News

DATE=4/15/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-248132 TITLE=PAK MISSILE ECONOMY (L) BYLINE=SARAH HORNER DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: PAKISTAN'S FINANCE MINISTER, ISHAQ DAR, SAYS PAKISTAN WILL FACE NO FRESH SANCTIONS FROM DONORS FOLLOWING ITS MISSILE TESTS THIS WEEK. BUT, AS SARAH HORNER REPORTS FROM ISLAMABAD, THE MINISTER SAYS A MEETING OF DONORS SCHEDULED TO START NEXT WEEK HAS BEEN POSTPONED. TEXT: FINANCE MINISTER ISHAQ DAR APPEARED UPBEAT AND UNRUFFLED AT A NEWS CONFERENCE HELD IN THE PAKISTANI CAPITAL, ISLAMABAD. MR. DAR SAYS THERE WILL BE NO FINANCIAL REACTION FROM THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO THIS WEEK'S MISSILE TESTS IN SOUTH ASIA. // DAR ACT // THERE WILL BE NO ECONOMIC FALLOUT OF THE LATEST DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN OR PAKISTANI MISSILES. THERE IS NO REASON WHY THERE SHOULD BE. WE HAVE OUR BASIC HOMEWORK DONE AND WE HAVE NO REASON TO PANIC. // END ACT // PRIOR TO THE BRIEFING, MR DAR SAYS HE HELD A MEETING WITH A NUMBER OF FOREIGN AMBASSADORS FROM PAKISTAN'S DONOR COUNTRIES. HE SAYS THEY AGREED TO POSTPONE A MEETING OF THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT FORUM, SCHEDULED TO BE HELD IN PARIS NEXT WEEK. MR DAR SAYS THE PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT REQUESTED THE POSTPONEMENT BECAUSE IT FELT THE MEETING WOULD BE DOMINATED BY THE MISSILE TESTS. // DAR ACT // OUR EXPERIENCE LAST YEAR WAS NOT VERY POSITIVE. WHEN THE PAKISTANI DEVELOPMENT FORUM TOOK PLACE IN PAKISTAN, THE BULK OF TIME WAS CONSUMED IN DEBATING AND DISCUSSING THE NON-ECONOMIC ISSUES. THEY WERE NUCLEAR-RELATED, THEY WERE DEFENSE RELATED AND THOUGH THE MAIN AIM OF HAVING (THE) PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT FORUM IS TO DELIBERATE ECONOMIC ISSUES....THE FORUM WAS CONVERTED LAST YEAR INTO A DIFFERENT DEBATE. // END ACT // LAST YEAR, INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS WERE PLACED ON INDIA AND PAKISTAN IN THE WAKE OF BOTH COUNTRIES' NUCLEAR TESTS. PAKISTAN DEVALUED THE RUPEE, CUT BACK IMPORTS AND FROZE FOREIGN CURRENCY ACCOUNTS IN ANTICIPATION OF SANCTIONS. THE MOVE SCARED AWAY FOREIGN INVESTORS FROM PAKISTAN. MR DAR SAYS THIS TIME THERE WILL BE NO IMPORT RESTRICTIONS, NOR WILL FOREIGN CURRENCY ACCOUNTS BE FROZEN. (SIGNED) NEB/SLH/LTD/GE 15-Apr-99 10:00 AM EDT (1400 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .