SRINAGAR, INDIA, AUG. 6, REUTER — India Defence Minister K.D. Pant said on Saturday that Indian troops recently repulsed a Pakistani attack on Indian positions guarding a strategic glacier high in the Himalayas.

He told a news conference the alleged attack occurred on the Siachin Glacier in the last week in July, but that the problem was quickly defused by commanders from both sides who met to talk it over.

Pant said there were no casualties in the latest of many exchanges of fire by troops on the glacier, which controls routes into India.

He also said there were frequent exchanges of fire with Pakistani troops along the border between the two countries in Kashmir, the disputed state of which one third is controlled by Islamabad.

Pant blamed the incidents on Pakistan, alleging Islamabad wanted to keep the Kashmir issue alive.

“We must try within our framework to have better relations with all our neighbors, including Pakistan,” Pant said.

“But at the same time we cannot turn our face from what is happening along our borders, India has to be militarily prepared to safeguard its interests,” he added.

The new allegation of Pakistani aggression comes amid a flood of Indian government charges that Islamabad is helping Sikh militants fighting a bloody campaign for an independent homeland in the north Indian state of Punjab.

The allegations have been so intense some members of Parliament last week demanded military action to wipe out alleged Sikh separatist training camps in Pakistan.

Article extracted from this publication >> August 12, 1988