NEWS SUMMARY (31-05-1998)

Nawaz asks India find solution of held Kashmir and stop killing

LAHORE, May 31 (APP) : Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Saturday night called upon India stop killing, cease tyranny and find solution of held valley besides withdrawal of military troops immediately from occupied Kashmir. Addressing a mammoth gathering here Saturday night at Masjid-i- Shuhda, he said that " we conducted the nuclear tests after a careful study of the scenario prevailing all over the world". He said decision to carry out nuclear test was the voice of the masses. He said India after conducting recent nuclear tests threatened Pakistan of dire consequences. He said, "we are not afraid of anyone except Allah Almighty and we know how to lead respectable life even at the cost of our lives and Pakistan will never compromise on independence". He said, "the valiant and brave Pakistani nation always preferred the honourable mode of life instead of slavery ". He said nation experienced a great trial and he had already stated during his recent visit to Larkana that Allah Almighty had bestowed him the wisdom to decide this issue of vital national significance judiciously. He said after considering the variety of proposals and suggestions from different quarters but he sought guidance direct from the Holy Quran and Allah Almighty.

India compelled Pakistan to go nuclear : Gohar

ISLAMABAD May 31 (APP) : Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan said Saturday that India compelled Pakistan to test its nuclear devices. "The BJP during the election campaigns had pledged they would induct nuclear weapons in their armed forces, restart missile programme and have cross border raids across the line of control, which left us with no choice but to go nuclear," Gohar told PTV in an interview. Their dangerous intentions were pointed out to the world, but they thought the Indians will moderate their response after coming to power, he added. India wore a mask of neutrality, but the BJP has torn that mask off the face of India and the true fundamentalist Hindu India has been exposed to the world particularly to Pakistan, Gohar said. Pakistan knows from history that India is aggressive militant. In 1947 they aggressed in Kashmir and Hyderabad, 1961 in Goa, 1962 against China, 1965 Rann of Kutch and Pakistan, 1971 against Pakistan and intervened in Sri Lanka too.

Non-aggression pact with India only after just settlement of Kashmir issue : FO Spokesman

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP) : Pakistan is ready to have a non- aggression pact with India on the basis of just settlement of the Kashmir issue, said a Foreign Office spokesman Tariq Altaf in a live interview with CNN television here Saturday evening. He said, "we are interested in dialogue with India, adding, we are ones who have taken this initiative and Indians had spurned the dialogue." Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Tariq Altaf said, has made offers in his statement that we are ready for non-aggression pact on the basis of just settlement of the Kashmir dispute. So for us, dialogue is an article of our policy and of our purpose", he added. To a question as, can Pakistan separate the nuclear issue from that of the Kashmir issue, the foreign office spokesman said, "actually Kashmir issue is the core problem which is a cause of the tension in this region." "There is an illegal occupation in Occupied Kashmir and there is the suppression of the people's rights and the right of self-determination, I think that issue must be settled", said the foreign office spokesman.

Clinton's visit to Pakistan may still go forward

WASHINGTON, DC. May 31 (APP) : President Bill Clinton's visit to South Asia this November may go forward as planned. According to the White House officials, Clinton's planned trip to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh this fall is under review and may still go forward. Sources told APP that the adminstration is not recalling its Ambassador from Pakistan. US Ambassador to India was called back after India detonated five nuclear explosions. Now Ambassador Richard Celeste will also go back to New Delhi, sources said. State Department spokesman, James Rubin, said, "we think it's appropriate to have ambassadors there to try to work with the governments involved so that the decisions, they take in the coming days and weeks, will turn around the troublesome, dangerous trend that we've seen in recent weeks". The United States is also working to convene a high-level meeting to discuss the nuclear arms race in South Asia. According to the State Department officials, Secretary of State Madeline Albright is personally arranging a meeting next week with her counterparts, the foreign minster of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. "We hope that as a result of the kind of meeting we're trying to arrange, that the various permanent members of the council can bring to bear some leverage and turn this process around before it's too late," said James Rubin.

Clinton formally imposes sanctions on Pakistan

WASHINGTON, DC. May 31 (APP) : President Clinton formally signed an executive order Saturday afternoon, imposing sanctions against Pakistan for its nuclear tests. The sanctions were mandatory under the US laws. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1994 requires to impose sanctions against a country that conducts a nuclear test. The sanctions include cutting off all economic and military aid and technology transfer. Under this law, the United States will be required to oppose all assistance and loans from the World Bank and IMF. According to the World Bank sources, under these sanctions loans already approved by the World Bank and IMF would not be affected. The World Bank Executive Board has already approved $4.4 billion for 41 projects in Pakistan. An amount of $2.4 billion has already been disbursed to Pakistan and the remaining $2 billion would be released as scheduled. Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations Ahmad Kamal termed these sanctions as discriminatory. He said that Pakistan has been under sanctions from the United States for more than a decade. It did nothing to address the problems of security of Pakistan. All that it did was to embolden India to proceed along the path on which India proceeded. Ahmad Kamal said that the sanctions, of course, will create problems but when choice is between, "living in freedom and living in fear of bondage, any country would opt for freedom and will have to pay its price".

Pakistan offers talks to avoid nuclear conflagration

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): After giving a befitting reply to New Delhi's "provocative," nuclear tests, Pakistan Saturday said it is ready to talk with India and rest of the world on measures to prevent the dangers of nuclear holocaust and other peace and security-related issues. "Pakistan today assures the international community and in particular India of our willingness to enter into immediate discussions to address all matters of peace and security including urgent measures to prevent the dangers of nuclear conflagration," Foreign Secretary Shamashad Ahmad told a crowded press conference. When asked whether Islamabad would sign global treaties outlawing nuclear proliferation after successful testing of its six nuclear devices, Pakistan's top diplomat said the efficacy and relevance of these treaties have become,"somewhat questionable," in the face of nuclearization of South Asia. However, he said Islamabad was fully prepared to engage in dialogue to address their matters. "We have completed the current series of nuclear tests," he said in response to a question that would Pakistan conduct further tests.

Pakistan now has upper edge in sub-continent: Gohar

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan said Saturday that Pakistan feels very proud to have an upper edge in the sub-continent. Talking to CNN after Pakistan conducted one more nuclear test, he said, "They (Pakistanis) now can be proud of the fact that the strategic and military balance that had unfortunately been tilted is now in favour of Pakistan." The nation is ready for any sacrifice in the wake of sanctions and embargoes, Gohar said and added, "for the integrity, solidarity and well being of the country itself, Pakistanis are prepared to offer any sacrifice to make Pakistan strong." The scientists had to complete their technical data that is why they have gone ahead and done more tests, he said.

Pakistan ready to sign CTBT if India does so: Munir

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP) : Former Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Dr. Munir Ahmad Khan said Saturday that if India signs the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) unconditionally, Pakistan will follow suit. In a live interview with CNN television here Saturday, the former head of PAEC said, "I think, we have been willing to sign the treaty any time if India did so." He said, "now India seemed to be willing to sign the CTBT but not unconditionally. We want them (India) to sign the treaty unconditionally, and I am confident personally that if India does so we will follow suite", Dr Munir added. Commenting on Pakistan's sixth nuclear test conducted Saturday, he said, "I think this completes the series of blasts that Pakistan planned." He said, the objective of these tests were two fold, first was political i.e. to restore the deterrence in the sub-continent vis-a-vis India and the second was technical i.e. to get as much data as possible with regard to further development in this field."

Shamshad not aware of any planned Indo-Israel pre-emptive strike on Pak nuclear installations

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed Saturday said, he was not aware of reports claiming that India and Israel planned a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan's nuclear installations. "We are not aware of any such reports," he replied to a question on press reports that India and Israel had planned on last Wednesday to launch a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan's nuclear installations at Kahuta. Some reports in local press had even suggested that about two dozen Israeli bombers were flown to Jammu for the purpose, adding that was the reason Pakistan had tested its five nuclear blasts one day ahead than scheduled.

World should solve Kashmir dispute, cause of nuclearization

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): Pakistan on Saturday called upon the international community to address the Kashmir dispute -- the underlying cause of nuclearization of South Asia -- urging that the policies of condemnation and sanctions have remained counterproductive. "The Councils of the world should not be convened to heap more criticism for that will evidently be fruitless but to devise ways and means to address the real issues," Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed said in a globally-beamed Press Conference where he announced the completion of Pakistan's current series of nuclear tests. Questioned what should the US and other major powers do to remove the root-cause of tension in South Asia he said: "The parameters are clear, the United Nations is there, the UN Security Council resolutions are there, the best thing is to seek implementation of these resolutions as they have been doing selectively."

NEC approves Rs.110.6 billion PSDP, decides to impose 50% cut on non-development expenditure, PM for self reliance

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): The National Economic Council (NEC) which met here Saturday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif reviewed the Annual Plan for the year 1997-98 and gave the approval of the 1998-99 Annual Plan. The Council was informed that various packages announced by the government last year for boosting the industrial and agricultural output have given high dividends. The growth rate of GDP which had plummeted to just 1.3 percent in 1996-97 increased to 5.4 percent during 1997-98. This is the highest growth rate of the economy for the last six years. Despite the failure of cotton crop, the major crops registered a growth rate of 8.4 percent and the agricultural production increased by 5.9 percent. The manufacturing sector responded slowly in the first four months of the current fiscal year but since then it has shown a significant growth and it is expected that the manufacturing industries would grow at a rate of 7 per cent.

Pakistan will never default: Mahboob

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): Former Finance Minister, Dr. Mahboob ul Haq said Saturday that Pakistan will never be declared a defaulter country. "I can tell you that Pakistan will never default," he told CNN and added it has second option to pay back its debts. "If we are not getting more foreign exchange we don't have to pay back in foreign exchange. We can pay back in rupees in a blocked account here as some Latin American countries did in 1980s." The foreign exchange will be paid back when sanctions are lifted and foreign exchange is available. "When there are 30 billion dollars of foreign credits, its the creditors who have to worry a lot more than we have to," he added. To a question Mahboob said that the sanctions will have very little affect on Pakistan in the first year, because 90% of our money is coming from the projects already signed, which are not being stopped.