News



DATE=5/18/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232401
TITLE=PAK JAPAN (L)
BYLINE=MEREDITH BUEL
DATELINE=ISLAMABAD
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO: A JAPANESE ENVOY IS IN ISLAMABAD TRYING TO CONVINCE 
PAKISTAN NOT TO TEST A NUCLEAR DEVICE. JAPAN DONATES MORE MONEY 
THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY TO ISLAMABAD SO SANCTIONS FOLLOWING A 
NUCLEAR TEST COULD BE DEVASTATING FOR PAKISTAN'S ECONOMY.  VOA 
ISLAMABAD CORRESPONDENT MEREDITH BUEL REPORTS.

TEXT:  JAPANESE ENVOY SEIICHIRO NOBORU IS ASKING TOP PAKISTANI 
OFFICIALS TO REFRAIN FROM TESTING A NUCLEAR DEVICE.

THE PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT IS UNDER INTENSE PUBLIC PRESSURE TO TEST
SUCH A DEVICE AFTER INDIA CONDUCTED FIVE NUCLEAR TESTS LAST WEEK.

OTHER COUNTRIES ARE URGING PAKISTAN TO SHOW RESTRAINT.

AFTER MEETING WITH FOREIGN MINISTER GOHAR AYUB KHAN MR. NOBORU 
SAYS HE BELIEVES THE ISLAMABAD GOVERNMENT HAS NOT YET DECIDED TO 
CARRY OUT A NUCLEAR TEST.

ON SUNDAY MR. KHAN TOLD VOA THE DECISION WAS NOT A MATTER OF "IF 
BUT WHEN." 

PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF SAYS PAKISTAN IS IN NO HURRY TO TEST 
A NUCLEAR DEVICE BUT COULD DO SO ON SHORT NOTICE. 

THE JAPANESE ENVOY SAYS PAKISTAN WOULD GAIN INTERNATIONAL RESPECT
IF IT DOES NOT RESPOND TO INDIA'S TESTS.  MR. NOBORU SAYS "WORLD 
OPINION IS ALREADY SYMPATHETIC TOWARDS PAKISTAN."

IF PAKISTAN TESTS A NUCLEAR DEVICE JAPAN IS EXPECTED TO IMPOSE 
ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ON ISLAMABAD.

SINCE JAPAN IS PAKISTAN'S LARGEST AID DONOR SANCTIONS WOULD DEAL 
A MAJOR BLOW TO THE ECONOMY.  TOKYO SENDS ABOUT 500-MILLION 
DOLLARS A YEAR TO PAKISTAN AND HAS GIVEN A TOTAL OF 
SIX-POINT-FIVE BILLION DOLLARS IN AID.

PAKISTAN'S ECONOMY RELIES HEAVILY ON OVERSEAS ASSISTANCE. 
PAKISTAN'S FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES ARE ONLY ABOUT ONE-POINT-TWO
BILLION DOLLARS.  ECONOMIC ANALYSTS SAY THE LOSS OF JAPAN'S AID 
MAY CAUSE PAKISTAN TO DEFAULT ON LOAN PAYMENTS TO THE WORLD BANK 
AND THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (I-M-F).

SHAHID-UR-REHMAN IS THE ISLAMABAD BUREAU CHIEF OF THE TOKYO-BASED
KYOTO NEWS AGENCY.  HE SAYS IF WIDE-RANGING ECONOMIC SANCTIONS 
ARE IMPOSED PAKISTAN'S ECONOMY WILL BE IN A CRISIS SITUATION.

                        // REHMAN ACT //

         SANCTIONS WILL BE DISASTROUS TO PAKISTAN.  THEY WILL 
         CREATE HAVOC WITH PAKISTAN'S ECONOMY.  BUT I DO NOT 
         THINK THEY WILL COLLAPSE PAKISTAN'S ECONOMY LIKE MANY 
         PEOPLE ARE FORECASTING.  WHAT WILL IMMEDIATELY HAPPEN IS
         THAT MOST OF THE REFORMS THAT PAKISTAN HAS UNDERTAKEN 
         DURING THE LAST TEN YEARS WILL HAVE TO BE ROLLED BACK. 
         THEY WILL HAVE TO BE SHELVED.  

                          // END ACT //

ISLAMABAD SAYS THE LIMITED SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON INDIA AFTER ITS 
TESTS MAY MAKE IT NECESSARY FOR PAKISTAN TO DEMONSTRATE ITS OWN 
NUCLEAR CAPABILITY.  

ECONOMIC ANALYSTS SAY WITH ITS LARGER POPULATION AND BIGGER 
ECONOMY INDIA IS IN A MUCH BETTER POSITION TO ABSORB SANCTIONS 
THAN PAKISTAN.

SHAHID-UR-REHMAN OF THE KYOTO NEWS AGENCY SAYS AVERAGE PAKISTANIS
MAY FACE SEVERE HARDSHIPS IF SANCTIONS ARE IMPOSED.

                        // REHMAN ACT //

         FOR 25 YEARS PAKISTANIS HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT PAKISTAN 
         WILL BUILD THE BOMB EVEN IF WE HAVE TO EAT GRASS.  SO 
         THE NATION HAS BEEN FED ON THIS SLOGAN THAT YOU MIGHT 
         HAVE TO EAT GRASS TO BUILD THE BOMB.

                          // END ACT //

PAKISTAN HAS SENT ENVOYS TO THE UNITED STATES, EUROPE AND CHINA 
TO EXPLAIN ITS POSITION ON NUCLEAR TESTING.

PAKISTAN SAYS THE INDIAN TESTS POSE A DIRECT THREAT TO ITS 
SECURITY AND STABILITY IN THE REGION.   (SIGNED)

NEB/MB/KL

NEB/MB/LTD

18-May-98 10:02 AM EDT (1402 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.