News



DATE=5/14/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232191
TITLE=PAK / NUCLEAR / PRESS / L-O
BYLINE=SARAH HORNER
DATELINE=ISLAMABAD
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  PAKISTAN'S MEDIA HAS TAKEN A KEEN INTEREST IN NEIGHBORING
INDIA'S SERIES OF NUCLEAR TESTS.  AS SARAH HORNER REPORTS, THERE 
IS MOUNTING PUBLIC PRESSURE ON THE GOVERNMENT TO CONDUCT ITS OWN 
TEST.

TEXT: ONE LEADING PAKISTANI NEWSPAPER -- "THE NEWS" -- HAS AN 
ADVERTISEMENT ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THURSDAY'S EDITION INVITING 
READERS TO PHONE IN THEIR VIEWS ON PAKISTAN CONDUCTING ITS OWN 
NUCLEAR TEST.

REASONS GIVEN BY THE NEWS FOR VOTING FOR A TEST INCLUDE: 
COMBATTING THE INCREASED THREAT TO PAKISTAN'S SECURITY;  RAISING 
THE MORALE OF PAKISTANI PEOPLE; AND OFFERING AN APPROPRIATE 
RESPONSE TO INDIA.

REASONS GIVEN AGAINST TESTING INCLUDE:  PAKISTAN'S SHATTERED 
ECONOMY COULD CRASH IF SANCTIONS ARE IMPOSED AND AN 
ECONOMICALLY-STRONG PAKISTAN COULD BETTER COMBAT INDIA.  THE NEWS
ALSO SAYS PAKISTAN COULD OBTAIN DIPLOMATIC AND ECONOMIC 
ADVANTAGES BY NOT TESTING -- INCLUDING THE WRITING OFF THE 
COUNTRY'S MASSIVE FOREIGN DEBT.

JOURNALIST SYED TALAT HUSSAIN -- A WRITER ON THE "NATION" 
NEWSPAPER AND A TALK SHOW HOST -- TOLD V-O-A ABOUT THE GENERAL 
REACTION OF PAKISTAN'S MEDIA TO INDIA'S SERIES OF NUCLEAR TESTS.

            // HUSSAIN ACTUALITY //

         THE KEYNOTE OF THE REACTION REALLY IS WHAT INDIA HAS 
         DONE PAKISTAN HAD ALWAYS BEEN POINTING TOWARDS, AND THE 
         INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY REFUSED TO LISTEN TO PAKISTAN'S 
         POINT OF VIEW.  THE OTHER UNDERLYING THEME IS THAT IF 
         THERE IS A TIME TO GO NUCLEAR, THIS IS THE TIME TO DO 
         THAT.

            // END ACTUALITY //

MR HUSSAIN SAYS POPULAR SENTIMENT AND THE MEDIA MAY INFLUENCE HOW
THE PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT REACTS.

            // HUSSEIN ACTUALITY //

         IT DOES HAVE A SUBSTANTIVE EFFECT IN SITUATIONS SUCH AS 
         THESE.  NORMALLY, PERHAPS WHAT APPEARS IN THE COLUMNS OF
         THE NEWSPAPERS MAY NOT HAVE THAT KIND OF INFLUENCE ON 
         WHAT THE GOVERNMENT DOES OR SAYS.  BUT, IN SITUATIONS 
         LIKE THIS, WHEN EMOTIONS ARE RUNNING HIGH... WHAT 
         APPEARS IN THE PRESS DOES BECOME A REFLECTION OF THE 
         POPULAR MOOD AND AT THAT SOME TIME ALSO BEGINS TO 
         REINFORCE THAT.

            // END ACTUALITY //

// OPT //  MR, HUSSEIN SAYS INDIA'S CONTINUED TESTS WEDNESDAY 
HAVE INCREASED THE IMPACT IN PAKISTAN.

            // OPTIONAL HUSSEIN ACTUALITY //

         ONE, IT WILL ONLY REINFORCE THE SENTIMENT THAT HAS BEEN 
         REFLECTING IN THE  NEWSPAPERS AS WELL AS IN THE 
         POLITICAL AND STRATEGIC COMMENTARIES THAT ONE HAS BEEN 
         HEARING ON RADIO AND TELEVISION.  SECONDLY, IT WILL BE 
         USED AS FURTHER PROOF BY THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE WRITING 
         THESE ARTICLES AND HOLDING THESE OPINIONS THAT INDIA IS 
         JUST IN THAT STATE OF MIND WHERE IT IS NOT WILLING TO 
         LISTEN TO ANYBODY -- BE THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
         STATES OF AMERICA, OR JAPAN.  A THESIS CAN BE BUILT THAT
         THIS IS THE TIME FOR PAKISTAN TO REALLY WATCH OUT WHAT 
         INDIA DOES AND ALSO DO WHATEVER IT CAN TO STRENGTHEN ITS
         DEFENSES.

            // END OPTIONAL ACTUALITY //

AFTER INDIA'S WEDNESDAY TESTS, PAKISTAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER TOLD 
V-O-A INDIA HAD -- IN HIS WORDS -- GONE BERSERK.

SO FAR, PAKISTAN'S OFFICIAL RESPONSE HAS BEEN TO CONDEMN INDIA 
AND SAY PAKISTAN RESERVES THE RIGHT TO PROTECT ITS OWN NATIONAL 
AND SECURITY INTERESTS.  (SIGNED)

NEB / SLH / WD / WD



14-May-98 5:33 AM EDT (0933 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.