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U.S. Resolution Condemns Pakistan

July 1, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Coming down firmly against Pakistan, a House committee approved a resolution Thursday demanding the immediate withdrawal of Islamic forces that have pushed into Indian territory in the disputed region of Kashmir.

One supporter praised India for its ``amazing restraint″ in responding to the crisis, even as Indian fighter jets and artillery struck the Islamic guerrillas that India said include Pakistani troops.

Opponents said the resolution was unbalanced, but they failed in efforts to insert a call for India to hold free elections in Kashmir.

``There is no doubt that Pakistan has acted in a provocative manner,″ said Rep. Doug Bereuter, R-Neb., chairman of the House International Relations subcommittee on Asia, which passed the resolution over the objections of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., who said it should also condemn India.

The full International Relations Committee passed the measure on a 20-5 vote a few hours later. Next it goes to the full house.

``This could spin out of control quickly,″ said Bereuter, who said the resolution was aimed at pressuring Pakistan into withdrawing support for the Islamic guerrilla forces that crossed the ``line of control″ set by a 1972 cease-fire agreement between the two South Asian powers, which now have nuclear weapons.

India claims Pakistan’s military is directing the incursion by Pakistani soldiers and Afghan mercenaries. Pakistan denies its military is involved except in retaliatory shelling of advancing Indian forces.

The resolution also calls upon the Clinton administration to oppose all nonhumanitarian lending to Pakistan in international institutions.

Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., said Pakistan is clearly the aggressor and India the victim in the current confrontation.. He praised the Indian government for its measured military response so far but said public pressure in India for a broader response would be hard to resist as casualties mount.

Update hourly