January 2000 News

Kashmir fighting may worsen: Pakistan press

24 January 2000
The Times of India

ISLAMABAD: New fighting between Pakistan and India in Jammu and Kashmir could escalate into a more serious conflict, Pakistani newspapers warned Monday.

In one of the worst confrontations in a year, 17 Pakistani and two Indian soldiers were killed late Friday on the Line of Control. Islamabad claimed only two of its soldiers were killed and another five were missing, and blamed the attack on India.

``The shadows of war are lengthening in the wake of the latest violation of the Line of Control by Indian troops,'' The News daily said in an editorial. ``At this moment a catastrophic confrontation seems a real possibility,'' the widely-respected newspaper said.

``The presence of nuclear weapons warrants prudence and restraint as this factor has changed altogether the degree and dimension of the danger the LoC represents,'' the paper said.

Another major newspaper, The Nation, said Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf had a major challenge on his hands. The paper warned the Pakistan army may be distracted from military defence by the business of running the country.

``Even if it is not being divided to a degree that would detract from its fighting capacity, it still remains a distraction that one should try to do without,'' the paper said.

Referring to Kashmir issue the paper said ``what the US, or for that matter any other major player on the international scene, is going to do about it is not clear.'' (AFP)


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