News



DATE=5/21/98 
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT 
NUMBER=5-40445
TITLE=PAK INDIA
BYLINE=MEREDITH BUEL
DATELINE=ISLAMABAD 
CONTENT= 
VOICED AT:

INTRO:  PUBLIC PRESSURE CONTINUES TO MOUNT ON THE GOVERNMENT OF 
PAKISTAN TO TEST A NUCLEAR DEVICE AFTER INDIA CONDUCTED FIVE SUCH
TESTS LAST WEEK.  AT A SEMINAR HELD IN ISLAMABAD, FORMER 
HIGH-RANKING MILITARY OFFICERS, DIPLOMATS, AND ACADEMICS SAY 
ISLAMABAD IS LEFT WITH LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO CARRY OUT SUCH A 
TEST.  CORRESPONDENT MEREDITH BUEL REPORTS.

TEXT:  PAKISTAN PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF AND HIS ADVISORS ARE 
CONTINUING TO DISCUSS THE CONSEQUENCES OF TESTING A NUCLEAR 
DEVICE IN RESPONSE TO INDIA'S TESTS.

MR. SHARIF SAYS ISLAMABAD IS SHOWING RESTRAINT BY NOT TESTING 
SUCH A DEVICE, BUT HE SAYS PRESSURE IS -- MOUNTING BY THE HOUR --
TO RESPOND TO INDIA'S FIVE NUCLEAR TESTS.

DURING A SEMINAR SPONSORED BY THE INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC STUDIES 
IN ISLAMABAD, DIPLOMATS, ACADEMICS, AND FORMER HIGH RANKING 
MILITARY OFFICERS DISCUSSED THE IMPLICATIONS OF INDIA'S TESTS.  
RETIRED GENERAL AND FORMER VICE CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF K-M ARIF SAYS
PAKISTAN HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO TEST A DEVICE TO HELP RESTORE A 
MILITARY BALANCE IN THE REGION.

                         // ARIF ACT //

 FACED WITH A NUCLEAR THREAT PAKISTAN NEEDS A NUCLEAR BOMB -- NOT
NECESSARILY AS A WEAPON FOR WAR -- BUT CERTAINLY AS AN INSTRUMENT
FOR REGIONAL PEACE.  IF PAKISTAN CAN NOT PROTECT HER OWN 
SECURITY, IN MY JUDGEMENT, NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD CAN DO THIS 
JOB FOR HER.  

                          // END ACT //

FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER ABDUL SATTAR SAYS PAKISTAN IS IN A MUCH 
WORSE POSITION THAN INDIA TO ABSORB ECONOMIC SANCTIONS.  SUCH 
SANCTIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES, JAPAN AND OTHER COUNTRIES ARE 
ALMOST SURE TO FOLLOW ANY NUCLEAR TEST.

MR. SATTAR SAYS THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF THOSE SANCTIONS MUST BE 
CAREFULLY CONSIDERED.

                        // SATTAR ACT //

 PAKISTAN CAN NOT DISCOUNT RECURRENT PREMONITIONS OF DEFAULT.  
THE COUNTRY IS HARDLY IN A POSITION TO EMULATE INDIA'S DEFIANT 
POSTURE.  LIVING ON THIN MARGINS IT HAS TO WEIGH ITS OPTIONS WITH
MUCH GREATER CARE AND CALCULATION.  THE PAKISTANI PEOPLE HAVE 
ALWAYS DEMONSTRATED AN INSPIRING SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE, BUT BELT 
TIGHTENING BY THE POOR WILL NOT SQUEEZE ADEQUATE SAVINGS TO MEET 
THE COUNTRY'S LARGE INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS.

                          // END ACT //

THE CHAIRMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND STRATEGIC STUDIES 
AT QUAID-I-AZAM UNIVERSITY IN ISLAMABAD -- ZAFAR IQBAL CHEEMA -- 
SAYS PAKISTAN HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO TEST A NUCLEAR DEVICE.  HE 
SAYS SUCH A TEST WILL YIELD VALUABLE SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND 
HELP RESTORE A BALANCE OF POWER IN SOUTH ASIA.

                        // CHEEMA ACT //

 CAN THE IMBALANCE BE REDRESSED THROUGH CONVENTIONAL MEASURES?  I
THINK THAT IS A BIG NO.  THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO OPTION AVAILABLE 
-- THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY IN WHICH A NUCLEAR DISEQUILIBRIUM 
(IMBALANCE) CAN BE ADDRESSED THROUGH CONVENTIONAL MILITARY 
METHODS.  SO ONE HAS TO RESPOND AT THE NUCLEAR LEVEL.  THERE IS 
NOTHING AVAILABLE TO PAKISTAN BELOW THAT THRESHOLD BY WHICH IT 
CAN REDRESS THAT NUCLEAR DISEQUILIBRIUM GENERATED BY INDIA'S 
NUCLEAR TESTS.

                          // END ACT //

PUBLIC OPINION IN PAKISTAN -- REFLECTED IN NEWSPAPERS AND 
INFORMAL SURVEYS -- APPEARS TO BE WEIGHTED HEAVILY TOWARD SUPPORT
OF A NUCLEAR TEST.

THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT SAYING WHEN IT WILL MAKE A DECISION, 
ALTHOUGH A NUMBER OF TOP OFFICIALS SAY ISLAMABAD IS NOT IN A 
HURRY TO CARRY OUT A NUCLEAR TEST.   (SIGNED) 

NEB/MB/RAE

21-May-98 7:37 AM EDT (1137 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.