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Archive Monday, 1 June, 1998, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Pakistan carries out nuclear tests
anti-india demonstrators
Demonstrators had called for Pakistan to respond to India's tests
Pakistan has exploded five underground nuclear devices around Chagai in south western Baluchistan.

The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the nation on television shortly after and told citizens that Pakistan had been forced to carry out the tests.

He said that the series of five controversial tests by India earlier in the month had made the action "inevitable".

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on national tv address
Nawaz Sharif: "We could have done this years ago."
"Today's day is history in the making. Today God has given us the opportunity to take this step for our country's defence which is inevitable," he said.

"We never wanted to participate in this nuclear race. We have proved to the world that we would not accept what was dictated to us."

The prime minister said Pakistan's response was fully supported by its people. He said it had been made necessary by the alleged weak response of the international community to India's tests.

"India exploded nuclear devices. Today we've paid them back," he added.

Later, after his national address, he said he was ready for more talks with India on a non-aggression pact.

Speculation fulfilled

Correspondents had predicted that Pakistan would carry out tests in response to those made by India.

Pakistani officials said the devices were detonated underground at 10.30 (GMT).

The testing was announced by the Pakistani Foreign Minister, Gohar Ayub Khan. He told reporters: "Yes, we've done it."

The Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, said Pakistan's action vindicated India's decision to conduct tests of its own.

The news was announced as the Indian parliament considered its own tests and caused uproar.

History of recent nuclear tests
President Bill Clinton said he deplored the decision. He added that Pakistan had missed a priceless opportunity by not showing restraint.

He confirmed Pakistan would now face sanctions.

Nato said the tests were a "dangerous development" and also warned of sanctions.

Earlier warning

Chagai map
Pakistan officials said the tests were carried out around Chagai about 500km from Islamabad
Before the tests were announced, Pakistan warned India of "a swift and massive retaliation" if India launched an attack on its nuclear installations.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry summoned India's High Commissioner in Islamabad, Satish Chandar, in the early hours of Thursday morning and told him that Pakistan expected the Indian Government to desist from any irresponsible act.

Pakistan said it issued the warning after receiving what it called credible information that an attack was to be mounted before dawn on Pakistani nuclear installations.

But India dismissed the reports as malicious and baseless. The Pakistani announcement was widely seen as an attempt to prepare public reaction for tests.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC News
Former High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan: India built up pressure on Pakistan
BBC News
BBC Correspondent Owen Bennett-Jones in Islamabad
BBC News
BBC Correspondent Daniel Lak in Delhi: "Tests take pressure off India"
BBC News
BBC News' Owen Bennett-Jones on the latest developments
BBC News
Prime Minister Sharif: "We never wanted to participate" (In Urdu)
BBC News
Nawaz Sharif: "We could not have remained complacent."
See also:

12 Jun 98 | india nuclear testing
27 May 98 | india nuclear testing
26 May 99 | South Asia
01 Jun 98 | Internet links
28 May 98 | S/W Asia
28 May 98 | Analysis
28 May 98 | Monitoring
28 May 98 | S/W Asia
28 May 98 | Monitoring
Links to more Archive stories are at the foot of the page.


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