- Pakistan Declares State Of
- Pakistan suspended all civil rights last
night when it declared a state of emergency due to a "threat by external
aggression to the security of Pakistan" which had earlier accused
its neighbor of planning to attaqck its nuclear sites. Pakistan had earlier
tested five nuclear weapons underground and India called such claims absurd.
Pakistan threatened massive retaliation in case of attack and was said
to have deployed missiles around its nuclear facilities according to the
- India Ups Defense Spending
- NEW DELHI (www.nando.net) - The Indian government on Monday followed up
its nuclear tests by increasing defense spending, while China warned it
might resume nuclear tests if South Asian tensions continue to escalate.
- But the regional crisis showed no sign
of easing, with Pakistan declaring it was pushing ahead with plans for
a new long-range missile to carry nuclear warheads. It rejected an Indian
offer of talks.
- In a sign of the mounting international
concern, Japan said it might offer to host peace talks between India and
Pakistan while Bangladesh leader Sheik Hasina Wajed offered to go to both
- India, which tested five nuclear bombs
last month, hiked military spending in its budget for fiscal year ending
March 1999 by 14 percent to $10 billion.
- "There can be no compromise in our
defense preparedness," Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha told parliament.
- He said in his budget speech that he
was increasing defense expenditure "substantially" by $1.2 billion,
and would increase it further during the year if necessary.
- New Delhi defied international opinion
in conducting its nuclear tests, which sparked a tit-for-tat response from
Pakistan last week.
- A senior Chinese foreign ministry official
said China could not rule out the possibility of resuming nuclear tests
if the danger posed by a nuclear arms race in India and Pakistan worsened.
- But he stressed that Beijing remained
"serious" about its commitment to the Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty (CTBT), which it signed in 1996.
- India highlighted a threat from China
in justifying its nuclear tests and the Chinese official said this made
it difficult for Beijing to rule out any possibility.
- "We don't want to be and are not
India's enemy, but at least we have to think twice," he said. "We
have to take into account this development."
- The CTBT, which both India and Pakistan
have refused to sign, allows signatory nations to quit the treaty if their
"supreme national interests" are at stake, he said.
- Ahead of India's nuclear tests on May
11 and 13, Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes outraged Beijing by
stating that China -- not traditional rival Pakistan -- was his country's
No. 1 threat.
- China condemned India's nuclear tests
as an attempt to gain "hegemony" over South Asia, but analysts
say the reaction would have been milder had India not used China to explain
the need for nuclear weapons.
- China also expressed concern over Pakistan's
nuclear tests, but it still blamed India for causing the crisis.
- India accuses China of helping Pakistan
develop nuclear arms and missile technology, a charge the official vehemently
- "It would be most ridiculous for
China to proliferate nuclear weapons ... Nobody wants a nuclear country
on its border," he said.
- Pakistani scientists who masterminded
last week's six underground nuclear tests said the country's sophisticated
missile program would be stepped up.
- Samar Mobarik Mand, the head of Pakistan's
missile program, said the Shaheen II (Eagle) missile, capable of carrying
a nuclear warhead 1,250 miles, would be ready for a test flight within
- Mand also told Monday's edition of The
Nation daily that the Shaheen I missile, with a range of 435 miles and
the ability to carry nuclear weapons, could be tested within days.
- Abdul Qadeer Khan, architect of Pakistan's
nuclear program, has said the country was going into mass production of
the Ghauri long-range missile and could create nuclear weapons "within
- Pakistan tested the 940-mile Ghauri missile
on April 6, the first salvo in an arms race with India that culminated
with India's five nuclear tests and Pakistan's retaliatory response.
- The tests sparked international outrage
at both countries and punitive U.S.-led sanctions which could cost them
several billion dollars.
- China separately said Foreign Minister
Tang Jiaxuan would attend a meeting of the U.N. Security Council's five
permanent members in Geneva on Thursday to discuss the nuclear crisis on
the Indian subcontinent.