News

USIS Washington 
File

28 May 1998

SPOKESMAN NOTES "PROFOUND DISAPPOINTMENT" AT PAKISTANI TEST

(Glenn Amendment sanctions may begin "as early as today") (410)

By Rick Marshall

USIA Staff Writer



Washington -- White House Spokesman Mike McCurry said May 28 that
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called President Clinton early
this morning -- just prior to his public announcement that Pakistan
had just conducted five nuclear tests -- and that the President
expressed his "profound disappointment" at the explosions.


Clinton had spoken at length to Sharif late last night and urged him
strongly against testing the nuclear devices.


McCurry said, however, that Clinton understood the profound pressures
Sharif has been under ever since India conducted nuclear tests earlier
this month.


Further, "Sharif was honest" in describing the pressures and the
difficulties he faced in arriving at his decision, McCurry
acknowledged. India, on the other hand, had not dealt honestly with
the United States about its nuclear test plans, he remarked.


As a result of its testing, legislation known as the Glenn Amendment
automatically forces the United States to impose economic sanctions on
Pakistan, just as it did on India.


The sanctions "could be issued as early as today," McCurry said.



The Glenn Amendment prohibits the United States from supporting loans
from the international financial institutions to any nation that
detonates a nuclear explosion except the five that current arms
control treaties recognize as declared nuclear powers. These are the
United States, Russia, Great Britain, France, and China.


Thus, the U.S. must oppose lending to both Pakistan and India from the
World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asian Development
Bank.


In addition, McCurry said, the law will probably prevent U.S. agencies
like the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the
Export-Import Bank, and the Trade and Development Agency (TDA) from
supporting U.S. commercial activities with Pakistan. Military sales
and training will be halted and the export of dual-use commodities
will also probably be affected, he said.


The Spokesman said that the U.S. has had "a very important exchange of
views" with its allies about Pakistan's tests and he predicted that
Pakistan will soon feel the bite of the sanctions which are imposed.


At the same time, the United States will continue to press both India
and Pakistan to refrain from weaponizing their nuclear devices. Such a
move "would be inherently destabilizing on the Sub-Continent," he
said.


"They understand the consequences that would arise," he commented.
"Both governments are well aware of our thinking."