News


ASSOCIATED PRESS OF PAKISTAN
NEWS SUMMARY
(30-05-1999)


Peace our desire, not weakness: Nawaz

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz  Sharif on Saturday said Pakistan desired peace but it was not its  weakness.

He was talking to people from across the country on  telephone here Saturday. They apprised him of their complaints  and also assured him of their full support to defend every inch of the motherland.

The Prime Minister has extended duration of his weekly telephone calls from 45 minutes to ninety minutes on the demand of the people. He listened to forty calls today, said a news release issued here.

Nawaz Sharif said defence of the country was a top priority, adding, "Peace is our desire and not weakness".

The Minister gave instructions to his aides to collect details from the complainants and ensure implementation of his instructions.

Most of the callers paid rich tributes to the Prime Minister for the bold steps, he has taken during the past two years and congratulated him for making Pakistan's defence impregnable. They expressed the hope, that he would take similar steps towards economic uplift of country.

Govt firmly believes in supremacy of constitution and rule of law

LAHORE, May 30 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Saturday reaffirmed that his government firmly believes in the supremacy of constitution and rule of law and will continue to
govern all affairs of the country absolutely within the ambit of law.

Talking to newsmen at Gymkhana Cricket Ground here this evening he said the Government is working strictly in accordance with the law and will continue to uphold the dignity of the constitution of Pakistan and maintain sanctity of law. People from all strata of the society will also have to respond in the same manner, he added.

Prime Minister said that government is fully determined to implement its national agenda in letter and spirit which he added is mainly aimed at the betterment and welfare of the downtrodden
across the country. He said with the implementation of the agenda, an era of progress, prosperity and development will usher in the country.

Premier to hold press conference on Pak-India ties, LoC situation

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will address a press conference for national and international media on Monday on issues relating to recent
situation at Line of Control (LoC) and Pakistan-India relations, Information and Culture Minister Mushahid Hussain said Saturday. The news conference will be held at 1200 hrs in Lahore, he
said.

Pakistan proposes dates for FM's visit to Delhi

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): Pakistan has proposed dates for the visit of Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz to India for talks on finding ways of defusing tension at the Line of Control (LoC).

"Pakistani High Commissioner in New Delhi is in touch with the Indian authorities to finalise the dates," Foreign Minister, Sartaj Aziz told reporters here on Saturday.

"My visit's intention is to defuse the situation and try to find a solution to the (Kashmir) problem through dialogue," he said and added he will emphasise that the local problems should
be resolved at local level.

To a question he agreed that interim Indian government could not take major decisions, but a lot of technical issues could be discussed.

Responding to another question he said "We are doing our best to defuse the situation, but we cannot say with surety what will happen."

Sartaj Aziz expected to visit India next week: Mushahid

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP) :Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz is expected to visit New Delhi next week for talks on finding ways to defusing tension at the Line of Control (LoC).

"Inshaallah, he (Sartaj Aziz) will be in New Delhi next week," Information Minister Mushahid Hussain said in response to a question at the press briefing.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his Friday's telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart Atal Behari Vajpayee had offered to send Foreign Minister to New Delhi for talks.

Benazir remarks at WB forum expose her intentions: PML Spokesman

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP) :The PML spokesman has said it was a misfortune of the Pakistani nation that it had to deal with Benazir Bhutto, whose loyalty to the country was always doubtful,
whether she was in power or out of it.

"When she is in power, she helps Rajiv Gandhi in saving India from disintegration; and when loses power she tries to stop delivery of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan, or issues statements against Pakistan's nuclear programme, or strives hard to stop economic assistance for the country", he added.

He said Benazir's appeals to the World Bank to discontinue economic assistance to Pakistan was not surprising because every body in Pakistan knew that it was a continuation of her
everlasting strategy.

The spokesman said that Benazir's suggestion to keep cognisance of corruption separate from politics would never be accepted by the people of Pakistan because they were now aware
that persons like Benazir Bhutto grabbed political power only to plunder the national treasury and fill up their personal coffers.

"As a matter of fact, the current economic hardships of Pakistan are due to the systematic loot that was carried out under the supervision of Benazir's PM House,"he added.

Pakistan awaiting Indian response to its offer for talks

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP) :Pakistan said on Saturday it is awaiting the Indian response to its offer of sending Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz to New Delhi for talks on finding ways to defusing recent hostilities at Line of Control (LoC).  "We are awaiting Indian response," Foreign Office spokesman said while responding to a question on the offer given by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to his Indian counterpart Atal Behari Vajpayee Friday.

He said Pakistan took a big diplomatic initiative to defuse the recent flare-up at LoC.

"This shows Prime Minister's commitment to peace process and it was also evident from his recent urgent communication to the United Nations Secretary general.

He said Pakistan is desirous of defusing tension escalated by India. Altaf said Pakistan remains committed to Lahore Declaration and the entire peace process.  At the same time, he said, Pakistan also remains committed to defending its security and territorial integrity. However,"our
preference is for finding a peaceful solution to the problems."

He called upon the world, in the words of South African President Nelson Mandela, to, "lend full strength," for the solution of Kashmir dispute.

He also expressed Pakistan's serious concern over continued brutalities and Indian repressive military action against Kashmiri Muslims in held Kashmir.

Normal artillery fire continued at LoC

ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): Pakistan army said that normal exchange of artillery fire took place between its forces and Indian troops across the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday.

Updating the newsmen on the situation at LoC at his daily briefing, Brig. Rashid Qureshi, Director General of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), said the "exchange of fire (on saturday) was lighter than yesterday (Friday)."

He said Pakistan returned the fire whenever Indian artillery fired on Pakistani positions.

He said certain Indian planes also flew at high altitudes. "But they did not come in for any rocketing or bombing and they stayed within their side of LoC."

He said Pakistani side contacted Indians on Friday at 1745 hours to take over the body of their deceased pilot Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, whose plane was shot down Thursday for violating Pakistan airspace.

Later, the body was handed over with full military honours.

 Air strikes continue, Ahuja's body reaches Srinagar

NEW DELHI , May 30 (APP): Indian Airforce continued its air strikes against freedom fighters for the fourth consective day Saturday in Kargil sector as body of Sqn Leader Ajay Ahuja was handed over by Pakistan to Indian army reached Srinangar.

Official sources said the body of Ahuja, who piloted the IAF-21 that was  shot down Thursday, was handed over to the Indian army somewhere in the Kargil sector lastnight. The sources said after post mortem in Srinagar ,the body will be sent to Bhatinda to his family.

Vajpayee says India is ready for unconditional talks with Pakistan

NEW  DELHI , May 30 (APP) :Prime Miinister Atal Behari Vajpayee expressed  his willingness for unconditional talks with Pakistan in response to  last evening offer by Nawaz Sharif at a public meeting to send his  foreign minister to India, but said he is still to get a final communication from Islamabad on the matter.

This was stated by Union parliamentary affairs minister P R Kumaramangalam while briefing newsmen on the All-Party meeting. He,however, said air strikes would  continue. He said prime minister Vajpayee categorically said at the meeting India will sternly and firmly evict the  militants .

Defence Minister George Fernandes present at the briefing said "we do not believe this will escalate into a war," adding "the Indian troops have reached the LOC in the Drass sector and the guerillas suffered  heavily.

Fernandes, however, said that some pockets in the Drass sector needed to
be cleared of  militants.

Foreigners should take advantage from investment policies of Pakistan

DOHA, May 30 (APP) :Chairman Board of Investment, Humayun Akhtar Khan has invited investors and businessmen to invest in Pakistan and take advantage from the lucrative policies introduced by Pakistan.

He said this while addressing "Pakistan Investment Conference" held here on Saturday with the welcome speech of the Acting Chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The Investment Conference was organized by the Board of Investment in collaboration with the Embassy of Pakistan and Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Doha.

The Chairman BoI said that Qatri investors should take full benefit by making investment in Pakistan because the government of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has introduced a number of lucrative
opportunities of joint venturers and investment.