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June 7, 1999
J&K CM, governor to visit Kargil today
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
The Indian Army is all set to mount a major offensive in the Drass sector and Mushko valley to evict the Pakistan-backed intruders who have taken positions on the snow-clad mountains overlooking the Srinagar-Kargil highway.
Sources said all preparations had been completed for the crucial phase of the operations. It was for this reason that the Indian Air Force had suspended its air strikes for a day on Saturday, enabling the ground troops to move closer to their targets.
The sources said that the Drass sector and Mushko valley were the worst-affected. "All efforts will be made to evict them from their present positions at the earliest,'' they said.
They said that the authorities were keen on opening the highway for civilian traffic as the state administration wants to rush supplies to the Ladakh region at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Pakistani troops continued shelling the Drass and Kargil sectors.
Attempts were made by the intruders at the weekend to cause damage to Iqbal bridge, a vital link connecting Kargil with the Kashmir valley. Pakistan had rained shells on the bridge, sources said. However, there were no casualties.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and Governor Girish Chandra Saxena are flying to Leh today to take stock of the situation.
He is also scheduled to visit Kargil.
Sources said that Dr Abdullah would visit the areas where the migrants of Drass, Kargil and other sectors have taken shelter.
He would meet senior army officers before returning to Srinagar.
This is his first visit to the Ladakh region after the IAF air strikes had begun.
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