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Archive Monday, 1 June, 1998, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Pakistan carries out another nuclear test
A roadside sign for a school 13 miles from the nuclear test zone in Baluchistan
A roadside school sign just 13 miles from the test zone
Pakistan has carried out another nuclear test explosion, prompting a renewed wave of international criticism.

Confirming the move, Pakistan's foreign ministry said the test took place near the site of five nuclear explosions carried out on Thursday.

Mr Ayub Khan announces the latest tests on Pakistan TV
Mr Ayub Khan announces the latest tests on Pakistan TV
The Foreign Minister, Gohar Ayub Khan, had earlier spoken of two new tests being carried out.

Pakistan has now conducted more recent weapons tests than India.

But the foreign ministry spokesman said the response was the bare minimum Pakistan could make in self-defence.

He said Pakistan wanted dialogue with India, not a nuclear arms race. He said the people of the region could not afford to divert precious resources away from economic development.

The head of the Foreign Ministry, Shamshad Ahmad, said Pakistan's test series was now complete.

Map of test region
The latest test, in southwestern Baluchistan province, was set off at around 1300 local time (0800 GMT) in the Chagai region near the Iranian border.

After Pakistan's first five explosions, Mr Khan said his country had redressed the strategic and military balance.

India 'expected test'

India's External Affairs Ministry said that it had expected Pakistan's second round of nuclear tests.

"We have been monitoring Pakistan's clandestine programme very closely and all this is factored into our defence policy," it said.

The United States, Britain and France have all strongly criticised Pakistan.

China - which is also a nuclear power - has said the latest explosions have deepened its concern over the possibility of nuclear arms race in South Asia.

The BBC Defence Correspondent Jonathan Marcus says Pakistan has raised the stakes again. He says it is not clear why it needed the latest test, but United States sources say the first round may have been less than fully successful.

Earlier, Pakistan's leading nuclear scientist, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, said the biggest of the devices exploded underground on Thursday was nearly twice the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Pakistan has said that with the tests completed it will produce nuclear weapons for defensive purposes.

The BBC correspondent in Islamabad says now that Pakistan has conducted more tests than Delhi, Pakistan has opened itself up to the charge that it is no longer responding to an arms race initiated by India, but that it is now contributing to the military build up in the region.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC News
Foreign Minister Ayub Khan: "The Pakistani people will be very proud they have the upper edge"
BBC News
BBC Correspondent David Loyn reports from Islamabad
BBC News
The BBC's Andrew Whitehead, reporting from Delhi, says: "India will take this in its stride."
BBC News
The BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones reports from Pakistan
BBC News
The BBC's Owen Bennet-Jones in Islamabad: "India might now feel it necessary to make some kind of response"
See also:

01 Jun 98 | Internet links
29 May 98 | india nuclear testing
04 Jun 98 | Analysis
30 May 98 | india nuclear testing
30 May 98 | S/W Asia
Links to more Archive stories are at the foot of the page.


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