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June 11, 1999
Pak troops in Kargil: ISI
Just 36 hours before Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz's planned visit to New Delhi, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence public relations directorate has admitted, quite surprisingly, the presence of Pakistani troops in the Kargil and Drass sectors.
Still more surprising was the directorate spokesman, Brigadier Rashid Qureshi's choice of Peshawar, instead of Islamabad, for making this admission before the media yesterday.
This was for the first time since the Kargil crisis has erupted that Brigadier Qureshi held a media conference outside the Pakistani capital.
A BBC correspondent quoted the spokesman as saying that the Pakistani army has established its positions on high points in the Kargil and Drass sectors from where it can block the Srinagar-Leh highway at will.
Brigadier Qureshi claimed that the Pakistani army suffered only 27 casualties as it was perching on high and advantageous positions.
The assertion gives credibility to reports that Pakistan is sending reinforcements to the Kargil region.
Also, there are reports that three trains, each having 13 bogies, transported troops and weapons from Kohat in the North Western Frontier Province to Sialkot.
Besides, movements of troops and stores have also been reported.
Only two days ago, Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Tariq Altaf reiterated his country's denial that the Pakistani army was involved in the infiltration.
He claimed that the three Pakistani soldiers, whose bodies India had handed over to Pakistan, were killed in an ambush by the Indian troops in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Urdu daily Jang last month reported that the Pakistani troops had captured many posts in the Kargil region to cut off India's road-link to Siachen.
But when New Delhi resorted to air strikes, Islamabad flatly denied involvement in the infiltration.
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