NEWS SUMMARY (30-05-1998)

Security Council statement on Pakistan's test

WASHINGTON, May 30 (APP) : The Security Council was able to issue a Presidential Statement Friday, deploring the underground tests conducted by Pakistan on May 28. The members of the Security Council could not issue the statement Thursday after China vetoed it. The Presidential Statement issued Friday is identical to the statement issued to condemn Indian blasts. The statements issued by Security Council are non binding. APP learnt that a closed door session of the Security Council is being held at this time to consider a resolution presented by Japan. The Presidential Statement issued Friday urged both India and Pakistan to refrain from any further tests and appealed them to sign the NPT and CTBT treaties without delay and without conditions.

Pakistan's nuke tests a defensive measure

WASHINGTON, May 30 (APP) : National Security Advisor to President Bill Clinton, Samuel "Sandy" Berger agreed that Pakistan's nuclear test came " in the face of provocation from India." In an interview on Nightline, a popular news program telecast by ABC network on thursday Berger said that the United States will continue on-going efforts to reduce the tension in that part of the world. In response to a question that despite the offers of military and economic assistance, Pakistan conducted the test and the US ended up looking 'impotent,' Berger said it is wrong to assume such a thing because the United States cannot control everything and "nor should we." He stressed that we cannot control every development that we can bring peace to every conflict. He further stated that the fact remains that more often the world looks to us for world leadership but that does not mean that we have influence on every matter, we have to use this wisely and firmly.

Thursday's tests measured 5.0 on Richter Scale

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP) : Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission on Friday announced that the five nuclear tests conducted on Thursday measured upto 5.0 on richter scale and were "a total success and completely safe with no release of radiation." PAEC Directorate of Technical Development said, although the reported yield figures are upto 40 kt (equivalent TNT), the Seismic Centres reported a shock measured upto 5.0 richter scale. Subsequently, the statement issued Friday said, the scientists' group monitoring radiation in the area confirmed no release of radiation in the environment and the tests were declared completely safe and a total success. PAEC statement said, the tests were performed with these devices buried deep in to the bellies of rocky mountains in the Chagi range. "Observers present at the test site report that the mountain structure originally composed of black granite rocks changed colour in to greyish white in a split second due to the intense heat produced by the test."

PM made no mention of ending tests: Gohar

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP) : Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan said Friday that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has made no mention of ending nuclear tests by Pakistan. Talking to CNN, he said, "the Prime Minister made no mention of ending our tests, adding, we have a missile programme, it's in the national interest whatever we want to do." To a question on the possibility of putting warheads on the missiles by Pakistan, the Foreign Minister said, "there is no problem of putting warheads." Talking about the decision of carrying out nuclear tests by Pakistan, he said, the decision was taken by the government after having national consensus on the issue. He said, "the unanimous resolution was adopted in Senate following Indian tests, there has been debate in press and media and we contacted all the leadership." "Had the Pakistan government not tested on Thursday, I think, the people would have been on streets demanding and forcing the government for nuclear tests and match India", Gohar Ayub Khan viewed.

Self-reliance fund to be launched soon

SLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz on Friday said government would soon launch national self-reliance fund in which overseas Pakistanis, business community and others can contribute to safeguard the country's economic security. Addressing a press conference here, Finance Minister said that the first immediate priority of the government is to safeguard the country's foreign exchange reserves. He said, "we need every dollar to meet our urgent defence requirements". He urged the overseas Pakistanis to send their remittances through the banking system instead of hundi system to build up country's reserves. He said it is time that "we should be committed to make Pak rupee a strong and stable currency". Strong and stable rupee means strong and stable Pakistan, he said. Sartaj Aziz said people should fully respond to the Prime Minster's appeal to observe austerity. To a question, he announced that Chairman CBR donated one year's salary towards self-reliance fund. He appealed to the whole nation to contribute to the noble goal of building a strong and self reliant Pakistan.

No restrictions on any banking transactions and lockers: Sartaj

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz on Friday said that there would be no restriction on any banking transaction and operating lockers. Addressing a press conference here, Finance Minister said people could withdraw their amount from the rupee accounts. He however, advised the depositors to contribute to the national efforts by investing their rupee deposits in tax free defence savings certificates and other profitable schemes. Sartaj Aziz said the money changers are allowed to resume their business from May 30. He said there will be no restriction on bringing in or taking out foreign exchange, by travellers and foreign exchange accounts not converted into rupees will also continue to earn interest in foreign currency. He said government have not imposed any restriction on opening of LCs for imports or remittance of profits on account of dividends or royalties. In this regard, Finance Minister said State Bank will allow foreign exchange for essential travel and educational expenses on case to case basis.

Negotiations with IPPs concluded successfully : Sartaj

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP) : Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz on Friday said that Ministry of Water and Power successfully concluded the negotiations with IPPs regarding tariff reduction. At a press briefing on Friday the Minister told reporters that the report of the negotiation was being presented to the Prime Minister. He said that the cancellation of agreements with few IPPs could be justified against whom there were substantial evidences of their involvement in corruption. He said government would accept the negotiated rates of IPPs regarding power tariff.

Nation resolved and united to face off economic hardships

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): A day after Pakistan replied to Indian nuclear explosions with five tests of its own, the nation Friday showed unprecedented unity in resolving to face off all possible economic hardships for the sake of country's security. In the mosques it was submission and thankfulness to Almighty Allah after Jumma prayers - in the homes heartfelt happiness combined with determination for frugal ways of life - and in the streets the youth displayed exultation at Pakistan's achievement of nuclear deterrence. All over the country, people from all segments of society greeted the day with exclamations of jubilation, lauding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's courageous step in long-term security interests. Immensely pleased at the successful tests, people also lauded the PAEC scientists whose dedication and unflinching commitment to the cause of the country made Pakistan emerge in a dignified manner in the face of threats from a fascist regime in New Delhi.

Pak nuclear tests maintained balance of power in region: Munir

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): The five nuclear tests carried out by Pakistan on Thursday have maintained a balance of power in the region which might guarantee peace in South Asia. This was stated by former Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Munir Ahmad Khan in an interview here Friday. He said, Pakistan has done the job in 25 years, for which India took 50 years. Pakistan conducted five nuclear tests at a time while India took 36 hours to do the same, he added. He further noted that, Pakistan took 17 days to conduct its own five nuclear tests after India carried out its five underground nuclear tests at Pokhran on May 11 and 13. "All this proves that India should not have any doubts about our technical expertise and other capabilities", Munir maintained.

85% Pakistanis happy over nuke tests : Survey

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): A majority of Pakistanis believe that chances of war with India had diminished as a result of Pakistan's nuke tests. In a snap poll conducted by Gallup Pakistan on Friday, the day after Pakistan's nuclear tests, a majority believed that the chances of war with India had diminished as a result of Pakistan's tests; 61% held this view; 25% believed the chances of war had increased. 14 % believed the tests had made no difference. The support for test was near universal: 97% supported, 3% opposed the test carried out on May 28. The Survey was conducted among nearly 500 statistically selected men and women of different ages, income and educational backgrounds and represented a cross section of the nation's major cities. Gallup's snap poll in the major cities showed that views were divided on the level of pain which might be inflicted by sanctions imposed by world powers: 31% believed the difficulties would be severe, 53 % believed the difficulties would be mildly severe, while 15% believed there would be no difficulty or pain.