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ISLAMABAD, May 31: Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while reiterating its policy of nuclear non-proliferation, said on Saturday that it had advised Pakistan to exercise restraint in conducting nuclear tests, though it had the right to do so in view of testing of nuclear devices by India.
A statement issued by the Afghan embassy on Sunday said that since the international community had failed to strongly condemn India and impose effective sanctions against it, Pakistan had to test its own nuclear devices to ensure its security and correct the strategic imbalance in the region.
The statement said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was of the view that conducting of nuclear tests by Pakistan was a matter of immense pleasure not only for Pakistan but also for the entire Islamic world as, on the one hand it had helped preserve the balance of power in the region, while on the other, it had prevented the enemies of the Islamic world from implementing their evil designs against it.
The statement said that, however, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was concerned about the sanctions imposed against Pakistan and economic difficulties it would face as a consequence. It hoped that Pakistan's problems would be tackled through joint efforts of Kabul and Islamabad.
The DAWN Group of Newspapers, 1998
KHARTOUM, May 31: Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, spiritual leader of the Palestinian Islamic group HAMAS, has welcomed nuclear tests carried out by Pakistan as a shot in the arm for "the Arab and Islamic nation."
The HAMAS founder told the Sudanese daily Al Rai Al Aam in remarks published on Sunday that possession of nuclear power by Pakistan is "an addition to (the strength of) the Arab and Islamic nation."
Sheikh Yassin, who is in Sudan as part of a tour of Arab capitals, also said that his Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) would continue its "jihad," or holy war, against Israel and its commando operations for "liberation of the occupied lands."
He added that international recognition of the Jewish state has "encouraged it to build settlements while the Palestinians, in return, have lost everything."
Sheikh Yassin also said an Arab summit was needed "not for rescuing the peace process but for supporting the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian fighter on the land of Palestine."
The official Al Anbaa daily quoted the 61-year-old wheelchair-bound cleric as saying that HAMAS, a hardline opponent of the peace process, would continue the armed struggle against Israel.
"HAMAS is determined to carry on with its jihad and martyrdom operations for liberation of Palestine and Al-Aqsa mosque from the usurping Zionist enemy who has corrupted Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the occupied Palestinian lands," he said.
He said that all of the countries he visited on his tour had "confirmed their support to all HAMAS-sponsored jihad and resistance operations."
"This constitutes a change in the attitude of those countries towards the movement," he added.
Sheikh Yassin also told the daily he was prepared for a dialogue between HAMAS and the United States "provided that such a dialogue is free of any dictates and pressures" from the United States.
He reiterated his organization's rejection of dialogue with Israel. "Dialogue cannot be conducted with Israel while it is holding the gun and usurping the land," he said.-AFP
The DAWN Group of Newspapers, 1998
WASHINGTON, May 31: President Clinton and Congress would repeal the 1994 sanctions law to enable Israel conduct its own nuclear test, a top defence analyst and director of a respected institute predicted on Sunday.
The law, Glenn Amendment of 1994, invoked against Pakistan and India for their nuclear tests, would be automatically triggered if Israel came out of the nuclear closet.
Writing in Washington Times on Sunday, Ivan Eland, Director of Defence Policy Studies at the CATO Institute said Israel and other undeclared and aspiring nuclear powers will probably not be deterred from testing.
"Congress and the President would probably repeal the sanctions law before they would impose sanctions on Israel in retaliation for a nuclear test," Eland said.
His article also justified the tests by Pakistan and India saying: "Pakistan and India have a right to self-defence in a rough neighbourhood...the US must realise that over time proliferation will occur in an even wider group of nations."
He stated that the US should no longer deny reality by pretending that new nuclear powers are not nuclear states. "It must also recognise that eventually both India and Pakistan will deploy their weapons."
Rather than impose sanctions, the US should encourage India and Pakistan to adopt confidence building measures similar to those established by Russia and US during the cold war.
Eland said hot lines should be established, the US should share technology for ensuring safety and command and control of nuclear weapons and give both countries future technology to simulate nuclear explosions so that they would not test further weapons underground.
The analyst said instead of taking actions that attempt to penalise proliferation already well under way, the US should maximise its influence to mediate tensions and promote stability between the two new members of the nuclear weapons club.
The DAWN Group of Newspapers, 1998
ISLAMABAD: All is set to test-fire 'Shaheen Missile' while trial for Hydrogen bomb is awaiting formal knock of the government, claims country's renowned scientist, Dr Samar Mubarikmund, who headed the team of scientists which conducted the tests of six nuclear bombs recently.
In an exclusive chat with The News, Dr Samar Mubarikmund said there is no technical hitch in test-firing these devices and added that once the leadership takes a political decision, country's scientists will not disappoint the nation.
Dr Samar who is also governing the National Development Complex (NDC) as its Director General with a mandate to produce indigenous Shaheen Missile, disclosed that NDC has started the production of Shaheen Missile-I which is capable of carrying nuclear device to the range of 700 Kilometres. However, he said, the production of Shaheen-II with a range of 2000 kilometres will take off by the end of the current year.
Dr Samar claimed they have achieved 100 per cent accuracy during the cold testing of Shaheen-I which is on the launching pad and awaiting green signal from the higher quarters. He said: "Production of the said guided missile is being carried out and it could be fired by latest solid fuel technology with carrying nuclear war-head on the desired target". He added: "Shaheen-I is on the launching pad and could be test fired minutes after receiving go ahead from the relevant quarters".
Answering a question, Dr Samar said after successfully conducting six nuclear tests, Pakistani scientists are well equipped to produce thermo nuclear devices. However, he said that it will be upto the government at what time they direct us to go ahead for test-firing of Hydrogen Bomb.
"Technically, we can definitely make it but it will require mandate and needs more funds for carrying out test-firing of thermo nuclear device", Dr Samar said. He said by conducting six nuclear tests, Pakistan has already qualified to become a member of the nuclear club. "We could conduct these tests long before, but were forced to do so by India which initiated conducting nuclear tests dis-balancing the balance of power in the region comprehensively", Dr Samar said in an enthusiastic tone.
Flanked by a family of scientist including his wife who is a physicist and three sons who are qualified scientists in their own right, Dr Samar replied all questions frankly and with a certain amount of confidence.
Replying to a question, Dr Samar said: "We are not forced to do what India is doing. We have our own priorities. We are in advanced stage of research in various fields as compared to India". To another question, Dr Samar said no individual can claim the credit of what has been achieved following the six nuclear tests. "It's a chain and each link of this chain is equally vital. If you take off one link, the chain breaks away.
The Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) is one major link of the chain. Its contribution is significant", he said. Dr Samar said there are atleast 24 other links of the chain under the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) which are carrying out important research in various fields connected to the country's nuclear programme. Asked to comment on Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan and KRL's role in conducting six nuclear tests, Dr Samar said: "We invited Dr Khan to be present on the occasion ofpressing the button for conducting tests".
Further elaborating on this point, Dr Samar said Dr Khan and KRL only contributed the enriched uranium for the tests while the remaining job was done by the PAEC whose 120 scientists were involved in the entire exercise. He further said that over two dozen different sections under the PAEC were involved in carrying out this exercise which includes initially from mining of Uranium, enrichment of Uranium at KRL while PAEC played a role of designing, manufacturing, computerising system, giving different desired shapes, weapon system, firing system and many other relevant action.
Dr Samar said for the last 20 years, he and his team of scientists in the PAEC have involved themselves in carrying out research programme which in no means is behind any other nuclear state. "We had to work very hard in conducting six nuclear explosions. Temperature of Chagi area was very high while site was far away paving difficulties in shifting the desired equipment and relevant preparation", Dr Samar said and added:
"The location for conducting nuclear tests was selected much in advance and it took almost a year or two to prepare site in very well maintained manner by team of scientists from Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)". He praised the role of defence personnel who he said had helped a lot in preparation of site besides providing all the relevant services desired by the PAEC.
To a question, Dr Samar said that a talented young scientist of PAEC who made the control box was the lucky one who was given opportunity of pushing button to test-fire the recent under ground nuclear explosions. "We believe in encouraging talented scientists and therefore have dressed thousands of such persons in the field", Dr Samar said adding: "Every scientist of the PAEC has the capability to carry out the desired programme and each one is the team leader". To a question about state of preparedness for test-firing 'Shaheen Missile', Dr Samar said: "You will be pleased to know that this Missile has been erected on the launching pad and is waiting for a green signal from the relevant quarters. We are confident that once the green signal is received, it would be another success story".
Replying to yet another question, Dr Samar said that after Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif decided to conduct nuclear tests, he was summoned. "The Prime Minister asked me if we are prepared to undertake this exercise with hundred per cent surety. I told him God willing, we will not embarrass the nation", he said.
Dr Samar said he informed the Prime Minister that 20 cold tests had already been successfully carried out and there remains no doubt about the perfection of test-firing these nuclear devices. "We were given only seven days to test-fire nuclear devices which was unfair but our scientists proved that they are not behind others in doing so". Dr Samar said the yield of the earlier five tests was between 40 to 45 kiloton while the latest and the sixth in the series was of 15 to 18 kiloton capacity. "We have achieved what was aimed at", he claimed and added: "These devices were advance and sophisticated with minimum size and weight". Asked when would Hydro Nuclear devise be test-fired, he said it depends when we are asked to do so. To yet another question, Dr Samar said that KRL was behind the testing and manufacturing of Ghauri Missile.
By BARRY WILNER .c The Associated Press
PARIS (AP) - Capsules of the 32 teams in the 1998 World Cup, which begins June 10:
Sixteenth appearance. Best performances: Winner in 1958, 1962, 1970 and 1994. Runner-up in 1950. Third in 1938 and 1978. Fourth in 1974. Quarterfinals in 1954 and 1986.
The class of the tournament in most years and the only nation with four world titles, a fifth is not unlikely. Only Brazil has won among non-European teams in a Europe-based World Cup, and it has the balance and depth to do so again.
Strikers Ronaldo, the best player in the world, Romario and Bebeto are complemented by a steady defense led by Aldair and Cafu, and the goalkeeping of Claudio Taffarel. But it is in the midfield where the Brazilians build their wonderful attacks.
Fourth appearance. Best performance: Second round in 1986.
Team bombed out of '94 World Cup and has taken heat back home ever since. These ``Atlas Lions'' are coached by Henri Michel, a top mentor from France, and they've looked decent at times. But they also went out early in the African Cup.
Veteran sweeper Noureddine Naybet, who plays in the Spanish first division, is their leading player.
Third appearance. Best performance: Never made it past first round.
No longer so dull they put fans and opponents to sleep, the Norwegians have prospered because so many of them play overseas. Tall striker Tore Andre Flo and forward Ole Gunnar Solskjar might provide some excitement, while Norway's strong counterattacks could cause some problems.
Eighth appearance. Best performance: Never made it past first round.
The Scots have the misfortune of meeting Brazil in the opener. A good showing could provide impetus toward finally getting out of the first round.
Scotland develops lots of talent, but the players tend to be scattered in various leagues. So continuity and teamwork often is lacking.
Thirty-nine-year-old keeper Jim Leighton, who goes into his 21st season as a pro in August, and Celtic midfielder Paul Lambert can't carry the load entirely. Somebody will have to relieve the burden with goals, not a Scottish strength.
Seventh appearance. Best performances: Third in 1954. Fourth in 1934.
A candidate for an early exit if its recent showings, including a 3-0 home loss to the United States, are an accurate gauge. The Austrians have been sloppy with the ball after a strong qualifying tournament.
Forward Anton Polster, 34, has begun showing his age. The goalkeeping has been spotty and injuries also have hurt a team with little depth.
Fourteenth appearance. Best performances: Winner in 1934, 1938, 1982. Runner-up in 1970, 1994. Third in 1990. Fourth in 1978.
There's always pressure on the Italians to open up. It worked brilliantly in 1982, and it might be a wise strategy in this tournament.
But early on, coach Cesare Maldini will rely on the defense led by his son, team captain Paolo Maldini. When Italy needs to score, it can with strikers Alessandro Del Piero and Filippo Inzaghi. The Italians usually build momentum through the tournament. Starting keeper Angelo Peruzzi hurt his calf and Gianluca Pagliuca, the 1994 starter, will take over.
Fourth appearance. Best performance: Quarterfinals in 1990.
They stunned the world in 1990 with their upset of defending champion Brazil and advancement to the final eight. But the Indomitable Lions, a jumbled mixture of age and youth, aren't nearly as formidable now.
Still, qualifying for the next round is a possibility if they show the maturity in tight situations they've lacked recently. A new generation of attackers - Alphonse Tchami, Salomon Olembe and Patrick Mboma - must provide the spark.
Seventh appearance. Best performance: Third in 1962.
The highest-scoring team in South American qualifying - no easy feat - Chile is led by a pair of terrific strikers, Ivan Zamorano and Marcelo Salas. Salas' strong play earned him a $20 million transfer to Lazio in Italy.
In this group, Chile had better find some defense to play in front of standout goalie Nelson Tapia. If it does, the second spot is there for the taking.
Second appearance. Best performance: Second round in 1986.
Back after a 12-year absence, Denmark features perhaps the best goalie in the world, Peter Schmeichel, who almost single-handedly led the Danes to the 1992 European title. Michael Laudrup, the only player left from 1986, and younger brother Brian are the leaders of a team that could win the group.
Ninth appearance. Best performances: Third in 1958, 1986. Fourth in 1982.
Non-qualifiers since 1986, the French took the easy route to the tournament by becoming the host. The home field should help for a round or two, as will the quick-striking skills of Youri Djorkaeff and Zinedine Zidane, one of the world's best players. But the defense is suspect, and the French haven't had too many major victories in a dozen years.
Second appearance. Best performance: second round in 1994.
The 1996 Asian Cup success after their first qualification for the World Cup in '94 has lifted spirits of the Saudis, the first Asian team to advance from the opening round.
Nine veterans of the previous World Cup return for the Green Hawks, including striker Saeed al-Owairan. The best weapon, though, might be coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who led Brazil to the 1994 crown.
Known as Bafana Bafana (Zulu for ``The Boys''), South Africa threatens the net often. An unknown quantity back after being banned for 28 years because of apartheid, it has a few internationally established players, most notably midfielder Doctor Khumalo. He should be the playmaker for Benedict McCarthy and Phil Masinga, South Africa's all-time leading scorer.
In late May, South Africa brought back defender Doctor Khumalo, who played for Major League Soccer's MetroStars in 1997.
Seventh appearance. Best performance: Fourth in 1994.
Coming off their sensational work in '94, including an upset of Germany on the way to the final four, the Bulgarians have plenty to live up to. In Hristo Stoichkov, one of eight returnees from the last World Cup, they have the player who can decide matches.
Other veterans include goalie Borislav Mihailov and playmaker Krasimir Balakov, who'll retire from the national team after the World Cup. Whether that retirement comes early or deep in the tournament depends greatly on how well the players get along with coach Hristo Bonev.
Tenth appearance. Best performance: Fourth in 1950. Quarterfinals in 1986, 1994.
Always considered a threat, the Spanish rarely measure up. At least they've eliminated some of the rough play that marked recent World Cup representatives.
Several Spaniards could become stars in France, particularly Real Madrid's Raul Gonzalez and Fernando Hierro, who led the team to the European Champions Cup. Midfielder Luis Enrique Martinez and defenders Sergi Barjuan, Miguel Angel Nadal and Albert Ferrer will keep the goal area clear.
Luis Enrique was voted top Spanish player by club coaches and could be the player who lifts Spain.
Fifth appearance. Best performance: Second round in 1986.
Jose Luis Chilavert is considered one of the best goalies in the world - and one of the most versatile. Chilavert frequently rushes up the field to take free kicks and penalty shots, and has scored 33 goals, a record for goalkeepers.
Paraguay might look for a spark from 19-year-old Cesar Ramirez, who plays for Sporting in Portugal.
Second appearance. Best performance: Second round in 1994.
The Olympic champion and considered the only team from outside Europe and South America with a chance at the title. Nigeria should get an emotional lift from the inclusion of Nwankwo Kanu, the former African player of the year who appears fully recovered from heart surgery.
Coached by Bora Milutinovic, who guided the United States in 1994, can their defense close down opponents while the creative offense carries the Nigerians through? Watch for Victor Ipkeba, the African player of the year, Daniel Amokachi and Finidi George.
Tenth appearance. Best performance: Fourth in 1986.
In a fifth straight tournament, the Belgians are stronger up front than on defense, a rarity for them. Midfielder Marc Wilmots does a nice job as a distributor, while Luc Nilis and Luis Oliveira could form a dangerous attacking duo.
But the defense has been shaky lately and there might be a lack of leadership.
Seventh appearance. Best performances: Runner-up in 1974, 1978. Quarterfinals in 1994.
A team that should find the net often, led by English Premier League stars Dennis Bergkamp and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and Patrick Kluivert - if he snaps out of his slump.
The defense, led by the world's most expensive defender, Jaap Stam ($17.9 million transfer fee), is solid, but this is not a classic Dutch squad. It could struggle to get out of its group and needs a big performance from Edgar Davids.
Fifth appearance. Best performance: Never made it past first round.
Rumors that they might lose out as hosts of the next World Cup because of money problems at home shouldn't affect the speedy Koreans. But unless they discover some offense, they probably will go out in the opening round again.
Coach Cha Bum-kun, who played for South Korea in Mexico in 1986, has rebuilt the team's confidence after a weak showing in last year's Asian Games. The squad revolves around striker Choi Yong-soo and colorful Kim Byung-ji in goal.
Eleventh appearance. Best performances: Quarterfinals in 1970 and 1986.
A team that rarely performs well outside its hemisphere. Mexico fired coach Bora Milutinovic after four consecutive ties enraged locals and replaced him with Manuel Lapuente.
Luis Hernandez scores most of the big goals. Offbeat goalie Jorge Campos isn't nearly the player he was in 1994, when he became a star. If they don't get frustrated, however, the Mexicans can be troublesome.
Fourteenth appearance. Best performances: Winner in 1954, 1974, 1990. Runner-up in 1966, 1982, 1986. Third in 1934, 1970. Fourth in 1958. Quarterfinals in 1962, 1994.
Always a favorite, especially in European-based tournaments. But the Germans are struggling to stay healthy, with regular sweeper Matthias Sammer and replacement Olaf Thon the most significant casualties. They even turned to their past and brought back Lothar Matthaeus.
Without their typical depth, the Germans might not be as rugged as usual. But they should score, and could start a three-pronged front line of Juergen Klinsmann, Oliver Bierhoff and Ulf Kirsten.
Ninth appearance. Best performances: Semifinal in 1930. Fourth in 1962. Quarterfinals in 1954, 1958, 1990.
A definite contender and one of the stronger clubs in Europe. Watch out if Predrag Mijatovic, who scored Real Madrid's winner for the European Champions Cup crown, and Dejan Savicevic are in peak form.
Youngsters Dejan Stankovic and Perica Ognjenovic are formidable. The biggest question could be how the Yugoslavs react to rough play.
Second appearance. Best performance: Never made it past first round.
They just changed coaches for the third time since last fall. They're in turmoil on and off the field. They can't wait to play the United States and might not treat their other two matches with enough respect.
Few teams will be as interesting and unpredictable as the Iranians.
Ali Daei was the world's top international scorer last year, Karim Bagheri led World Cup qualifying with 19 goals in 17 games, and Khodadad Azizi was Asia's 1996 player of the year.
Sixth appearance. Best performance: Semifinals in 1930.
The Americans could be hurt by a slow defense, but adding new citizen David Regis could help. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller has proven himself in the English Premier League and Claudio Reyna, Cobi Jones and Ernie Stewart provide some offensive imagination.
The key will be how the Americans handle an opener with Germany. A close loss (and certainly a tie) could supply a huge boost for later matches with Iran and Yugoslavia.
Clearly third best in this group, the U.S. team will need some luck - like it got four years ago - to advance.
Tenth appearance. Best performances: Winner in 1966. Fourth in 1994. Quarterfinals in 1954, 1962, 1970, 1986.
The dynamic 1-2 scoring punch of Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham will be difficult to stop. They have a rising star behind them in 18-year-old Michael Owen.
World-class goalkeeper David Seaman and a rapidly developing midfield led by Paul Ince make England a favorite. But the recent performances have been spotty and none of the current players have been in a World Cup.
Seventh appearance. Best performance: Quarterfinals in 1994.
The standouts of qualifying with a 9-0-1 record, the Romanians have not shown much life heading into the tournament. An aging team that has depended too heavily on the brilliance of Gheorghe Hagi and support from Gheorghe Popescu on defense and striker Viorel Moldovan.
Romania must get significant contributions from newcomers Catalin Munteanu and Alin Stoica, both teen-agers, and Adrian Ilie, an inconsistent but vastly talented attacker. That could be asking too much.
Fourth appearance. Best performance: Second round in 1990.
Perhaps the most unpredictable nation in the field. The Colombians were among the favorites heading into '94 and were ousted in the opening round. They have the best hair in the tournament (Carlos Valderrama), but they could drive any coach bald with their spotty play.
Valderrama, 36, appears near the top of his game. A superb passer with a flair for the dramatic, he will get help from super finisher Faustino Asprilla.
This is a fragile squad that could soar or flop. After defender Andres Escobar scored an own goal for the United States in '94, an angry fan shot him to death in Colombia.
Second appearance. Best performance: Didn't make it past first round.
One Brazilian who might not see the second round this year is defender Jose Clayton, who took Tunisian citizenship. Although Tunisia has improved in recent years under Polish coach Henri Kasperczak, expecting it to get out of this group is reaching.
Looking for a long shot to go a long way, try this team. Blessed with experience and youth, strong offense and steady defense, Croatia should emerge from this group and will cause problems for every opponent.
Scorers Alen Boksic and Davor Suker, supported by captain Zvonimir Boban and veteran playmaker Robert Prosinecki in midfield, are dangerous. Two years ago, a team anchored by the same stars was edged in the European championship quarterfinals by Germany, the eventual winner.
Thirteenth appearance. Best performances: Winner in 1978 and 1986. Runner-up in 1930, 1990. Quarterfinals in 1966.
Has one of the world's great finishers in Daniel Batistuta and is without controversial star Diego Maradona for the first time in four World Cups. Batistuta is his nation's career goals leader, but coach Daniel Passarella prefers the combination of Claudio Lopez and Hernan Crespo up front.
The midfield is superb, but the defense is the major weakness.
The ``Reggae Boyz'' could scare someone with their stingy defense, led by Ricardo Gardener. Deon Burton of Derby County in the English Premier League, is an opportunistic attacker and fun to watch.
Jamaica is the first Caribbean team to reach the tournament since Haiti in 1974.
Striker Kazuyoshi Miura, the only Japanese to have played in Italy's first division, says the team crumbles. That doesn't bode well, especially in this group. Outrageous 21-year-old midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata, with is orange hair and precise passing, could make a name for himself on the World Cup stage.
Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.