24 May, 1999
PRESS RELEASE

Resolution adopted by Action Committee Against Arms Race (ACAAR) in its General Body Meeting in Karachi on Saturday, 22nd May 1999.

We express our strong disapproval of the Government's plans to celebrate
the first anniversary of the Chaghai nuclear tests. When India conducted
the tests at Pokhran on 11th and 13th May last year, we had publicly
condemned it in the strongest terms and cautioned the Pakistan
Government against getting provoked into following suit, and instead
take the initiative in signing the CTBT and pre-empt possible
international economic sanctions. However, Islamabad thought differently
and went ahead with the Chaghai tests on 28th May.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said then that Pakistan wanted to divert
its resources towards economic development and people's welfare but
had been pushed to the corner by India's nuclear tests, leaving his
government with no option but to follow suit. In other words, he meant
that going nuclear was not Pakistan's choice, but it was forced upon us
by India. .

If what Mr. Nawaz Sharif said then is to be believed, how can the
government justify the hysterical mass campaign being organised
officially in the national media to celebrate something which Pakistan
had not wanted to do but was forced to do? It is ironical, to say the
least, that ours is perhaps the only country in the world which,
despite our pervasive poverty, will be publicly celebrating our
capability to build weapons of mass death and devastation and call it
"Yaum-e-Takbeer,", precisely when thousands of men, women and children
in Sindh, who are also good Muslims, have either been drowned and dead,
most of them in the high seas because of the criminal failure of the
government to warn the fishing boats in time, and when there is an
urgent need to address the problems of the rehabilitation of the
survivors.

We call upon the Government of Pakistan to call off this ridiculous
high-cost pro-nuclear campaign, even as the latest hike in petrol prices
and other ensuing price and tax increases threaten to cut deep into the
meagre earnings of the people, and divert those funds to the
rehabilitation of the affected people in Sindh.

We also call upon the government to stop further nuclear and missile
tests and continue the dialogue with India, for the denuclearisation and
demilitarisation of the subcontinent.

We also express our strong protest at the repressive actions of the
government against the independent journalists and institutions of civil
society,(especially targeting those working for the promotion of the
rights of women), who are serving the people in areas where the
government institutions have miserably failed to deliver.

We demand that all such repressive measures be withdrawn and the culture
of intolerance of dissent and victimisation of opposition be brought to
an end.

B.M.Kutty
Secretary (ACAAR) and Convener Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC)




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