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16-05-1998

07/0800 HOURS OF 16-5-1998(SATURDAY)

TALBOTT: The US Deputy Secretary of State Mr. Strobe Talbott has said Pakistan has taken no irrevocable decision as far as conducting a nuclear test is concerned.

He was talking to newsmen in Islamabad Friday night after his detailed separate meetings with the Prime Minister Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Jehangir Karamat and the Foreign Minister Mr. Gohar Ayub Khan.

He said the Prime Minister has assured that there is no time table for exploding a nuclear bomb and that his government would see whether international sanctions against India sustained or proved to be temporary.

Pakistan government wants the international community to sustain its pressure and sanctions against India.

Meanwhile, other US officials accompanying Mr. Talbott said that Mr. Nawaz Sharif is grappling with the great problem that has been created by the Indian blasts and the international community deeply shares his concern.

They denied that Pakistan has provided the United States any "wish-list" in return not to look after its security interests the way Islamabad wants.

PAK-CANADA: The Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Jean Chretjen has strongly condemned India for conducting nuclear explosions.

In a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister from Birmingham last evening where he is attending the G-8 summit. The Canadian Prime Minister said they sympathised with Pakistan at this hour as India has put Pakistan in a difficult position. He further said that India has not acted properly.

The Prime Minister Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif explained to him Pakistanís position and said it will look after its national interests.

MUSHAHID: The Minister for Information Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed has said the nuclear tests carried out by India, are not merely the tests but there is a particular BJP ideology behind it.

In an interview Friday evening, he recounted various threats given by the BJP as its election agenda including that of nuclear tests and attack on Azad Kashmir. He stressed that Pakistan is worried because it means the threat is not just to Pakistanís integrity and solidarity but also to the peace, security and stability of the region.

The Information Minister said Pakistan always demonstrated restraint and its policies has always been peace loving. But the issue is that India has not demonstrated the same spirit.


21/2200 HOURS OF 15-5-1998(FRIDAY)

PM LEADERS: The Prime Minister has decided to consult the leaders of national political parties on the situation arising out of the Indian nuclear tests.

The purpose of such consultations is to elicit their opinion in order to achieve a national consensus on the policy Pakistan should adopt to deal with the situation.

Cabinet Ministers have been assigned the responsibility to meet the political leaders individually. It has been the policy of the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to take into confidence national political leaders on issues of vital national importance.

In this connection the Information Minister, Mr. Mushahid Hussain Sayed had a meeting with the Chairman of Pakistan National Conference, Retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan in Islamabad Friday evening.

NAWAZ: A high level American delegation led by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott held talks with the Prime Minister, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan on the situation arising out of nuclear tests by India.

Mr. Talbott also held 90 minute talks at the Foreign Office with the Foreign Minister and senior Foreign Office officials.

After the talks Mr. Talbott told newsmen he was satisfied with his talks. He said it is a difficult time and that was why the high level American delegation was in Pakistan.

PAK-FRANCE: Pakistan and France have held in-depth consultations on the regional security scenario specially in the aftermath of the Indian nuclear tests. The 2 sides also discussed Jammu and Kashmir dispute, matters pertaining to defence and security, and expansion in the UN Security Council.

The discussions took place in Islamabad Friday at the 6th round of annual bilateral consultations. Foreign Secretary, Mr. Shamshad Ahmed led the Pakistan delegation, while the French delegation was headed by Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bertrand Dufoureq.

The French delegation was informed that sanctions and condemnation of Indiaís nuclear tests had become totally irrelevant, after New Delhi achieved its ambitions to acquire nuclear weapon status.

PRESIDENT: President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar has said Pakistan is fully prepared to face any challenge as the entire nation is united.

He was talking to a delegation of editors Council Sargodha in Islamabad Friday.

The delegation apprised the President of the problems of the people particularly those belonging to print Media.

ANNIVERSARY: A week long programme to observe the 8th anniversary of the martyrdom of the prominent Kashmiri leader Mirwaiz Maulvi Muhammad Farooq began all over occupied Kashmir Friday. Addressing a big gathering in Budgam area marking the start of the programme his son and former Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Mir Waiz Umer Farooq, said tension in South Asia cannot be reduced unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved.

PM-TALBOTT: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistanís response to Indian nuclear tests will be determined by its security interests.

He was talking to newsmen at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad Friday night before talks with the American delegation led by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan has the nuclear capability but it exercised restraint and did not explode a device for the last about 2 decades. He said we are a responsible nation and we are watching very carefully as to what attitude the whole world would take. He said we will see whether the world response was strong or light.

The Prime Minister regretted that he offered talks to India to resolve the outstanding issues but instead of finding peaceful solution of the problems India resorted to nuclear testing which is very disturbing for Pakistan. He said the international community must realise the security concerns of Pakistan and appreciate its view point.

Replying to a question the Prime Minister said Pakistan did not want any economic assistance and was not worried about sanctions as these were not new for it. In this connection he referred to Pakistan specific pressler amendment because of which economic and military assistance had been suspended. He hoped that the United States would review the pressler amendment.