NEWS SUMMARY (18-05-1998)

India to conduct more test, says Russian Paper

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP) :Despite worldwide condemnation in the aftermath of India's five nuclear tests, the rough Indian leadership might conduct four more tests to complete its nuclear programme. Though the New Delhi has asserted that it was not planning new explosions, however, it might follow its schedule of the nuclear programme, reports a Moscow newspaper quoting a Russian military source having said on Thursday. The Indians have, at a minimum four blasts left to do, the Business Newspaper "Kommrsant Daily" said, adding that its source was closely acquainted with India's nuclear programme." The paper said the reasoning was that India, whose civilian nuclear programme is based on Soviet Technology, was developing three separate nuclear weapons systems. Each such system would be required by Russian testing standards, three to five explosions.

Concerned over India's Nuclear Tests: Radio Tehran

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP) :Iran 's representative to Conference on Disarmament, Mr. Khurram said that India's nuclear test was the result of double standards of the states which oppose implementation of non proliferation laws universally, reports "Radio Tehran". While calling for concerted and immediate efforts for destruction of nuclear weapons from all over the world, the Iranian envoy said, Islamic Republic of Iran was of the view that despite loopholes, the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) could help in the global disarmament. He reiterated Iran's concern over India's recent nuclear tests and said the experiments would not help the global efforts to which India itself was a party, for nuclear non-proliferation. He said these explosions would block the progress for reaching international agreements for nuclear non-proliferation. He concluded recent developments warranted immediate and concerted efforts for global disarmament.

India has plutonium for 74 bombs, says US experts: Khaleej Times

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP) :India has enough plutonium for about 74 nuclear weapons whereas, Pakistan has only for about 10, reports "Khaleej Times" quoting a report prepared by a US think tank. The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in its report, according to the paper, said that India's overwhelming head-start could disappear if a nuclear arms race developed between the two countries. "Although India is estimated, as of early 1998, to possess seven times more nuclear weapons than Pakistan. Pakistan could reduce that margin to a factor of less than two over the next eight years," says the report. The report suggested that if India wanted to keep a strong lead over its neighbour, it would have to boost its fissile material production. ISIS estimated that India had about 370kg of weapon-grade plutonium, the equivalent of about 74 nuclear weapons. India relies mainly on the Dhruva research reactor at Bombay to produce Wapons-grade plutonium, and can increase its stock at a rate of about 20kg--enough for about four nuclear weapons--per year, ISIS said.

Army Chief Discusses Security Situation in Kashmir with Saxena, Farooq Abdullah : AIR

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP) :Subsequent to BJP President, Mr. Thakre's statement saying that an Indian attack on Azad Kashmir is the next point on BJP's agenda, the Indian Chief of Army staff, General V. P. Malik had an unscheduled visit to IHK and held discussions in Srinagar with the IHK governor, Mr. G.P. Saxena and the Chief Minister, Mr Farooq Abdullah, on the security situation in the state, reports "All India Radio (AIR)". According to the radio, the Indian Army Chief reviewed the security situation during separate meetings with the chief minister and the Governor. The Indian Army Chief told Saxena that firm measures have been taken to check the activities of the Mujahideen. During the meeting the IHK Chief Minister asked the Indian Army Chief to ruthlessly quell the ongoing freedom struggle and eliminate the freedom fighter from some parts of the Kashmir valley and Rajauri, Poonch and Doda districts.

FO spokesman denies reports regarding nuke test

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP) :The Spokesman of the Foreign Office has firmly denied reports that Pakistan has conducted a nuclear test Sunday morning. This is a motivated rumour, the Spokesman added.

Foreign Secretary leaves for China to discuss recent developments

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP) :Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed left here on Sunday for Beijing to consult the Chinese leadership on the latest developments. The visit is taking place following the five nuclear tests conducted by India, which posed direct threat to Pakistan and endangered the peace and security in the region. It is believed that he would discuss with the Chinese leadership about Pakistan's concern on the recent developments. It also aimed at taking the time-tested friend into confidence on Pakistan's position vis-a-vis Indian threats. During his stay in Beijing, the Foreign Secretary will meet the Chinese Foreign Minister and other senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for consultations on recent developments in the region.

India may have conducted tests for Israel: Munir Ahmed

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP) :Former Chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Munir Ahmed Khan cited an Internet report and said India might have carried out nuclear tests for Israel at the Pokhran site. "The report on the Internet this morning has perturbed us and does not look implausible that Israeli tests have taken place in India because the tests are not possible in Israel," he said at a seminar organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies on Indian nuclear blasts and Pakistan's reaction in the changed security situation. Khan said the possibility of such tests for Israel in India cannot be ruled out in the backdrop of frequent exchange of visits by the scientists of the two countries. The celebrated scientist said Pakistan had acquired the nuclear capability 10 to 15 years ago and in this moment of truth finds itself free to do whatever is in its national interest. "No doubt we are nuclear capable - the US knows it - but we have to deliberate and consider all aspects before taking a final decision," he suggested.

Japanese PM's special envoy arrives for talks

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP) :Japanese Prime Minister's special envoy Seichiro Noboru arrived here on Sunday for talks with Pakistani leaders on regional situation. Noboru will deliver a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the current situation arising from the India's recent nuclear tests. The special envoy will have talks with Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan on regional security situation. The Foreign Minister will brief him about the threat pose to Pakistan security and its efforts to the solution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Gohar Ayub will also brief the Japanese envoy about Pakistan's point of view on non-proliferation and proposals made by the New Delhi to achieve regional nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Sharif urges world to slap punitive sanctions against India

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP) :Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has urged world community to come up with strong and harsher action against India for conducting nuclear tests. "The reaction of the international community should have been much harsher," he said in interview with World Television Network (WTN). He expressed concern over the lacklusture response of most of the countries towards India's nuclear tests. "The initial reaction of most of the countries was either nil or mild." Sharif said United States responded quickly by slapping sanctions against New Delhi. "But India is making joke of these sanctions, they are saying these sanctions are more in letter than in spirit." Responding to question about Pakistan's response to India's nuclear tests, Prime Minister reiterated that he was not in undue haste. "I am not in hurry to take wild decisions, I am acting with patience." "Whatever the decision we take, it will be very well- calculated based on our national interests." He said India has pushed Pakistan into an arms race. "I was working for economic development, but unfortunately we have been pushed to an arms race." He said India's two underground tests just two days after drawing world-wide condemnation over its three explosions on May 11 was,"a slap in the face of the world community." He said Pakistan never wanted to detonate nuclear device. "Ideal thing would be that Pakistan does not follow suit, the ideal thing would be tit-for-tat response is avoided, the ideal thing would be that Kashmir problem is resolved." Prime Minister said in categorical terms that Pakistan would not trade off its security interests for any monetary assistance.

India has a declared aggressive intent: "Can India be Stopped?"

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP) :Stressing that India has "a declared aggressive intent", Information Minister Mushahid Hussain Sayed Sunday evening said, "the real issue is: can India be stopped from it's aggressive intent." Pakistan's security interests, he stated, are paramount and Pakistan, in any case, is not going to trade off on its security. He said this while participating in the CNN's Late Edition programme hooked and telecast from Birmingham on 'The Nuclear Tension between India and Pakistan.' He was responding to a query, if the assurance of delivery of F-16 planes could satisfy Pakistan not to go for nuclear test in the wake of five Indian nuclear tests. Mushahid said, "more needs to be done." F-16 planes, he stated, "is not the answer to the problem. It is like giving aspirin for a disease which is linked with cancer." He said, delivery of F-16 planes, for which Pakistan has paid 658-million dollars way back in 1990, would only be "rectifying of a historic wrong."