The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 29, 1998 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, May 29, 1998
Page 6
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AB FRIDAY. MAY 29, 1998 NUCLEAR TESTING THE SALINA JOURNAL Clinton fails to persuade Pakistan to show restraint Administration concedes ability of U.S. to affect world events has waned By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — After an ex- ^traordinary campaign of public pleas and private phone calls, 'Resident Clinton suffered a bitter 'defeat when Pakistan ignored his ..a'ppeal for restraint in South • Asia's newly dangerous arms race. In the end, Clinton had no clout frying to persuade a nervous Pakistan against following the lead of 'dt'chrival India in flexing nuclear "muscles. In a candid statement "Sbbut the limits of power, the ad' rhitiistration readily conceded its 'la'fek of influence. • f' ; "The United States of America, 'despite all of its wealth and its " might, cannot control every event, ' eVery place in the world — partic- •ul&rly in a place where for five •decades now, governments have fought wars and people have lived •With incredible tension," presidential spokesman Mike McCurry •s'aid. IsvQiinton made personal appeals '-*# Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, in four telephone "The United States of America... cannot control every event, every place in the world..." Mike McCurry presidential spokesman calls, the last one shortly before midnight Wednesday. The president also sent a high-level delegation to Islamabad. He cajoled and threatened. He warned that more sanctions would be imposed. And if Pakistan refrained, he promised, it would boost its global standing, take the moral high ground and reap economic benefits. But the president never seemed optimistic he would succeed. No stranger to political battles, Clinton acknowledged that Sharif was under immense domestic pressure to test. Clinton said he could not make Sharif hold back from something he believed was in his national interest. In fact, the United States' ability to influence global decisions has waned since the end of the Cold War. That was obvious at the eight-nation summit earlier this month when Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia ignored Clinton's call for sanctions against India. Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, said there was little the United States could do because both Pakistan and India saw the tests as critical to their national interests. With the nuclear genie out of the bottle, the administration pleaded with India and Pakistan on Thursday to step back from the nuclear precipice. "It is now more urgent than it was yesterday that both Pakistan and India renounce further tests, sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and take decisive steps to reduce tensions in South Asia and reverse the dangerous arms race," Clinton said. Even while deploring Pakistan's tests, Clinton seemed sympathetic with Sharif. "He certainly understands the arguments the prime minister made," McCurry said. "He understands the unique regional and domestic pressures that the prime minister felt he faced." What will India, Pakistan do next? 'New entries into nuclear .arena bring questions -of local, global concern i By DONNA BRYSON The Associated Press DELHI, India — With South Asia's nuclear secret out in I the. open, only political and economic constraints are keeping In- ,dia and Pakistan from accelerating an arms race that has danger- 6i}S, far-reaching consequences, jlhdia's commitment to restraint ; -|— made in the wake of its nuclear jt.est explosions — had been weakening even before Thursday's 1 tests in Pakistan, and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee says his government now may reconsider its pledge not to test again. Across the volatile border, his Pakistani counterpart added to the tension by announcing he'll put nuclear warheads on missiles fhat can reach deep into India. India shocked the world when it r conducted three nuclear explosions under its southwestern desert May 11, then defiantly detonated two more May 13. An answer in kind from Pakistan hardly was surprising given the nations' long rivalry. Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan, divided by religion and territorial disputes, have fought three ;••• " wars since the two independent nations were carved out of the same British empire 50 years ago. India, believed to have had a nuclear weapons capability at least since its first test in 1974, said it tested again because it needed a deterrent against China and Pakistan. China, a declared nuclear power, long was believed to be secretly helping Pakistan develop weapons. Attempts to normalize Indian- Pakistan relations have failed again and again. Nuclear hostility only will make it harder to restart talks, though some analysts say that actual meetings should be easier now that both sides can be honest about their nuclear ambitions. In the meantime, the arms race is likely to concentrate on delivery systems. Both countries lack policies outlining circumstances under which they will use their weapons, who will make the decision and exactly how it would be carried out — the lack of such a command-and-control system makes their nuclear standoff all the more volatile. It's a standoff with regional, even global ramifications. China, an ally of Pakistan, may step in if India makes strides in perfecting its own warhead delivery system. Russia, nervous about China, could be next to reassess its nuclear restraint. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, gone are the predictable days of the Cold War when smaller nations chose the nuclear umbrella of Washington or Moscow instead of pursuing their own weapons of mass destruction. India and Pakistan are injecting much more uncertainty into the global nuclear scenario. SUPER EEKE FRIDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY ONLY! 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