News

DATE=4/12/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-247950 TITLE=MISSILE / PAK REACT (L-ONLY) BYLINE=SCOTT ANGER DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A DAY AFTER INDIA TEST-FIRED A NEW BALLISTIC MISSILE, ARCH-RIVAL PAKISTAN HAS COME UNDER PRESSURE TO RESPOND. CORRESPONDENT SCOTT ANGER SPOKE WITH AN ANALYST IN PAKISTAN WHO SAYS THE COUNTRY HAS NO CHOICE, BUT TO ANSWER INDIA'S ACTION WITH A MISSILE TEST OF ITS OWN. TEXT: NO OFFICIAL INDICATION HAS BEEN GIVEN ABOUT WHETHER PAKISTAN WILL TEST ONE OF ITS MISSILES IN RESPONSE TO INDIA'S TEST-FIRING OF THE AGNI-TWO MISSILE SUNDAY. PAKISTAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS HIS COUNTRY WILL MAKE A DECISION IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. BUT KHALID MAHMUD, OF THE INSTITUTE OF REGIONAL STUDIES IN ISLAMABAD, SAYS INDIA'S TEST HAS LEFT PAKISTAN WITH JUST ONE WAY OF RESPONDING. /// MAHMUD ACT /// PAKISTAN HAS ONLY ONE OPTION -- THEY ARE GOING TO TEST FIRE A MISSILE, MAYBE IN A WEEK'S TIME. THE PAKISTANIS HAVE NO CHOICE, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT TO RESPOND. ///END ACT/// IF PAKISTAN CARRIES OUT A TEST, EXPERTS SAY IT COULD ANY ONE OF THE THREE BALLISTIC MISSILES THE COUNTRY HAS IN ITS ARSENAL. PAKISTAN COULD TEST-FIRE THE SHAHEEN-ONE OR THE SHAHEEN-TWO. BOTH MISSILES ARE CAPABLE OF ONE-THOUSAND KILOGRAM PAYLOADS, BUT THE UPGRADED SHAHEEN-TWO REPORTEDLY HAS A RANGE OF MORE THAN TWO THOUSAND KILOMETERS, WHICH COULD STRIKE DEEP WITHIN NEIGHBORING INDIA. ISLAMABAD COULD ALSO CHOOSE TO TEST AN UPGRADED VERSION OF THE GHUARI, WHICH FIRST APPEARED IN PUBLIC LAST MONTH AT A NATIONAL DAY PARADE. THE MISSILE HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY TESTED AND IS CAPABLE OF DELIVERING A NUCLEAR WARHEAD UP TO 15-HUNDRED KILOMETERS. ALTHOUGH INDIA'S MISSILE TEST HAS RAISED TENSIONS BETWEEN THE TWO RIVALS, MR MAHMUD SAYS HE DOES NOT THINK THE TEST WILL HAVE ANY EFFECT ON THE ONGOING DIALOGUE DESIGNED TO IMPROVE STRAINED RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. ///MAHMUD ACT TWO/// THE TIMING OF TESTING OF AGNI-TWO HAS MORE TO DO WITH DOMESTIC POLITICS. AS THE INDIAN OPPOSITION HAS CHARGED, THIS IS A POLITICAL STUNT TO SALVAGE THE RULING COALITION'S DWINDLING POLITICAL FORTUNES. ///END ACT/// INDIA AND PAKISTAN, WHICH HAVE FOUGHT THREE WARS IN THE LAST 50 YEARS, HAVE REVIVED THE PEACE DIALOGUE UNDER INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE, AFTER BOTH CONDUCTED BACK-TO-BACK NUCLEAR TESTS LAST YEAR. THE TESTS RAISED FEARS OF A NUCLEAR CONFLICT IN SOUTH ASIA. (SIGNED) NEB/SA/KL 12-Apr-99 11:01 AM EDT (1501 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .