News



DATE=5/15/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232278
TITLE=PAK US NUCLEAR (L)
BYLINE=ALI ZAIDI
DATELINE=ISLAMABAD
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:


INTRO:  A HIGH-RANKING DELEGATION OF U-S OFFICIALS IS HOLDING 
TALKS WITH PAKISTANI LEADERS IN AN ATTEMPT TO DISSUADE PAKISTAN 
FROM CARRYING OUT A NUCLEAR TEST.  AS ALI ZAIDI REPORTS FROM 
ISLAMABAD -- OFFICIALS OF BOTH COUNTRIES ARE TIGHT-LIPPED AS TO 
WHAT INCENTIVES THE UNITED STATES MAY BE OFFERING PAKISTAN TO 
FOREGO ITS WIDELY EXPECTED RESPONSE TO INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS.

TEXT: TOP U-S GOVERNMENT AND MILITARY OFFICIALS HELD A 90-MINUTE 
MEETING WITH PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINISTER GOHAR AYUB FRIDAY.

THE U-S DELEGATION THEN LEFT FOR DISCUSSIONS WITH PAKISTAN'S ARMY
CHIEF JEHANGIR KARAMAT, AND PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF.  EXPERTS
SAYS THIS MISSION MAY BE THE ONLY CHANCE TO PREVENT ANOTHER 
NUCLEAR EXPLOSION IN THE SUBCONTINENT.

UNITED STATES DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE STROBE TALBOTT -- WHO IS 
HEADING THE U-S DELEGATION -- SAYS THE DISCUSSION WAS A USEFUL 
FORUM FOR TWO FRIENDS TO LISTEN TO EACH OTHER'S POINT OF VIEW.

                       /// TALBOTT ACT ///

  WE CAME TO CONSULT WITH A VERY GOOD FRIEND. IT'S PARTICULARLY 
IMPORTANT THAT GOOD FRIENDS LIKE THE UNITED STATES AND PAKISTAN 
STAY IN THE CLOSEST POSSIBLE TOUCH, UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER'S VIEWS
AT DIFFICULT TIMES. THIS IS A DIFFICULT TIME, AND WE'VE HAD A 
GOOD MEETING.

                         /// END ACT ///

THE DELEGATION IS HERE TO TRY TO PERSUADE THE PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT
NOT TO RESPOND TO INDIA'S FIVE NUCLEAR TESTS WITH ONE OF ITS OWN.

AFTER THE DAY'S FIRST MEETING HOWEVER, PAKISTAN'S FOREIGN OFFICE 
SPOKESMAN TARIQ ALTAF SUGGESTED THE U-S TEAM MADE LITTLE PROGRESS
IN PERSUADING PAKISTAN TO FOREGO A NUCLEAR TEST.

                        /// ALTAF ACT ///

  OUR RESPONSE WILL BE IN KEEPING WITH THE THREAT WE ARE FACING 
AND IN KEEPING WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF OUR SECURITY AND NATIONAL
INTERESTS. I HAVE TOLD YOU ALREADY THAT IN DETAIL, AND THAT 
REMAINS OUR POSITION.

                         /// END ACT ///

MR. ALTAF WOULD SAY ONLY THAT BOTH SIDES LISTENED TO EACH OTHER. 
NEITHER COUNTRY'S OFFICIALS WOULD COMMENT ON ANY PROPOSALS THAT 
THE U-S DELEGATION MAY HAVE BROUGHT WITH THEM.

                        /// REST OPT ///

THURSDAY, PAKISTAN'S CABINET EXPRESSED UNANIMOUS DETERMINATION TO
CONDUCT A NUCLEAR TEST -- SAYING THE COUNTRY'S SECURITY CONCERNS 
WOULD  NOT  BE COMPROMISED UNDER PRESSURE FROM WESTERN 
GOVERNMENTS.

PAKISTAN HAS BEEN SEVERELY CRITICAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL 
COMMUNITY -- AND  IN PARTICULAR OF THE UNITED STATES -- FOR 
FAILING TO PREVENT INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS DESPITE REPEATED 
WARNINGS FROM PAKISTAN.

REPORTS SAY PAKISTAN HAS ALREADY STARTED PREPARATIONS FOR ITS OWN
TEST IN  A REMOTE DESERT REGION IN BALOCHISTAN PROVINCE. PAKISTAN
IS CONSIDERED CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A NUCLEAR WEAPON, BUT SAYS IT 
HAS THUS FAR CHOSEN  NOT  TO DO SO.

THE UNITED STATES HAS WARNED PAKISTAN IT WILL FACE THE SAME 
ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AS THOSE IMPOSED ON INDIA IF IT GOES AHEAD 
WITH A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION, BUT PAKISTANI OFFICIALS SAY THE ACTION 
TAKEN AGAINST INDIA IS TOO TRIVIAL TO BE OF ANY EFFECT.

PUBLIC OPINION IN PAKISTAN IS STRONGLY IN FAVOR OF TESTING A 
NUCLEAR DEVICE, WHICH MANY HERE SEE AS THE ONLY DETERRENT TO 
INDIA'S REGIONAL AMBITIONS. (SIGNED)

NEB/AZ/WDC/JO 

15-May-98 9:31 AM EDT (1331 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.