Daily News

May 28, 1998
Evening Transmission

India has rejected the Pakistan accusation that New Delhi is planning to attack its nuclear installations. Talking to Press Trust of India in Islamabad on 28 May, the Indian High Commissioner, Mr. Satish Chandra disclosed as having told the Pakistan authorities that they have a tendency to blame New Delhi for every thing. Mr. Satish Chandra had been summoned to the Pakistani foreign office early this morning to convey Islamabad's apprehension about what it said a possible Indian strike.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry team, lead by its secretary Shamshad Ahmed, told Mr. Chandra that they have credible information about an Indian attack. They said, any attack on the Pakistani nuclear installations would be in violation of the Indo-Pakistan bilateral agreement against attack on such facilities.

The government today announced that it will pursue a pro active policy instead of reactive in dealing with insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir. The Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani announced this while replying to a question in Rajya Sabha today. He said India is determined to defeat the proxy war being waged by Pakistan without a war. He also denied allegations that the Indian troops had recently crossed the border in Kashmir region. Describing the situation in the state as serious, Mr. Advani said the militants have now shifted their attention to five districts of Doda, Udhampur, Punch and Rajouri to drive out Hindus from the Jammu region.

The Defence Minister has re-affirmed government's commitment to seek resolution of all pending issues with China through mutual consultations. Replying to a written questions in the Lok Sabha, Mr. George Fernandes said that the talks should go beyond confidence building measures. He said, the government remains committed to the process of building a cooperative and constructive relationship with China.
Indian scientists have developed a new technology to use thourium as a fuel for power generation in nuclear reactors. The Minister of State for External Affairs, Mrs. Vasundhara Raje said this in the Rajya Sabha today during question hour. She said, with research and development work caried out over the years, in the research at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Trombay, thourium has been successfully converted into uranium.


Afternoon Transmission

The Pakistan Foreign Minister, Mr. Gohar Ayub Khan says Islamabad has decided to go in for a nuclear test. Talking to Associated Press, Mr. Khan said, everything is in place and a test can be carried out within 12-hours. But he said, the final decision on when to conduct the test will be taken by the Prime Minister, Mr. Nawaz Sharief. Mr. Gohar Ayub Khan told news agency AFP that the question is not if but when the test will take place and this has been the Islamabad's position all along.

The country's Finance Minister, Sartaz Aziz says a contingency plan is being prepared to face any international sanctions in the event of a nuclear test being conducted. He said, the nature of sanctions will have to be seen to meet the shortfall in foreign aid. Meanwhile, the Karachi Stock Exchange plummeted to a historic low, going down by 70 points or 6 per cent. The index dipped following a report that Pakistan is all set to conduct a nuclear test . In another development, the Jamat-e-Islami has warned the Nawaz Sharief Government that it will launch a country-wide movement if the test is not carried out immediately.

The United States has said it will impose sanctions against Pakistan if Islamabad conducts a nuclear test. The US Defence Secretary Mr. William Cohen, who is on a tour of South America, said that Washington is in direct contact with Islamabad and is trying to dissuade Pakistan from going in for any nuclear tests.

Australia on its part has offered to double its aid to Pakistan on the condition that it will not carry out nuclear tests.

British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair also talked to Mr. Nawaz Sharief over the phone amidst speculation that Islamabad is preparing for nuclear test.

The Prime Minister is to reply to the debate on the Pokhran nuclear tests in the Lok Sabha this evening. Making a statement on the issue on May 27, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee reiterated India's readiness to discuss a `no first use' agreement with Pakistan and other countries. Categorically stating that the objective of the tests is self-defence, Mr. Vajpayee said India's nuclear weaponisation is not for any aggression. The Prime Minister held that the tests became necessary in view of security perceptions. He also said that at the global level also New Delhi saw no evidence of nuclear weapons states taking decisive steps to move towards a nuclear weapons free world. However, the opposition in the Lok Sabha failed to be satisfied with the government's explanation on the provocation for the tests. Participating in the debate, several leaders criticised the Prime Minister's contention that China poses a threat to India. They also criticised Union Ministers for putting forward divergent views on the sensitive issue.

The President Mr. K.R. Narayanan arrives in Kathmandu on May 28 on a three day state visit to Nepal. He will be accompanied by the Commerce Minister, Mr. Rama Krishna Hegde and senior officials. During his stay, Mr. Narayanan will have discussions with King Birendra, the Prime Minister, Mr. Girija Prasad Koirala and other political leaders.

Briefing newspersons on the eve of the visit, the Indian Ambassador to Nepal said, New Delhi and Kathmandu are equally concerned about the Pakistani Intelligence Agency, ISI's activities against India, carried out from Nepal. On the nuclear tests conducted recently, he said, there is some concern in certain quarters but Nepal recognises India's role as a sovereign country.