NEWS SUMMARY (28-05-1998)

Hashimoto, Blair, Demriel call Nawaz to share Pak's security concerns

ISLAMABAD, May 28 (APP) : Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Turkish President, Suleman Demriel on Wednesday rang up Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif separately, and discussed the impact of Indian nuclear tests on peace and security in the region. The Prime Minister apprised the three leaders of the grave threat these explosions have caused to the security of the country. The Indian action has adversely affected the balance of power in the region besides exposing the whole of South Asia to the danger of a new arms race, he added. The Indian action has been widely condemned the world over and India today stands isolated in the international community, Prime Minister Sharif said. Pakistan is exercising a great deal of restraint in the face of Indian provocations. He however, made it clear though Pakistan is a peace loving country, yet it is fully prepared and capable of giving a befitting response to any potential aggressor. The Prime Minister also briefed these leaders on the Indian atrocities and actions in held-Kashmir and recent belligerent statements of its leaders. The Japanese Premier, Ryutaro Hashimoto lauded the mature and balanced response shown by the country despite continued Indian bellicosity.

Karamat calls on PM

ISLAMABAD, May 28 (APP) : Chief of Army Staff, General Jehangir Karamat on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif here at Prime Minister House and discussed the security environment.

CIA making only guesses about Pak nuke test : Gohar

ISLAMABAD, May 28 (APP) : Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub said on Wednesday that the CIA and western intelligence agencies are making only guesses regarding Pakistan's nuclear tests, saying "they have no notion, no information." "In the old days we used to put a couple of eggs under a hen and knew they would hatch after 21 days, so this is what the CIA and the American agencies are doing", he remarked. Speaking on CNN television here Wednesday, the Foreign Minister said, "I have mentioned over and over again that it's not the question of if but when. It's a matter of just putting a key in the lock, as close we are", he added. "The intelligence agencies of the west are totally off the mark and are just covering themselves", Gohar remarked.

Gilani asks India to give up its aggressive stance

ISLAMABAD, May 28 (APP) : The Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Gilani has asked India to give up nuclear-rattling and aggressive stance to avert danger of another armed conflict in South Asia. According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), he said, the problems should rather be settled through understanding and dialogue. He was addressing Chehlum gathering of a liberation leader, S.Hameed who had been dragged out of his house in Srinagar and shot dead by troops on the spot forty days ago. Syed Ali Gilani made it clear that APHC could not compromise on the right of self-determination nor it could be deviated from the course of liberation through any amount of brute force. On the other hand, the Executive Council of the APHC has thoroughly reviewed, in its meeting, stepped up military action to suppress the liberation movement, in the context of Indian nuclear tests.

Pakistan ready for Nuclear Test?

WASHINGTON , May 28 (APP) : American major news networks are reporting that Pakistan has completed preparations for a nuclear test which could be carried out within hours. Television and Radio networks quoting U.S intelligence sources said at this point it is just a matter of deciding to push the button and the test could involve three nuclear bombs. US spy satellites observed the laying of explosive monitoring equipment and the setting up of observation and measuring posts at the Chagai Hills test site in Baluchistan, the report said. The satellite have also noted tunnelling activity that typically precedes an underground test. "They continue to make preparations and appear to be very close to being in a position to conduct a test should they decide to do so", said a US intelligence official. "The level of preparation should suggest that they do indeed plan to conduct a test". American policy makers and defense experts fear it could trigger a nuclear war in south Asia. They also fear a possible decision by Iran to accelerate its own nuclear program. Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Riaz Khokhar called reports of nuclear test "disinformation and" a false alarm".

Govt. committed to privatization process : Sartaj Aziz

ISLAMABAD, May 28 (APP) : Expressing government's commitment to the process of Privatization and deregulation, Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday said, the economic policies are yielding positive results and performance of the economy is reassuring. "The Privatization programme is a key component of the comprehensive reforms introduced by the present government," he said while inaugurating a workshop on privatization. The Privatization Workshop was organized jointly by the British High Commission and the Privatization Commission (PC) to provide an opportunity to both the sides to benefit from each others experiences. Chairman PC, Khawaja Muhammad Asif presented the welcome address followed by brief remarks by Clare Spottiswoode, leading the British Privatization Mission here, and Paul Jenkins, First Secretary of the British High Commission. The Finance Minister briefly reviewed the economic reforms of the present government and assessed the prevalent global economic environment.

Seventy per cent Pakistanis favours nuclear test:Gallup Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, May 28 (APP) : Seventy per cent people in Pakistan favour nuclear test while thirty per cent advise restraint, said a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan here Wednesday. Fifty one per cent Pakistanis called for immediate detonation of a nuclear device while 30 per cent said it should wait till economic recovery, said sources at Gallup Pakistan, an institute of Public Opinion affiliated with Gallup International. A large majority of 70 per cent believes that America will not be even-handed in case of Pakistan. US will," impose tougher sanctions against it if it carried out a test similar to India." Thirteen per cent of them opined Pakistan should conduct the blast within couple of months and only six per cent opposed the nuclear test.

Islamic News Agency thanks APP for distributing its news to Central Asia:

KUWAIT CITY, May 28 (APP): International Islamic News Agency (IINA) Wednesday commended and thanked Associated Press of Pakistan APP for offering to distribute IINA news on its network to Central Asia. The Executive Board of IINA through a resolution passed after its 20th session, also appreciated APP's initiative of training Central Asian journalists on new journalism techniques and learning English language. "The Board is for the idea by APP to pay more attention to the economic damages against some Muslim countries perpetrated by foreign countries," the resolution said. The two-day meeting was presided over by Dr. Fouad Abu-Salman Al-Farsi, Saudi Information Minister who is also chairman of IINA Executive Board. The Executive Board called on member States to pay their contributions to the budget of IINA for the year 1998. The meeting also called on IINA member States to settle the arrears of their contributions to the budget of the agency for the past years.