India-Pakistan: October 25, 1999


The new military government in Pakistan is pushing to clean up corruption, which may cause unrest given the vast number of Pakistanis involved in the corruption. While Pakistani troops have been pulled back from the Indian border, they remain on the Kashmiri border and today, for the first time since the coup in Pakistan, opened fire with artillery on Indian positions across the Line of Control. Three Indians were injured.

October 24; Aggressive patrolling by Indian troops in Kashmir resulted in twelve Moslem guerillas being killed, as well as one Indian soldier and two local civilians.

October 24; Pakistan has received the second batch of eight refurbished Mirage-III and Mirage-V fighters from France. The first batch of eight (out of a total of 40) was received before sales were suspended due to the clashes in Kashmir.--Stephen V Cole

October 23; A bomb went off in a market in the primarily Hindu city of Jammu in Kashmir. Some twenty people were injured. Pakistani troops completed their withdrawal from their border with India, but not from the Kashmir border.

October 22; Moslem separatists in Kashmir killed a father and teenage daughter on suspicion of being informers for the Indian police.

October 19; In a surprise move, Pakistan has offered to sell its Khalid tank to Turkey as a government-to-government sale, a desperate last-second bid for the Turkish tank contract that could be the largest sale of armored vehicles of the decade. The Khalid is unique to Pakistan but about half of its parts come from Chinese copies of Russian tanks and the 125mm gun is from the Ukraine.--Stephen V Cole

October 19; India has asked Israel to speed up deliveries of $150 million worth of previously-ordered weapons and has asked for quick negotiations on new programs worth that much or more to improve existing Indian weapons such as its tank force, which faces unanswered questions of effectiveness and reliability.--Stephen V Cole

October 18; Part of the problem India had in ejecting the Islamic intruders from Kashmir last summer was a fundamental inability to believe that there were that many guerrillas dug into impassable regions with weapons they could not possibly have moved there. Two battalions were ordered to eject rebels from the Tiger Hills and told to expect a three-day operation to round up a few dozen "Afghan" mercenaries. After three weeks of hard fighting against hundreds of dug-in guerrillas with 120mm mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, heavy anti-aircraft machineguns, and 122mm rockets, the two battalions had to be withdrawn from combat because they had suffered 12% casualties and their morale was broken. India is now stuck with the financial burden of maintaining even more troops in the region (nearly two entire divisions more than previously), and is running out of troops it can rotate into the area. Some second-line tank units are being sent to Kashmir as infantry.--Stephen V Cole


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