulated him for making Pakistan impregnable and expressed the hope that he would take similar steps towards economic uplift of the country.
The Prime Minister reciprocating the sentiments assured them that he would take revolutionary steps towards this direction as future of the motherland was linked with economic prosperity and self-reliance................
There has been exchange of artillery shelling today between Pakistan and Indian troops in Kargil-Drass sectors.
A military spokesman briefing newsmen in Islamabad Saturday afternoon, said there was less activity in Kargil-Drass sector as compared to yesterday. However, the Indian Airforce aircraft were seen flying at high altitude keeping away from the Pakistan side of the Line of Control.
He said Pakistan is closely monitoring the situation. The Indians have brought in more re-enforcement and the number of their troops in the Kargil-Drass sector seemed to be around 12,000, equivalent to an infantry division. They have also brought in 60 to 70 Indian Airforce planes gathered at the Srinagar base.
He said the main motive was to dislodge Pakistan from higher ground they held on their own side of the Line of Control.
He made it clear that Pakistan was determined to maintain its defence and Pakistani troops will never allow India to make any inroads into the Line of Control in Kargil-Drass sector or any other area.
The military spokesman refuted Indian claim that their troops in occupied Kashmir had captured a person named Sepoy Ayub.
He said Pakistan yesterday asked the Indian troops on the other side of the Line of Control to receive the dead body of Squadron Leader Ahuja who was killed when his MIG aircraft was downed on Pakistan side on Thursday. The body was handed over to the Indian troops with military honour.
The Federal Information Minister, Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed also present at the briefing said the events occurring in the Kargiol-Drass sector have proved that Pakistan was fully capable of defending its territorial integrity and sovereignty. He said Pakistan has also clearly demonstrated that it was a responsible member of international community who believed in peace and wanted to resolve all issues through peaceful means.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif called his Indian counterpart yesterday and told him that Pakistan was for peace and that the escalation is not in the interest of peace and security in the region.
The Prime Minister offered to send his Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz to India for talks to defuse tension and find ways to resolve the issues including the core problem of Kashmir. The Indian reaction is awaited, he added.
Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed observed that
the adventure by the Indian troops in the Kargil-Drass sector showed panic,
desperation and confusion in the Indian troops resulting from their failure
in suppressing the widespread, spontaneous and indigenous uprising of the
Kashmiri people against the Indian occupation. He said the Kashmiris have
legitimate right to seek fullfilment of the promise enshrined in the relevant
UN resolutions that they will be allowed to decide their
future in a democratic manner. He called on the international community specially the United Nations to engage itself for the implementation of Kashmir-related Resolutions.
According to APP, Indian Prime Minister Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee has expressed his willingness for unconditional talks with Pakistan in response to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif's offer to send his Foreign Minister to India but said he is still to get a final communication from Islamabad on the matter.
This was stated by the Indian Parliamentary Affairs Minister while briefing newsmen in New Delhi today.
Pakistan has welcomed an offer by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to host talks with India aimed at defusing tension over Kashmir.
Information Minister Mushahid Hussain Syed told the Al-Ahram in Islamabad that Pakistan is ready to take part in peace talks in Cairo on the basis of United Nations resolutions on Kashmir and the Lahore Declaration.
In occupied Kashmir, the Indian military
operation in Kargil has suffered a severe set back due to alarming rate
of desertions from the army, having no cause to fight, coupled with difficult
terrain and hostile weather, the Indian jawans are fleeing from their units
in sheer panic. Most of them who had gone home on leave have not returned
the Indian command in quandary. Shooting down of two sophisticated Indian aircraft by Pakistan ground artillery and helicopter by Mujahideen has demoralised the rank and file of Indian militancy.
Kashmir Media Service quoting report from Kargil said Mujahideen captured seven more military posts in the area.
According to reports from New Delhi, the demand by Indian politician of resignation of the Indian Defence Minister, George Fernandes and dismissal of the Indian government has gathered further momentum following successful actions by Kashmiri Mujahideen in Kargil area.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry has described the situation in Jammu and Kashmir as volatile and said it can lead to a disaster in South Asia.
Talking to a top official of the Norwegian Foreign Office in Oslo the AJK Prime Minister said it was absolutely necessary that the international community should intervene quickly and effectively.
He said India must be persuaded to allow the already stationed UN military observers group to function.