NEWS SUMMARY (21-05-1998)

China has not asked us to do anything against our national interests : Shamshad

ISLAMABAD, May 21 (APP) :Declaring a complete identity of views between Islamabad and Beijing on the gravity of situation in the wake of Indian nuclear blasts, Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed on Wednesday said, China has not asked Pakistan to do anything which is not in it's national interests. "China has not asked us to do anything which is not in our national interests," the top Pakistani diplomat told journalists soon after his arrival at the Islamabad Airport after a three-day visit to Beijing. Barraged with questions about Beijing's views on Pakistan's measures in the face of threat to its security, Shamshad Ahmed said: "China itself is a law-abiding country. It has always taken a principled position.It always respects the sovereign right of the country to take any measure in its national security interests."

Indian nuke tests threaten peace in South Asia: China Daily

ISLAMABAD, May 21 (APP) :The five underground nuclear tests conducted by India at Pokhran last week have threatened peace in South Asia and it is very likely that it will trigger Pakistan into conducting nuclear tests. The observation came in an article published in a Chinese newspaper "China Daily" on Wednesday. The nuclear tests by India have left Pakistan feeling seriously threatened as Pakistan and India are caught in a long- standing military confrontation because of the Kashmir issue, the paper said. Moreover, the paper noted, the Indian government has made it clear that the nuclear tests were directed at China and Pakistan.

Pakistan, Turkey re-affirm brotherly relations

ISLAMABAD, May 21 (APP) :Turkish Ambassador Dozkuran Aran Wednesday called on Information Minister Mushahid Hussain and held indepth review on the regional situation. Information Minister briefed the Turkish diplomat about the serious threat posed by India's nuclear tests to the security of Pakistan. He said, the situation was further aggravated by the recent statements and actions of Indian leaders regarding Kashmir. Mushahid Hussain also expressed Pakistan's disappointment over the Group of 8 Summit for its failure to take effective steps to counter India's aggressive ambitions.

Kashmir is a disputed territory- Kanju

ISLAMABAD, May 21 (APP) :Minister of state for Foreign Affairs, Muhammad Siddique Kanju has said that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory "recognized as such by the United Nations." Using his right of reply at the Ministerial meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement in Cartagena, Kanju said, the statement made by Indian Minister to the effect that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India is factually incorrect, says a fax message. Pakistan successfully rebuffed Indian contention that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, during deliberations at the Non-Aligned Ministerial meeting in Cartagena, Colombia. The Indian Minister of state's speech was very explanatory and apologetic in tone. The statement was a clear indication of Indian effort to seek understanding of its position in an international environment which is increasingly criticizing India for its misadventure.

Regional security environment deteriorates sharply by Indian nuke tests : Siddique Kanju

ISLAMABAD, May 21 (APP) :Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Muhammad Siddique Khan Kanju Wednesday said, the security environment in South Asia has deteriorated sharply due to nuclear tests by India of a whole range of weaponry, says a message received here from Cartagena (Colombia). Addressing NAM ministerial meeting at Cartegena Colombia, Kanju said that India had clandestinely produced and is now displaying with a view to advancing its hegemonic designs. "This had created an extremely dangerous situation in South Asia and one which carries grave implications for global peace and security," he added. Mr. Kanju said, the open weaponization by India of its nuclear programme has effectively destroyed the global non- proliferation regimes. "It has dealt a fatal blow to the proposal for establishment of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in South Asia," Kanju added.

China charges India with expansionist designs in South Asia: AIR

ISLAMABAD, May 21 (APP) :China has charged India with expansionist designs in the South Asian region, reports All India Radio. Quoting Chinese official news agency XINHUA, the radio reported that China has criticized Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for allegging a threat from China as a basis for conducting nuclear tests. China also claimed that New Delhi had occupied ninety thousand square kilometres of Chinese territory, the AIR reported.

Vajpayee signals new national slogan at Pokhran

ISLAMABAD, May 21 (APP) :Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday signalled a new national slogan `hail soldier, hail farmer, hail scientist' while addressing a rally at Pokhran where India had staged five nuclear explosions last week, CNN reported. Vajpayee also tried to address the growing criticism that his party was using the test to whip up nationalistic fervour. He urged the people to see the nuclear tests as a national achievement and not a party victory. The credit must go to Indian scientists, he added. The Indian prime minister also denied that there were any medical problems in the adjoining areas of the test site.