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(28-05-1999)     
 

TAKBEER:

The  week-long celebrations of Yaum-e-Takbeer culminate  today with thanks giving prayers  by a grateful nation to the Allah Almighty for giving it strength to make Pakistan a nuclear power on this day last year.

Congratulating the nation on this occasion, the President and the Prime Minister have stressed the need for making Pakistan an economic power after making its defence impregnable.

In his message, President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar said Pakistan being a responsible nation could not be oblivious of the threats posed to its national security and regional peace. He said Youm-e-Takbeer symbolises
our firm belief in unflinching determination to defend the country and national self-respect. He said Pakistan is a peace loving nation having no aggressive designs against any country.

The President also appealed to the world community, specially the United Nations, to play its due role to reduce tensions and promote peace and harmony in the region.

In his message, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said last year's nuclear tests imparted a new confidence in Pakistani nation that they can counter enemy's armed attack on equal terms. He said Pakistan's
nuclear deterrence is a big achievement on which whole nation bows before Allah Almighty with gratefulness.

The Prime Minister said that this should be a guide for the future and a constant reminder that if we want to occupy a place of respect and regard in the world, we have to do it on the strength of our own ability, hard work and self-confidence.

The Provincial Governors and Chief Ministers have also congratulated the nation on the occasion of Youm-e-Takbeer.

Prayers were offered for the solidarity, security and stability of the country and prosperity of the people after Fajr prayer in mosques. Seminars, symposia, public rallies and other functions throughout the country will mark the occasion. In Karachi, the main function of Youm-e-Takbeer will be held at Mazar-e-Quaid-e-Azam this afternoon where Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is expected to be the chief guest.

He will also inaugurate a model of Chaghi Hill set up at Gulshan-e-Iqbal in the city this evening.

In Islamabad, the Foreign Minister, Sartaj Aziz will unveil plaque  of the replica of Chaghi Hills at Faizabad  Inter- change this evening.

KAHUTA TAKBEER:

Speakers paid rich tributes to renowned nuclear scientist, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan for his services to strengthen country's defence at a function held at Kahuta in connection with Youm-e-Takbeer celebrations.

The speakers included Federal Ministers, Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed, Raja Nadir Pervez and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Chaudhry Ahsan Iqbal. ..........

PROTEST:

Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with India over frequent violations of Line of Control. Indian charge d' Affairs was summoned to the Foreign  Office yesterday and conveyed serious concern of Pakistan over these violations.

He was told that Pakistan had expressed the hope that India would avoid taking provocative military action and that Pakistan reserves its right to respond appropriately.

He was informed that these provocation's are clear violation of the Simla Agreement and the spirit of the Lahore Declaration and have created an extremely dangerous situation in the area. Pakistan has expressed the hope that India would avoid any further military escalation which could lead to incalculable consequences.

ENVOYS:

The Ambassadors of P-5, G-8 and European Union, based in Islamabad were invited to the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad yesterday where Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad and other senior officials briefed them about
the latest developments in the region with particular reference to the Indian action in Kargil Sector and shooting down of two Indian jets which violated its air space in the area.

UN:

Pakistan has informed the United Nations about serious situation arising out of irresponsible Indian action on the Line of Control.

In a message to the UN Secretary General, the Prime Minister Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif urged him to increase the strength of UNMOGIP and expand its role.

He said the UN Chief should immediately despatch a special envoy to the region to maintain regional peace and security.

KASHMIR-US:

The United States has urged India and Pakistan to halt flaring military tensions over Kashmir, calling on both sides to talk rather than fight.

White House spokesman Mike Hammer said in Washington yesterday that they were concerned with the recent escalation in fighting in Kashmir and have urged the governments of India and Pakistan to exercise restraint.
He said US Ambassador to India Richard Celeste has spoken directly with Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes and similar discussions have taken place in Islamabad.

He voiced concern over the possibility that the situation might escalate, citing the use of fighter aircraft as a worrying signal.

Mr. Mike Hammer said Washington wants both countries which now possess nuclear weapons, to resolve their differences through dialogue, as they pledged to do at a landmark summit in Lahore in February.

COMMONWEALTH:

The Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has also expressed concern at the current heightening tensions between India and Pakistan.

He earnestly called for restraint to be exercised by all concerned.

STRIKE:

In occupied Kashmir, protest strike is being observed today against bombing by Indian airforce in Kargil Sector. The call for the strike has been given by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference .

KASHMIR LEAGUE:

The Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League has appealed to UN Secretary General to take urgent steps for the implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir.

The Chairman of the League Mohammad Farooq Rehmani in a statement in Islamabad said that free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices is to be arranged in the Indian occupied Kashmir to resolve the issue in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmir people.

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MIG:

Pakistan shot down two Indian Air Force MIG aircraft this morning when they intruded into Pakistan air space.

Wreckage of the aircraft hit by ground fire fell on this side of the Line of Control and one of the pilots Flight Lt. Nachi Keta of MIG-27 was captured alive when he bailed out after the destruction of his aircraft. Squadron Leader Ujha of MIG-21 was killed in the action.

The Minister for Information, Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed along with the Vice-Chief of General Staff, Maj. General Anis Bajwa and the Foreign Office spokesman, Mr. Tariq Altaf gave details of the action at a
special briefing in Islamabad Thursday afternoon.

Maj. General Anis Bajwa said according to unconfirmed reports the third Indian aircraft had crashed on the Indian side.

The Federal Information Minister said that Pakistan during the past few days has been asking India to show restraint and do not to allow the situation to escalate. He said all this was happening due to political
vacuums in India and it appears that some hawks in the Indian military establishment are hell bent to escalate the situation. He observed that the other reasons might be frustration of the Indian Army deployed in
occupied Kashmir.

Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed reiterated Pakistan's position and said it believed in peace and wanted the dialogue process to succeed. He pointed out that even the Indian press has acknowledged that their country had escalated the tension by using combat aircraft in Kashmir for the first time since 1971.

He called upon the international community specially the UN Secretary General to engage themselves in de-escalating tension and persuade India to resolve the core issue of Kashmir peacefully.

The Vice Chief of General Staff Maj. General Anis Bajwa said India has been persistently violating the Line of Control over the years and it had intruded into the Siachin area.

Indian troops have been shelling Neelum Valley road since 1994, making life miserable for about one hundred and fifty thousand civilians living in the area, in Azad Kashmir. He said the Indians started serious violations in the Kargil Sector from sixth of May when they attacked a Pakistani post in the Shyok area when they suffered casualties and left behind one dead body which was returned to them.

The Vice-Chief of General Staff said the captured Indian pilot would be treated as POW and the body of the dead pilot would be returned under the relevant regulations.

The Foreign Office spokesman said Pakistan's action today was of defensive nature and it does not want to escalate the situation. He however, made it clear that Pakistan has every right to defend itself.

KASHMIR:

Agency reports from Kargil say, despite Indian serial bombing, there has been no slowing of Mujahideen's actions and more positions have been destroyed in Kargil and Drass areas. A number of troops were reportedly killed. The Indian forces were also reported to have ailed to make any head way on the ground despite the aerial bombing.

Srinagar airport remained closed to civilian traffic for the second day today. The airport is being used for military purposes.

In Srinagar, the All Parties Hurriyat Confernece Executive, in its extra ordinary meeting decided that crippling protest strike would be observed all over occupied Kashmir tomorrow to protest against bombing by Indian
Air Force in Kargil sector.

KASHMIR-CHINA:

China has called on India and Pakistan to exercise restraint in their dispute over Kashmir.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman told a news conference in Beijing today that China hopes that the two countries will exercise restraint and resolve their differences through patient and frank negotiations.

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P M :

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has announced a new package to promote culture of science and technology and said the first decade of the new century will be devoted to the development of science and
technology.

Addressing a science and technology convention in Islamabad Thursday Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif directed the establishment of a special committee to recommend within a month for giving autonomy to scientific and research institutions. He announced the provision of one billion rupees in Public Sector Development Programme in the next budget for research.

The Prime Minister announced a five crore rupees fund to institute award of Yaum-e-Takbeer scholarship for science students.

He presented special award to Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad for their respective organisations namely KRL and PAEC in recognition of their great services to the nation.

TAKBEER:

The week-long celebrations of Yaum-e-Takbeer culminate tomorrow with thanks giving prayers by a grateful nation to the Allah Almighty for giving it strength to make Pakistan a nuclear power.

It was on this day last year that Pakistan conducted five nuclear tests to ward off dangers to the national security in the wake of Pokhran blasts by India.

Seminars, symposia, public rallies and other functions throughout the country will mark the occasion.

At the junction of twin cities, the Foreign Minister, Mr.Sartaj Aziz will unveil plague of the replica of Chaghai Hills at Faizabad Inter-change tomorrow evening.

The Prime Minister Mr.Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has appealed the nation to offer Nawafil -e-Shukrana after Friday prayers on the 28th of May, the day when Pakistan detonated nuclear devices last year.

He has also appealed women to offer Nawafil-e-Shukrana after zohar prayers tomorrow.

PM-VISIT:

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will visit Mazar of Quaid-e-Azam tomorrow afternoon to pay tributes to the father of nation on the occasion of Youm-e-Takbeer.

SURVEY:

Survey to ascertain the losses caused by cyclone and recent heavy rains in Thatta and Badin districts is being carried out.

The Commissioner Hyderabad Division told Radio Pakistan's Hyderabad representative in Thatta Thursday that Army has been assigned the work of distribution of food stuff. Fodder is also being provided for the
livestock.

He said Civil Administration, Army and Rangers have rescued three thousand eight hundred people from the affected areas.

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INDIAN CONFIRMATION:

India has confirmed that it lost two fighter jets over Kashmir Thursday.  AFP quoting Air Marshal S. K. Malik said one of the jet was downed by a Pakistani missile.