News


DATE=5/28/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232963
TITLE=PAK NUKES / ECONOMY (L-ONLY)
BYLINE=AYAZ GUL
DATELINE=ISLAMABAD
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  PAKISTAN'S FINANCE MINISTER -- SARTAJ AZIZ -- SAYS THE 
EXPECTED ECONOMIC SANCTIONS IN THE WAKE OF THE COUNTRY'S FIVE 
NUCLEAR TESTS COULD COST PAKISTAN THREE-BILLION DOLLARS.  BUT HE 
SAYS THE COUNTRY CAN SUSTAIN THE LOSS.  AYAZ GUL REPORTS FROM 
ISLAMABAD.

TEXT:  PAKISTAN'S FINANCE MINISTER SARTAJ AZIZ SAYS ECONOMIC 
SANCTIONS BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MAY NOT CAUSE MAJOR 
DIFFICULTIES FOR THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMY. 

MR. AZIZ SAYS PAKISTAN'S ECONOMY CAN ABSORB THE SANCTIONS IF THEY
ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE ON INDIA.

                         ///AZIZ ACT///

         WELL, WE ARE WORKING THAT OUT. IT DEPENDS ON THE NATURE 
         OF THE SANCTIONS, THEIR SEVERITY, THEIR DURATION. BUT IF
         IT IS AT THE SAME LEVEL AS INDIA, THEN WE SHOULD BE ABLE
         TO MANAGE IT.

                          ///END ACT///

INDIA CONDUCTED FIVE NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS EARLY THIS MONTH THAT 
TRIGGERED ECONOMIC SANCTIONS -- IN PARTICULAR, FROM THE UNITED 
STATES AND JAPAN.

IN HIS SPEECH ANNOUNCING PAKISTAN'S TESTS, PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ 
SHARIF WARNED THE PAKISTANI NATION THAT HARD TIMES ARE AHEAD 
BECAUSE OF ECONOMIC SANCTIONS.

THE FINANCE MINISTER SAYS THE SANCTIONS WILL AFFECT THE 
DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS AND FUTURE FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN PAKISTAN. 
BUT HE SAYS THE AVERAGE PERSON ON THE STREET WILL NOT NOTICE THE 
EFFECTS AS MUCH.

                         ///AZIZ ACT///

         WE HAVE ENOUGH WHEAT TO FEED HIM (THE AVERAGE PERSON); 
         WE HAVE ENOUGH CLOTHING FOR HIM TO WEAR. I THINK THE 
         DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS IN GENERAL WILL BE AFFECTED MUCH 
         MORE IN INDIA THAN HERE BECAUSE THE PIPELINE INVESTMENT 
         WAS MUCH GREATER. SO I DO HOPE THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO 
         GET BACK ON THE RAILS.

                          ///END ACT///

MEANWHILE, PAKISTANI PRESIDENT RAFIQ TARAR ENACTED A NEW LAW THAT
SUSPENDS LEGAL RIGHTS DEALING WITH FOREIGN EXCHANGE.

PAKISTAN'S FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES ARE REPORTED TO BE JUST OVER
ONE-BILLION DOLLARS. ANALYSTS SAY THAT IS JUST ENOUGH FOR TWO 
WEEKS' WORTH OF IMPORTS, WHILE PAKISTAN ALSO HAS MAJOR 
INTERNATIONAL DEBT REPAYMENTS COMING UP SHORTLY.

ANALYSTS HAD PREDICTED PAKISTAN WOULD HAVE TO RESORT TO DRASTIC 
MEASURES TO SURVIVE THE PUNITIVE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS FOLLOWING THE
NUCLEAR TESTS. (SIGNED)

NEB/AG/WDC/RRM

28-May-98 5:46 PM EDT (2146 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.