News




DATE=5/28/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232952
TITLE=U-S PAKISTAN ONITER (L)
BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST
DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO: THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IS IMPOSING WIDE-RANGING 
SANCTIONS AGAINST PAKISTAN AFTER INTENSIVE U-S DIPLOMACY FAILED 
TO PERSUADE THAT COUNTRY  NOT  TO CARRY OUT ITS NUCLEAR TESTS. 
V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

TEXT: PRESIDENT CLINTON HAD BEEN PERSONALLY INVOLVED IN EFFORTS 
OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS TO PERSUADE PAKISTAN  NOT  TO MATCH 
INDIA'S NUCLEAR TEST SERIES. AND ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS SAY HIS
REACTION TO THE NEWS OF THE FIVE TEST EXPLOSIONS WAS ONE OF 
REGRET AND DISAPPOINTMENT.

MR. CLINTON HAD PLACED AN UNUSUAL MIDNIGHT PHONE CALL TO PRIME 
MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF TO URGE RESTRAINT WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR TO 
U-S INTELLIGENCE THE UNDERGROUND BLASTS WERE IMMINENT. OFFICIALS 
CALLED THAT 25-MINUTE DISCUSSION VERY INTENSE. AND LATER A 
CLEARLY DISAPPOINTED MR. CLINTON USED A WHITE HOUSE HEALTH CARE 
EVENT TO DEPLORE THE PAKISTANI ACTION:

                     ///CLINTON ACTUALITY///

         BY FAILING TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT AND RESPONDING TO THE 
         INDIAN TEST, PAKISTAN LOST A TRULY PRICELESS OPPORTUNITY
         TO STRENGTHEN ITS OWN SECURITY, TO IMPROVE ITS POLITICAL
         STANDING IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD. AND ALTHOUGH PAKISTAN
         WAS  NOT  THE FIRST TO TEST, TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A 
         RIGHT. I HAVE MADE IT CLEAR TO THE LEADERS OF PAKISTAN 
         THAT WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS PURSUANT 
         TO THE GLENN AMENDMENT, AS IS REQUIRED BY LAW.

                          ///END ACT//

PRIME MINISTER SHARIF MADE A RETURN CALL TO PRESIDENT CLINTON 
THURSDAY MORNING TO OFFICIALLY INFORM HIM THAT HIS GOVERNMENT HAD
GONE AHEAD WITH THE TESTS. WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN MIKE MCCURRY 
SAID MR. SHARIF EXPRESSED WHAT HE TERMED HIS RESPECT -- AND 
RESPECTFUL DISAGREEMENT -- WITH THE ARGUMENTS MR. CLINTON HAD 
MADE. HE ALSO MADE CLEAR THERE IS UNDERSTANDING WITHIN THE 
ADMINISTRATION FOR THE DILEMMA MR. SHARIF FACED:

                     ///MCCURRY ACTUALITY///

         THE PRIME MINISTER CLEARLY STRUGGLED WITH WHAT WAS 
         APPARENTLY FOR HIM A VERY DIFFICULT DECISION. HE KNEW 
         THE COSTS. HE UNDERSTOOD EXACTLY THE PRESIDENT'S 
         ARGUMENT. I THINK HE HAD SOME SYMPATHY FOR THE ARGUMENT 
         THAT THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR THE PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN 
         AND FOR PAKISTAN'S PLACE IN HISTORY WAS TO REFRAIN FROM 
         TESTING. BUT I THINK HE CLEARLY FELT THE PRESSURE AND 
         THE BURDEN OF BOTH DOMESTIC POLITICAL OPINION AND ALSO 
         THE REALITY OF THE PRESSURE HE FACED IN THE REGION 
         BECAUSE OF THE DECISION BY THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA.

                          ///END ACT///

MR. MCCURRY SAID U-S OFFICIALS RECOGNIZED A QUALITATIVE 
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDIA -- WHICH BEGAN THE LATEST CRISIS WITH 
ITS SURPRISE TESTS -- AND PAKISTAN WHICH HAD FELT COMPELLED TO 
RESPOND AND WAS STRAIGHTFORWARD ABOUT ITS SITUATION.

BUT HE SAID THE SANCTIONS AGAINST PAKISTAN ARE MANDATED BY 
CONGRESS AND WILL MIRROR THOSE ALREADY IN PLACE AGAINST INDIA. 
THE KEY PROVISION IS A REQUIREMENT THAT THE UNITED STATES OPPOSE 
LOANS TO PAKISTAN BY INTERNATIONAL LENDING INSTITUTIONS WHICH 
COULD EVENTUALLY COST PAKISTAN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

THE ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY MOVED TO THE NEXT PHASE OF ITS 
DIPLOMATIC APPROACH TO THE CRISIS AS IT TRIES TO MOBILIZE 
PRESSURE AGAINST BOTH INDIA AND PAKISTAN TO REFRAIN FROM 
DEPLOYING NUCLEAR WEAPONS -- ESPECIALLY ON THE MEDIUM-RANGE 
BALLISTIC MISSILES BOTH COUNTRIES NOW POSSESS.

MR. CLINTON DISCUSSED THE ISSUE IN HIS TELEPHONE TALK THURSDAY 
WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN AND IT IS CERTAIN TO BE HIGH
ON THE AGENDA FOR HIS SUMMIT TALKS WITH CHINESE PRESIDENT JIANG 
ZEMIN IN BEIJING NEXT MONTH.

SPOKESMAN MCCURRY SAID HE DID NOT ACCEPT THE TURN OF EVENTS AS AN
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY FAILURE -- SAYING DESPITE ALL ITS WEALTH 
AND MIGHT THE UNITED STATES CANNOT INFLUENCE EVERY EVENT, 
ESPECIALLY IN A SITUATION WHERE TWO GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN IN 
CONFLICT FOR FIVE DECADES AMID WHAT HE TERMED "INCREDIBLE 
TENSION." (SIGNED)

NEB/DAG/TMD/KL

28-May-98 4:21 PM EDT (2021 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.