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Pakistan Prime Minister Urges India To Accept Bilateral Nuclear Test Ban Pact

September 25, 1987 GMT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ Pakistan Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo urged India on Thursday to accept a proposed bilateral nuclear test ban treaty and proposed a U.N. conference on nuclear nonproliferation in South Asia.

Junejo, in a speech before the General Assembly, also said Pakistan has no nuclear capability, no desire to develop nuclear weapons and said his country ″does not wish to conduct a nuclear explosion.″

Pakistan, however, has been accused by rival India of seeking to develop a nuclear bomb which would upset the military balance in the region and set off a new arms race. India, which exploded an atomic device in 1974, says it has no nuclear weapons program and only pursues the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

Some U.S. government officials and Congressmen also are concerned about Pakistan’s reported military ambitions in the nuclear field and its ability to enrich uranium to a high level.

Junejo said that one country in South Asia, meaning India, already has demonstrated a nuclear capability. But he said Pakistan ″is prepared to subscribe to a comprehensive test ban in a global, regional or bilateral context.″ The two nations have fought three wars since the partition of the Indian Subcontinent in 1947.

Junejo said that in June he proposed a bilateral nuclear test ban treaty to Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, but it has not been accepted.

″I look forward to a positive response,″ he said, adding that such an agreement between the neighbors ″would serve to assure eachother, and the world, that neither has any intention of pursuing the nuclear option.″

He also proposed that a conference on nuclear non-profileration in South Asia be convened as soon as possible, with participation of regional and other interested states

There was no immediate reaction from India to Islamabad’s latest proposals.

But India has said it does not trust Pakistan’s intentions and said it would be impossible to verify that Pakistan’s secret nuclear program is not weapons-oriented.