NEWS SUMMARY (27-05-1998)

Pakistan can brave sanctions : Economists

ISLAMABAD, May 27 (APP) : Pakistan can overcome the possible sanctions in the wake of a nuclear test if the Government increases exports and lowers heavy borrowing and the nation observers austerity, economic experts said Tuesday. Defence and political analysts appearing in a PTV programme also said the country should attach high priority to long-term security interests. The economists voiced the optimism that the nation can defy the demon of sanctions by bringing down its consumption rate. "Our per capita income is higher than the Indians and in the recent years the Pakistani economy has picked up, if we increase our exports and bring down heavy borrowing and we should not be in trouble if sanctions are imposed on us in the wake of a nuclear test," economist A R Kemal said.

Nawaz appreciates the pilots' efficiency during hijacking drama

ISLAMABAD, May 27 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz while appreciating the efficiency of the pilot and co-pilot of the PIA's hijacked plane has termed it a great demonstration of courage and wisdom. "Every Pakistani is full of such spirit and has the courage of rendering any kind of sacrifice for the security and integrity of the country", said the Prime Minister while talking to the pilots of the plane on telephone. The Prime Minister congratulated the pilots and their families on their courageous attitude during the critical time of hijacking on behalf of the whole nation, adding, "the nation is proud of you". "The nation which has such alert-minded and brave people can never be defeated by any power", he stressed.

No provision of national government in constitution:Soomro

RAWALPINDI, May 27 (APP) : Speaker National Assembly Illahi Bakhsh Soomro Tuesday said that there was no provision of national government in the constitution of the country. He was responding to the demand made by the leader of opposition Ms Benazir Bhutto, the other day regarding formation of a national government, so as to conduct a nuclear explosion. Speaking at the Meet the Press programme of Rawalpindi Press Club, the Speaker said, "the Parliament is the appropriate forum for expressing such views." Ms Bhutto, he said, should have made the suggestion in the House. He said he had no hesitation if a joint sitting of the Parliament is summoned by the government to discuss the issue confronting the nation. The next session, he said, is scheduled for June 6. The Speaker, however, was appreciative of the government policy for prudently handling the matters following five nuclear explosions by India. "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is still considering the matter. He is cool, cautious and a great patriot and will take decisions in the best interest of nation."

Benazir's attempt to malign army in response to revelations by former SSP: PML Spokesman

ISLAMABAD, May 27 (APP): A spokesman of Pakistan Muslim League has strongly criticised the recent statements of the Leader of the Opposition in which she has tried to viciously implicate the members of Pakistan's armed forces and judiciary in her husband's illegal relations with drug barons at home and abroad. In a statement issued Tuesday, the spokesman said Benazir's recent panicky attempt to draw the people's attention away from her husband misdeeds was actually in response to the revelations made by the former SSP Karachi. He said, " it is a matter of record that ex-SSP Mumtaz Burney has confessed to have released notorious drug baron Shorang Khan in 1994 at the behest of Asif Zardari". The Spokesman recalled that Shorang Khan, arrested in Karachi on May 10, was wanted by drug enforcement agencies in at least 35 countries, and was condemned to death by a Dubai court in absentia. Shorang Khan's subsequent interrogation by a joint investigation team investigation team had only further substantiated the allegations that Asif Zardari remained in close contact with drug barons and remained a source of strength to them in their illegal and immoral operations, he added.

COAS visits forward army positions along LoC, satisfied with troops' readiness

ISLAMABAD, May 27 (APP): Chief of Army Staff General Jehangir Karamat on Tuesday visited the troops deployed at forward locations in an important sector along the Line of Control LoC in Azad Kashmir. On arrival, the Chief of Army Staff was given a comprehensive briefing on the situation obtaining in the sector. He reviewed and discussed with local commanders matters relating to security and operational preparedness. General Jehangir Karamat spent the day with officers and men and went around various locations. The COAS was satisfied with the morale and state of readiness of the troops deployed in the sector.

Nawaz Sharif discusses latest situation with President Tarar

ISLAMABAD, May 27 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Tuesday called on President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar at Aiwan- e-Sadr and discussed with him national security in the wake of emerging regional situation. "They discussed the situation arising out of recent developments in and around the country," said official sources. They expressed their resolve to give top priority to the national interests of the country in all circumstances.

Iran's reaction on Indian nuclear tests strengthened Pak-position:Tarar

ISLAMABAD, May 27 (APP): President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar Tuesday said Iran's reaction against Indian underground nuclear tests have strengthened Pakistan's position and the entire Pakistani nation valued Iranian's stance. President Tarar was talking to Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Muhammad Akhunzadeh who called on him at Aiwa-e-Sadr here . Iran's position was based on principles and the entire world should take such a posture, the President told the Iranian envoy. Tarar said Pakistan was a peace loving country but would not allow any one to cast an evil eye on its national defence. Akhunzadeh said Iran was concerned over Indian nuclear tests as it has seriously threatened regional peace.

Islamic states urged to work and participate in joint ventures, through Islamic organizations

KUWAIT CITY, May 27 (APP) : Saudi Information Minister and Chairman, International Islamic News Agency (IINA), Dr. Fouad Abdus Salam al-Farsi Tuesday urged the Islamic states to pay more attention to the joint Islamic work and participate in joint ventures through Islamic organizations. Addressing the 20th session of the Executive Council of the IINA, he renewed his appeal to media in the Islamic states to use and exploit all their new means and technology for the service of Dawa (message of Islam), culture and Islamic civilization. Al-Farsi said, it was imperative for the media in Islamic states to employ new technology for promotion or Islamic culture and and civilization. The IINA's excutive board comprises Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Senegal, Iraq, State of Palestine, Kuwait, Egypt, Niger, Nigeria and secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). Dr.Izeddine Laraki, OIC Secretary General, in his address called for closer cooperation among Muslim states in the field of communication, so as to counter hostile propaganda against Islamic Ummah.